Building the full size SCX10XJ: Part 1

tech_scx10xj

Words: Scott G

When setting out to build a trail worthy rig, so many things go through your mind. What do you expect from the rig? What do you plan to do with it? What budget do you have to work with? These are all extremely important things to consider when selecting the donor vehicle. However, just know that no matter what you plan for, there will be extras needed, to include the expectations, plans, and budget. Building a 4×4 vehicle to go deep into the elements is not an easy task, and like most things in life, you get what you pay for. This means you have to outfit your choice with the best components available within your budget that will allow you to attain your goals.

This is not at all unlike developing the new SCX10, as all of the same parameters are considered, to include performance expectations and budget restraints. Not budget restraints for development, but budget restraints of our fans and customers. We often read the forums and see what people would like to see in the Axial vehicles. We are forced to make some difficult decisions when finalizing the package, as we want to include the world with these rigs, but also don’t want to ask for $699 for an RTR to get in the game. It is like that with all Axial products, so we do our best to aim for the sweet spot, enough features to perform at the top level, with a reasonable price tag. This is not an easy task. We are faced with the same decisions when building a full size rig. Do we want a supercharged V8, 1000 minimum on the RTI ramp, seating for 4, bulletproof axles? Of course we do, but the budget doesn’t allow for all of them, so we settle for what we can and have a blast doing it.

One of the most common things we read is…. “Oh no, not another Jeep vehicle”, well, I am here to tell you that most of us are Jeep people, so get over it. The Jeep brand is synonymous with the art of back country exploration with extreme reliability, exactly what we strive for with our little brand. It is a perfect marriage and we are happy.

When looking into new options for the new SCX10, we did what all outdoor enthusiasts do, we went into the woods to think about it, to do a little research. We were checking out all the rigs out on the trail and noticed that the XJ was a very popular rig for the most hardcore wheeler and for family back road exploration. We saw XJ’s that were exo-caged on 40′s all the way to bone stock 4×4′s loaded with the whole family and dog. This platform was exactly what we were looking for. It is one of the most popular 4×4 vehicles ever built, with millions of them on the road. Some say that Jeep actually invented the SUV with this release. It was not adapted right away for off-road use, as the old guard (Read: Wrangler, CJ5 and CJ7 owners) looked down upon these Jeeps, calling them cars with big tires, and promptly showing their owners the direction toward the nearest shopping mall or soccer field.

Some XJ inspiration we found on YouTube…

I personally had this experience with my 1993 Jeep grand Cherokee, I was given directions to the soccer field, immediately preceding my climbing an extremely nasty Granite rock face on Los Coyotes Indian reservation back in 1996. The CJ owners immediately began to bicker and argue that the other should climb it. Neither one did, nor did they express themselves again to me on the trail. They learned that day that a Unitized chassis wasn’t the end of the world, and that coil springs are like magic. The Cherokee (XJ) shared the same front suspension with the ZJ, though the XJ had leaf springs in the back, something the Jeep guys were used to back then. Any of the XJ’s and ZJ’s on the trail were hand built, as there were very few aftermarket components available with the exception of suspension which was primarily available to fit larger tires. We told some of our JK friends about our XJ desires and they immediately started flowing some memes our way, most of which we cant publish, but here are a few gems that made us laugh…

xjs

Thanks for the support guys…sheesh.

Fast forward 20 years, and these old grocery getters, mall crawlers or soccer field shuttlers are now extremely common to find on the trail. The off-road community has more than accepted them and many aftermarket companies now make a decent living supporting them. The hard part, finding a clean one-owner version with no rust and low miles, kind of like finding a Unicorn. One of Axial’s more predominant partners, Currie Enterprises, was at the forefront of developing suspension for these rigs so that they could be raced in a desert series called Jeep Speed back in the day. We consulted the Currie family and were introduced to Matt Chapman, the owner of the Cherokee that we based our SCX10XJ off of. As we have done in the past, we like to build the full size version of our scale rigs (see here…) to go out and experience what they can do, and stay on the forefront with regards to what the community is doing. At this time, Matt’s Cherokee was bone stock, as it had just been purchased and not modified yet. We elected to team with Matt and the Currie’s in effort to help develop the Full size XJ into an awesome trail machine all the while developing and testing our SCX10 II in tandem.

Here is a shot of Matt’s XJ when he got it, no rust with 150K miles…

After a good amount of research, we started to compile a list of necessities. We knew the rig had to be able to go with 4 door JK’s on 37′s, as most of Matt’s friends were rolling newer JK’s. We needed at least 35″ tires. Fitting 35′s under the Cherokee would require some proper fender flares and keeps the cops in Moab at bay. Notch Customs said “35″ tires with a 4″ lift, some welding required”. Currie makes a great suspension system for the XJ as well as their bulletproof Rock Jock 44 axles, and you know we love the performance of Icon Shocks. So, what we really needed was some armor. We looked long and hard at so many companies making XJ parts, and there is some awesome stuff out there. Russ at Notch Customs introduced us to JCR Off-Road, who ended up having one of the most complete armor systems available. Then we needed some lighting, the natural choice was Rigid powered by sPOD. Almost forgot wheels and tires. In effort to make the full size version look more like the RC, we elected to run a 35X12.50X17 BFG KO2 All Terrain wrapped around Method Mesh wheels. The 17″ wheel looks closer to a 1.9 than a 15″ wheel. Of course we needed some nice tone out of the 4.0 straight 6, so the XJ would need a Magnaflow exhaust. We had some details to sort but the main wish list was assembled!

First things first, the rig had to be made as reliable as possible by going through everything mechanical. We changed all the fluids, belts, hoses, pretty much everything we could to ensure reliability.

