On February 20, 2004, Anthony Anaya (Gavilan Racing) World Champion Super Modified shovel racer was contacted by National Geographic. National Geographic was interested in filming a rookie-modified shovel racing team. Anthony contacted Tom Manaraze (Lucky Stripes & Signs, Inc.), who contacted JR Fanelli. JR, an avid race car driver & builder contacted JR Baxter (Baxter Built), another race car driver and builder. Baxter corralled an entourage of Albuquerque’s finest craftsmen, racers, and car builders. They called themselves ‘Team Baxter’.
Free Fallin’ was constructed in 5 days and a total of 460 man-hours. Below is a shot of the recently completed sled.
The film was named Gladiator Gearheads. It aired in August 2004.
It was an hour-long special that aired on the National Geographic channel.
PILOT – Dan Doerr
JR Baxter, JR Fanelli, David Malcolm, Tom Manaraze, Levi Valdez, Everett Paquin, Anthony Garcia, Angie Hamblin, Leonard Caldwell, Lee Gonzales, Jerry Roush, Tom Thompson, Jim Mansfield, Lori Tabet.