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W.E. Rock World Finals 2006


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#1
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well I had this on here before. I think it was one of my first posts on this site. However we lost all content a few years back. So since I found the pictures I'm going to re write it as best I can.

 

 

 

   For the new people to the industry (last 6-7 years) this event happened when no Canadians were really involved in anything south of the boarder. Times weren't great like they are now. Our dollar sucked so travel and it was expensive as were parts and building  rigs. Spending money on high end parts was rare. Most of us used junk yard treasures to piece our rigs together and the industry hadn't exploded  yet. Most advancement came from military advancements or heavy industry. The small shop hadn't taken over and the rage of individual ingenuity was just about to explode. For some of you this might be hard to imagine that the off road world was this backwards such a short time ago. A time when the biggest tire was a 44bogger. Brand new to the market was the massive 46 claw and then the 49 iroc. Both were crazy game changers as tread patterns hadn't changed in over a decade. There were no stickies, no Ouverson axles, no LS engines they were to advanced.  Atlas was about the only t-case option, Lovell was new. Better yet the first rebuild-able rod end had just been made. Well it was about two years old but it was Canadian so no one really cared or paid attention. Soon many other would be made but all would suck because they would succumb to the evil china manufacturing promises of the mighty dollar. All but one but that's another story.

 

Anyway now that the mood is set W.E. rock came to Red Deer, Alberta, Canada and the small group of us with over average rigs went and competed. It was awesome. We met little and big Rich. Everyone drove over rock courses and we learned about cones. The scoring, completing gates etc.... I didn't do that well but my understanding of gaining points and thinking outside the box raised interest in the Riches. Later that year they were holding a world finals in Vegas and the top finishers of our event were to go compete there. Jamie Colbert was one competitor and Cory Hansen was another. I can't remember who else but they opted out. Big and Little talked to Jamie and told them to bring me. Not sure why still. But at 4 in the morning Jamie showed up at my house with a rented car and Marty Warnke and told me I was going.  I'd never driven father than white fish to go skiing. Now we were on a road trip to Vegas. Woo Hoo. Honestly I had work to do and didn't want to go Jamie was super persistant.

 

  I grabbed Super Pickle (Our travel companion and good luck charm) and the adventure began. We drove to the boarder and waited. Jamie travels over seas lots and they didn't like his passport. Over the years I got used to this as he was with me a lot. We drove and drove until the sun came up and went down and came up again. Then a little more. We passed the craziest terrain and all I could think of was driving my rig over it. So beautiful and awesome. Finally we arrived in Vegas. We were lost and probably drove or another day looking for the event site. We saw parts of Vegas and Henderson I wish I never had. We drove through areas thinking we were probably all going to go missing and then into an area armed guards escorted us out of.  It was great. Finally after reading the map wrong over and over (remember no I-phones or gps) and seeing the entire area of Las Vegas (which is massive) I had a feeling the site was across the highway yelled at Jamie and forced him to go that direction just because. I think it was because it was the only area we hadn't been yet. As we crossed the over pass we saw it. A giant skate park of spray-crete it was f#cking crazy ! Night was coming again and there was no room in the casino at the track so we had to find someplace and settle in.

 

 

 

Beat from our adventure we had a few beers and passed out excited for the next day.

 

 

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#2
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After a good nights rest (an hour or two) we woke up to the beautiful heat of Henderson. Excited but hungry we hit and IHOP

 

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Not sure what it was but by far the best omelet I've ever  had

 

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after breakfast we went to the casino where the world finals was being held. As it was Jamie Marty and pickles first time the had to hit the slots on the way in.

 

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We kinda got lost but ran into this huge guy in a team shirt pushing a baby in a baby stroller. We ran up and asked if he was competing too. He laughed and said "Ya" Introduced himself as Dave. We explained we ha no idea what we were doing that we were being given buggies to compete, were super excited and were lost.  He said his name was Dave and told us where registration was. Then said he had to  go to his room but to come meet him later at the track. Said he had a Blue buggy with trailgear on the side.

 

 Sweet already making friends!

 

 



#3
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Excitedly like little kids going to a toy store we ran through the casino to the registration booth and were greeted by Big and Little Rich. With big smiles they signed us in and explained what was going on. There were 3 Canadians Jamie, Cory Hanson and I. Each of us were being loaned buggies and the owners would be the spotters. Cory had signed up the day before and he was partnered up with an amazing moon buggy and I can't remember if the guy was Toys for Troy or Trent Fab. But the buggy was amazing. Jamie's ride was on its way from Arizona and mine was at Sema on display.  Then they told us to go out and check the track out and get familiar with it. Our rides wouldn't be there till later that night so unfortunately we wouldn't be getting any seat time. Cory was out helping unload his ride and was going to get the entire day to practice.  The Riches apologized and Jamie and I shrugged it off. We were just happy to be there. I laughingly said "I'm pretty awesome, Cory needs all the help he can get" they laughed and as we walked away I remember thinking "F#ck I'm going to get killed"

 

 Outside we went and as we passed through the doors of the dark smokey Casino the bright sun burned our eyes and made everything look white.  We stumbled across the parking lot with the smell of baking asphalt filling our nostrils and the sound of engines bouncing off the rev limiters. Again go back to 2006.  Everything we new was small block and old school. All this computerized stuff with rev limiters etc was new. Hearing a buggy stuck on a wall going Baaabababababababaaaaaabababa was totally new for us. And this giant spray crete skate park for buggies was right out of Pedersons 4WD. It was nuts. Everyone we read about was there. Keep in mind again Facebook didn't exist. You may have seen these guys on Pirate 4x4 or pictures. Prate at the time was around 100000 members. So these people were actually gods to us. The best in the world. It was craaazzzzyyy.  We quickly introduced our selves to everyone we met and became known as the Token Canadians.

