Farmington, NM - September 23-26, 1999
The American Rock Crawlers Association (ARCA) sanctioned its second event in Farmington New Mexico, amid the resounding cheers of huge crowds of spectators. All the big dogs were there, ready to drive. The gnarly obstacles that lay ahead promised to beat, break, and sate even the most hard core rockcrawling veteran.
|Soni Honegger twists.
In last year's Las Cruces event, the penalty for winching was small enough to make winching a better strategy than driving some of the obstacles. In this event, the rules demanded more driving by applying a heavier penalty to winching.
Aside from adding weight to the penalty for winching, the basic format and rules remained the same. Contestants started with zero points, and ran seven stages per trail. These seven stages contained both vertical and technical obstacles, and were selected to guarantee significant challenges for long and short wheel base rigs alike. Red-shirted trail officials tallied points, adding points every time a contestant stopped (1), reversed (2), knocked down a gate (10), or winched (20).
|Chris Durham's CJ10.
Strategy was still important, though. Contestants had to choose between winching and timing out. If they ran out of time on a stage, the 40-point penalty made winching seem cheap in comparison. Chris Durham, who brought his CJ10 all the way from South Carolina, had a good strategy. He drove each stage until he succeeded or only a minute and a half remained, then winched. More times than not, he did not need the winch, but when he did, he still had enough time to complete the stage.
|Ned Bacon's spotter really goes all out!
Big Rock Film & Video
This ARCA-sanctioned event required thoughtful strategy, a well-built rig, gutsy driving, insightful spotting, and a good bit of luck. This competition could not be won on the end of a winch line; the rules were set up to challenge drivers and spotters, and also guarantee killer action for the spectators.Special Thanks
This event succeeds as a result of the hard work of many individuals. Special thanks go out to:
Best Wishes and Sympathy...
Mike Palmer of Denver, Colorado was registered to compete, but he did not make it to the event. While in route, Mike's truck and trailer skidded off Cumbres pass and rolled several times, resulting in the death of passenger Neil Dudley and major injuries to Mike himself. Mike was Life-Flighted to a hospital in Albequereque with broken ribs, collapsed lungs, and facial injuries, then later transported back to Denver for several subsequent surgeries. The doctors report that he will recover.
Our thoughts are with you, Mike, take care and get well soon. Neil, rest in peace. Donations to the Neil Dudley Fund can be made at any US Bank location. Neil's widow Nicole thanks you.