2016 Ashley Cup 4


By Sean Garcia

ASHLEY CUP 4 IS IN THE BOOKS. This year was another great event. The track was awesome, THANK YOU IRVINE LAKE RC PARK. We had a great turnout, lots of prizes including 2 5th scales. Everyone was smiling all day! With 12 heats, 2 rounds of qualifiers plus the mains, we had a a lot of great 5th races all day long. When the racers came to the podium they had big smiles on their faces. The rock racers had 10 classes and from what I could tell, had a fun day with a lot of great races.

We had people from as far as Oregon and Colorado come out to the event to help us raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and to honor Ashley Garcia. That is amazing to me!! The rock racers kept coming over to the 5th scale side of the event to socialize and visa versa. Everyone left the event with a big smile saying how much they were looking forward to next year. ​

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes and and I would like to thank ALL OF THE SPONSORS…..SEE PIC…WITHOUT YOU THE EVENT WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE. Special thanks to PHATDAD, RC SPARKS and OTTSIX without them we would not of had a track to race on. Dave Brown for rocking the mic and fitting all the racing in before the sun went down. Ian Tucker, Aaron Johnson Chris Sinclair and TTN for all of the help running the event. Greg Metzger for the race schedule and all of the help keeping us on schedule. Jesse DeGraff for pulling double duty of pics and video since I didn’t have the time. Without you we would have no pics of video. Pete Goulding for getting us the aerial footage and pics. Without even looking at it, I know it will be the great footage you always get. Jerry Ellifritz every year you run the rock racing side of the Ashley cup events and as you usual you rocked it! Without you we would not have rock racing. Kevin Enriquez for the 5th scale drawing and all of the hard work organizing and building the truck. Heath Meschkow MR. COW RC for the other 5th scale that went in a silent auction. Phil Beaver and Pam Beaver for the generous donation to the Ashley cup 4 in Michael Beaver’s name. I know Micheal and Ashley are looking down on us smiling. Mike Hubble for the banner art. Ruben Torres and EASY STICKER COMPANY FOR PRINTING THE BANNER ART. Valerie Peake Boling for all of your hard work at the event and always being my rock for 8 months a year while planning the event.Spencer Garcia for all of your hard work this year… you rocked. Your sister would be proud of you son. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ATTENDED THE EVENT. I can’t put into words exactly how much it means to me to see the support this event gets. Today I will be working on pics to post from the event, so look for those sometime this evening. After that I will start the process of the video…should only take about 40 hours of sitting at my computer LOL. The Ashley Cup 4 raised $8,210 for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital which brings the total amount in  4 years to over $30,000 THANK YOU EVERYONE AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO DOING IT ALL AGAIN NEXT YEAR


How To Convert SCORE Trophy Truck Wheels to Hex Style Short Course Wheels


How to convert your Score Trophy Truck wheels to Hex style Short Course wheels to open up more wheel options for your truck.

Words and Photos by John Schultz

You will need the following tools and parts:

- 1.5mm Allen for Wheel Hexs

- 2 mm Allen for rear straight Axle

- 2.5 mm Allen for trailing arm Mounts bolts

- 7 mm Hex driver for the Wheels

AX31290 AR60 Full width Axle Adapter set

AX30427 Axial Narrow Hubs

You will need 2.2/3.0 Wheels of your choice. I used Renegades Beadlocks from Proline #2731-01.

Then, choose the tires of your choice. I used the Axial AX31294 BF Goodrich KR2 R35 compound for better performance and scale looks.

The only thing you need to change on the front are the front AX30427 Axial Narrow Hubs. Mount the wheels and tires and bolt them on. Now the front end is complete.



The rear takes a little more work, but is still very easy to do!  Follow the instructions in the AX31290 AR60 Axle Adapter kit. It should take about 15 minutes to install. Also make sure you install the AX30427 Axial Narrow Hubs and bolt on your new wheels and tires.

Here’s a little short cut –  if you take out one of the bolts that goes into the trailing arm mount, the axle will slide out easier.


Even with my beat up body it still looks good!!


JPRC Yeti Trophy Truck Epic Trail Run – VIDEO


Slow motion video, long wheel travel, wheels tucking up into a Trophy Truck body mixed in with off road bashing is a lot like attempting to say “NO” to that last cookie in the cookie jar. It’s fair to assume that cookie didn’t stand a chance, just like this video had to be watched. If you’ve been following JPRC’s YouTube page you’ll notice he’s a fan of Trophy Trucks, if not, make sure to take a few moments and check out his page.


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Words by: Maarten Van Praag

Part 2: Preparation for build:

If preparation and research play an important role when purchasing and building regular kits, definitely multiply your effort when building something custom. The very first thing after my decision to build this Rally Dakar truck based on the AXIAL SCX10 G6 Jeep kit was collecting photos from as many angles as possible and looking for any original drawings. I was lucky enough to be able to take some photos myself and also carry a close-up inspection of the original. You simply have to be more than familiar with what you want to build. This all will be really important later, when attempting to make your rig realistic.

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The second step is careful inspection of the kit. It is of vital importance if you want to remain time efficient and organized – ordering stuff on time eliminates long waiting periods. I selected the parts that I am going to be able to use and separated them from what will not be needed. I then made a list of any additional bits and pieces that I will need to hunt for:

  • Building material for the cabin (Plastic)
  • Canvas/ banner material for the back of the truck (Useful to have a friend that owns a print house and can supply leftovers)
  • Chassis (designed by myself, custom laser-cut and welded)
  • Glue, sand paper, blades and all these small items that you tend to run out when least expected
  • Stickers (Custom made)
  • Not as necessary, but useful for the full scale result:
  • 2.2 Truck rims (Glad to know a guy who makes hand-made replicas of LIAZ rims)
  • 2.2 Truck tires (Mil-Spec 2.2)

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Part three, the scale. This is really important as it is something you cannot change later. I always start with the axles and wheels to determine the width. The offset of your rims is a very important factor here. That is the starting point in order to get all the other dimensions right. This rig will be, with a certain level of tolerance and flexibility, 1/10… which is ideal as you won’t feel awkward when you compare it with the your buddies out in a wild – the truck will simply look realistic when placed next to another regular SCX10 Jeep. My advice is to print a scaled picture of the original, if possible, and always keep it nearby. Any calculation can then be checked against that picture, which can sometimes prevent many issues later on.

