here to see our team coverage photo gallery from SuperCrawl
here for a Quicktime video clip of Team Shaffer
[Day 1 Coverage]
& Pre-event Coverage]<
attempting to "Spotter Ride" the "Money Pit"
(requires Apple Quicktime plugin)
9/25/2003 10:00P.M. CST - Tech in
On the way to tech today we spotted Brandon
"The Knife" Gillen loading up supplies at what is
rumored to be his new sponsor. With sponsorship dollars being
soaked up quickly, we applaud him for seeking new areas of
revenue to keep his team supported. Should this rumor turn
out to be false, we hope that the Anarchy Off-Road t-shirts
are a big seller so that he can continue to wow the crowds
with his dazzling driving skills.
we arrived at the tech inspections site, St. George’s
own Dixie Convention Center, the temps had already blown past
the 90 degree mark and were straining towards triple digits.
Teams were lined up onto the street awaiting their turn to
be inspected for the necessary equipment requirements. BFG
was handing out 40” Krawlers to their sponsored teams.
There were many jockying to get on this highly covetted list.While
most teams were busy with the frenzy of getting inspected,
registered and speaking with avid fans, we cruised the scene
looking for spare moments of time in which to grab an interview.
One of the first
we stumble on was UROC founder and former competitor, Craig
Stumph, who, along with his assistant course designer Ed Purcell,
spent the preceding days laying out the challenges the teams
would be tackling during the event. Craig was quick to inform
us that he drove every obstacle in his stalwart Commando and
only broke on one obstacle. When asked which one and what
he broke, he wasted no time in letting us know, “I dropped
my shaft in the Money Pit”. “Money Pit”
is the moniker that has been given to the 11th obstacle for
the duration of the competition because it has a $10,000 bounty
on its head for the team that conquers it with the best score.
He even made sure to let us know that his shaft is indeed
a Woody – we presume he meant a Tom Woods driveshaft!
When we caught
up with Mitch Guthrie in his #208 rig, we grabbed him for
a few seconds to get the weight of his rig. Empty this well
equipped beast weighed in at well under 3000lbs. The Jason
Paulie built rig is sporting a complete chrome moly frame.
But perhaps its best attribute is the sporty new Pirate4x4.com
stickers we caught him installing after he completed the inspection
We also caught
Terry Howe forging his way through the three step inspection
process. Terry had a challenging season getting through the
multiple series he runs and making it to SuperCrawl. As he
was heading to his trailer after an Avalanche Ranch event,
his rig caught on fire and it took nearly 15 minutes to extinguish
the fuel cell fed fire. Terry had to get his rig home and
under full repair in just two weeks to make the next RCAA
event. All his spare time went into stripping out the charred
driver’s compartment and restoring it to new condition.
The hard work and ambition to compete got him through and
led to a finish at that following RCAA event just outside
of the top 10. Terry is running the same rig as last year.
When we asked him what changes he made to the rig since last
years SuperCrawl, he told us, “Just the paint.”
Here’s hoping that a fresh coat of color puts him in
the top finishers when all the rocks settle.
We tried to get
Ken Shupe to stop long enough for an interview, but we were
not very successful. When we asked if we could get a shot
of his working parts he quipped, “Only if you have a
zoom lens.” Umm, Ken, we didn’t mean THOSE working
parts. Shupe is the defending Unlimited Class Champ from the
first SuperCrawl last year.
We stopped to chat
with the Factory Tubular Motorsport team. Matt Wooley took
time out to bring us up to date on the team’s portal
destruction woes this season. This 3-rig- team grenaded 7
portals in the first part of the season, knocking them out
of top scoring many times. After the Cedar City UROC event,
they took the rigs back and line tested the tubes and found
that they had a bent housing and gears that had been installed
backwards. Taking the portals apart and re-assembling them
correctly brought these guys back into the action where they
love to be. We also spoke with Bart Jacobs, one of their team
drivers. Last year Bart found himself in a dangerous rollover,
hanging upside down with only a small notch holding his rig
back from a death roll farther down the mountain. It was truly
a heart stopping and dangerous 20 minutes while he hung upside
down in his rig. He assured us he has no plans to repeat his
theatrics of last year and said this year, “I’ll
go right up those verticals.” Actions speak louder than
Peter Wells is
experiencing not only his first SuperCrawl this year, but
also his first season competing period. We talked to him about
how he came to be competing and planned the design of his
rig. Peter told us that he spent a couple years going to competitions
near his home in Southern Colorado. He took that time to watch
various rigs and teams and gathered ideas for what he thought
was working best on the courses. He built a rig that he ended
up not being happy with after “practicing” in
his local area. He scrapped that rig and went back to the
drawing board. He started over with an AMC 360 and built the
rig from there, tacking on a 727 tranny and Dana 300 transfer
case. High Angle Driveline supplied the drivelines and Novak
ponied up front and rear HD outputs. Toss in Dana 60 on both
ends with 4:88’s inside and rear cutting brakes, you
have the working parts to a well thought out rig. However,
Peter admits though that the first 1310 driveshafts couldn’t
handle the abuse and he swapped them out for Jess’ one
ton shafts instead.
