The last few
years have been growing by leaps and bounds when it comes to competitive
rockcrawling. What used to be a handful of events has lead to
an entire series of competitions for rock-ready competitors to
tackle. The eastern half of the U.S., however, has been lacking
events for these weekend warriors to come out and test their skills
in traversing the tough terrain of Mother Nature
2002 marked the inaugural run of the Eastern Rock Crawling Competition,
also known as ERoCC. ERoCC is a series of four rockcrawling events
that is tough enough to test the fiercest competitors with the
added benefit of not having to drive all the way to the western
half of the U.S. to enjoy it.
located in Jellico, Tennessee, proved to live up to the challenge
that today's best competition could throw at it, while providing
a fun-filled atmosphere for spectators to come out and enjoy it.
event drew 21 competitors from all over the eastern United States.
All of these competitors converged on JROCC, the facility where
the rockcrawling events are held, attempting to get a piece of
the action while honing their skills for later events in the season,
particularly the UROC World SuperCrawl. ERoCC is a UROC (United
Rockcrawling & Off-Road Challenge Series) sanctioned event,
with the top 10 drivers of each competition eligible to proceed
to the World SuperCrawl, the Super Bowl of Rockcrawling competitions.
of competitors was filled with all kinds of four-wheelers, from
veteran's of the rockcrawling community, to new-comers looking
to break into and leave their mark on this new-found sport. Fans
from all over came to watch the competitors maneuver their machines
across some of the roughest terrain offered. The fans were not
at all disappointed with the spectacle these 'crawlers put on.
A few rollovers for the weekend kept event goers entertained and
drivers on their toes. Fortunately, the competitors involved were
all o.k. from their upside-down acrobatics.
aka Full Throttle, put on an aerial expedition for the crowd of
roughly 600, living up to his nickname, and frequently "gettin'
in it" when he needed to get out of a jam. He definitely
became a crowd favorite when he pointed his rig at Table Top and
attempted to put his 454 cubic inch-powered Jeep CJ-7 into orbit.
Tom had plenty of ponies under the hood and was definitely not
afraid to let them run.
dust settled from the first day of competition, a 4.3L Vortec-powered
Jeep emerged, carrying driver Ken Shupe and spotter Shannon Shirk.
The pair had jumped out to an early lead after completing the
first 7 obstacles of a 12 obstacle course, leading all other scorers
with the low of the day of 23 points.