So, building a full size rig is just like building a scaler, get the base kit, then select all the options you wish to install. Here is our list!

2000 Jeep Cherokee XJ Parts list:
Currie Rock Jock 44 front high pinion axle with 4:56 gears
Currie Rock Jock 44 rear axle with 4:56 gears
Currie Rock Jock 4.5″ suspension system
Currie Antirock Sway bar system
EATON E-Locker rear, Detroit Locker front
JCR Vanguard Front winch bumper – No stinger
JCR Rear Bumper – tire carrier ready
JCR XJ Classic sliders
JCR Transfer case skid plate
JCR Gas tank skid plate
JCR Adventure roof rack
Notch Customs fender flares
Rigid 50″ E-Series LED bar
Rigid Dually x2 (front and rear bumper)
PSC Ram assist kit – steering
ICON Vehicle Dynamics 2.0 Aluminum shocks
Magnaflow exhaust
sPOD – Source with Bluetooth control
17X9 Method Wheels – Mesh (5)
35X12.50X17 BFGoodrick KO2 All Terrain tires (5)

Before we started the build process, Jamie Seymour, Axial’s R&D Industrial Designer and resident rendering expert whipped up this drawing for us to envision the build…

Stay tuned as we add more of this story in the coming weeks……

Axial – The Official R/C vehicles of Ultra4 Racing – King of the Hammers 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
(Mission Viejo, CA) January 11, 2016.

Axial R/C Inc., A subsidiary of Hobbico Inc., is proud to announce Axial as the Official R/C Vehicles of Ultra4 / King of the Hammers for 2016.

Ultra4 Racing is the latest and greatest off road motorsport event on earth. This style of racing challenges man to a duel with the elements. Unlike standard off road racing in a stadium or in the wide open desert, Ultra4 vehicles face challenges that no other motorsport demands. Competitors are not only made to cross vast areas of open desert, they also travel up boulder strewn canyons and negotiate terrain that appears impassable. To compete in such a demanding environment, competitors build custom four wheel drive vehicles that are made to crawl over the harshest terrain, then conquer the wide open desert at exhilarating triple digit speeds. This element of automotive enthusiasm is precisely what Axial R/C has set out to deliver in 1:10 scale, so the relationship between Axial R/C and Ultra4 is a very natural fit.

Axial’s roots are directly tied to motorsports, especially competitive rock crawling. As full size competitive rock crawling transcended into what is now rock racing, the sport became globally recognized in a short five years, most notably the King of the Hammers [KOH] held annually in Johnson Valley, California. Axial followed suit with its own version of vehicles that translated well within this segment of the off road community. Axial has been very off-road lifestyle driven and fits perfectly with Ultra4 and the King of the Hammers event which is the mecca of enthusiasts pushing the boundaries of rock racing. Axial will be on site at the 2016 King of the Hammers offering enthusiasts an opportunity to experience the endless fun that these rock racing and trail navigating R/Cs have to offer.

Come out and join us at the 2016 King of the Hammers in the Axial compound located smack dab in the middle of Hammertown, USA. This year’s compound will feature a rock racing track and a scale trail where you can traverse a challenging course with your SCX10 vehicles and rip around the track with your Yeti, Wraith or RR10 Bomber. The scale trail will be open for runs during the day, then be closed down for some rock racing in the evenings.

Axial to support drivers chasing the Crown
In 2016, the Axial team will be supporting, following, and cheering on several teams competing in events all week long. Please show these teams some love!

Randy Slawson – Bomber Fab
Casey Currie
Savvy Motorsports
Desert Turtle Racing
Poison Spyder Motorsports
Cody Waggoner – LaserNut
Tom Wayes

The schedule for Axial events is as follows:

Axial Booth open daily Tuesday through Friday 9 AM until Race completion nightly

Tuesday February 2nd, 2016
11-1 Scale Adventure
1:30-2:30 Scale Adventure
3-5 Track open Practice
6PM Outlaw KOH Race for points

Wednesday February 3rd, 2016
11-1 Scale Adventure
1:30-2:30 Scale Adventure
3-5 Track open Practice
6PM Outlaw KOH Race for points

Thursday February 4th, 2016
11-1 Scale Adventure
1:30-2:30 Scale Adventure
3-5 Track open Practice
6PM Outlaw KOH Race for points
Awards immediately following Final Race.

Friday Feb 5th, 2016
Race Day – Get out in the desert and watch the full size racers go for broke chasing the coveted crown and title of “King of the Hammers” for 2016

Outlaw Classes Rules:
1.9 Axial Based Chassis (Except Yeti)
2.2 Axial Based Chassis (Except Yeti)
Yeti Trophy Trucks
Yeti Class (No XL)

Demo Rules:
One try per day – per person
Under 18 – Parent MUST be present.
If you have your own rig, Scale rules apply, Respect the Course!!

**Important Note for 2016**  
There will NOT be a G6 event on Saturday at this year’s King of the Hammers.

About Axial
Founded in 2005, Axial R/C, Inc. has quickly became a global brand leader of hobby grade radio controlled products as Axial is a company of enthusiasts for enthusiasts. We manufacture chassis and accessory products predominantly for the Rock Crawling and Overland Adventure segments, with design emphasis on rugged construction and scale realism. Axial is regularly involved in local and national events which allow us to keep our finger on the pulse of R/C culture, thus earning us awards every year from 2007 through 2010, including “Best Truck”, “Most Innovative”, “Best Engineered Product of the Year”, and “People’s Choice.”

