Off-Road EXPO 2011 Pomona, Ca

TJM at Off Road EXPO 2011
The Off-Road EXPO is held each year at the Pomona Fairplex located in sunny Southern California and has been the def-facto event for the off-road community for twelve years now. The “desert season” as we call it is upon us and everyone is getting restless and ready to enjoy the wide open desert! The Expo was started by Dirt Sports Magazine and recently acquired by Family Events, with this years show contining to deliver with yet another successful gathering, even in the “bubba-scrubb” of a “turn-down” economy. Even with the temperament of economy, aspirations and dreams are what fuel the off-road industry guided along with history and tradition. Maybe it’s just the reality of us wanting to escape into the far corners of the desert.. but before we do, people want to mingle and talk shop and shops want us talking shop and so do the manufactures! So, we talk shop and then we hit the deserts and mountains with the Halloween weekend being the first “big” weekend for the south-western portion of the United States.

I too have my dreams and for the last couple of years I personally have had my eyes out for anything relating to the “overland adventure” scene. Some say this is an emerging scene, and while I am a big campaigner for it, I just say I’m just getting old enough for it to be on my radar. I have been labeled a Chameleon as I have gone from Ivan Stewart fan with a Toyota desert pre-runner with wide front end and fenders, to rally cars, to adventure bikes and now overland style with a 80-Series Toyota Land Cruiser. Again, age… yes, I have actually seen Ivan Stewart race both in the stadium and in the desert for age identification.

What dreams are made of:
Axial at Off Road EXPO 2011
Axial at Off Road EXPO 2011
Camburg builds awesome rigs and putting it on display in this stripped to the bones fashion was super cool!

The opposite of baller is BUDGET and all of my projects have had a heavy emphasis on .99 cents and under portion of the budget spectrum! “What can we get for sixty three cents!?” So I fit right in there with the nominal mainstream of budget of most fender lizards, but we all have a dream! The EXPO is a great place to “dream” for a day or two about your next project while studying in detail the big guns. The off-road scene or industry, how ever you look at it, is unique. The people will dream for a day… then go home and start cutting, notching, bending, shaping and welding dreams together into what reality is… far from what was just seen at the show. BUT, its a learning process that everyone has to go through! Well, not everyone, just those on budgetary confinement. I did my learning process! Everyone has that first truck and passing tech inspection usually requires tow-straps and flat bed trucks with a few trips back and forth to the garage for a bit of re-sketching exercise on the cardboard, napkin, notepad, wall or just get after it and cut and jig some new drawn over mandrel.
CCB’s – Credit Card Ballers just buy it and wad it up within two miles as they have never driven thirty-two inches of travel at 21% interest rate.

Overland Journal at Off Road EXPO 2011
This year with the rising interest of overlanding, Off-Road Expo hosted the guys from Overland Journal and friends to come out and display. So, RTT’s – Roof Top Tents abound and I was in heaven! Yes, I have dreams of preparing my 80-Series Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure machine, not a rock crawler and not a desert race support rig shod with 37″ leftover Projects. Yes, overlanding has a whole “other” set of principles.

On another “adventure front,” we posted on our Axial FaceBook page for our fans attending OffRoad EXPO to track the official Axial rigs on display in various booths. [see original post – link] We had specific placement and we knew others would have rigs as well, but we wanted to see if someone would list the correct companies. These chosen companies came about as a buddy of ours put some time together to make some custom graphics for Axial Wraiths and SCX10. Our buddy Cody Waggoner of Laser Cutting IPE made these cools stands for as well, so check these out!

Wilwood Brakes

Raceline Wheels


Walker Evans Racing

AOE / Axial Wraith at Off Road EXPO 2011
AOE: American Overland Expedition

ICON Vehicle Dynamics / Axial SCX10 on display at Off Road EXPO 2011
ICON Vehicle Dynamics

And last but not least – OVERLAND JOURNAL!
While we only got five examples done, there are a few more to come with another notable show around the corner.

Winner of the FaceBook Expo Adventure: Daniel T. Noda
We sent him a nice little package for his time and efforts and just for having a little fun with us!

CRAWL Magazine at Off Road EXPO 2011
I also got to meet John Herrick, editor/publisher of CRAWL Magazine as well!

Also on the highlights list was meeting Del Albright of the BlueRibbon Coalition.

Del is on the right and left is Chris Collard of Overland Journal.

Everyday Del is out there spreading the word about land use and this is a major topic for those of us – ANYONE who enjoys the great outdoors of off-roading! I am not going to preach to you nor ask you to join a cult or political party. BUT, what I will ask you to do is – DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and form your OWN OPINION about what is really going on!

What you need to know about Del Albright is that while he is of wise nature “age,” he has gone to great lengths to communicate at the speed youth, to the younger folks with 1:1 steering wheels in hands. Albright has made a full adoption of the digital & social medium’s of communication. While the age-old ink on paper is still a staple, Del has also adopted the use of electronic blogging and FaceBook connectivity to spread the message about “Land Use, Access, Rubicon Trail and Volunteer Training!” So please visit his site and also like him on his FaceBook page too.