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Now when we have the dimensions all set, there is time for a bit of an evolutionary philosophy. Do you know the theory about the chicken and the egg? Well, here comes the same dilemma. There are two options available and I am not sure which one is the best. Either you can build the body first and then ask somebody to make the chassis for it… or you do it the other way around. I had tried both and I am still not sure what is best. This time, however, I will build the body first and have the chassis made afterwards.

One significant remark at the end that should actually come at the very beginning: Make sure to determine the purpose of the rig – if you want to drive it like a maniac, buy the Wraith or the Yeti. Hard bodies look great, but require careful treatment. They are also heavier and that somewhat limits its capabilities. However, if you want a unique moving scale replica, this is it.

Time to start the build…

Follow this link for Part 1:

2016 Monster Jam World Finals – Las Vegas, NV



Words and Photos by Anthony Rivas

Welcome to the Monster Jam World Finals, taking place here in Las Vegas, NV. Normally I would share the road trip or airport visit with you, but this is just across town so I’ll spare you the pics of traffic.


So do you want to know what’s at Monster Jam World Finals? I will start by saying a lot! More than I could possibly show you in one blog. Of course you will see Monster Trucks both past and present.


If you don’t follow Monster Jam this may look like an ordinary truck, other than the body is on backwards. You might be right.

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Soldier of Fortune camp had some very cool military rigs.


Like this beast; I am not really sure if it’s a trike or motorcycle, but I know it looks fun!

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How many of you could use something like this? I can admit that I don’t need it, but I sure would like to have it.

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Maybe you’ll recognize some of these trucks. Or maybe you wont, but maybe you will find them as cool as I do.


I think you could make a monster truck out of most anything if you have the imagination. I wont venture to guess the cost though, but can you really put a price tag on fun?

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Wild Flower really jumps out with all the vibrant colors.

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Ice Cream anyone?!


American Sniper kind of draws you in, even with all of the other monster trucks around.


The Avenger body is a work of art. It can’t be easy making a body look this weathered.


There are plenty of snacks and food on the premises. No lines so take advantage of the Double Down package! Check out Monsterjam.com to learn about this offer.

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Gas Monkey Garage jumped out at me too. There is just so much to see.


One of the Zombie trucks on display, complete with two zombies.

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Drivers are signing autographs and taking pics with fans.

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Ride trucks are an option too!

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The entertainment zone is just that, there are quad races, freestyle bicycles, and motorcycles going on at the moment. Non stop entertainment here.

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I believe there are over 100 monster trucks here.

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There is even a Monster Jam video game. I am convinced that everything Monster truck can be found here, probably even more than you realize.


When I think Monster Jam I think of screaming motors, side by side racing, and big jumps.



The Young Guns get to battle it out for a spot in the big show.


The height these trucks reach on a jump is amazing, I am not sure the pictures do them justice.

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Drivers wow the crowd with some very nice saves. The other side of Monster Jam would have to be the spectacular freestyle event.


These drivers come in with big air and really put on a show!

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The crowd roars when destruction seems inevitable and the drivers save it.

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Malfunctioning rear steer and Max-D still puts on a show. The crowd cheers as he goes big. The fans are getting their money’s worth for sure.

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The freestyle course is open to whatever you can make happen.

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You’re already in a Monster truck, now imagine looking straight up. A little nerve racking, right?!

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El Toro Loco black kicking up dust in this cyclone. The crowd gets pumped up with every rotation of the truck.

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Its deafening in here as this Monster Truck pulls off a backflip. Everyone jumps to their feet.

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Big air did lead to some destruction.


At the end of the night you can tell these guys really enjoy what they do. Like Zombie driver Bari Musawwir.


Bari is really into RC Monster Trucks as well as being a professional full size driver. He has invited 16 drivers from around the US who are also here for the RC Monster Jam World Finals.



Here is the field. 32 replica builds of the 1:1 monster trucks that are here to compete.


Here are the dedicated 16 drivers. These guys have built 2 replica trucks each and in true monster truck fashion some have even brought back ups.


Just like the 1:1 they have a Thunder Alley and fully functioning tree.

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Did you ever think to use Axial AR60s on a Monster Truck?

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Just like the real trucks, there was a day of qualifying in both lanes.

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A lot of these guys are carpet racers so the dirt took some getting used too.



A race could be decided in the corners, so some pushed while others found their limits.

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These guys were looking for traction anywhere.


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Some had a favorite lane and some just adapted their driving style.


When race day came around these trucks had some people coming by to see how their mini version was doing.


Monster Energy truck driver Coty Saucier came to check out the Mini Monster Jam.


Grave Digger Purple driver Adam Anderson.


Son uva Digger driver Ryan Anderson – also a crowd favorite.


Madusa drivers Debrah Miceli and Young Guns driver Brianna Mahon coming to see what the Mini Jam is all about.


This was also a chance for the RC builders like Leigh Guarnieri to meet the 1:1 drivers like Donald Epidendio.

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FS1 Cleatus driver Frank Krmel paid the track a visit and checked things out.


Soldier of Fortune driver Tony Ochs said he may have to get one of these.


Monster Mutt Rottweiler driver Rod Schmidt giving a thumbs up of approval.


Monster Mutt Dalmatian driver Candice Jolly stopped by as well.


Monster Mutt driver Charlie Pauken was on hand also.


Doom’s Day driver…


Gerardo Gonzales and his Axial AX10 Deadbolt platform Grave Digger Chrome take the win 2 days in a row in the side by side racing.


Well the masses have gathered here on the third day of the RC Monster Jam World Finals for the freestyle event.



The drivers did a parade lap, just like you see at the 1:1 Monster Jam.


These guys came to see big air and cheer on their favorite trucks.