For more information on Axial and Axial products please visit www.axialracing.comtwitter.com/axialracingfacebook.com/axialincyoutube.com/axialvideos

About Ultra4
Ultra4 Racing is the official website of Hammerking Productions. The founders of Hammerking are the force behind the toughest one-day off-road race on the planet: King of The Hammers. King of the Hammers takes place each year in February, on public lands in Johnson Valley, CA. The race has evolved from 12 teams racing for bragging rights and a case of beer, to more than 150 teams competing before thousands of fans both live and online. Due to the incredible success of King of the Hammers, Hammerking has created an equally difficult off-road endurance race called The Stampede which occurs annually in Reno, NV.

In addition to these races, Hammerking has established a racing class known as the Ultra4 class. The defining characteristic of this class is that all cars must be capable of 4-wheel drive. Beyond that, the class is unlimited, which means these cars come in all shapes and sizes and are capable of speeds over 100+ MPH and still contain gear ratios as low as 100 to 1 for technical rock crawling.

To give these cars and their drivers a chance to showcase their unique capabilities, Hammerking has formed the Ultra4 Racing series. The series challenges drivers to compete in a wide variety of terrain from endurance desert racing to competition-style rock crawls to short course racing. Hammerking currently produces five of the six races in the series on their own. The races take place on both public lands and in private motorsports parks across the country including: Exit 28 Motorsports Park in Nevada, Rausch Creek in Pennsylvania and Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

If you would like to know more about Hammerking, Ultra4, the races produced and/or the movies created, please visit www.ultra4racing.comtwitter.com/Ultra4racingfacebook.com/Ultra4Racingyoutube.com/HeavyMetalConcepts

 

WEST FORK RANGER STATION SCALE CHALLENGE

West Fork Ranger Station Scale Challenge Text: James Story Rice Photography: Robert Wise The event began early on Saturday May 30th, with a cool breeze moving down the river’s edge. Drivers began arriving around 8 am in droves from the Carolinas, Alabama, and Florida. Once sign ups began at 9:00am the hype in the crowd began to rise. Drivers began getting their scale trucks set for an epic Axial Adventure. 11130030_360476130812287_3538436371955806259_o The drivers meeting began with a huge thanks to the sponsors, including Axial, Phoenix Designs, Team KNK Hardware, ScalerFab, Rolland Rock Shop, CBERC, and TJ RC products. Each sponsor donated a number of great prizes making for a great raffle. Following giving thanks, we discussed a few ground rules: Have Fun, no Hand of God, help your fellow drivers, stay on the trail and don’t disturb wildlife or the native plants located on the property and one more reiteration that this was meant to be a Super Fun Day. 11268362_360476090812291_2518134082353789587_o Class 2 took to the course first in an open start as the drivers hurried getting the last few things ready. Soon after, a few of the class 3 drivers that were not a running a class 2 rig, set out to conquer the course. Right off the bat the beginning of the course traversed up the riverbank to rock ledges, which always prove to be a tough spot. Several drivers found weak spots in their trucks having to quickly do a bit of repair and adjustment. As they reached the end of that leg they came upon the Carolina Bridges that made their first appearance at Motorama, and have been traveling with the Axial Ambassadors everywhere from Belleview Florida to Daytona for Jeep Beach.

Soon after they hit the semi-dry riverbed section, they navigated the partially submerged bridge and down through some very sandy and slippery rocks, which directed them over a bamboo bridge to an island formed by the floods of 2004. Trail marker followed by another, drivers worked through the random river rocks, boulders back to the top of the island, and eventually back across the dry riverbed to the shore. Though the next section could be viewed as an easy stroll through the gardens with scattered small obstacles, it seemed to get the best of some of our drivers. They began to get tired and the wobbly suspension bridges proved to be tougher than they looked. As they finished the final gates that curled around the property gardens, the excitement began to grow as the smell of lunch permeated the air.

Mrs. Nancy Rice, mother to Axial Ambassador and host Story Rice, had prepared a filling menu that included, Italian Sausage covered with peppers and onions on hoagie rolls, fresh summer salad, chips, fresh tossed field greens salad and a variety of dessert bars. Comforting food filled bellies and boosted sprits, preparing drivers, including class 3, to carry on navigating their way through the end of the course.

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Shortly there after began the awards Ceremony, were the top drivers were awarded for their greatness in navigating the trail with little faults. Class 2 winner was Joseph Meaders, while Class 3 victory went to Marcus Moore, both receiving highly coveted Axial Camo-bill hats and class trophies! Remaining prizes were raffled off to drivers and spectators.

 

After a small break waiting for night fall to begin the night run, some drivers left while others stayed, those who hung around were hooting and hollering through the course as they had been during the day but under the light of a full moon, along with lights mounted to these great tiny trucks! Once completed the two drivers that managed to hit the least trail markers Shawn Barton and Matthew Walker both received Axial Camo-bills, along with more prizes in a raffle fashion to the remaining drivers. The drivers that had to head out did so quickly; some with over an hour drive to get home from the Ranger Station, while others set up tents to camp for the night. Great times were had by all and another Axial Adventure is already being planned for the Fall at the West Fork Ranger Station.

 

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Axial partners with SCORE International – Official R/C Vehicles of SCORE

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
(Mission Viejo, CA) February 25, 2015.

Axial R/C Inc., A subsidiary of Hobbico Inc., is proud to announce Axial as the Official R/C Vehicles of the Baja 500, Baja 1000 and SCORE International.

So much focus in the R/C industry is placed on short course off road racing. It makes perfect sense, as it is easy to gather lots of people into a confined area to experience off road racing vehicles. What many people don’t know is that short course off road racing was born in the desert. What short course promoters are attempting to do is bring desert racing to the masses. What is lost in this process is the adventure. In true Axial style, we are all about chasing adventure. In this case, Axial R/C has partnered with SCORE International to support further growth of the off road racing that started it all.

