- How about hosting an extreme rock crawling event in your own
backyard? Rocks are a must, and the backyard must handle large
crowds of rock- crawling fans. Sort of a Woodstock with boulders
and heavily modified four-wheel-drive vehicles.
already have turned away some towns hoping to host the Goodyear/Skyjacker
Extreme Rock Crawling Nationals. Ranch Pratt, president of the
American Rock Crawlers Association sanctioning body, now is visiting
several rock-crawling wannabes.
are obvious. Two years ago, the Vernal, Utah, Chamber of Commerce
said the national event generated about $1 million for the community.
Vernal has continued to lobby for rock crawling's return.
the series intentionally left May 17 and 18 open for a second
event. He enjoys hearing about new rock crawling venues that he
the sport fresh, and it tests the competitors' talent on new rock,"
series begins in Farmington, N.M., on March 15 and 16, where nearly
20,000 fans showed up to watch the action this year.
marketing manager for Goodyear light-truck tires, said he looks
forward to finding new backyards" for rock crawling. "We
want to spread the word about this exciting new extreme sport.
rock crawling to new locations increases exposure. The events
also allow us to tell off-road enthusiasts in those communities
about our award-winning Wrangler MT/R off-road tire," Myers
the rock crawling series returns to Cedar City, Utah, on July
12 and 13, and Johnson Valley, Calif., on Sept. 20 and 21.
a two-year commitment between Goodyear and the sanctioning body
ensures continuity and larger prize purses, including contingency
money from several sponsors. "We've built a good base of
competitors, but we want to move to the next level."
he "wants to pour on the coal. We have two years of momentum,
and we see 2002 as an important opportunity to offer more money
and move the sport up a few notches."
picking a fourth rock-crawling venue. And rules have been "tweaked"
to reward driving skills, Pratt said, calling the changes "minor."
body said it will make rock-crawling even more fan- friendly.
"The most dramatic changes in our approach will be tailored
towards the fans -- for their entertainment and safety,"
rock crawling sponsorship, Myers said, focuses on off-road enthusiasts
who are concerned about the durability and quality of the products
to Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) research, three
of the top factors that determine the brand they buy involve reputation,
previous use and guarantee.
To the uninitiated,
rock crawling is an unusual sport. To Jeep Jamboree founder Mark
Smith, the father of modern four-wheeling, rock crawling is the
art of negotiating extremely rugged terrain.
Smith, a member
of the Off-Road Hall of Fame and the Explorers Club of New York,
recommends the Wrangler MT/R highly in the rock-crawling pursuit.
a great multipurpose tire with three-ply sidewalls and a tread
to conquer any terrain. It was tested and proven on the world-famous
its extreme tire to North American media in 1999 on California's
legendary Rubicon Trail.