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You can see the shock these trucks are taking on impact from the insane amounts of air these guys are catching.

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Drivers are throwing everything they have at the freestyle course.


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Just like their 1:1 counterparts these guys are throwing backflips in the mix. Grave Digger Chrome above and Overkill Evolution going really big pictured below.


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Big air will bring some destruction.


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Some lucky fans were given a treat. The RC drivers had the 1:1 drivers give the RC shells to the crowd!



Bari Musawwir also Doubling Down and giving the fans a show with the RC monster truck Zombie.

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Big air and leaving nothing to chance, he was putting on a show and having fun!


Talking to the 3 celebrity judges as he makes his way off course, still smiling.


Here are 14 of the 16 dedicated RC Monster truck drivers after 3 days of competition. Now it’s their turn to go watch the big show, Monster Jam World Finals Freestyle.

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Bari Musawwir Driver of Zombie – 2011 Rookie of the Year, 2012 Young Guns Champion, and nominated for the 2016 Arena Freestyle Driver of the Year. Win, lose, or draw he wants fans to enjoy the show. He is living his dream; he was actually an RC driver before being approached to drive full size Monster Trucks. So do what you enjoy and always have fun. You never know where it will lead you!

30th annual SCORE San Felipe 250

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30th annual SCORE San Felipe 250

San Felipe, Baja Mexico

Words and Photos by Art Eugenio

Once a year this sleepy fishing town and now growing retirement community turns into a full on 110% racing mecca when the SCORE Championship series comes to town.

Just a few hours south of the U.S. / Mexico border, the San Felipe 250 has become known as one of the most punishing off-road races there is. Even though the 250 is considered a “sprint race”, the miles of 3ft to 4ft whoops, rocks, boulders, sand, silt, and more whoops has proven to best even the most prepared teams in desert racing. This year’s San Felipe 250 would be no different.

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Every SCORE race in Baja starts with contingency and San Felipe’s has long been known as a fan favorite. Picture a giant party with thousands of people complete with music, food, beer, t-shirt vendors and most importantly, race cars; and all that is happening right down on the edge of the Sea of Cortez. A seriously good time.

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At first light on Saturday morning, the bikes would be the first to take to the course. As the true tough guys of desert racing, these riders attack the desert on two wheels and are open to the elements.

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Shortly before noon, the 900+hp SCORE Trophy Trucks line up to take the start. As the green flag drops, each leaves the line 30 seconds apart and into the harsh desert landscape.

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Just a few miles into the race, the drivers enter the treacherous “Zoo Rd” where thousands of spectators watch their favorite drivers drive full speed across huge whoops. The trucks are reaching between 90 and 120 mph through this section. The speed depending on the driver’s testicular fortitude.

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Spectating the race is wide open, reminiscent of the early days of motorsports. It can be dangerous and fans here make the best of it.

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At the half way point in the race, half of the racers had either had trouble or dropped out of the race. With the hardest part yet to come, the top four trucks (BJ Baldwin, Cameron Steele, Corey Keysar and Billy Wilson) pressed on with a healthy lead over the rest of the field.

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As the leaders continued on through the remaining 100 miles of the race course they continued to thin out, due to mechanical problems or making mistakes. At this point it seemed that the past champion BJ Baldwin would take home the win with nearly a 30 min lead in hand over Billy Wilson.

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But as they say, it ain’t over ’till its over. With just a few miles to go, BJ lost the engine in his #97 Trophy Truck, handing Billy Wilson his first ever Trophy Truck win in only his second race in the class.

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We caught up with Billy Wilson at the finish and he told us about his race. “Starting 11th we thought we would be pretty far back in the dust and having issues,” said Wilson. “We had some navigational issues with the GPS and in the first 20 miles we were kind of running in the dark and blind. It is hard to run at race speed without the GPS. Right off the bat around race mile two we noticed we had some oil cooler failures, so we were pacing ourselves so we wouldn’t end the race in the first few miles. Obviously that paid off. This is my second race in SCORE Trophy Truck but I’ve been racing in SCORE for about seven years. Matomi wash collapsed and was narrower than the truck at one point so we were scraping by. We were behind a few people swapping back and forth but you’ve got to keep a clear head, a straight face, and don’t overdo it or you’ll end up having issues.”

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Colton Udall and team would take the win in the Pro Moto class.

“We had a really gnarly battle with the 4x team (Francisco Arredondo) and they actually caught us over timesaid Udall. At race mile 146 when we changed a tire I got back on the bike and barely got in front of them. We were practically holding hands going down the highway. I was checking my odometer and we were going 58 or 59 miles-per-hour and just staying with each other. He had to peel off to pit and that’s the last time I saw him. This race course is so extremely gnarly. It really is a test of man and machine. The biggest terrain challenges were three and four foot-sized rock whoops where if you make any mistakes youll hit a rock the size of a football. It will throw the bike sideways or you’ll endo. After my pit I went down old Puertecitos road which is extremely gnarly. I just stuck my head down and it’s a full-body experience because it’s hard on your legs, arms, lower back and neck. I just kept on breathing through it and didn’t put the bike on the ground. I nailed everything I had through the sand washes and I got back here in one piece so I’m happy. We are really happy to be here and really happy to be safe.

San Felipe is just the start of the SCORE World Desert Championship season. Yet to come is one of the biggest and best races known in the off-road world, the 48th SCORE Baja 500 coming this June. Stay tuned.