The Baja 500 and Baja 1000 are two of the most recognizable off road racing events on the planet. The machines, the people and the experiences of these and all of SCORE’s events are the inspiration for many of today’s off road enthusiasts. Axial fans and consumers are driven by adventure, getting out there and experiencing the relationship of man and machine in the wild. Axial will be taking an in depth look at what drives all of these individuals to push themselves and their machines to the absolute limit to conquer Baja.

About Axial
Founded in 2005, Axial R/C, Inc. has quickly became a global brand leader of hobby grade radio controlled products as Axial is a company of enthusiasts for enthusiasts. We manufacture chassis and accessory products predominantly for the Rock Crawling and Overland Adventure segments, with design emphasis on rugged construction and scale realism. Axial is regularly involved in local and national events which allow us to keep our finger on the pulse of R/C culture, thus earning us awards year after year, including “Best Truck”, “Most Innovative”, “Best Engineered Product of the Year”, and “People’s Choice.” For more information on Axial and Axial products please visit www.axialracing.comtwitter.com/axialracingfacebook.com/axialincyoutube.com/axialvideos

About SCORE International
The World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, SCORE International was founded in 1973 by the late motorsports innovator Mickey Thompson and continues today under the ownership and director of former SCORE Trophy Truck racing champion Roger Norman. The five-race, internationally-televised SCORE World Desert Championship features 35 Pro and six Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads. The series is televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network with international syndication for each of the one-hour programs. The flagship event of the SCORE World Desert Championship is the iconic SCORE Baja 1000, the granddaddy of all desert races. The 2015 SCORE Baja 1000 will air as a two-hour special on the CBS Sports Network. For more information regarding SCORE International, visit www.score-international.com

 

Axial – The Official R/C vehicles of Ultra4 Racing – King of the Hammers 2015

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
(Mission Viejo, CA) January 14, 2015.

Axial R/C Inc., A subsidiary of Hobbico Inc., is proud to announce Axial as the Official R/C Vehicles of Ultra4 / King of the Hammers for 2015.

Ultra4 Racing is the latest and greatest off road motorsport event on earth. This style of racing challenges man to a duel with the elements. Unlike standard off road racing in a stadium or in the wide open desert, Ultra4 vehicles face challenges that no other motorsport demands. Competitors are not only made to cross vast areas of open desert, they also travel up boulder strewn canyons and negotiate terrain that appears impassable. To compete in such a demanding environment, competitors build custom four wheel drive vehicles that are made to crawl over the harshest terrain, then conquer the wide open desert at exhilarating triple digit speeds. This element of automotive enthusiasm is precisely what Axial R/C has set out to deliver in 1:10 scale, so the relationship between Axial R/C and Ultra4 is a very natural fit.

Axial’s roots are directly tied to motorsports, especially competitive rock crawling. As full size competitive rock crawling transcended into what is now rock racing, the sport became globally recognized in a short five years, most notably the King of the Hammers [KOH] held annually in Johnson Valley, California. Axial followed suit with its own version of vehicles that translated well within this segment of the off road community. Axial has been very offroad lifestyle driven and fits perfectly with Ultra4 and the King of the Hammers event which is the mecca of enthusiasts pushing the boundaries of rock racing. Axial will be on site at the 2015 King of the Hammers offering enthusiasts an opportunity to experience the endless fun that these rock racing and trail navigating R/Cs have to offer.

On the Saturday following KOH [Feb 7th], there will be a radio controlled version of King of the Hammers as Axial hosts the RECON Ultra4 G6 at King of the Hammers.

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Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 at King of the Hammers
When: Feb. 7 – 12:00 Noon
Where: (GPS- N34 24.927, W116 31.090) just west of Hammer Town at the base of the mountain.

R/C motorsports joins full size motorsports once again as Axial joins forces with Ultra4 / King of the Hammers. 2015 will once again see Axial bring the RECON G6 Series along for the full experience. Axial has teamed with full size motorsports in the past and is doing it again in Johnson Valley, Ca. ,on Saturday Feb. 7th, the day after the King of the Hammers main event. This is the last event on the 2015 KOH schedule starting at noon on Saturday, if you own an Axial R/C, come out and get your fix in this historic RECON Ultra4 G6. The RECON G6 series is made up of R/C endurance events featuring man and scale machine tackling the elements, a true test for your R/C vehicle with a major emphasis on a family fun atmosphere. The object is to conquer the course set forth by RECON G6 mastermind Brian Parker. For more information on this event, and to register to participate, please click here.

About Axial
Founded in 2005, Axial R/C, Inc. has quickly became a global brand leader of hobby grade radio controlled products as Axial is a company of enthusiasts for enthusiasts. We manufacture chassis and accessory products predominantly for the Rock Crawling and Overland Adventure segments, with design emphasis on rugged construction and scale realism. Axial is regularly involved in local and national events which allow us to keep our finger on the pulse of R/C culture, thus earning us awards every year from 2007 through 2010, including “Best Truck”, “Most Innovative”, “Best Engineered Product of the Year”, and “People’s Choice.” For more information on Axial and Axial products please visit www.axialracing.comtwitter.com/axialracingfacebook.com/axialincyoutube.com/axialvideos

About Ultra4
Ultra4 Racing is the official website of Hammerking Productions. The founders of Hammerking are the force behind the toughest one-day off-road race on the planet: King of The Hammers. King of the Hammers takes place each year in February, on public lands in Johnson Valley, CA. The race has evolved from 12 teams racing for bragging rights and a case of beer, to more than 150 teams competing before thousands of fans both live and online. Due to the incredible success of King of the Hammers, Hammerking has created an equally difficult off-road endurance race called The Stampede which occurs annually in Reno, NV.

