2002 - Event #1

By Chad Adams

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Chris Durham, 2nd place finisher in the UROC-St. George event earlier this year, and spotter Ron Barton were hot on the trail of Shupe. Durham operated his '85 Jeep CJ-10 with 401 engine, which proved to be plenty tough to tackle the Tennessee boulders.

Rounding out the top three places after day one was Rusty Bray, a new-comer to the sport, navigating his powerful LT1 Jeep Wrangler, with the assistance of spotter Justin Lamb, within just a few points of the second place finisher.

Day Two began with the threat of rain. All parties involved knew that if the skies were to open, traction would be minimal at best on the solid stone of JROCC. Competitors were chomping at the bit to get the event started, and began firing up awesome scores right out of the gate.

Rusty Bray, Chris Durham, and Ken Shupe, third, second, and first respectively after Day One, were all in the same group, so the "Rock Fleas" (nickname given to the spectators) were bound to see some excellent driving from the group. However, the team of Bryan Hamilton and Chad Taylor of Brevard, NC was determined not to let Jeep's finish 1-2-3 at the event.

Ken Shupe tackled Table Top, andobstacle with a cone strategically placed on top of it that had been impossible for every competitor before him to avoid. Shupe and Shirk showed why they had earned their first place spot on Day One after the duo successfully "zero'd" the obstacle, avoiding all cones and backup points. Shupe stated, "I heard a few of the spectators saying it couldn't be done without hitting the cone… that just gives me the incentive to go up there and give it all I got".

Photos by Greg Hiens


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