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Class winners at the 30th SCORE San Felipe 250

-    SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited Production Trucks)1. 15 Billy Wilson

-    CLASS 1 (Unlimited single or two-seaters)1. 138 Ronny Wilson

-    TROPHY TRUCK SPEC (unlimted Truck/SUV, stock, sealed V8s)1. 202 Chad Broughton

-    CLASS 10 (Single or two-seaters to 1650cc)—1. 1081 Todd Winslow

-    CLASS 1/2-1600 (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc)1. 1697 Jorge Sampietro

-    SCORE LITES (VW-powered, Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc)—1. 1210 Luis Barragan

-    CLASS 8 (Full-sized two-wheel drive trucks)1. 836 Aaron Ampudia

-    CLASS 5 (Unlimited VW Baja Bugs)1. 524 Ben Swift

-    CLASS 7 (Open, production mini trucks)1. 722 Pete Sohren

-    PRO UTV (Naturally Aspirated, Stock 4-wheel Utility Vehicle)1. 1992 David Nance

-    PRO UTV FI (Forced Induction, 4-wheel Utility Vehicle)1. 2905 Marc Burnett

-    CLASS 5-1600 (1600cc VW Baja Bugs)1. 553 David Heredia

-    CLASS 11 (stock VW sedan)1. 1103 Noe Gutierrez

-    PRO MOTO UNLIMITED (450cc or more)1. 1x Colton Udall

-    PRO MOTO 30 (Riders over 30 years old)1. 313x Mario Murillo Jr

-    PRO MOTO 40 (Riders over 40 years old)1. 455x Mike Johnson

-    PRO MOTO IRONMAN (Solo Riders)1. 702x Tony Gera

-    PRO MOTO 50 (Riders over 50 years old)1. 507x Mark Winkelman

-    PRO MOTO LIMITED (449cc or less)—1. 106x Garrett Poucher

-    PRO QUAD (450cc or more)1. 1a Javier Robles Jr

-    SPT M/C—1. 230x Kristopher Harvey

-    SPT QUAD—1. 117a Erik Ruiz

Cool Bonus Accessories on Axial Parts Trees


Words and photos by Tony Phalen

All RC kits that require you to build them have multiple parts trees that have been injection molded with different types of plastics. Sometimes, after your kit is completely assembled, you might end up with a few extra parts. This is not a mistake – in fact, most manufacturers have brilliant designers that actually group parts together that are used in different kits, saving money for them and, in turn, saving money for you.

So what do you do with those left over parts? Most people probably throw them back in the box or in the trash, but have you ever really taken a close look at the spare parts on Axial’s trees? They’ve actually put little ‘Easter Eggs’ on the trees; parts that really don’t go with any kit but can actually be used with EVERY kit. So, we’ve come up with a little guide identifying all the fun little scale parts Axial has fabricated for us.

Sit back, scroll down and let your imagination begin.

AX30808 EXO Battery Straps

AX30808 EXO Battery Straps

The first part we’re going look at is Axial’s EXO Battery Straps. The two long pieces are the actual straps, but do you know what the other four are? Well, I wasn’t aware either until I did a little snooping and found that the four pieces are used for Nitro engines; carb covers and an exhaust pipe stop. All are made from a rubbery material that won’t melt and have the Axial logo on them. Good parts to keep your Nitro engine safe from the elements.

AX31049 Axial Helmet Set (Black)

AX31049 Helmet Set (Black)

If you have an Axial Yeti or RR10, you’ve probably seen these helmets. Included are three different styles – motocross style with goggles and visor, open design with scary skeleton face and fully enclosed race helmet. A sticker sheet is enclosed with designs to spruce up whichever helmet you choose. I love that the skeleton has goggles. Safety first.

AX31125 Axial Yeti Fuel Cell

AX31125 Yeti Fuel Cell

The Yeti Fuel Cell tree is a direct replacement for the fuel cell included with the Yeti and Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck, but with a little tweaking could definitely be used in other vehicles. The tree includes the top and bottom of the cell, an additional top mount hose adapter, long and short fuel fillers and a mounting cage for the cell itself. This is a cool piece that I’m sure some of you crafty builders would love to install in your rigs!

AX31186 Axial M4 Rod End Set

AX31185 M4 Rod End Set

The M4 Rod End Set parts tree includes a selection of different rod ends, washers and wire looms, but did you know there are also two cool parts attached to the tree as well; a 3-piece ammo can that has a opening lid and a set of Texas Longhorns, you know, the kind that would make Boss Hog proud.

AX31317 Axial RR10 AR60 Axle Component Set

AX31317 RR10 AR60 Axle Component Set

Axial’s RR10 AR60 Axle Components Set doesn’t have any bazookas or barbed wire, but it does have a great looking differential cap that you could use on an AR60-equipped rigs. There’s some great detail there and, of course, an embedded Axial logo to show your support.

AX80037 Axial Interior Detail Parts (Black)

AX80037 Interior Detail Parts (Black)

Here’s one of the parts trees that’s got a little bit of everything; some window cranks, arm rests, a variety of shift knobs, a couple gun racks and, of course, a shotgun and hunting rifle (or sniper rifle – depending on what you’re going to do with it). There’s also a pair of large, old school steering wheels and one that looks oddly similar to a GT model I had in my 1969 Ford Cortina.

AX80038 Axial Exterior Detail Parts (Black)

AX80038 Exterior Detail Parts (Black)

Another parts tree chock full of scale goodies, the AX80038 is all about the exterior; windshield wipers, three sets of mirrors, a fire extinguisher and a large selection of spacers and mounting backplates, something that might be useful with other scale parts you might be mounting up. There’s also a small bag of mounting hardware and a chrome sticker sheet for the mirrors so you can check your hair while out on the trails.

AX80047 Axial Interior Detail Parts (Chrome)

AX80047 Interior Detail Parts (Chrome)

The AX80037 Interior Detail Parts is the same as the AX80037 black parts except, well, chrome. These are great for detailing out an older ride, or projects where bling is better than black…or where you just gotta have a chrome shotgun!

AX80048 Axial Exterior Detail Parts (Chrome)

AX80048 Exterior Detail Parts (Chrome)

Like the interior set, the AX80048 Exterior Detail Parts are chrome versions of the AX80037 parts set. Mirrors, wipers, and a chrome fire extinguisher are included as is the vast selection of chrome spacers and mounting backplates.

AX80085 Axial Universal 5 Bucket Light Bar (Black)

AX80085 Universal Mount 5 Bucket Light Bar

Ready for some night crawling? Axial’s AX80085 has everything you need in this universal set to create a roof-mounted 5-bucket setup. The mounting system allows you to angle the lights and mounts to fit a wide selection of bodies, and spacers and clamps keep everything nice and tidy. Just add one of Axial’s lighting systems and you’ll be ready to do it in the dark!

