Action And Excitement At The Freedom Factory's Danger Ranger 9000

10 min read

Action And Excitement At The Freedom Factory's Danger Ranger 9000

10 min read

Have you noticed the cooler, crisper air, the acorns falling off of the oak trees, or the smell of burning leaves on the ground? Probably not if you're in Florida, because the party at the Freedom Factory has not stopped yet. Recently, Cleetus and his crew threw the Danger Ranger 9000 race event, one of the first that brought fans into the competition. It seems a bit odd to choose the Ford Ranger as a race vehicle of choice at first, but the popularity of the truck that was produced from 1983-2012 in the USDM market has grown into a meme, thanks to a TikTok song. Capitalizing on that fame, 38 Rangers would take to the track with a mix of known drivers, such as Cleet's right-hand man James, JH Diesel, and Parker from Teeth and Turbos mixing it up with a fleet of fans who built their own trucks to race. The build pattern for the Fords was simple: stock. No suspension parts, no engine or trans modifications, no headers, no power adders, no race fuel, no nothing. Just a 4-point rollbar, five-point racing harness, a window net, and no anti-freeze in the block. The starting grid would be fully randomized, so it truly would be anybody's race to win or lose. How well did that go?

Danger Ranger 9000 headlight

Well, before we get to the main event, we should mention the other aspects of the weekend. First up was the Freedom Factory Drift Night. This was the Freedom Factory's first Top 16 drift event and saw the likes of Chelsea DeNofa, who brought out his practice Fun Haver Mustang, Alberto from Big Boost with his 2JZ-swapped BMW, and Cooper Bogetti, who is gaining seat time in his LS-swapped Nissan S13 drift car. Of course, the owner of the track was going to participate, but Cleetus's day was not going to go well. After having a side-slap moment with Dan Stuke's Nissan, the "Donnie" C5 Corvette got eliminated from competition after a very tight competition with Tom Pettigrew's droptop Nissan. The final run saw Taylor Ray's LS-swapped Miata take on Zack Calvin's ZO6 Corvette, with Ray coming out on top.

Danger Ranger 9000 Donnie

Cleetus gave a valiant effort in the Drift Night event with "Donnie" the C5 Corvette, but he was eliminated by Tom Pettigrew during competition.

Then there was the run-what-ya-brung Spectator Drags event. If you are unfamiliar with what a Spectator Drags is, or you're confused how a drag race is run on an oval track, it works like this: two cars line up and race it out over a lap from a standing start. The first car to make it over the line, completing a lap, is the winner. Spectator drags tend to bring out a variety of cars that will try to make the lap, and bringing out a monster of a machine does not guarantee success. You can pair off a turbocharged, LS-swapped Chevrolet Caprice against a Volkswagen Golf, for example, and while the Chevy looks like the winner, the VW might get the jump off of the line and keep the Chevy in the rear view, as it's lower power means that the driver isn't fighting oversteer. Without a doubt, the hottest car on the property was Mike Vincent's Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4. The combination of all-wheel-drive and a twin-turbocharged V6 meant that the big coupe had no peers at the starting line and few cars had the oats to catch it around the track.

Danger Ranger 9000

Mike Vincent's Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 put on a clinic for competitors in the Spectator Drags. Nothing...not even a stripped-down C8 Corvette...could touch it!

The Danger Ranger 9000 race would serve up as the main course, and from practically the beginning of the race, "wild" was not going to adequately describe the action. On the third lap, a bit of a mix-up saw Vice Grip Garage's Derek Bieri on the front end of Kameron McConchie's truck and what started as a mild PIT maneuver wound up with Bieri going into a tank-slapper that ended up with his Ranger laid-out on the driver's side in the middle of the track. Bieri wouldn't be the only one who went over...on lap 28 James Taal flipped completely over after getting a love-tap from JH Diesel. Both drivers would return to competition, though Bieri's truck was not quite the same after it's gymnastics routine. At the end of the race, McConchie won with Archie Waller in hot pursuit and earned their way into a driver's spot at the 24 Hours of LeMullets race that will be part of the Cleetus and Cars event in November.

Danger Ranger 9000 Bieri Flip

Derek Bieri from Vice Grip Garage went for a roll on lap three. Derek was uninjured and even returned to competition later in the race.


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