In addition to these races, Hammerking has established a racing class known as the Ultra4 class. The defining characteristic of this class is that all cars must be capable of 4-wheel drive. Beyond that, the class is unlimited, which means these cars come in all shapes and sizes and are capable of speeds over 100+ MPH and still contain gear ratios as low as 100 to 1 for technical rock crawling.

To give these cars and their drivers a chance to showcase their unique capabilities, Hammerking has formed the Ultra4 Racing series. The series challenges drivers to compete in a wide variety of terrain from endurance desert racing to competition-style rock crawls to short course racing. Hammerking currently produces five of the six races in the series on their own. The races take place on both public lands and in private motorsports parks across the country including: Exit 28 Motorsports Park in Nevada, Rausch Creek in Pennsylvania and Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

Hammerking Productions has also produced three full-length feature films chronicling the first three King of the Hammers races. These award winning movies have helped shine a spotlight on this new form of racing throughout the world. Currently, fans are eagerly awaiting the release of Hammerking’s fourth production which will be coming to theaters and DVD by mid 2011.

If you would like to know more about Hammerking, Ultra4, the races produced and/or the movies created, please visit www.ultra4racing.comtwitter.com/Ultra4racingfacebook.com/Ultra4Racingyoutube.com/HeavyMetalConcepts

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RECON G6 Challenge Birthday Bash 2014

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2014 RECON G6 Challenge Birthday Bash
December 6, 2014
Moonrocks, Reno, Nevada
Words and Photos by Matt “Skeeno” Soileau

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Can you believe that the RECON G6 Challenge is four years old?  I can’t. It seems like just yesterday a few of us guinea pigs showed up at the first RECON G6 Challenge and tested our Axial SCX10s on the longest, most technically challenging trail they had ever been on.

This year the RECON G6 Challenge not only traveled to seven of the United States, it went global with a stop in Austria! Attendance records were also set at each event as more and more members joined the RECON G6 family. So, in honor of the birth of the RECON G6 Challenge, the annual Birthday Bash G6 was once again held in the birth city of this great event.

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This past weekend, Skeeno Jr. and I headed out to Moonrocks just north of Reno, Nevada to celebrate all the great things that have come to the RECON G6 Challenge this year. It just so happened to take place on the same weekend that a few local clubs were holding their Club Challenges, so the location was full.

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When I arrived, the line was already out the door. Eager G6ers were waiting in line to be registered and to also donate their toys for the Washoe County Sherriff’s Christmas on the Corridor program.

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Mr. Rivas Concepts and Mr. Cole were at the front of the line getting drivers registered and collecting the toys.

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Over 100 new toys were donated.

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Hoyfab had his YETI XL on display at the registration booth. This thing was sweet and full of extra detail. Equipped with a Premier Power Welder and tons of GoPro cameras. Hoyfab is the man to see for awesome 3D printed scale accessories.

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Also on the table was this wonderful jerky. I may have eaten multiple pieces while Cole and Rivas weren’t looking.  Thanks for the hookup OFO Crawlers. Feel free to bring more to Axialfest 2015.

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I spotted a couple sweet trailers waiting in line. The trailer is the new black. You better get yours ready for Axialfest 2015. And don’t forget, Axialfest will be held in July this year. More info can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1506299382978745/

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Of course RPP Hobby was in attendance, they are the Official Hobby Shop of the RECON G6 Challenge.

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This Drivin Diva didn’t have time to drive, but Alyssa made sure to come out to say hi to all her old driving buddies. Thanks for stopping by.  We hope to see you on the trail soon.

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While waiting for everyone to register, I headed over to the 1:1s to check out the rigs and see what was going on.  This first crawler I came to just happened to belong to my old buddy, Bryan.  Can you believe this started life as a Suzuki Samurai?  The only thing Samurai left on this rig is the firewall now.

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I also spotted the Axial Wraith in the queue waiting for its turn on course. Notice it’s also running the Official Tires of the RECON G6, Pitbulls.

DSCF0388The pile of kits kept growing and growing.

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This lone Land Rover was looking for a home. Who wants this?

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Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer would be proud to be seen in these two kits.

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Parker went over the rules. Remember, no Hand of God.  That’s pretty much the golden rule.

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As always, the National Anthem was played before the lipos were lit.

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Parker was kind enough to line us up backwards. We got to drive in reverse to that rock behind him before we could drive forward.

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Somehow, Skeeno Jr. and I ended up in the lead for the first dozen or so trail markers.

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Of course, Mr. Pham eventually passed us by. His Axial SXC10 RECON G6 Jeep is the envy of many G6ers. That’s the perks of working at a hobby shop.

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Skeeno Jr. tried to keep up the pace…

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…but Mr. Fokai finally got by her. Besides, the RECON G6 isn’t about winning. It’s about having fun, so we let him by and relaxed.

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Reno’s CKRC crew brought a full compliment of drivers and kits.  They were super helpful, and I saw them personally give away parts to at least three broken drivers, so they could finish.

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It’s a good thing I had my new Bull Rope tow strap. It came in handy. Since we had some recent rains, the rocks got a little muddy and slippery. Here, I had to pull Skeeno Jr. out of a crevice she slipped in to.

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Those balloons helped this Wraith float over the rocks.

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TM102 presented the opportunity for a little air time, so I took it.

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The courses at the RECON G6 Challenge are always long, so it’s a good idea to pack refreshments. Remember, it’s about having fun, so there’s no need to run.

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I have to include this picture because Parker loves Scouts, and this one’s leading the way.