AX80092 Axial EXO Linkage Set

AX80092 EXO Linkage Set

Axial pulled a sneaky and molded up a revolver on the EXO Linkage Set. Paint it, detail it and set it on the seat in your scale rig – just be ready to show a permit if you get pulled over.

AX80100 Axial EXO Chassis and Toe Block Insert Set

AX80100 EXO Chassis Guard and Toe Block Insert Set

The AX80100 parts tree has some toe blocks, toe block inserts, a skid plate AND … an AR15 rifle. Seeing this makes me want to buy 20 of these trees and build some sort of SWAT vehicle based on a SCX10. No stealing my idea.

AX80105 Axial EXO Chassis Component Mounts

AX80105 EXO Chassis Component Mounts

The next EXO parts tree is the AX80105, containing some component mounts, a gear protector and an AK47 rifle. I can’t wait to see some super scaler detail on the wood areas on this one!

AX80112 Axial EXO Cage Lower Center

AX80112 EXO Cage Lower Center

The AX80112 comes with a couple cage parts for the EXO Terra, but also a 2-piece, folding sand ramp. These can be painted silver, folded and strapped to the roof or side of your rig, allowing you to get out of sticky situations when the HoG (Hand of God) is not allowed. This package has only one ramp so you’ll need to purchase two of these to get a matching set.

AX80119 Axial EXO RTR Links Parts Tree

AX80119 EXO RTR Links Parts Tree

The AX80119 EXO Links Parts Tree comes with six molded links, a pair of braces and the final rifle to our list of cool parts. This AR-10 is nicely detailed and would look great in a diorama or propped up next to Big Jim in his SCX10 Ram Power Wagon. Beer cans optional.

AX80125 Axial SCX10 Poison Spyder JK Brawler Lite Front Bumper

AX80125 SCX10 Poison Spyder JK Brawler Lite Front Bumper

Clinging tight to the Poison Spyder brand, Axial has modeled up this replica JK Brawler bumper complete with mounting bracket and D-ring recovery hooks. A pair of buckets are molded in and ready for lights, and if you’re a crafty one, additional lights or even a winch can be mounted on the top flat area.

AX80129 Axial Roll Cage Top

AX80129 Roll Cage Top

Axial’s AX80129 Roll Cage comes with a pair of unexpected treats. The first is a nice racing steering wheel with the Axial logo molded in the center as well as the famous ‘racing orientation marker’ at the top. The second wheel is simply awesome – a chain wheel that also comes with the logo molded in the center. I’m matching this up with one of those skeleton heads!

AX80131 Axial Helmet Set (White)

AX80131 Helmet Set (White)

Finally, the AX80131 Helmet Set. This is the same as the AX31049 Helmet Set but, obviously, white. If you’re going to do some color matching and detailing, this might be the helmet set you check out. A sticker sheet is also included.

So there you have it; a whole slew of fun parts ready for customizing. Not sure where to start? Well I’ve taken three of the parts mentioned above and gave them a dash of paint as an example. Paint ‘em, detail ‘em or leave them au naturel – the choice is yours. That’s the best part of customizing!

Cool Parts on the Axial Parts Trees

Here’s the full list of the parts trees discussed:
AX30808 Axial EXO Battery Straps
AX31049 Axial Helmet Set (Black)
AX31125 Axial Yeti Fuel Cell
AX31186 Axial M4 Rod End Set
AX31317 Axial RR10 AR60 Axle Component Set
AX80037 Axial Interior Detail Parts (Black)
AX80038 Axial Exterior Detail Parts (Black)
AX80047 Axial Interior Detail Parts (Chrome)
AX80048 Axial Exterior Detail Parts (Chrome)
AX80085 Axial Universal 5 Bucket Light Bar (Black)
AX80092 Axial EXO Linkage Set
AX80100 Axial EXO Chassis and Toe Block Insert Set
AX80105 Axial EXO Chassis Components Mounts
AX80112 Axial EXO Cage Lower Center
AX80119 Axial EXO RTR Links Parts Tree
AX80125 Axial SCX10 Poison Spyder JK Brawler Lite Front Bumper
AX80129 Axial Roll Cage Top
AX80131 Axial Helmet Set (White)

Desert Turtle Racing KOH EMC 2016 Race Recap


Sure this is going to be a long read, but there is now way to put this into just a few words. I could go on and on about each and every event that took place that day. The bottom line is we are one of the few first timers that actually finished the race on their first attempt.

I encourage you to stick with it and read it all the way through. We are the Every Man, we have day jobs, and we converted a TJ into an EMC race contender.

Thursday morning came quick and I did not get very much sleep the night before. My brain was still processing preparation lists, my nerves were creeping up and I did not want to over sleep for fear of missing our line-up spot. But none the less 5:30 a.m. came and I had to get up and get the day started. I brewed some java and started sorting out my race suit stuff. Darin was up as well, getting all his stuff together, and we heard a knock at the door of the RV. To my surprise it was my best friend, Johnny, standing at the door. He took some time out of his very busy morning getting Savvy Offroad ready to stop by and give us some much-needed words of encouragement. I was shocked by his visit and it really set our day off on the right foot. We finished getting suited up and loaded up the last of our stuff in the Turtle, then headed for our line-up spot, Number 32, which was in front of 212 Performance Gloves.



In the line-up we had several people swing by to give us some encouraging words. It was a bit surprising to see so many people wishing us luck the morning of the race.


The time came for the line to start moving and I knew things were about to get REAL. Everything we planned for was going to be tested in the next few minutes. And the Axial SCX10 was strapped on the back for the ride of its life. We got to the start line and it was us against Lindsay Gilstrap from Texas. I knew she had a car with more power so I suggested we just let her go when the flag drops. Aaron from the Poison Spyder Pit Crew gave us a great countdown  through our Rugged Radio intercom system, and on his mark with the green flag waving at 8:07 a.m., we punched it… and then quickly let off the gas for turn 1, the sharp left-hander that can quickly roll your rig and take you out of the race.


