Frank Turben was born January 15, 1949. As the former owner of Turben's Auto Body,
Frank comes by his interest in machines naturally.
In September 1984, he ran his first off road race in a truck he built
himself. In December 1984, he raced in his second off road race, a 150
mile event in Mexico where he took first place and the rest, as they say,
His skill as a driver goes beyond the implied physical requirements
of quick reactions and steady nerves. Even without major factory sponsorship
Frank, and his crew, have become master strategists in at being competitive
in the SCORE (which originally
was an acronym meaning Short Course Off Road Enterprises) scene.
This philosophy is what made the Frank Turben team the most consistent
performer on the ADRA (Arizona Desert Racing Association) circuit for five
years. It is also what will continue to put Frank, his team and his sponsors
where they want to be; in the winner's circle at the larger, more competitive
exposure of the SCORE
The Turben team currently races a new 1996 modified Chevy truck, which
was built to replace an aging 1987 model. The new truck is literally a
chromoly roll cage with a fiberglass "Chevy truck" body exterior.
It is equipped with 14 Rancho "Lightning Rod" Shocks which the
Turben race team helped Rancho develop in 1991.
The power plant is a 383 cubic inch stroker engine. It has Brodix aluminum
heads, steel crank, JE pistons, chromoly rods, and an "ISKY"
cam all combine to produce a 700 horsepower monster engine.
The truck rides on BFG, 35 x 1250 R15 Baja T/A, All Terrain radials.
Paul Rich: Co-rider/engine builder: Paul was also instrumental
in the design and production of the race truck. Paul has been with the
race team for 10 years. Dee Ladd: Race team coordinator: She's in charge! She manages the
"pit crew" portion of the race. She has been to every race we've
ever raced. Dave Gray: Co-rider/race preparation: Dave preps the truck and maintains
all of the pit supplies. He's been a co-rider for 5 years and has owned
a speed shop. Kirk Brunmeier: Fabricator/mechanic: Kirk and his friends are the
core of the chase team. They are responsible for getting the truck through
the race. They perform the pit stops, service and refuel the truck at remote
pit areas, and help in the race preparation.
Off-road racing is a challenging, fun sport that is rapidly gaining
popularity in the western United States. Spectators, participants, sponsors
and the media are all increasingly looking at the sport with gaining interest.
The sport had its inception in the mid 1960's on the Baja Peninsula in
Prior to the race, many sponsors participate in contingency. They set
up booths along a main street in the host town and display their products
to the racers and fans. All race vehicles are pushed through this contingency
row by the drivers and pit crews. A contingency is the commitment made
by a contract with a sponsor to post a certain amount of cash or product
as an award to contestants for using a certain product, or service and
displaying the product's decal on the race car.
Thousands of spectators are present at such races as the Baja 1000,
the Baja 500, the Parker 400 and the Nevada 400. From pre-race contingency,
which is usually held on the "Strip" in Las Vegas or on Main
Street in places like Ensenada Mexico, to the actual race, spectators cling
to the thrill of racing engines and the smell of super high octane fuel.
With media helicopters overhead and semi trailers lining the race course,
competitors begin the race with a timed, staggered start and in the end
the team able to finish with the fastest time wins.
Races vary in lengths from 150 to sometimes 1000 miles in length over
unbelievable terrain. Unlike road racing, the first priority is to defeat
the brutal beating taken by the truck and driver and to finish.
"When my wife is asked about being afraid of me racing,
her reply is always the same, 'No I'm not, because Frank Turben has an
uncanny ability to drive safely and competitively.'",
Dave Gray -Co-rider 2
"We've sponsored Frank and the team for ten
years now. I can't remember a race that they didn't finish because of driver
error. If that truck will move, he'll bring her home." Paul
Sigmundson - President, ORC RACE RADIOS
"I remember when they first started. Built their
own truck from a 74 Chevy truck frame. They've come a long way.",
John Miguel - Owner, J & M Race Prep