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There’s always casualties at a RECON G6. Remember, finishing a RECON G6 is like winning a RECON G6. Don’t be afraid to make trail repairs and ask for help if you need it. Other G6ers are always happy to lend a fellow G6er a hand.

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Speaking of lending a hand, Werty lent Skeeno Jr. some of his sweet jack stands to help her with some maintenance in the pits.

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I think Mini Meeks was giving me the stink eye.

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Scale or 1:1?

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This Jeep was having a hard time climbing this section.  It took me a while, but I finally figured out why…there was no driver, duh.

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One of my favorite G6ers made it out. Mr. Stern is also our oldest G6er at 91 years young.

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The last time I saw this trailer, it was camo-ed out. This teardrop trailer was even cooler this time in full RECON G6 regalia. You can see the old version here: http://www.axialracing.com/blog_posts/1073908833

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I told you trailers were popular. Here the Werty trailer adds a little extra challenge to this sandy hill climb.

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Parker and RC Chick putted around on my CT70 making sure everyone was having a good time. He also used it to plant some special prizes on course.

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Here’s what he was planting, $20 RPP gift certificate coins. Did you find one?

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Remember that if you find something that looks out of place at a G6, it’s probably a trail treasure. Pick it up and take it back to G Central with you and you will be rewarded. Mr. Tree found this double barreled sling shot over on Course 2 and earned some bonus time for his good fashion sense.

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The best part of Moonrocks is the rocks.  The jagged granite provides tons of traction and the sandy decomposed granite removes that traction, so it’s always a dance with the trigger finger.

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I cut my RC crawling teeth at the Moonrocks, so it was fun to reminisce about all the old B.P.R.C.A comps that were held in these exact same lines.

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Uh oh, that Scout is falling behind. He’s probably just letting this Jeep feel what it’s like to be in front for once.

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After Skeeno Jr. and I were finished driving, we headed over to check out the 1:1s. This Jeep was at the top of a steep off camber climb.

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Here’s the other side of the climb. This leaf springer almost flipped on its lid.

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The Axial Wraith used a little wheel speed to get up this line.

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Just like RC crawling comps, there’s lots of waiting in line with the 1:1s as well.  That’s why we love the RECON G6, no lines and Maximum Drive Time!

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This 1:1 detonated his Rockwell in this crevasse. Skeeno Jr. thought it was awesome. She was fascinated by these big boys.

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My buddy Bryan made the crevasse line with no problem even with a hastily stitched back together driveshaft.  It’s all about finesse sometimes.

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As we headed back to G Central, we spotted a few of the last G6ers finishing up their courses.

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Some scale water, axle deep.

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The CKRC/Rivas Concepts Deadbolt was still looking good even after running all day long.

Of course, we finished up the day with a few awards.

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Durty Driver of the Day, Mini Meeks

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Drivn Diva of the Day, Mrs. Werty

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Expedition Driver of the Day, Mr. J.J.

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2.2 Driver of the Day, Mr. Kowatch

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1.9 Driver of the Day, Mr. Klein

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Drivers of the Year, Klein and Wolfe

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6×6 Driver of the Year, Mr. Hoyfab.

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Luckiest Winners of the Day taking home G6 kits, so they’ll be ready for the next RECON G6 Challenge.

The calendar of events for 2015 will be out soon. Watch www.recong6.com for events coming to your area soon. You don’t want to miss one.

Axial Driver Jake Hallenbeck – NorCal Rock Racing – 2014 Finale

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Axial Driver Jake Hallenbeck – NorCal Rock Racing – 2014 Finale

Words & photos: Michael Plunkett

With this being Nor Cal Rock Racing’s Championship race, we all knew that Jake being the defending 2013 Champion, might as well have a bull’s-eye on his back! Every team had one thing in mind, “beating Jake Hallenbeck!” As things were getting started and heat races were being randomly drawn, Jake found out he had been drawn to start in the back of the pack. Starting in the back forces Jake to work his way through slower traffic, which sometimes is a challenge in itself on a course like this.

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With the two other power house teams of concern drawing the same heat race, this would give us an idea of how the rest of the day was going to go. Jake found himself being held up by certain drivers, slowing him down considerably. By the end of the race, Jake had worked his way up to finish 2nd behind his closest competitor in the points standings. This was going to be a showdown!

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As the team was going over the car in the pits, Jake found out that they had a transmission cooler failure. Without a spare cooler, they decided to bypass the trans-cooler altogether and hope for the best.

Starting in the back of heat race 2 once again meant that Jake would have to rely on his skills to get him out in front to secure a better starting position for the main event. As the race started and Jake charged through the pack, he suffered a broken axle in the first rock pile. He maintained his pace the best he could to finish that heat in what appeared to be 4th place. Jake and his team quickly went to work pulling the axle, and in the meantime damaged the inner seal.

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Fortunately, with Trail Gear’s large fill cap on their axles, they were able to get a pry bar in there so they could get the axle changed without having to pull the entire axle apart to put the seal housing back in. As it was, they finished with minutes to spare for the start of the main event!

When the teams lined up for the main event, I could see Jon Cagliero starting in the front row. Jon was only two points behind Jake in the points race. Jake was forced to start mid-pack and have to work his way through traffic once again! With the lineup in place and the sun in their eyes, the race for the Championship was about to begin!

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From what I could see, Jake got a great hole shot and by the first and second rock pile he found himself in 3rd place. He drove the wheels off his bomber buggy and began to reel in the leaders…until his engine’s heating issue began to come back and haunt him. He was forced to pace himself for the longer main event so he could be in the hunt at the finish. He maintained his 3rd place position throughout the race until he got over taken by a car during a yellow flag.