I figured Lindsay would have left us in the dust, but she was still right there so we got back on the gas and the drag race ensued until the jump at the end of the short course section. We both hit the brakes and rolled through the jump and then she started to check out.

At that point we were eating her dust and decided to back off a bit so we could get some clean air and see where we needed to go. The first hill climb (part of Short Bus) had become a dust covered canyon from all the previous racers, making it very difficult to see where we needed to be to avoid the rocks. We picked our way through and were headed down the backside in no time.  Finally passing RM01 we were picking up our speed to hit the first small sand hill of the day. As we approached the base of the sand hill doing about 50 — BAHBOOM!!! We hit this pot-hole in the dirt that came out of nowhere. We hit it so hard, it felt like we just drove up a curb in a SmartCar. We continued to drive up the hill without issue and got to the top. I decided to check with Darin and see if he felt a flat. At first he said “It feels good”, but as we approached the southern end of Melville Dry Lake, RM02, he said “It’s flat man, it’s flat.” I said “No big deal, let’s pull off the course and get it changed.” Truth be known, we only tested our scissor jack on the rear of the vehicle and it worked great. As we lifted the front of the car it would only go so far before the impact ran out of torque and would not lift anymore (maybe it’s the jack and not the impact). Anyways we busted out the ratchet and continued cracking. Of course we discovered that we did not have the ½-inch drive ratchet with us and had to use a 3/8-inch drive with an adapter (CREW CHIEF!!!!). But we were able to get it done and get back in the car and get going again. It was frustrating for both of us to get a flat so early but it was actually a good thing — it brought us down a notch and allowed us to get back in our britches, get our wits back and thinking straight. We were on our way and headed for RM03 and by this point the race had been going for about 20 minutes and we were only at RM03. I got on the radio to let Main Pits (Poison Spyder Pits) know that we had a flat and will need to replace the spare when we get back. At the north end of Melville Dry Lake we reached RM04. Just after that is the military base gate — on the base the course runs for about 6 or 7 miles before exiting again. Just after RM14 we reached Remote Pit 1. Knowing that we did not send a spare tire with the crew to Remote Pit 1 and our car seemed to be doing well, I radioed in to let them know we would see them on the flip side. We continued on, picking off mile after mile. Along the way a Legends car or two would pass us but we also saw more and more busted cars off to the side of the course.

Clip1To us it was a little sign of encouragement to keep going and be thankful we were still in the race. The course along the way would vary, from some whoop sections to some goat trails, to some sand washes, and then to some high-speed smooth routes. The mix of terrain was relentless and would change at a moment’s notice. Darin was on his game reading the terrain and checking-up when needed to avoid damage and/or additional flats. Reaching RM31 we checked in on the radio to let the crew know we were at the half way mark and headed for Remote Pit 1 for the second pass. There were some tricky turns on the way and attention had to be paid to the GPS so we wouldn’t miss the marks and stay on track. I think it was at RM32 where we finally got our first Check Point sticker. For us, that was a major mile marker and reassurance that we were still in it. We made our way through the rest of the RM’s periodically calling in to Remote Pit 1 that we were getting close. We finally heard from them about RM46 and we let them know that we were hearing some clanking noises that we wanted them to check on. When we pulled into the pits, a little after RM47, Craig W. stepped up to the window and said he had our spare tires there for us and asked if we wanted it. I was shocked! I am not sure how they pulled it off but I was sure glad to have him and the Poison Spyder Pit Crew supporting us. I was not expecting to have a spare tire there. But my response was quick, “Heck yes I want the spare one! You guys rock!” They continued to check the rest of the rig and give us a splash of gas.

Clip5They found some shock bolts loose and cranked them down tight then sent us on our way. Clicking off the next several miles, it was smooth sailing. The noise that we heard was gone and the car was feeling strong.

As we approached the next checkpoint I knew we were going to have to make a game-changing decision soon. There is a split in the race course and you have to make a choice to take Alternate 1 or stay on the course, which leads to a rock section covered in sand, making it a very difficult route. Beyond that is Alternate 2 which is even more challenging as it is a steep sand hill with rocks strewn about. Darin and I talked for a bit about our options but without haste and with pure confidence he chose the sand hill (Alternate 2).

Clip6We had avoided this route during our pre-run because we did not have anyone with us to help out if we got stuck. I’m sure Larry McRae’s pep talk in the Poison Spyder trailer the night before helped make this decision, and we were counting on him being there to help us navigate the line. I called out on the radio to see if Larry was at the sand hill and he replied “It’s all clear, come on up.” Passing RM57 and then passing the race course, I knew there was no turning back and we were going to tackle this hill head on. Larry chimed in on the radio giving us the approach line and the “go for launch”. Darin hit the hill like he had done it before and I could hear Larry on the radio calling the driving line for us “Driver, Driver, easy throttle, passenger, driver, driver, passenger, passenger… You made it!!! Nice work boys.” … or at least it sounded something like that. We were caught up in the moment and we just crushed that hill, hitting it blind and in race mode. It was a bit sketchy but really not all that bad, if you avoid the big rocks. Moving on, the next task at hand was navigating some more tight twisty turns in the sand and rocks, and heading towards Main Pits, a little after RM60. There’s not a whole lot of room for speed between the sand hill and main pits but we punched it when we could, trying to make up some of the time we lost with the flat and extended stop at Remote Pit 1.

We reached Main Pits. Darin had finished the first lap and kept the car together. It wasn’t an easy task but he kept his cool and composure and got us through the first lap. Main Pits is where Poison Spyder stepped up the most for us.

20160204_110237They went to work looking over the car and making sure it was ready for the second lap — the rock sections. Darin and I climbed out of the car to trade seats, as this was the plan after we looked at the course map. We had learned each other’s strong points and both agreed he would do best in the desert and I would do best in the rocks. We took a moment while we were out of the car to take a breath, grab a drink and a snack before getting back in the car.


