Axial Gets Salty

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Words and Photos by Jamie Seymour, Axial’s R&D Industrial Designer

A few items on my personal bucket list:
1: Go to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and attend the SCTA Speed Week.
2: Fly on a private jet.

Recently we had the opportunity to do both.  Dave Storstad of Storstad Autosports invited us to Bonneville for the day.  Dave owns a 1933 Ford Coupe that a few years back held the speed record for a vintage coupe with a nitro burning flat head Ford.  Dave wants that record back so we were off to check out the competition.

We met at 8am at John Wayne airport in Orange County California and boarded Dave’s Learjet for a quick hour and a half flight into Utah.

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As we approached the famous salt flats, we were treated to a low fly over the speedway.

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We lopped around and then landed at Historic Wendover Airfield, a former US Air Force base where during WWII B-17s, B-24s and the 509th Composite Group of B-29s that included the Enola Gay trained in loading and dropping the first atomic bombs.

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From the airfield it was a quick 2 mile drive on to the salt flats.  It’s an entire culture on the salt and it’s not just the cars that are racing, but the cars cruising around.

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Just a Tucker.

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You see those all the time….

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And you know we cant go anywhere without finding at least one Jeep.

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Early Fords, plenty.

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And then there are the race cars.  1953 and 1954 Studebaker coupes are very popular for their way ahead of their time aerodynamic design.

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Muscle car.

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Oldsmobile.

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Mercedes Gull Wing on the salt!

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Home built.

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A streamliner with twin supercharged small block Chevy engines going through tech inspection.

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Belly Tankers.  Originally made from WWII aircraft belly mounted fuel takes.  Sure put a motor in it, mount some axles on it and drive it at 150mph across the salt.

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Early Ford race cars.

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Horsepower!

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Motorcycles.  Lowbrow Customs dual engine 1955 Triumph, “Double Vision”.

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And this, we really wanted to see this thing.  Called “Bombshell” a 1952 Buick Super Rivera built by metal artist Jeff Brock.  Running a straight 8 cylinder Buick engine, he holds at last count 5 Bonneville records.

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At the end of the day we headed back to the town of Wendover for an early dinner and afterwards our pilot Ken had the jet ready, a quick flight and we were back home in Orange County before 8pm.  What a day!

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Wheeling in Moab with Dan Mick

We were walking the floor at SEMA 2012 when we bumped into a gentleman from Moab, Utah, his name was Dan Mick. He saw the Axial on our shirts and immediately started discussing all the Axial Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicons he saw on the SEMA show floor. He introduced himself as the owner of Dan Mick’s Guided Jeep Tours, a company based in Moab that offers ride alongs and or trail guidance around the spectacular landscape of beautiful eastern Utah.

About two months ago we received a call from Dan expressing that he had purchased his very own Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler. We worked with Dan to develop a body wrap that made his Axial Wrangler Rubicon match his full size Jeep. He was like a kid on Christmas morning when he received his newly wrapped Jeep body in the mail.

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We were making our final preparations for our trip to Moab, Utah when we received another phone call from Dan, this time he invited us to come experience a guided trail tour, Dan Mick Style. So On March 26 at 8AM, Dan pulled up and we were off to see the back roads of Moab.

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Dan was slated to be the guide for a group of Jeepers headed out to see a new trail that was going to be added to the Easter Jeep Safari schedule in 2014. This trail, called “Mashed Potatoes,” would offer some incredible scenery as well as some challenging obstacles for those who would like to challenge themselves and their Jeeps.

Anatomy of a Jeep Run

A Jeep run is an event planned by friends who wish to get outdoors and explore together in their Jeeps. It generally gets started with a Jeep club or group of friends that decide they are going to meet at a certain place and time to go explore.

The day will start off with a meeting with all of the drivers to discuss the days’ activities.

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The group is all lined up and ready to go! The first stop is at or near the trail head where everyone will air down their tires and get ready

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The trail leader will usually set the pace for the group, and be the one who understands the most about the trail on which they intend to travel.

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Most of the communication is done via CB radio or FM radio. While transiting to the trail, Dan introduces himself, then asks everyone behind to introduce themselves as well.

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The group will follow each other, one by one through the trail. The tail gunner is the vehicle at the very back of the pack. This person’s job is to make sure everyone makes it through the trail successfully, and that no one gets left behind.

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The slickrock in Moab provides both amazing traction, and amazing views. Here we stop on a cliff’s edge for a photo op.