What follows are
excerpts from our conversation with Peter and Frank Wells.
Since this is your first SuperCrawl, and given what other
competitors have been telling you, what are you expecting
to experience out there on the courses?
Peter - "Tight
cones. We hear that these cones are very close together. That
and a weak link. There's always something that's a weak link.
You just don't know WHAT that will be."
Kimber - What is
your honest, real world expectation for this event?
Peter - "I'd
be real happy with a top 10 finish."
Kimber - What was
your biggest struggle as a team?
Peter - "Communiction.
It was a little strain being brothers. Basically getting through
without getting mad or hurt feelings."
Kimber - What do
you think is the most important thing to do well in this sport?
Peter - "Short
of having a capable rig, having good communication."
Kimber - Has your
spotter driven the rig?
Peter - "Not
Kimber - Why not?
Peter - "I
can't spot. I only know what its capable of from inside the
Kimber - What series'
do you plan on competing in next year?
Peter - "UROC
next season definately. Depending on time constraints and
event locations, we may run another series. This was a learning
year for me so I didn't mind missing the first event of the
UROC series. Next year, though, we will be at them all."
Kimber - Why haven't
you driven the rig much?
Frank - "He's
a better driver than I am."
Kimber - Do you
think that driving the rig more would help you be a better
Frank - "Probably,
yeah. My view as a spotter isn't close to his driving."
Kimber - After
that first competition, what was your biggest area that you
had to improve on?
Frank - "Communication,
and we still have room for improvement. He knows the rig better
Kimber - What is
your realistic expectation from this event?
Frank - "A
top 10 finish."
Kimber - After
that first competition, what was the one thing that you learned
about this sport?
Frank - "Its
mentally tougher. I try to look at it like trail riding and
just have fun so that I don't stress over the pressure."
Kimber - What's
one thing you would like to change about your rig after this
Peter - "Make
it a little narrower. Headsets too. We bought a set that we
may try out this weekend."
Look for our interview
with Shannon Campbell and his new spotter Mike Dieu tomorrow
morning before the games begin.
3:15P.M. CST - Day One - PRACTICE
The top 100 competitiors in the world are
slowly trickling into St. George, UT for the World Supercrawl!
Today was "Media Day" at the event site. Competitors
were encouraged to show up and get warmed up on some practice
courses complete with cones, and official UROC judges.
Rector working the cones on todays practice courses.
The weather is hot, and the competition is
sure to be even hotter. I had a chance to chat with Craig
Stumph, President of UROC this morning.
"These courses are going to be awesome!
We've got everything - there are verts here that are even
more insane than last year's Supercrawl! We have some incredibly
technical stuff, too. I can't wait!" Stumph exclaimed.
UROC will have a new class at this year's
Supercrawl - the "Super Stock" class - in addition
to its "Legends" and "Unlimited" classes.
This class is geared towards more streetable vehicles than
the "Legends" class.
"The Super Stock class will be running
the same courses as the big boys. They do have different routes
with different cones. Some of the courses have 4 different
routes! It's gonna be insane!!" Says Stumph.
Stumph estimates there will be over 100 competitors
this weekend. There are competitors from not only the US,
but Canada, Iceland, and Italy singed up for the event.
2003 UROC Legends
champ Dean Bulloch workin' it today during practice.
The purse for this event is estimated to be
over $60,000. Not bad for a weekend's work!
Stay tuned for tomorrow's coverage where we
will be at the Tech-in. We will be getting some interviews
from the drivers, lots of pictures, and more.
the practice wall.
If you are attending this event,
be sure to say hi to our crew! They will be giving out free
Pirate4x4.Com stickers and antenna balls!
announces its very own FULL event coverage!
No more bulletin
board inquiries with little to no information returned. We
will be presenting site updates DAILY, starting September
24, in Saint George, UT for the upcoming Supercrawl II.
can you expect from our team coverage? That’s right,
we said TEAM coverage. Together, Kelly Clifford, Kimber Rau
and the RP Film crew will be bringing you pictures and details
of the action taking place as it happens. We will be bringing
you updated scores throughout the day, as well as pictures
of the competitors as they run the multitude of courses laid
out before them. We’ll give you on the spot insight
as to WHY lead changes have occurred, be-it in the form of
rollover, breakdown, or timing out.
We are very excited
about this initial coverage and expect our service to you
to improve as we grow. If you have suggestions and input that
may enhance our presentation, feel free to let us know. You
can email your concerns and input to Kimber@pirate4x4.com.
We hope you find our efforts above and beyond what currently
exists in the realm of Rockcrawling event coverage.
here to see our team coverage photo gallery from SuperCrawl