There had to be at least 8 guys combined from the Poison Spyder crew and the Desert Turtle Racing crew working on the rig, making adjustments and some slight changes to the car for us to hit the rocks. We climbed back in the car and got strapped in with our DJ Safety Harnesses.

I was a bit nervous at this point, thinking to myself “I’ve got a lot of work in front of me”, but I was focused and knew that we on a pace to cover some ground and get through the rocks with our Raceline wheels and ProComp Extreme MT2 tires. So with all pit hands cleared we took off for lap 2 heading across the Start/Finish line and making our way to the hill at the end of Short Bus.

Climbing over the hill we were cruising along. Click! There went mile one, and here comes the pot hole that Darin clipped on Lap 1. So I let off the gas in an attempt to save the tire, which I did, but that lead to not enough momentum to get up this lame worn out sand hill. The Turtle gave it all it could in 4-Hi and petered out just shy of the crest of the hill. It was a no go and we had to roll backwards down the hill. We gave it another attempt with no luck and then decided to give it a go in 4-Lo. Success!! We made the hill but I was pretty well frustrated at this point. I had done this hill in my JK a number of times and never had a problem. Knowing it was just circumstance and with a few calm words from Darin I got my composure back and we were headed around the desert to Remote Pit 2A, located just after RM70. The car was doing well and we opted to pass right by. Heading up the hill after Remote Pit 2A the rig bounced on the trail a little from left to right and back left again and of course it hit another rock. It didn’t feel like we were losing air but it was in the back of my mind that the front left might be going down. We drove into the canyon and into our first rock trail, Boulder Dash. It’s not a really hard trail but it does have a couple small challenges. I felt this was a perfect trail for me to get in a rhythm of reading the terrain and navigating the rocks. We made quick work of the trail and passed a couple rigs on our way over to run down Upper Big Johnson. This trail has a couple of nasty spots if you’re not careful, but it also has a couple of bypass lines if you can spot them. We were careful coming down the trail as to not beat up the front end too much. We were also able to take a bypass line and make up another position. At the bottom of the trail we hit RM72 and headed for the next trail, Claw Hammer. On the way into Claw I hit a few more rocks a little harder than I liked and was again concerned about the front left losing air. We made it to the water fall and climbed right up. Then at the V-notch there was a rig stuck in the line and we had to negotiate an awkward line up the side of the canyon wall to make a hard passenger pivot turn. It took a couple of tries to get up the V-notch, even with the help of the guys that were part of the stuck car. During the process one of the guys shouted to me “You’ve got a left front flat.” Great!!!! Just what we didn’t need — another flat. I opted to pull to the side of the canyon out of the course line and change the flat to avoid any further damage. With our first flat experience we knew exactly what we needed to do and so we got to work. We made quick work of this change and were back on our way climbing out of Claw Hammer. At RM73 Darin radioed in that we had experienced another flat but were still moving and were headed into Wrecking Ball.

Picking our lines in Wrecking Ball we knew we had to negotiate the waterfall or the bypass line. We had ran the bypass line during our pre-run and were confident we could pull it off again. As we approached we noticed a rig stuck in the waterfall line and that meant we were forced to take the bypass. We got into the bypass line and had to make a quick stop because I overshot the downhill turn. The sketchy part of the bypass is when you stop, at that point the rig slides sideways about three feet which puts you very close to the cliff. We were able to get a good backup and point the Turtle down the hill for a successful pass at the bypass line. Shortly after making it down the bypass we passed another rig that was broken, and then down the trail just a bit further we passed another rig, and another.
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I was feeling relieved that we were making good time down this trail and others appeared to be having difficulties. We approached the bottom of the trail and realized that we had, yet again, another flat on the front right. We finished running the trail and pulled over right near the cross-over at RM74. We were bummed, we had already used our spare in Claw Hammer and now we had another flat. We talked about driving on the flat but I pointed out that we had 5 more really tough rock trails to go through before we would get to Remote Pit 2B, not counting the mileage that was ahead of us between the rock trails. We continued to weigh our options and I suggested to Darin that we could possibly plug the tire with the tire kit we were carrying. Darin looked out the window and said “Hahahaha — No we’re not, there is a 4-inch gash in the sidewall.” So we checked the tire on the carrier and it had a smaller 1-inch hole. I grabbed the plug kit to start plugging the tire, and Darin grabbed the tools to start lifting the car to change the tire. Thankfully, we outfitted our ARB Compressor with an NPT fitting and packed our air hose. We were able to plug the tire with seven plugs and get 20lbs of air in the tire and the tire held the air. We pulled it off the rig and swapped out our third flat. This seemed to take forever but we were back in the game. Darin said “We are in this race until we aren’t!” That was probably the best thing he could have said at that time. I noticed a few of the rigs that we passed in Wrecking Ball had caught up to pass us, so I knew we were losing ground again.
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We got back in the car and Darin called it in, “We plugged the flat and are on the move towards Chocolate Thunder. We are going to need a spare at Remote Pit 2B.” At this point I knew I really had to change my wheeling game and preserve the last chance tire we had left — We could not afford to get another flat. We got over to Chocolate Thunder and started picking our way through. There was a 4600 car in front of us, up at the cross section, having trouble. We watched and waited for him to get through and then made our way up the stair steps.

