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RCAA - SUMMER ROCK CHALLENGE

By Mike "TXJEEPER" Cohn

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On August 3rd, 2002, the Rocket City Rock Crawlers put on their first RCAA-sanctioned event near Huntsville, AL. RCAA came onboard pretty much at the last minute, after signing on the Rocket City club as the Southeast regional division hosting club. The club is now the official host for all RCAA events to be held in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

Long before RCAA came around, though, the club members had been hard at work grooming one of the toughest several hundred feet of trail in Alabama. Held on one of the club member's private land, the course was basically one long hill. Sounds simple, right? Wrong!

That steep, wooded hill, was tight, twisty, and full of gigantic rocks and boulders. To make even more difficult, the organizers placed markers in such a way that forced the competitors to take the most difficult lines possible. Some were so tight, in fact, the folks running full-width axles could barely fit through at all.

15 competitors took to the trail during the day and at least a third of them failed to finish due to breakage. Most of the rigs sported serious modifications, including 1-ton running gear, but they were no match for these rocks. The trail claimed axles, joints, coil-over shocks, and even busted a transfer case in two.

The real surprise of the day was 16-year old Ory Stephens, who made easy work of the trail in his custom-built buggy. The rig sported mostly Toyota parts and climbed the entire hill with barely a bark of the tires. Ory's 72 point score just barely edged out Ken Blume's 79, but the rest of the pack fell much further behind, with the nearest score of 129 bringing Travis Smith into third place.

Place Name Rig Home Town Score
1 Ory Stephens Toyota Rail Chattanooga, TN 72
2 Ken Blume Jeep CJ-7 Lowell, AR 79
3 Travis Smith Bronco Tube Hartselle, AL 129
4 Joey Richardson Jeep TJ Memphis, TN 141
5 Joe Duvall Toyota Rail Rossville, GA 150
6 Lee Buffington Jeep CJ-5 Fort Payne, AL 157
7 Sam Gillis Jeep CJ-8 Fultondale, AL 162
8 Ricky Bozarth Toyota Truck Woodville, AL 166
9 Keith Bailey Jeep CJ-7 Fultondale, AL 172
10 Ricky Garrett Ford Bronco Chickamauga, GA 173
11 Clay Herron Jeep CJ-7 Madison, AL 224
12 Scott Lang Jeep YJ Secton, AL 252
13 Gary Brooks Toyota Truck Rainsville, AL 280
14 Brent Mann Toyota FJ-40 Nashville, TN 280
15 Allen Jones Jeep YJ Secton, AL 280

 

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