Tearing It Up In Texas At The 6th Annual Texas Raptor RunPosted in Events on September 11, 2017
Another exciting Texas Raptor Run event is in the books. This year’s event, which took place May 18-21, marked TRR’s 6th Annual gathering, and 150 Ford Raptors met together at the Texana Ranch for a weekend of dirty fun. As in prior years, Treypal Paliero of TRR was given full access to the beautiful 5,000-acre Texana Ranch for the event. The ranch is ideal for off-road events such as this, partly because of the 40-mile track that has two separate sections—the front section being rough and fast while the back section offers many twisty and technical paths to challenge every driver. In addition to the exciting driving terrain, the ranch offers participants choices in overnight accommodations. To stay close to the action, many guests chose to tent camp on-site or glamp in their RV using one of the 30 RV hookups.
There are on-site bathrooms and showers for campers as well as a swimming pool, which is especially exciting during the thunderstorms. About a half-mile away from the central pit area are cabins available to any guest looking for a bit more luxury, as well as a handful of hotels located a short drive off the ranch property.
Vendors and guests began to arrive at the ranch on Thursday, May 18, in the afternoon to register and set up their camping spots. Pit row quickly filled up with sponsors and vendors of the event who displayed their products, set up install/repair stations and prepared to welcome the guests. At 4 p.m. all drivers attended a safety meeting where Treypal discussed details of the track and driving expectations, as well as other specifics for the weekend. After this the track opened to all drivers. There’s a running joke in the Raptor community that if you want it to rain, just ask Treypal to host a Raptor event. Thursday afternoon and into the evening brought an impressive thunderstorm on the ranch, making for a muddy, sloppy track and campground. That evening the storm blew out the power, and campers were forced to cook, shower, and enjoy the night by candlelight (or cell phone flashlight).
Friday morning started with a 9 a.m. driver’s safety meeting led by Treypal in a covered shed. The rain had mostly cleared up by this time, however all cell phones were buzzing with tornado warnings. A tornado actually touched down about 20 miles from the ranch Friday morning, while golfball-sized hail pummeled parts of the ranch. The track was open all day beginning at 10 a.m. and everyone enjoyed exploring the ranch on a casual timeline. Whether cruising or pushing the truck to its limits, these Raptors once again proved impressive. There were a few casualties on Friday, the first involving a Gen2 Raptor rear windshield. The vehicle’s spare tire was not properly secured in the bed and came loose during the landing of a jump and smashed the rear window. Oops! Another driver error landed a Gen1 Raptor submerged in a large cattle water reservoir about 5 feet deep in the center. Some of the turns can be technically tricky especially with muddy conditions, and it’s easy to lose traction and slide your vehicle into unknown territory.
Dinner was up to each party on Friday night, and the camp area smelled wonderful as a variety of barbecue creations wafted into the air. It was fun to walk from campsite to campsite checking out the different meals grilling and visiting with old friends. Friday night at 7 p.m. started the infamous Wildlife Tour. A long train of Raptors with riders in the cabs and in the beds traveled through the ranch admiring the sunset, the beautiful grounds, and the wildlife living on the grounds. Buffalo, cattle, camels (including the well-known Mr. Ed), kangaroo, deer, sheep, wild turkey, and antelope were a few of the creatures that greeted the wild raptors as they wandered through the grounds. At times it was hard to tell who was wilder—the animals of the raptor owners.
After sunset participants could join in the Apollo Optics Lighting Shootout. This was a competition to see who had the highest lumens on their truck. Anyone who dared the competition parked their truck equipped with aftermarket light configurations at a 100-yard range. Facing downrange, trucks turned on their aftermarket light setup pointed at a light meter, which measured the number of lumens. A handful of trucks stepped up to the competition and the winner was Steve Sours’ truck equipped with a plethora of Baja Designs lights.
Saturday morning began with the 9 a.m. driver’s safety meeting, and the track opened at 10 a.m. Weather conditions cleared up by Saturday, and everyone was excited for drier track conditions. There were the normal broken parts that occurred during driving this day, including popped tires, broken spindles, and another blown-out rear window. The track provides great opportunities for vendors to test out their new suspension setups and for drivers to show off their newly installed aftermarket upgrades. Vendors were giving rides around the track to anyone who dared and were available to help supply replacement parts or repairs if needed in pit row.
At 6 p.m. began the famous TRR barbecue. This year’s dinner was just as amazing as in years past including beef brisket, coleslaw, potato salad, and bread. The caterers brought in an oversized canopy for guests to dine under and everyone had a good time rehashing the events of the day. At this time Treypal conducted the raffle, announcing winners and handing out vendor-donated prizes. This year’s event raised money for the Will Decker Family.
Back in January, TRR hosted the RaptorX event in Dale, Texas, and raised money for Will and his family and wanted to extend the generosity at this event as well. Just to recap, Will and his wife have twin toddlers. Last summer both boys were diagnosed with low platelet levels, and just before Thanksgiving, one was diagnosed with Myeloid Sarcoma, a sub-type of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, an incredibly rare disease. His brother is equally as ill, and both boys will need bone marrow transplants that require 30-45 days of inpatient hospital stays. The family is struggling through tremendous emotional and financial challenges this year and possibly for years to come.
Through Treypal’s coordination and the generosity of the participants at the Raptor run, $8,000 was raised for Will’s family. Over and over again, the good folks of the Raptor community are proving generous and compassionate toward those in need. Whether stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire or battling to help their children survive, Raptor owners go above and beyond to help those in need. That’s what it’s all about.
Saturday night ended in the Rigid Industries Poker Run. Drivers were instructed to drive to five different spots on the ranch and pick up a poker chip at each spot. After they had collected all five chips, they returned to the Rigid Industries semi tractor and trailer where Matt Parks, Manager of the Texana Ranch, shuffled a deck of cards and dealt five cards to each player. There were three winners who walked away with Rigid Industries lightbars and swag.
Sunday morning, drivers started their treks home and said their goodbyes until next year. If you haven’t yet experienced this TRR event, we highly encourage you to do so. The cost for this year’s event was $375 for a driver and one codriver, $50 for each additional codriver, and kids are free. This includes the Saturday night barbecue dinner, T-shirts, and a driver bag. Keep your eyes open for TRR’s link to sign-up for next year’s event and we’ll see you there!
Texas Raptor Runs