We cruised up the steps and while doing so I noticed the 4600 car take a different line that looked way easier than the line I am used to taking. So I half opted for that line and wound up getting the Turtle turtled on some rocks. It was time for Darin to get out and pull some winch line so we could get moving again. This is like the worst place to get stuck because there are a ton of spectators there to give you a hard time about your poor line choice. Darin made quick work of the winch line setup and we were un-stuck and on our way again, climbing the rest of the way out of Chocolate Thunder. Moving on to the next trail, passing RM76, we hit Jack North. At the entrance of the rock canyon for Jack North we caught up to the 4600 that was having problems on Chocolate Thunder. He was struggling pretty badly in a spot and ended up having to winch his way out of it. By this point there were a few rigs piled up behind us so the 4600 car let everyone pass him by. We made our way up to the top of the trail and there was a rig stuck in the main race line, so everyone else had to go around on a bypass line. I looked at the line and told Darin, “That’s not an easy bypass.”  There was a line of about 4-5 rigs ahead of us and we watched a couple make it through the bypass line. Then one guy just about flopped his rig over. Now the main line was blocked and the bypass line was blocked and there was still a car ahead of us that had to get through. Not knowing what they were going to do about the rig that was almost flopped, Darin jumped out of the Turtle and started talking with another co-driver about alternate lines. Darin pointed out a line through the middle of the rocks that he thought might work as an alternate. I don’t think any of us had much faith in the line but Darin called up the next rig and spotted them through. They got through it with a little bit of work and some really good spotting from Darin. Next he called me up. I was wide eyed as I could not believe that the rig before me made it. These rocks seemed as big as the rig and once on top you could not see anything around you because it was all underneath the car. Darin again did a great job spotting and got me through the spot. As I exited this alternate line I could feel the Turtle was getting light and tipsy, but we were able to make an adjustment and pull on through. Thankfully another trail down and no tire issue. We took off and headed over to run down Jack Hammer.
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20160204_145229We made great time coming down Jack Hammer until we got to the second waterfall section and I again got Turtled up due to a lack of forward momentum. Darin quickly jumped out and pulled the winch line. We were unstuck and on our way again in no time.
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After Jack Hammer there was a check point at about RM78 and then right after that was a big sand hill. We attempted to power up this sand hill and almost got it, but the Turtle petered out just before the crest. We had to back down the hill, but this time I knew there was an alternate, so instead of trying the hill again, we opted to go around and keep on the move. We made our way around the mountain and were headed for Sunbonnet Pass. Still, I was keeping in mind that we needed to preserve the tire and could not afford another flat. We spotted a few key lines on Sunbonnet and were able to capitalize on a couple of passes in the rock trails. Quickly another trail was completed, now the only thing left in our way of reaching Remote Pit 2B was Hwy 19/20. This trail just after RM85 has a few tricky spots that can really cause some problems. We remembered some of the bypass lines here and took advantage of them. We even passed another rig that was struggling right were the bypass came back into the trail. We nailed this trail and even took a line that Johnny Rocha told us about, saving us more time. We were on our way out of Hwy 19/20 and were excited to crest the hill and see Remote Pit 2B. It was like a breath of fresh air for me. I was feeling stressed but the sight of the pits gave me focus and reenergized me for more racing. We got to the pits and the guys went to work on the car again.

Poison Spyder Pit Crew and Desert Turtle Racing Pit Crew were working together to give the car a good look over and make sure we were going to make the rest of the race. I grabbed a couple more snack bites from Kimmie and we were on our way. I asked Justin Z. how much time we had left and he said we still had about an hour and a half. Knowing that we had Aftershock Trail ahead of us, we would have to nail the bypass on that trail to keep in good time and be able to finish the race. I felt like we really still had a chance to finish. We just needed to keep the car together. We peeled out from the pits and were off and running.

We headed down into Aftershock just after RM88. We picked our way through the rocks and caught up to a rig that was struggling in the rock garden, and that was when we noticed the bypass line. We broke right and skated on by, passing another rig. We got to the bottom of the trail and came across another rig that was broken and passed by him as well. We were on the move and clicking off the miles between Aftershock and Emerson Dry Lake. As we came down the hill approaching Emerson Dry Lake, around RM92, we prepared for our final high-speed run across the lakebed. We were all alone out there and completely dust free. The conditions were perfect so I smashed the skinny pedal and let the motor sing. We were up to 80mph and still climbing. We knew our motor did not have much more and we were running out of space on the lakebed. But knowing there was a bit of a run-out at the end, I stayed in it getting up to a final top speed of 88mph and then let off. We cruised through the next several miles of the flowy desert trail leading up to RM99. Safely making our way there, it was time to cross a totally whooped out section on the course. At around RM100 to RM103, this is where I could lose my lunch and the Turtle if I wasn’t careful. The sun was staring to come down and as we made a slight left around RM105 it put the sun right in our eyes. Through the next couple of miles of whoops, I had to drive with one hand on the wheel and one blocking the sun. It was unsafe to get any sort of speed built up with only one hand on the wheel, so we just cruised keeping the Turtle safe and intact. We made the left a little after RM106 and were headed back on to a portion of course that we ran in Lap 1. It was nice to be back on some familiar trails. At RM55, we reached the final checkpoint and they informed us that we had only 45 minutes to get back to the finish line. Darin said, “There is no way we are timing out after coming this far. Hammer down buddy – Let’s do this.” I was unsure of the distance that we had left and how long it would actually take. But I recalled that the final section had a lot of sand and rocks strewn about, and we would have to tackle the nasty sand hill after RM57 from Lap 1. Picking our way through the sand and rocks, we kept moving along — Sometimes, at what seemed to be a very slow pace, but we were still moving. We came to the sand hill that Larry coached us up before and Darin called out to see if Larry was still there. Nothing but radio silence, so it was up to us to conquer the hill. We hit it hard and screamed up the hill, but at the top the Turtle started to peter-out and was barely creeping along. I worked the rig with a little sand crawl, turning the tires left and right, and we were able to make it up and continue on. Picking through the rest of the rocks and sand we made it out and were headed across the last desert section towards the finish line. I can remember driving along and thinking to myself, just keep it together we are going to make it. We made it to a point where we could see Hammertown and the Start/Finish line – We were just moments away from completing our goal. We were at the bottom of the last hill climb and on the other side was the Finish line. Up and over we go, zooming down the hill to take the checker flag at the Finish line at RM114.
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I was beyond excited and was feeling mentally drained at the moment from driving the rock trails. I was stunned and could not believe that we had just finished the 114 mile course of the 2016 Smittybilt Every Man Challenge on our first attempt! Darin and I were absolutely amazed at the accomplishment. I couldn’t wait to get out of the car and find out if the Axial SCX10 had made it through the journey with us. Yup, it was there! — All covered in dust, but it made it with us. The first ever Axial SCX10 to run the hammers and cross the finish line.
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