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By Harold Osmer
I had occasion to drive to Phoenix this past Thursday. Headed east, I saw many off road race trucks going the opposite direction. Not knowing much about the sport, they provided only an interesting bit of eye candy for mere seconds at a time.
My Phoenix business concluded, I turned my rented Transit van west and began the return drive home. Gasoline is nearly a dollar cheaper per gallon in Arizona, so a stop in Quartzite for topping off was in order. Across from my pump was one of the race truck teams. They said were going out to Parker for a weekend event. Part of what they were after was a shake down in preparation of the upcoming Baja 1000. The grey Ford racer stood proud on an open trailer.
While sitting in my van with the door open and window down, I overheard the three men talking about what else they might need for the weekend. The subject of beer came up and they had a short discussion about what kind to purchase. At this point, I hopped out of the van and handed the men a $20 bill and business card.
I told them, “Let me buy the beer.”
They were stunned as I hopped back into my van a mere six feet away.
“Why would you do this?” one of them asked, “Nobody does this. This never happens.”
“It does today.” Then I got out and explained that I’ve written race history books, created race event programs, done announcer duties, and basically understand the racing game. Then said “Sponsorship comes in many forms, let me help out.” And off I went to complete my uneventful drive home.
An internet search the following day revealed that the race in Parker was part of the Best In The Desert race series. The team I encountered was that of Greg Foutz Motorsports based in Mesa Arizona. They currently field a Ford F250 Super Duty truck with 2017 EcoBoost technology. This same team won their first Baja 1000 in 1998 with a Ford in the stock mini truck class.
Those guys were not scraping by in search of beer money and certainly looked to have their race weekend in order. I have no idea what a set of tires cost or load of fuel or even what their food bill was. But I heard them state a need and stepped up. Turns out it was a big-time Ford Raptor team.
- Harold O.
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