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Out of his control at that point, Jake knew he needed to gain that position back and get closer to the front for a chance to keep his lead in the points standings. With one lap to go, Jake overtook that 3rd position again but was running out of time to catch the leaders. When the race came to an end, Gary Ferravanti Sr. crossed the line first, followed by Jon Cagliero, and Jake finishing in 3rd and collecting another podium finish!

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With the results of the race in place, it was time to figure out the point standings and who would be the 2014 Season Champion! With Jon Cagliero finishing the race in 2nd and Jake finishing in 3rd, it meant that they were tied in points for the 2014 season. With nothing in the rule book stating what to do in the case of a tie, John Goodby of Nor Cal Rock Racing decided to go with a motocross rule that states whoever crossed the finish line first between the two points leaders would be the new Champion.

Like the true Sportsman and Champion that Jake Hallenbeck is, he looked at Goodby and stated, “As long as you will assure me that this will be in the rule books in the future, I am good with that.” In the same breath, Jake asked John if he could deliver the Championship trophy to Jon Cagliero himself. Goodby agreed as long as he could be present. They together they delivered the trophy to Jon Cagliero and named him the 2014 Nor Cal Rock Racing Champion! It’s never easy in racing to except a 2nd place finish, but Jake did it with grace and style.

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As the season concludes, I look forward to seeing if Jake can pick up new sponsors in the off season so he too can upgrade his rig to what most of the powerhouse rigs are running. Jake proves to me that you can stay on the podium with driving skills alone, but to be able to win races consistently you have to equal the playing field and run Independent Front Suspension with big horsepower!

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All in all, in two years of racing the Ultra4 class, Jake has achieved a Nor Cal Championship, a tie for another Nor Cal Championship, The Ultra4 Racing series Rookie of the Year Award, and is still in contention in the 2014 Ultra4 Racing Series on driving ability alone. If given the Independent Front Suspension and the horsepower other teams are running, in my opinion, Jake Hallenbeck would be a force to be reckoned with!

Jeeping with Casey Currie at EJS2014

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Casey Currie is an absolute Jeep fanatic. Anyone who follows Casey can see this plain as day, though until you spend a few days with him, you can’t truly know how bad he has it. All hours of the night, in the worst weather conditions, regardless of what is going on or what time it is, Casey is ready to go wheeling. At this years’ EJS, we jumped in the Axial grocery getter, soccer mom mall crawler, whatever you want to call it, and headed out to meet with Casey. He said he had both of his JKs and he was ready to have some Moab fun.

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Upon arrival, we see that Casey wasted no time modifying both of his Jeeps. His full size rig was all decked out. We also noticed his Scale JK was equipped with Vanquish Currie Rock Jock axles, Vanquish Rigid Industries light bar, Vanquish front dig, RC4WD Warn Winch. He chose the 55t Axial motor running on 3s for smooth crawling. Once we arrived on Hell’s revenge, he immediately jumped out of his full size JK and started attacking the rock with his SCX10.

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Casey always immediately goes for the “Man’s Line”

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We just had to get some video to share with you, check it out!

Axial R/C to support Inaugural Silver State 4wd & UTV Jamboree

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Axial R/C to support Inaugural Silver State 4wd & UTV Jamboree

Axial R/C Inc., A subsidiary of Hobbico Inc., is proud to announce a marketing partnership with Carrera Performance Group LLc. The Axial R/C team will be headed to Reno, Nevada for the week of July 14th through July 18th attending the inaugural Silver State 4wd & UTV Jamboree for a week full of adventure!
The Silver State 4wd & UTV Jamboree (SSJambo) is a first year event catering to everything adventure and off road. Located in Northern Nevada, this event is packed full of reasons to spend a week exploring and enjoying the outdoors with friends.

The week kicks off on Monday July 14th with an Off Road Business Association (ORBA) OHV leadership summit. This is where some of the most influential minds get together to shape the future of the off highway community. This is also one of the most active groups fighting to keep public lands open for off highway recreation.

Tuesday July 15th starts with the Genright Tour to Virginia city for sightseeing to include the Comstock, the first major Silver Ore discovery in the United states. The day will end with the RallyVenture welcome party.

Wednesday July 16th marks the start of the RallyVenture. The RallyVenture is just like a RECON G6 for full size rigs. Axial is one of the 25 teams invited to participate in this invite only inaugural event. The full size SCX10JK will be piloted by Axial staff as they attempt to make history in Nevada!

Thursday July 17th will have Axial on the move again following our trusty partners at Poison Spyder Customs to Virginia City to explore the oldest Silver mining town in Nevada. The “Bucket of Blood” Saloon will be one of the highlights, known for its violence back when the mining town was running at full steam.

Friday July 18th will be qualifying day for the Hellsgate Grand Prix, an Unlimited 4wd Racing event to be held at Wild West Motorsports park. It will also be the day Axial and CKRC set up a booth for Saturdays racing action.

Saturday July 19th Axcial and CKRC will be on site with a booth showing off Axial R/C vehicles to the masses that arrive to spectate the inaugural Hellsgate Grand Prix. The Hellsgate Grand Prix will provide a ton of entertainment all day long with sidexside racing, Unlimited 4wd racing and the Deathbox derby.

For all the details on this inaugural event, please visit www.silverstatejamboree.com

About Carrera Performance Group LLc.

Off-Road History: Jeff became an “off-roader” in 1975 with his first dirt bike, a Honda Mini Trail 50. His parents were members of an off-road club called the “Looney Duners” in the 70s and 80s and many of his childhood weekends were spent out at Glamis, where his step-mother’s father had a business called “Boardmanville Trading Post”. Growing up in Menifee, California afforded Jeff the opportunity to do a lot of motorcycle riding. He met his wife, Angie, in high school and after graduation, they began riding trails and camping around Southern California. They raised both of their children in the back of Jeeps and Angie recalls changing many a diaper in the front seat of one. They have owned Jeeps and other off-road vehicles continuously throughout their 22 year marriage and have founded several off-road clubs including the Safari Club, Riverside Off-Kamber Club and Inland Jeep Freeks.

