A few of us from Axial spent the week of Feb 8th-12th out in Johnson Valley for the 2010 King of the Hammers Race. We pulled in Monday evening and set-up camp next to a group of my long time friends from Colorado, Team Carnage Crew. For those that aren’t familiar with Team Carnage Crew, they are a well known team/fab shop in the 1:1 competition rock crawling world. The guys from TCC were there to compete in this year’s KOH race. Buggy owner and driver Jason Pickett has been around the R/C and 1:1 crawling scene for quite some time in Colorado and competed for a couple years in the Xtreme Rock Racing Association (XRRA). The same goes for the rest of Team Carnage Crew, Jason’s supporting team. Aaron Dusenbery, Jason’s navigator, runs the Team Carnage Crew hot rod shop with his father in Colorado. He is the main designer and fabricator on this particular buggy. You may also recognize some of Aaron’s work if you are into the R/C rock crawling world. He is also the designer of RCP Crawler’s “Hustler” and “Bastard Jr” competition R/C chassis’. Crew chief, and RCCrawler.com owner, Jason Hensel was in charge of the team strategy for the week. Jason has been around 1:1, and R/C, rock crawling for the past decade and his experience proved to be priceless by the time the week was over.
Axial Racing was lucky enough to jump on-board at the last minute and become a supporting sponsor for Team Carnage Crew and Jason Pickett for the 2010 King of the Hammer’s Race. Jason, and Team Carnage Crew, showed up with a brand new rig this year. As if this race isn’t hard enough to complete, let alone win. Sporting an all new chassis for this race, with no real practice time at all, was going to be another tremendous obstacle to overcome. But, the guys seemed to welcome this challenge with open arms. They were literally putting the final touches on the new buggy while they were out on the dry lake of Johnson Valley. Here’s a quick rundown of the week.
A few close-up pics of the new buggy
8 into 1 exhaust
Notice the extra gusset work around the main shock mounts. The attention to detail put into this buggy is amazing to see.
Custom steel mesh side panels allow a clean line of sight to the sides of the buggy, while keeping flying rocks and debris out. Notice the extra gusset work around the light bar bracket too.
Custom light bar with more gusseting
Custom front shock mounts and strut tower assembly
The temporary hood that will eventually be the mold for the fiberglass hood.
The team went out for a few high speed passes in the whoops with a King shock rep. They ended up completely rebuilding the shocks in the King tent before the day was over. Went from 35mph through the whoops to almost 65 after the tuning was done.
Jason and Aaron remove the shocks for the King tech reps
Time for some decals! Jason Hensel applies the freshly cut Axial logos to the buggy.
Testing on Aftershock
Leaving the starting line in a hurry
The team bypassed the first 2 pit stops with no issues. The 3rd time by we fueled them up and checked the car over thoroughly before sending them back out.
Time to head back out into the desert
Casey Currie appeared to have broken something in his drivetrain and was pretty much stuck at this point of the trail. Jason’s co-driver Aaron Dusenbery jumped out of the car and guided Jason around, and maybe a little over, Casey’s disabled rig to continue on. Only one or two more vehicles made it through before this spot turned into a total traffic jam of broken and/or rolled over buggies. Which delayed a lot of competitors.
At the finish line
Post race interview
Driver Jason Pickett (left), chassis designer/fabricator and copilot Aaron Dusenbery (right)
Team Carnage Crew finished 10th overall. An unbelievable accomplishment for an untested buggy. Axial would like to thank everyone involved with Team Carnage Crew. Way to go guys, and congrats!! We are already looking forward to next year.
Want more action? Ride along with Jason and the Team Carnage Crew buggy for the first hour of the race.