RENO, NV – Roger Norman decided to compete in another discipline of racing this year: Rock Crawling.  In his rookie appearance at the W.E. Rock West Tucson, AZ event he challenged himself and finished on the podium in his Torchmate Racing Pro Mod #8 rock crawler.  “Rock crawling is tougher than it looks,” exclaimed successful Trophy Truck racer Roger Norman. “There is actually a ton of strategy and teamwork involved.”

The whole experience was different than anything Norman had participated in before.  The spotter was outside the car giving directions via Bluetooth headsets.  There are many controls not found in a trophy truck including a transfer case for controlling front wheel and rear wheel drive, front and rear air lockers and  cutting brakes.  The front and rear winches are not for pulling you out of a bad situation, but rather connected to axle housings used for sucking in the suspension to account for different angles.  The BFGoodrich Krawlers had amazing traction, strength and stability on the man made course.

Competitors complete four courses on Saturday and four on Sunday, and then enter a shootout on Sunday afternoon that can change the entire outcome of the event.  With each course timed, Norman only completed one of the four courses on Saturday.  Come Sunday, he successfully turned that ratio around to completing three out of the four courses, with one tied for the best score of the day.

Ford has been working on a new engine technology that will be offered in its 2011 F-150s next year that off-roaders will find interesting. It’s a cool concept that is being put to work – it involves the combination of both direct fuel injection and turbocharging in the rear-wheel-drive F-150. The EcoBoost engine options are offered in 4-cylinder and V6 options, and in early 2010 a V6 EcoBoost option will be available on the F-150. The F-150 will also be available with engine packages that include the 3.7-liter V6, 5.0-liter V8 and 6.2-liter V8. As Ford notes, “This marks the most extensive engine makeover in the 62-year history of Ford F-Series.”