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XRRA Round 4 Eastern Division Finals, Badlands, IN
Story and photos by Nolen "Rock Midget" Grogan
August 16, 2008


I flew into Purdue University Airport today for round 4 of the XRRA Eastern series with my wheeling buddy and pilot Carl McIntyre. Just over 600 miles in 3 hours makes for a great start of your day. After a quick tour of Purdue University and a Chipotle burrito, we packed up the rent-a-wreck and struck out for the Badlands Off Road Park in Attica through some of the most beautiful farmland in the country.

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The battle for the East is heated. With 8 racers tied for the top 5 positions, the championship is anyone's to win. "Cool Hand" Derek West is tied for first place with XRRA rookie, Adam Carter. Adam and his father/spotter are in this series to win it and are really putting the pressure on Derek. That said, nothing seems to faze Derek as he stays cool and consistent on every run.


In second place in the standings is Doug Bigelow. Doug has been super competitive this year, placing in the top 6 for the last two events. Sporting a new paint scheme on his proven racer, Doug has pledged all of his winnings for this race to www.bandofparents.org, a group raising money to help cure Neuroblastoma.

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Just 4 points behind Doug is Danny"the Wombat" Rohrer. Danny has been super consistent in 2008 and I look for him to do very well on the course laid out here at the Badlands. In 4th place only one point behind Danny is Brian "Lucky Dog" Shirley. Fresh off a fast 2nd place win at Cortez Colorado, Brian finished 3rd in the Western XRRA series and is gunning for a first-place finish here at the Badlands.


In a three-way tie for 5th place is Brandon Haynes, Ken "Doc" Mercer and Chris May. All three of these guys have run steady and consistent this year and are each poised to move up in the standings.

16 year-old racing sensation Levi Shirley is back in the saddle of his tried-and-true Diablo II racer. With a new set of ORI stuts he is out to prove that his win in Hannibal during the 3rd XRRA race was more due to the driver than the car he was driving.

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The Weavers were allowing racers a new way to pre-run the course as Rock Out Racing's Kim and Droopy Sears demonstrate. The time was not so hot, but the experience was invaluable.

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Sitting in 8th place for the series, Rusty Bray brought a new rig to test at the Badlands.


Tomorrow is going to be super fast. I look very forward to the race and bringing you guys the story and pictures. Hopefully we can get some live updates up via text messages to some folks back at home to post up on the boards. See you tomorrow!

The Rock Midget


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