Off-Road Assassin

Let’s Go Racing: Making A Debut In Class 2000

Venturing into something new can be scary, yet rewarding. Recently finishing up a 2005 GMC Canyon turned Class 2000 race truck, that new was racing. The truck started bone stock when it was purchased used in 2007, but ever since has been on the road to racing.

The biggest transformation of the truck started in 2017 when the factory inline-five engine was pulled and replaced with Chevrolet Performance‘s LT376/535. There was no turning back, and the build progressed.

Teaming up with some of the largest names in the industry, the truck turned into a vehicle that could compete. The truck was finished with the help of Rock Solid Off Road, and many countless long nights, but in the end, we couldn’t have hoped for a better-looking debut into the MORE Racing series.

The Final Stretch

The last stretch of a project like this may have a little list of to-do’s, but the last 10-percent takes 90-percent of the time. We found this to be very true as we made the final push to get the truck finished for race day.

Certain parts are required to be able to pass tech for Class 2000 and the general safety requirements. One of those is a rear light bar with warning lights and with help from Rigid and their new chase bar, we were able to get that area crossed off the list. In addition, we added a pair of their 360-series lights to the front and a 40-inch Adapt E-Series light bar to the roof.

Adding a new engine like the LT376/535 that we swapped could be a troublesome project, but with help from Holley and its brands, we made easy work of the swap. We went with an MSD Atomic intake, coils, and spark plug wires.

We plumbed the entire truck using Earl’s Performance AN fittings and hose all while protecting them with Flame Guard insulation. The sound of a vehicle can make all the difference and to ensure the truck sounded right we used Flowmaster‘s Pro Series Outlaw mufflers.

Thanks to Chevrolet Performance’s connect and cruise combination we did not need a standalone wiring harness to make everything work together. We opted for a Racepak IQ3 street dash and Smartwire to control the accessories that were added.

We were not only prepping to go racing we were also trying to finish building a truck. We had plenty of long nights working on the truck putting the final pieces on. We made sure that every bolt was tightened and torqued as well as all-new FK Rod Ends were installed for added peace of mind.

Finishing out the suspension we went with 10-inch Bilstein coilovers and bypass shocks for the front and 18-inch bypass shocks in the rear. Keeping everything strapped were Bartact limit straps as well as limit straps we used for driveshaft loops.

One of the larger projects we had to complete before race day was upgrading our spindle to go from using the factory Colorado hub to using a big bearing D44 spindle and hub combination. Using Stage 8‘s X-Lock spindle nut made sure the new parts weren’t going anywhere.

During the prep, we discovered that the rear piece of our driveshaft was dented. We were able to call JE Reel and have the driveline serviced and back to us within 24 hours. It helped keep the project moving along with little downtime.

Making sure that we were ready to roll come race day we teamed up with Falken to run their Wildpeak A/T3W in a 37×12.5R17 which wrapped around our Raceline RT206M Avenger beadlock which we painted the ring yellow on.

Loaded on the trailer we were ready to head out and get racing, the day was finally here.

Race Day

Come race day our nerves were high, I was finally getting out from behind the camera and becoming part of what I have passionately covered. Tyler Francis of Rock Solid Off Road would be co-driving as he was right there building the truck with me.

We took off the starting line alone as we took a rear start, and were the odd number out. As soon as the green flag dropped the nerves got left in the dust, it was game time.

As with any build delays happen and timelines get pushed, we ran out of time to prerun. On our first lap, we planned to take it easy and get used to the course, but that’s when it got interesting.

The adrenaline kicks in as you see the dust trail, what was left of it due to the high winds, of the vehicle in front of us as we hunted to catch them. Right around RM 2, we had passed one vehicle but came up to a fellow class member’s truck on its side. We slowed to make sure everyone was ok, before continuing.

Seeing a crash like that within the first 2 miles of the races, made me take it a little easier as it is one of those things you can’t forget. The next 3 miles would be the last of the fun we would have for the day.

Around RM 5 we nerfed as a vehicle had caught up to us, we pulled over to let them pass, but they didn’t pass. We pulled back onto the course to continue racing.

No more than 100 yards after the steering on the truck got extremely loose requiring us to pull over. Tyler got out of the truck to see that the steering clevis bolt pulled the threads out of the steering rack.

We are looking forward to the next MORE race coming up April 24th. Stay tuned for more updates and an inside look at to how our season goes.

Steven Olsewski

He grew up with a true passion for anything with an engine. During the year he can be found enjoying the outdoors, building Legos with son, and looking for the next adventure with his kids. They are a huge part of his life and their passion for God.