LARRY SWIM SNAGS THIRD CFP RACING CHAMPIONSHIP IN BIGFOOT BAD BOY
Photo by Karen Davis
(St. Louis, MO) The Checkered Flag Productions Winter Nationals indoor racing tour wrapped up this past weekend in Pocatello, ID at the Idaho State University Holt Arena. And, for the third time in four seasons, Team BIGFOOT® driver Larry Swim and the BIGFOOT "Bad Boy" walked away as the Winter Nationals Monster Truck Racing Champion.
Over the course of the 2012 season, more than 20 different teams, trucks, and drivers battled for the right to qualify for the annual Winter Grand Nationals in Pocatello. Part of the field in Pocatello is traditionally reserved for teams that have run the bulk of the 12+ week tour, while the other part of the field is an "invitation only" arrangement, in which trucks that competed well on the tour earlier in the season but did not compete the entire tour are invited to compete for the event win, but not the title itself. So, with a field stacked full of championship contenders and high-powered spoilers, Swim and the BIGFOOT Team had their work cut out for them.
The evening's race track, featuring a tight 180-degree U-turn, favored the smaller wheelbase trucks in attendance, and, it is worth noting, the bulk of the trucks in the field were considered to be long-wheelbase machines, including Swim's BIGFOOT #16. This did not stop Swim from marching through the brackets far enough to clinch the 2012 Winter Nationals racing title and the large trophy that goes with it. Although Swim did not capture a win in the final round of eliminations, his string of victories in each event leading up to the Grand Nationals all but secured his place as season champion. Swim would wrap up the night with a stellar freestyle despite the fact that most of the freestyle obstacles had already been smashed into oblivion. And, perhaps most impressive of all, Swim drove #16 off the track under its own power without any significant damage, a feat most drivers that night failed to accomplish!
"This is what we race for. This is why we try to make every pass count every weekend," said Swim in a post-race interview. "This is why every guy back in our shop works his tail off every week, why our fleet maintenance guys make sure my hauler covers every mile to every show, and why myself and my pit crew check every inch of this truck over before every run. Everything counts. That's why we get to head back to St. Louis with this trophy and the bragging rights that go with it. It was a team effort getting to this point, and so this trophy is for our team!"
By winning his third career championship in Pocatello, Swim helped raise Team BIGFOOT's championship count to a mind-boggling 32, a feat completely unmatched in the monster truck industry. This title also marks the first time a driver other than Dan Runte has piloted the team's BIGFOOT #16 truck to a championship, as Swim (in his first year driving #16) is the only other driver on the team to have piloted the truck for a complete racing season. Swim elaborated some on that fact: "Dan and the guys at the shop have had their hands full getting Dan's new truck (BIGFOOT #18) dialed in, on top of helping to keep the rest of the fleet fixed up and running. So I am very grateful to Dan and the guys in the shop for helping me with the transition from #14 into #16. I think a lot of fans might just assume the rest of us drivers are left to fend for ourselves when a new truck like #18 comes into the mix, but that's definitely not the case. Every truck receives equal attention, and, because of that, it is possible for three of our trucks to win three different championships this winter!" Swim added "I just want to say 'thanks' to all the fans, all of my team, my wonderful wife Susan, and my kids. I couldn't have done it without any of them. They're awesome!"
BIGFOOT #16 and Swim will now catch a very brief breather before heading into the outdoor season, which for him will consist of a variety of event types including races, freestyle exhibitions, and sponsor appearances for Firestone and Summit Racing Equipment, among others.