My pick for Racer of the Week is Stig Olsson, from Stromstad, Sweden. Stig was recommended to me by our friend and former Racer of the Week, Sam Freeman. Thanks, Sam!
Stig has always been interested in American cars, mostly the ones that were made in the fifties and sixties. In the late seventies Stig's brother Leif and he started a shop for selling parts and do repair on American cars.He visited his first drag race in 1976 and it was love at first sight. Later that year his brother and he bought a turn-key race ready dragster for the astronomical sum of $2000. In true democratic spirit, they switched to drive every second race, which of course was not particularly successful. In 1978, they put Stig's wife Bente in the car and she had instant success and won her first race which also was the first drag race event ever in Norway, The FIRST GO.
In the early eighties, Stig was crew chief on a couple of different dragsters, he even helped a Norwegian guy to be Swedish Champion in 1986. This was also the year he built my first race Powerglide transmisson and the brothers' speed/ repair shop worked more and more with race cars and parts. In 1987 Stig's brother-in-law Ottar, Leif and he bought an ex-top fuel front engine dragster chassis. They put a Chevy 331 and powerglide in it and Stig was chosen to be the driver. Later that year they decided to buy a more powerful engine and did so from Neil & Parks Racing. It was Stig's first contact with them and he said that this was one of his smarter moves. Frank and Scott Parks have built him some good cars and he cant thank them enough for all the help and support they have give the team through the years. They are a big part of their racing succes.
In 1989 they sold the front engine dragster and ordered a new Neil & Parks dragster and a Nickens engine. With this car they raced at Las Vegas, Phoenix and Pomona before they shipped it to Sweden. This trip gave them wonderful memories and started a dream to do a USA Race Tour again.but in 1992 they decided to quit racing; all of them did have kids and ther families deserved more of their time. Stig contiued as a part time crew member for a ProStock team but it took to much time away from his family. His love for the sport was great, but the love for his family was bigger, so he decided to completely stay away from the sport and he did so for ten years. During this time, Stig's brother and he discontinued their speed shop and Stig started a bicycle shop that became very successful.
In 2003 Stig started to go to races again, first as spectator but quite soon he was involved as a crew member in a team. In 2006 he decided to go back to racing and because all his race cars have been dragsters and his love for the front engine dragsters is big, the choice of car wasn´t difficult. Stig bought a front engine dragster chassis from Neil & Parks. This was their personal car that Scott drove and it probably became the most tricky sportsman dragster ever in Europe. Stig Drove this car for 11 years with some diffrent engine combinations. He started with a bracket engine; after a couple of years they changed to an ex-Pro Stock Truck 358-incher, and for the last couple of years they have been running 500" Pro Stock engines.
Stig's motivation comes from constantly developing what he has and winning in competition is not important to him. A new person's best gives him a lot more satisfaction than a price check. Stig Has the European Competition Eliminator record in A, B and C Dragster. He also has a couple of second and third placements in the Swedish Comp Eliminator Championship and first place in the Comp eliminator European Series.
Before Stig started his bicycle shop he built some race powerglide transmissions. When he started racing again in 2006, other racers came over and asked for help. Stig thought this could make some contribution to the race budget and and he started Stig O Transmissions. When he sold the bicycle shop a couple of years ago he planned to retire, but the transmission buisness grew and stopped that plan. Thanks to the race Powerglide buisness he came into contact with Brandon Barrentine at BTE, and a few years ago Stig him told about his dream to drive in the United States. Brandon stepped up big, helped him a lot and pushed him when he was in doubt. Even Neil & Parks stepped up big; they built a new chassis for the team. They could borrow their shop to make the car complete and they gave them a lot off advice and help.
Living the Dream, They plan to have the car in the US for at least a year, and fly over 4-5 times to race "Over There". The first trip was not racing success; some new car blues and some driver error stopped that. They could of course made it easier for themselves; a hot ProStock engine in a front engine dragster is no easy task. But why do it the easy way when you can do it the fun way. They had a wonderful first trip, they were overwhelmed by the welcoming, all the help, good wishes and nice words they received from contestants, officials and spectators.They will be back soon!
In 2018 the car is a Neil & Parks Front Engine Dragster. The engine is an ex-Gray Motorsports 500” DRCE-3. It has a ProStockTransmission: a Stig O Transmissions/BTE Powerglide. The car look is old style but it is modernly equipped with things like Ceramic wheel bearings, carbon brakes, a Racepack data logger, and MSD Grid ignition.
In addition to this, Stig is a crew member on the PB Pro Stock Racing team, one of the top PS teams in Europe.
Stig sends a big thank you to Brandon and the guys at BTE, Frank and Scott at Neil & Parks Racing, His crew and his family. He said he couldn't make it without them.
Stig mentioned that since his setup is very aggressive, there are only a few tracks in Sweden thatare safe for him to drive on.
In between all this, they put a bracket engine in the car and Stig's daughter drives it. There is information on that project on the StigO Motorsport Facebook page.
Stig, we wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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