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While out on the trail, there are usually several options to choose from regarding the path. The hardest obstacles become the center point of attention. Those with extremely well prepared Jeeps will attempt to tackle these challenges as the rest of the Jeeps and occupants will spectate… or help… or heckle. One thing always rings true though, when someone makes the obstacle successfully, everyone gives them props. Here are a few photos and videos from the “Gravy Bowl.”

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Here are the Rebel Offroad guys, Jason and Bond in the Gravy Bowl.

Lunch time is always a favorite amongst the kids in the group, as it is their turn to get out their Axial rigs and do a little crawling of their own!

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Here is Dan doing a little Lunch time guided run as well!

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This guy painted his SCX10 Jeep the same color as his full size rig.

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It’s always fun to take the Axial rigs through the same stuff the full size rigs go through!

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Just like the big guys, sometimes a little on trail repair is necessary!

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After everyone has had a shot at the Gravy Bowl, and had some lunch, the run continues on through the Mashed Potatoes field.

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Here is some action with Dan Mick’s full size Jeep and scale Jeep running together on Mashed Potato.

The end of the trail, does not mean the end of the spectacular views, this part of the country is simply amazing. We are very jealous of Mr. Dan Mick. He isn’t kidding when he says he doesn’t work a day of his life, especially if this is the sort of thing he has to do and see every day!

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For more information about tours with Dan Mick, please check out his website here.

2013 Jeep® Wrangler Moab Named “4×4 of the Year” by Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine

2013 Jeep® Wrangler Moab Named “4×4 of the Year” by Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine.

Link to Moab Edition Wrangler on Chrysler’s website:
http://www.jeep.com/en/2013/moab/#model=wrangler_unlimited&color=bright_white

For 2013 Jeep has released a limited edition Jeep Wrangler Moab. The new Moab is based off the ever popular Sahara model, with a few extra options available. Official upgrades for the running gear in the Moab include 17-inch Rubicon alloy wheels painted gloss black running new 245/75R17 Goodyear Silent Armor off-road tires and standard Trak-Lok anti-spin rear differential with an available electronic rear locking differential. When equipped with a manual transmission and a 3.73 rear axle ratio, Wrangler Moab has a crawl ratio of 45:1.

The exterior of the Moab also received special treatment with a Mopar power dome hood, premium rock rails, black fuel filler door and tail lamp guards and matching premium black front and rear off-road bumpers. Other exterior touches include the new premium soft top, black wheel arches, a matte black Jeep grille badge and “Moab” decals on the hood. A body-color three-piece hard top is optional.

The interior is sporting either black or saddle premium leather seats with black stitching, “Moab” embossed instrument panel grab handle, Mopar slush mats and Iron Gray trim on the vent rings, grab handles and steering wheel spokes.

The Jeep Wrangler Moab is available as a two-door Wrangler or four-door Wrangler Unlimited model available in Crush, Dozer, Rock Lobster, Gecko, Black and Bright White.

Like all 2013 Jeep Wrangler models, the Moab edition features Chrysler Group’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, delivering benchmark capability, excellent every-day on-road driving dynamics, and fuel economy up to 21 miles per gallon.

Petersen’s 4-Wheel and Off-road Magazine
http://www.4wheeloffroad.com/

2010 Utah State Championships

I’m finally recovering from a fun-filled weekend in St. George Utah!

We arrived late Thursday night and couldn’t wait to get up the next morning to explore, drive SCX10′s, and ride our mountain bikes.

Waking up Friday morning at the campsite was quite a sight. The surrounding terrain was jaw dropping in every direction. We finished setting up camp and got right to work on getting the SCX10′s up and running.

With the SCX10′s up and running we got on the mountain bikes to do some exploring (SCX10′s came along of course!) Ran into this little guy on the trail, luckily I missed him and Scott spotted him as we passed by. I believe this is a male? I remember hearing you can tell them apart by their size. This guy was pretty small compared to others I have seen.

Break time!

Saturday morning we woke up, loaded up the crawlers and headed to the comp site about 10 minutes away from the camp ground. The terrain seemed to be endless, the 801RCC guys are really lucky to have this terrain to drive on.

Brian Parker “Doing Work”

801RCC’s own Mike Thompson… Umm, nice hat?

Scott Hughes at the start gate

Thanks Scott for taking these pics of my rig!

Nice XR10!

Squeezed in some SCX10 trail riding after the comp.

Don Hughes driving his amazingly scale SCX10 with the Pro-Line Jeep Cherokee body.

Thanks for stopping by! The terrain and scenery was just amazing, definitely cant wait to head back again. Thanks to everyone from 801RCC, you made us all feel right at home.

Also, a huge thanks goes out to the Hughes family for letting me tag along this weekend.