Racing: Jeff began racing BMX bikes at the age of 10. He has raced under many sanctioning bodies in several different classes. He has raced Best in the Desert, MORE, SCORE, and MDR series’. He has raced Jeepspeed, class 3000 and class 4400. He has written rules for BITD class 3000 and 4400, as well as rules for Side x Side racing under the International Side x Side Association (ISA). He has created two different sanctioning bodies for racing, the California Rock Crawlers Association (CRCA) and Ultra4 Racing. He is co-founder of the world famous “King of the Hammers” race held in Johnson Valley, CA each February.

Jeff has also developed and published strategic plans for the Off-Road Business Association and the California Motorized Recreation Council on Johnson Valley. In addition, he is a regular contributor to OffRoadPress.com and SEMA E-news. He contributes freelance for Crawl Magazine, DirtSports Magazine, Pirate4x4.com and Off-Road Industry Magazine. In 2013 Jeff Knoll published a whitepaper called “Common Ground” that became the basis for Legislation that passed the House of Representatives and as of this writing is being debated in the Senate. The bill would establish the first of its kind Congressional protected OHV area, and save the largest OHV area in the United States

About Axial

History
Founded in 2005, Axial R/C, Inc. has quickly become a global brand leader of hobby grade radio controlled products. We manufacture chassis and accessory products to the highest quality standards, with design emphasis on rugged construction and scale realism. Axial is regularly involved in local and national events which allow us to keep our finger on the pulse of R/C culture, thus earning us many awards over time, including “Best Truck”, “Most Innovative”, “Best Engineered Product of the Year”, and “People’s Choice.” Axial and the talented staff behind the brand live and breathe R/C, striving for excellence year after year.

MISSION
Axial is a company of enthusiasts for enthusiasts. The passion for the automobile runs deep within the Axial team. The brand itself is a culmination of a top shelf design team coupled with an executive and marketing staff with their finger on the pulse of what is hot and trending in the world of motorsports. Here at Axial we pride ourselves on developing extremely high end radio control models of vehicles that you are likely to see in the great outdoors. These models are designed to generate a tremendous amount of reliable fun that can be experienced by the whole family. Our design team prides themselves on marrying real scale looks with top level performance. Our marketing team ensures Axial is on the forefront by developing partnerships with top quality brands of the full size enthusiast market. Whether you are a beginner looking to further your knowledge about basic vehicle dynamics or a seasoned hobby veteran, Axial offers a platform for you to personalize and enjoy in every environment. The Axial team encourages you to get outside and have some family fun.

2014 King Of The Hammers has Great Results for Currie Racing

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Johnson Valley, CA. 2-10-14 – Casey Currie returned for the 2014 Griffin King of the Hammers this past weekend, expectations for a win may not have been met, but the odds of finishing the race were on Curries side. The week long event took place in Johnson Valley, CA where over 40,000 off-road/rock crawling enthusiasts flocked to watch 158 entries take their chance at the 150 mile brutal course.

After Curries 3rd place finish in Wednesdays UTV race, he helped his uncle, John Currie prepare for Thursdays Every Man Challenge. John qualified 1st for the race. Just miles into the start of the race, John gained a significant lead on the other competitors and continued to hold that lead all the way to the finish.

“We make sure that racing is fun for our entire family and it was great to see my Uncle as well as my brother finish on the podium.” Stated Casey Currie. “Knowing that my uncle won the EMC in the same vehicle I raced on Friday solidified my concerns on being a top competitor for the King of the Hammers race.”

Casey qualified the #88 Ultra 4 truck in the 44th starting position. The race began at 8am sharp and once on the course, Currie set a steady pace for the first lap. The first lap of the race consisted of dry lake-beds, sand washes and dunes. Currie finished the lap with no major issues and came into the main pit physically in the 20th position.

Laps 2 and 3 were more demanding and difficult with the course making its way through Clawhammer, Wrecking Ball, Chocolate Thunder and more. These laps would take there toll on numerous Ultra 4’s. Some out of the race, others rolled over and giving it all they have to get back on all fours. Currie and co-rider, Oren managed to make the right decision when making their way up the waterfalls.

“It is important to have a co-rider with you that is smart, calm and can assess the situation. This is just what Oren does.” Said Currie.
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As Currie made his way up “Backdoor” one of the hardest obstacles of the course, Oren had the challenge of guiding Currie up the slippery rocks. Other stuck vehicles would block the best lines and another vehicle would roll on its lid right next to them. This would be the only part of the course that would set the team back on time, but it wasn’t long before they made their way to the top and continued towards the finish.

In ten hours and 50 minutes, Currie and Oren crossed the finish line. Once at the finish the celebration was well deserved as the team got the results of a 14th place finish. This was worth celebrating since the #88 Ultra 4 was the first vehicle to come in that had only 14inches of travel, where as all the other finished had 20inches.

“We couldn’t be happier with our finish. It was a long day out there and the course was rough. The ruts were huge and dealing with other stuck competitors was a challenge. There is always the chance that they can take you out as well. Finishing in the top 15 out 158 speaks volumes of our team and the vehicle. Big thanks to everyone who puts this race together and on a great week of racing.” Stated Currie.

Be sure to follow Casey on all his social media outlets:
Twitter
https://twitter.com/CaseyCurrie

Instagram
http://instagram.com/caseycurrie

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialCaseyCurrie