Troy and I were into our third course on Saturday when his run came to a quick end. He was trying to clear a pair of gates (I think it may have been a bonus gate). The rig did a rear wheel stand as it launched up onto a rock.....when it hit, a bystander said he heard the rear axle shaft snap....and the torque spun the vehicle off of the rock and about 10' down onto the ground. The passenger rear wheel didn't survive the landing, as can be seen here.
Fast forward a bit here in story......after Saturday was done and we had dinner, Troy and Brad headed back to Phoenix to get parts to see if Troy's rig could be fixed. I had orders to go to bed (I'll admit that I was pretty much used up). The following morning, we all got up at 6:00, caught a quick breakfast, and headed out to the vent site. By 9:00 Troy had wrenched things back together less the passenger rear brake. It was then that he discovered that the Detroit had also not survived the axle shaft break and with no rear drive, he was out of the competition for Sunday.
This was one of Sunday's really tough courses. The second pair of gates caught a lot of folks and just didn't let them go. Brad and I did our best to get through there but it just wasn't in the cards for us. We timed out without finishing the course.
This was one obstacle that Brad and I weren't completely sure of when we walked the course prior to driving it. The correct line was not the obvious one but the Maxxis Trepadors hooked up on the rock and pulled the buggy up and over the top.
I have to put a plug in here for the Brad's tires. Since he intends on competing in the Pro Modified class, he can not run 40" tires. 37" tires are the max for that class. Maxxis doesn't make a Crawler in 37" size so he went with the Trepadors. When they arrived and we mounted them on the bead lock wheels, he wasn't all too excited about how they looked (I thought they were pretty damn impressive myself). By the end of Saturday's four courses, he was totally convinced that the Trepadors were hooking up really well and doing a great job. I realize that these are comp tires and the compound is much softer (and stickier) than regular off-road tires....but none the less, they did a great job at PUSU. Congrats to Maxxis on one heck of a tire!
Another section of a course we ran on Sunday. By this point in the competition, Brad and I were starting to get in sync a bit. Given that the previous Saturday's run lasted a total of 5 minutes, it took us a bit to get the hang of everything.
We didn't use radios as most of the teams did. Troy had a set that we tried but it died on the first course about 10 seconds before we started. So much for that....back to visual signals and the occasional shout to convey our intentions. Hey....it worked pretty good for the most part!
A pic of Brad and myself after we had wrapped up the 4th course on Sunday. We were pretty stoked and kept watching the results as the remaining teams on the other 3 courses finished the runs. It doesn't take much to cause a significant jump in the standings.....someone ahead of you maxes out a course and you finish one with just a couple of backup points....zap....almost an 80 point change in the blink of an eye.
The 2nd row from the bottom.....Brad's line on the score board. Far right hand column.....201 points.....that put us in 6th place. The final course, called the "Shootout", is ran by the top 6 teams....and we were #6.
When the Shootout announcement was made, we were surprised to NOT hear our names announced. A quick trip to the judging trailer and we find that because Brad had registered as "exhibition" rather than "competitor", they weren't allowing him to compete in the shootout. This was news to us and as far as I know, isn't specified in the rule book either. So an announcement was made over the PA system to inform the spectators that Brad and I had taken 6 place but that Dean Bullock's team (they were in #7) was being moved up to compete in the Shootout.
After the Shootout was completed, Dean's team came in last and so they were awarded the same max points as what Brad and I received (for not running the shootout) and so we were still #6 finishers in the competition.
W.E.Rock's web site still shows us as being #7.....I guess updating their web site links is too hard to do? Not sure.....but hey, we know how it ended.
One of the W.E.Rock staff members (Glenn) posted the following in the PUSU thread on Pirate4x4.com's forum. He said....
"There was an omission of a note for
the final scores.
Brad Kilgore was actually in 6th place at the end of the regular competition. He was, however, only registered for exhibition and, therefore, was not considered for an attempt at the Shootout.
There were a hidden 17 points added to his score to bump him into 7th place behind Dean Bullock. This 17 points was the difference between Brad and Dean. After the Shootout, and with the 50 points added just like all other competitors who don't make the shootout, Brad was still in 6th place in the points.
I do hope that Brad gets out to more events this year as a competitor, or even Series Registrant as he shows great skill and abilities on the rocks. Add to that that his spotter for Saturday was doing this job for two different vehicles. Stu Olson worked as spotter for both Brad and Troy Vickery on Saturday. However, Troy broke beyond repair with parts on hand and was unable to continue for Sunday's courses... giving Stu a bit of a break."
Brad and I pass along a big thanks to Glenn for posting up the correct event results. It is appreciated.
I want to thank Troy and Brad for letting me participate as a member of their team. I never considered myself doing something like that (and I'm not sure I'm all that eager to do it again). Being a spotter for two people in the same event was not a good idea, that I can tell you. If I was 20 or 30 years younger....it wouldn't be so bad.
I was part of something that was pretty cool. 22 teams competed.....and we made a pretty good showing. Those finishing ahead of us were mostly Unlimited class buggies.....several were the top finishers in the 2006 comp season. Next time, we'll try a little harder. <grin>
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