If all you do for now is “like” stay in touch with Del on his Facebook page and just start thinking…

All of the images from 2011 Off-Road EXPO Viewed in a SLIDESHOW::

The previous Off-Road Expo’s I have attended:
2010 EXPO

2009 EXPO

2007 Impact EXPO – Vegas

2006 EXPO

While your out there in cyberspace; stay in tune with us via our FB page.

Congratulations to Team Waggoner for their Win at CalROC’s/Donner Event!


Pictures & Words by  Lindsay Waggoner


Anxious to get home and replace the starter, that cost the team their first place win the previous weekend in Reno, NV; Cody began making calls to see if the CalROCS Donner event was going to be a possibility. With only four days before the event Cody had to confirm a spotter and get the buggy running right.

The CalROCS Event was being presented by Axial, a current sponsor of the team and it was then that the ideal opportunity presented itself and Cody was ready to head back up to Northern California.
“It only seemed natural to ask Randall Davis, of Axial, to step in and spot for me, since my father was unable to make this event.” Randall was competing in the Axial/CKRC West Coast RC Championship in Donner, so it worked out perfectly.”

Axial could not have asked for a better marketing tool than Team Waggoner’s moon buggy, “Roxanne”.  The green Axial panels stood out in the Donner landscape and drew a lot of attention.  Axial is a manufacturer of high end remote control products and accessories.  Spectators were able to view full scale, 1:1 rigs, in action along with the RC, 2:2 rigs; both competing in some serious rock crawling courses.

Team Waggoner’s plan for this weekend was to play it conservative and have FUN.   After all, this was an added event and not part of their regular series.  Cody had mentioned that it was a good time to make sure the buggy was running smooth before the final WE ROCK Series Event, which was being held next month in Oroville, CA.

“I was a little nervous about Randall spotting for Cody, especially since he had never spotted before. And Donner can be set up to have some pretty extreme courses.” Lindsay, Cody’s wife, commented.  “But Randall was a nut, and proved to be a great asset to our team.  He ran around, moved rocks and was extremely focused the entire weekend.”

From the first course Cody and Randall seemed to be communicating very well.  The next three courses went just as planned.  Playing it conservative has always been Cody’s style of rock crawling.  “There is no reason to try and push my rig to the extreme until it is needed.  I just drive like I know how to drive and do the best I can do.  That seems to work out best for me.  And Randall did an awesome job moving rocks and watching cones, which made my job that much easier.” says Cody.  At the end of the first day of competition, Team Waggoner was content sitting in second place with only 6 points to make up on Sunday.

But before he can go rest for the night, it was off to compete in the Axial/CKRC RC Rock Crawling West Coast Championship event.  Over 140 competitors had been competing all day on Saturday for a place in the finals on Sunday.  Unfortunately, Cody broke a steering knuckle on the first course; and even with the help of his surprise “pit crew” he was unable to finish the course in time.  His next course went smoothly, but ended up breaking again on the final course. 

Without a top ranking score he lost his shot to compete on Sunday for the RC West Coast Championship Title.

Starting Sunday with only a few points to make up, it seemed more than possible for Team Waggoner to win the event.  Still playing it conservatively they were able to watch the other competitors run each course which allowed Cody to see what they needed to do to stay on top and eventually take the point lead. “Rock crawling is sometimes like Chess, you have to figure out what move your opponent might make and then plan your move accordingly.  And sometimes it works out to your advantage.” comments Cody.

The point leader, Dave Wong, had an unfortunate break on the second course Sunday which gave Team Waggoner the cushion they needed to move ahead in points.


But there was still Course B3, with the bonus line affectionately known as, “The Wall”, which would help solidify the point leader.  A few of the competitors made the climb and a couple rolled off the side before getting to the top of it.  Cody knew that he had to take the bonus, but didn’t like it.  With one try Cody made a smooth climb to the top, well almost to the top, he slowed and stopped a couple feet short.  Cody reflects, “When you are climbing at angles that extreme all you see is sky and you think you are at the top, but you’re not.  Randall did his best to guide me, but once I slowed I knew we had to do something so I wouldn’t roll off the side, which was a long way down.  And since we had the points to play with it was just easiest to have him throw the spotter strap on the buggy and pull the rest of the way instead of backing down to do it again.”

That decision was the right one and Cody finished the course with a score good enough to keep him in the point lead for the final course.  The final course was just as technical as all the other courses over the two day competition.  With only five points separating Team Waggoner from second place, Cody had to get through the course with minimum penalties and most importantly complete it.

Cody and Randall were both determined to bring the Axial sponsored rig to a “checker flag” finish, and that is exactly what they did!

With the help of Randall Davis, a great first time spotter, Cody Waggoner accomplished his 22nd career First Place Event win!

Team Waggoner will be battling it out for the First Place Series Title of the 2009 WE ROCK West Coast Series July 18-19 in Oroville, CA.

-Lindsay Waggoner