Axial West Coast Championship Qualifier, Round 3

Axial held the 3rd round of their West Coast Championship Qualifier’s this past weekend (March 13th) in St. George, Utah. St. George is located in the southwest corner of Utah. It’s well known for it’s golf courses, mountain biking, hiking, camping, off-road trails, etc. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, like myself, then St. George is tough to beat as far as activities and sight seeing goes. The location for this comp was incredible. There are massive red rock formations everywhere, with endless lines to be had for an R/C rock crawling comp. Plus, for this comp we worked alongside 801RC, the local Utah club of crawlers. 801RC has a hardcore group of crawler fanatics that love everything about this sport, just like we do. So it was a no brainer for Axial to team up with them to put on another great comp in this series. Anyone up for another road trip?

Thursday morning started with the task of loading the RV up with everything we’ll need for this event. Let’s go over the checklist……..gates check, banners check, stickers check, AWCCQ flyers check, cameras check, comp rigs check, batteries check, demo rigs check, Axial flags check, flag pole check, clipboards check, timers check, Parker’s choke chain and leash check.

Loading the RV
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The new mascot for the RV ensures we don’t stray off course.
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We pulled into Vegas about 7:30 in the evening to pick up Parker and Stuart. Once we spotted them we stopped the RV, waited for them to get close, then punched it just to see how fast they could run. Needless to say it wasn’t very fast.
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After we made them chase us for a few blocks we decided to stop and let them load up.
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Before we left the airport Brian had to go to the bathroom, so we made a quick stop so he could relieve himself.
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A quick drive down the strip before heading to Mesquite.
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Next day we were on the road early in the morning so we had time to test and tune at the comp site. The drive from Mesquite to St. George is relatively short but very picturesque.
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This was my first trip to St George and when we pulled into the comp site you couldn’t help but smile if you are into rock crawling. I think Brian shed a few more tears too.
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After the test and tune session it was time to find our campsite. We stayed at Snow Canyon State Park just up the road from the comp site. This spot was awesome. They have a bunch of hiking trails that wind around some petrified sand dunes. There are huge red rock formations throughout the park, and there are even a few lava chutes you can hike/climb down into.

Pulling into the RV park
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Myself, Brian and Stuart taking in the scenery.
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I hope this guy ate some spinach before starting that ascent.
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Notice the black lava rock spread throughout the field.
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Parked…………time to wrench and charge batteries.
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6am on game day
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Stuart preps the tech table
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Sunrise
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Parker and Stuart scope out potential courses, and possible napping spots.
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Got gates?
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Mike “Naz-T” Thompson sets a couple courses first thing in the morning. Someone get this guy a coffee.
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Rig tech
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Let’s get a closer look at Stuart’s mouse pad………………….oh my!!
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Group shot of the comp rigs
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Driver’s meeting
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Brain Parker holding court
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Go time!! Scott Hughes on course 5. Not sure that is the best line through there…………………..just kidding Scott.
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Scott dropping into the alternate line looking for an extra -10 points
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Random shots from the comp
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Me getting ready to run course 4
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Scott H. on course 4
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Naz-T…………………….America’s next top model?
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More random shots
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Jess Downing wrenches between courses
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It’s just like a car accident……………..you want to look away………………….but you can’t.
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More shots
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Scott Hughes and Brian Parker……………….nuff said
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A freak storm blew in throwing 50mph winds and hail at anyone still on the hill. For the safety of everyone involved we decided to call the comp for the day and finish Sunday morning. After we picked everything up and headed back to our campsite the sun started shining again. So, we decided to check out the petrified sand dunes and lava tubes.
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Parker and I decided to take the Honchos with us and get a scale run in while it was still nice
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The lava tubes
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Armed with a cell phone light and a mini mag light between the 4 of us, we descended into the darkness. Brian, no matter how many times you ask……………I’m not holding your hand.
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Next morning while the last few guys finished running comp courses we set out to run the scalers on the trail run I set-up Saturday morning.
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And the winners are………

Pro Overall:
1st place Jake Wright
2nd place Marty Mann
3rd place Tom Barger
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Pro Shafty:
1st place Jake Wright
2nd place Marty Mann
3rd place Don Hughes
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Rock Candy Sportsman:
Natalia Morales
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Rock Candy Pro:
Becky Barger
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Well that brings us to the end of yet another AWCC Qualifier. Next stop is Long Beach, Washington in 2 weeks (March 27th). It’ll be nice to get back up to the great northwest and compete with the guys from ORCRC, who will be hosting this next event. These last two qualifiers will be must attend events if you are relatively close to these locations. See you there!!