2004 UROC - Farmington, NM
Brought to you by Superior Axle & Gear, & RP Films
Story by Sam Silveira
Photos by Lucie Silveira & Sam Silveira

[Tech Inspection] [Day 1 Action] [Day 2 Action]

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Update 9:30 AM PST

We are just getting ready to rock crawl and are about 30 minutes away from the start. The course makers are out fixing banners and cones after a good couple of wind blasts in the middle of the night. The drivers are also out walking the courses trying to figure out the best paths to take to get the least points possible. While all this is going down, the weather appears to be hotter today than yesterday. It was already hot enough yesterday. I can only imagine what more heat will do the competitors on the courses.

Update 11:23 AM PST

Oh man is it ever hot out there today and its not the heat that is bothering the drivers. It's their nerves. Many drivers hate their first runs of the day and hate it even more when they are first on the course. They have had time to settle down over night and come off their 8 hour adrenalin high from the previous day. So waking up and jumping right back into it again, their focus isn't as clear as it will be later on. So getting lucky and drawing a mid pack running order is a wish for many of the drivers. As we caught our first snaps of the day, we talked to a few of the jittery first drivers.

First up that we saw run was John Gilliland in the #722 Karnivore2. I had a chance to drive around in this vehicle at the tech inspection, and they have this rig set up nice. I am 6 foot and I had plenty of room in it despite the thing looking really small. As you may recall, the Karnivore team took their rig to a first place position on the B side courses yesterday with 11 points to finish the day. John predicts that their will be some negative scores today on the B side and quite possibly as low as -15 points. All he can hope for is that he learns a few point savers today as well and keeps ahead. On course A1 though, John had the first run jitters for sure. They rolled into the course and avoided a cone that most were hitting. It literally went into the rim and back out again without touching. The crowd cheered wildly and John was in disbelief since he thought for sure he was going to hit it. The rest of the course turned ugly though. On the way down the hill, they took an easy cone which took them by surprise. He wound up finishing the course with 5 points, but to match tracy's run on the course, he would have needed a -14 score. We grabbed John after the run for his comments. "We missed the cone that everyone was hitting and hit all the easy ones. I hate going first because I get so nervous. Especially the first run of the day. This course was great though. I keep forgetting that I can give up 1 point to save 9."
Jon twisting it up on A1

Barely missing the cone as it goes into the rim

Aaron Clough was another of the first runners of the day bit by the nerve bug. His troubles started yesterday when the day never turned positive for him. On course A5, his troubles continued where he and his spotter pointed out because they hit too many cones. Course A5 is a roundabout course that has tight cones and corners. It's very easy to have high points here without a good maneuvering rig. Talking to Aaron about the weekend so far, he said, "This is the worst weekend I ever had. We had a bad spill yesterday on B3 which started it all. I wound up brusing my leg in that roll over. Then we had what we thought was a bad judge call where he listened to one of the spectators. That's ok though. We are here today and we are going to try and stay focused and just have fun the rest of the day."
Aaron nearly rolling on A5

Back on A1 again, Matt Woolley in his moon buggy was having similar problems. Initially they hit the cone that John Gilliland miraculously avoided. After that they got stuck on their belly pan trying to avoid a cone. In the process, the spotter rope broke while he was trying to pull the rear end around to avoid the cone. That is the thrid rope I saw break this weekend. They burned a lot of time on that part and they still had half the course to go. With time running out they made a mad dash to the top of the hill where they high centered and stayed there till time ran out. They are running the Toyo tires out here today, but they don't have enough traction when all 4 are in the air spinning. So he pointed out giving him 40 points on his first run of the day.
Matt held to the earth by his spotter.

Update 12:15 PM PST

Rob Bonney facing the infamous drop off where you get a good back leg up every time on course B1

Troy Myers in the #15 rock rig was surely getting on B2. He moved so fast up the course that we could barely catch pictures of him. B2 has a mean hill climb that has denied a few. Troy took one huge attempt at the hill and burned his way to the top in a one shot deal. He just might have the fastest time up that course for the weekend. I guess the first run for him didn't bother him one bit.
Troy displaying how steep a course can get out here at UROC Farmington

Walker Evans had issues with his fuel pump. He pulled up on the course and almost got to the top but then the motor died. They tried pouring water onto it to cool it down. They finally got it started a couple more times. Just enough to get the rig to the top of the hill, but that is where they called it quits.
Walker a little frustrated as his fuel pump stops working

Jason Bunch is out again with a new rig, this time its a moon buggy built around him. A team of several guys worked for 6 weeks pounding out this new crawler just to get here at Farmington. The first day they missed half the courses due to mechanical issues. They did eventually get to run though performing ok. Later that night Jason took the rig out for more feel time and wound up damaging the steering knuckle. A couple buzzes from the welder box and he was back in action just in time to run today's event. We caught up with Jason after a fairly good run on B3. He pulled in 10 points for that run. "The new car is working after yesterday with a bunch of small breaks and stuff like that. The new car works pretty good. We are quite happy with that run. We went off the down hill very nice and it came up hill very nice. So that's really our first competition to try thing and unfortunately we are behind the 8 ball trying build this car in 6 weeks. It was very tough, but we got it done. Actually, we got it 95% done and we have another 5% of refinement to make sure we get everything in the right spot. We are having a good time so far. Yesterday wasn't so good though... hahaha"
Looking good in his first run out in the Tri-County moon buggy

Pretty happy with their run after several setbacks.

Update 12:41 PM PST

Well, the current scores are in. Mike Shaffer is currently holding down the pack with a -9 points while Bundrant has a -4 on the B side. Tracy Jordan has 0 points and was yesterday's points leader. Bob Standage is leading it up with a -6 for the Modified guys on the B side. Over on the A side Jason Paule and Don Robbins are kicking butt with -28 and -27 point scores. They are on mark to match Mitch and Tracy's scores from yesterday. For the Modified we have Becca Webster and Dean Bulloch neck and neck as they battle for their top spot. You can check all the scores out here:

Word in is that Walker Evans is out. You will see it in his points. It looks as though the motor had more than a fuel problem. Walker was disappointed but still in good spirit. He said they will be back for the next one. Walker is of course running his new moon buggy which only made its debut a few events ago. So he is still trying to learn all he can about the rig and work out any bugs as the rig wears in.

Update 1:40 PM PST

Nick Sessions is back in action today. After a specialty yoke on the back of his Atlas T-case gave way yesterday, he had to make a mad dash to fix or replace it for today. We caught up to him on course B3 where he is trying to make up for yesterday's huge deficit. Nick was charging great on the course making it look easy. They wound up finishing the course with time on the clock. Enough time to be able to go for the bonus line. With a little burp of the throttle and some elbow grease to keep the rig lined up, they made quick work of the bonus obstacle and raked in a smooth -15 points. He had this to say, "We 40d every obstacle yesterday because of the Atlas output yoke. We are just trying to do fair today and keep the rig in one piece."
Nick throttling up the bonus line on B3

Well for those having a hard time in the sun and trying not to sweat, the event makes it even more difficult by having the Toyo girls out here signing autographs for the fans and creating sweaty palms.
Need an autograph? Doesn't get much better than this

Peter Wells is also putting on a show today and having the worst luck with rims. He was on course A1 in his #707 racing rig trying to get more points when he had a little adventure coming down A1. Pete tells it best. "We messed this one up. That's all I gotta say. We came down and the rear end got really light. We gassed it to bring it down and when it hit the bottom it just cracked the wheel. Just one of those things. We'll have to buy one, borrow one, bum one. We'll have to get another one before the next course." The crack was heard all around farmington. The concussion from the blow practically blew people down. It was an intense break for the team. Lets see if they can get something to keep em running.
Another rim problem comes along for the Wells racing team

Mark Berger getting all twisted right after the money line

This just in, Mike and Peter just spanked B2 on their first shot. Mazzoni said this, "We got a -3 for that course. We have one more course and we are working really well today. It looks like we have -12 going into our last obstacle for the day."

Update 2:00 PM PST

Some more scores coming at you.

Update 2:36 PM PST

A whole pile of photos were just added to the gallery for the Day 2 action. Check them out by going here:
Day 2 Photo Gallery

Update 3:44 PM PST

Jeff Mello on B1 was having a heck of a day. We caught up with him and asked him about his day. "We picked it up a little today from yesterday. We came out and tried to keep our focus and not crash the buggy cause it has to go out to another important event next week and the owner (Jason Scherer) is actually driving it that weekend. Main thing is is to do what we have been doing and we have one more to do it on so hopefully we can do that."
Jeff Mello getting a wheels up run

Brett Epperly has been on a rampage trying to learn the Nelson racing rig. I jumped over to the B2 course just in time to catch them on their attempts at the hill. With all the cameras rolling, Bret took the first jump at the hill. A little under powered for the attempt, he got denied on his way up. Backing it all the way down, he repositioned the rig over some to get a new line up. This time the hammer fell and the VW powered crawler came to life and bounced and screeched to the top of the hill.

Mike Shaffer has been chasing Tracy Jordan and Mitch Guthrie all day. They were doing awesome all the way until their last obstacle B3. On this course they had to make up some serious points, but this wasn't an easy course to do it on. They dropped into the course running smooth all the way to the bottom of the hill. They then had to turn around and climb up the hill. On the way up there is a cone that looms precariously close to a wall. In a non-rear steer rig, you have to drive high on the wall and try to scoot past it. They were almost there when their right rear slipped and hit into the cone giving them a penalty of 10 points. So for the day they pulled in a total of 0 points and came out with a 6 point standing for the event.
Mike and Pete giving the thumbs up look for a good day

Ken Shupe was also in the chase just behind Mike. They too fell unfortunate victim to that very same cone giving them a penalty of 10 points as well. So Ken will wind up finishing behind Mike for the day.
Ken Shupe hauling ass up a full throttle climb.

Chris Holley in the #61 Bronco has been running hard out in the heat all day. Though his day wasn't great, he still put a lot of effort out to put on a good show for everyone. Over on course A4, Chris was looking really good. He dropped off the money wall, turned around, and went for the undercut wall. Taking only two shots at it, he was able to get the right line and get up on top. Right after that is a corkscrew like climb that has cones in a difficult spo. On the corkscrew climb they got real close to the cone and were trying to work around it. They worked the clock down to almost nothing in that attempt which forced them to take the cone. The time was too short though and they wound up timing out giving them 40 points on the course. In talking to Chris, he said he has a few things to work out before the next event. He wants to lower the weight some because that was hurting him out here today.
Chris Holley working it on A4 going up the corkscrew

Update 4:00 PM PST

Some more scores coming at you.

Update 4:50 PM PST

While we wait for the official scores to print off and the award ceremonies to start, check out our latest photo additions here in the gallery:
UROC Farmington 2004 Photos

Update 5:23 PM PST

Unofficial Results for the event.

Super Modified Standings
1st - Tracy Jordan -41 points
2nd - Mitch Guthrie -24 points
3rd - Shannon Campbell -4 points
4th - Troy Myers 2 points
5th - Mike Shaffer 6 points

Modified Standings
1st - Errea/Schwiesow 12 points
2nd - Dean Bulloch 16 points
3rd - Ted Grady 91 points
4th - Sisson/Sisson 99 points
5th - Craig Stumph 113 points

It looks as though Tracy is untouchable going into the final event as he pulls way ahead in the points standings. Good job to all the competitors today for putting on a great show and really making the crowd get into the action.

Update Wednesday 18 Aug, 10:43 PM PST

A final addition to the story. Here are the points in the series. The first is the UROC point series totals. The second is a spreadsheet I made that adds up all the points that drivers scored on each course.

Click Here for the UROC standings

Click Here for the Excel Standings