2002 - Event #1

By Chad Adams

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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… that is, until 2002.

April of 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.

The event, 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.

Photos by Greg Hiens

ERoCC's first 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.

The field 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.

Tom Diviak, 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.

After the 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.

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