 

 

This jeep was a stock class rig from Mexico

 

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Super pickle just had to climb into someones rig and get a picture. We did it fast so no one saw

 

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Then we ran across the big Dave guys Blue toyota based buggy. It was pretty cool. We asked if he was around an got told he was up stairs baby sitting he'd be down in a bit.

 

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As nothing all of a sudden was going on and we were excited as a dog watching you walk up the driveway we figured we're in Henderson so we decided to go on a short road trip to the Hoover Dam and burn off some energy. We heard it was a Dam big Dam and didn't want to miss it. So back in the rental.

 

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Theres something about the desert. Not sure but I just can't get enough of it. Maybe it reminds me of my sandbox as a kid or the Will E Coyote? Not sure but I just feel at home.

 

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#4
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Anyway it seemed fitting to visit the hoover dam. We were told we had a few hours before the drivers meeting and the dam wasn't far. We wouldn't we go on another short road trip? I can't remember what had gone on in the world then but when we got to the dam there was a security check searching cars for explosives. Our car  being  a rental went into the search line. We were there for almost an hour. This was going to make our short journey tight. It was at this point I realized that for the first time in my life I was on an actual road trip. Like in the comedies on TV . I'd gone on "road trips" before with friends but they were short 10 hour trips. At 33 this was my first real adventure. Two real buddies, one really argumentative one an angry little elf the other a giant teddy bear and me with the personality of animal from the muppets that hates being confined. Our adventure was real we were there to win the world finals of rock crawling (not a hope in hell but we didn't know any better) .

 

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Once we got through and started down toward the dam it was amazing. It felt like we were in the movie family vacation or universal soldier and the film was coming to life. The size of it was incredible

 

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I totally forgot that we'd hooked up with Medic Mike. until this picture. It turned out he was one of the medics for the event  and was a volunteer for TTC. He told us about all the stories and people he'd met. I told him I was going to go and win it. He laughed, I laughed. But I was serious. Awesome guy. I'd run into him at several events over the next few years.

 

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This was the biggest hole pickle had ever seen. It was a giant drain. Unbelievable

 

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Pretty sure these where the towers Chevy Chase swung from in vacation

 

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#5
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Then after goofing off for far too long

 

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Medic Mike looked at his watch and said "Holy crap the meeting is in half an hour"

 

 

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so we hauled ass back the car

 

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so awesome

 

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Then we saw this guy and figured he was late too. It was neat seeing the competitors arriving across the dam to the event.

 

 

 

Pickle always screwing around

 

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#6
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As we raced back I got a phone call from Erin saying that I was in the new Pedersons 4WD mag. Magazines were still huge back then and hadn't died out. This was a big deal! Especially for a Canadian at the time. It didn't happen a lot. I waited my whole life to get in a magazine!!!! So we took a detour to the local walmart ran in and found it. I opened it up and WOW!!!! I was Famous!!! (in my own mind)

 

 

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But what the hell is a Warthog? My buggy was Twister II? Why would they call it the warthog?  Well like everything in my life I get what I work for almost. Ah what ever it's still cool!!!! How frickin awesome was it to be on my first big adventure to my first rock event and it was the world finals representing Canada, meeting the industries greats hanging with two awesome friends and my first magazine center feature.



#7
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We arrived back at the Casino just in the nic of time. When we showed up we were walked through the different courses and given the 411 on what was going to happen the following day. The Riches talked with Jamie and I and apologized that our rental rigs hadn't shown up yet. They weren't sure where the one was and the other was still stuck at Sema. It wasn't allowed to leave. As everyone geared up to go practice and try lines we felt pretty disappointed.  I mean I could lie and say we didn't care ( which we told everyone)  but deep down the whole trip had been so exciting and the anticipation of driving on this amazing course was too much. A well. We walked over to the course where Cry Hanson was strapping into his shiny red rear engine single seater rental and listened as he rev'd it. Hitting those high pitch WAAAAAP WAAAAPS. Then proceeding into the course with the owner/spotter of the buggy to immediately get hung up on an obstacle.  As I watched a friendly voice came from behind. " Hey why don't you grab your gear and you can practice in my rig" I turned around and it was Big Dave the guy with the baby.  He explained he wasn't doing anything because his driver Brian Ellinger (owner of diamond axle as we later found out) wasn't there yet and he was bored. I looked at him and honestly couldn't say yes. I didn't want to hurt his rig before the event. He just laugh and said "you're not gonna hurt my rig"  a pause then " if you listen to me. You're going to listen to me right?"  Yup hell ya. I asked Jamie if he wanted to go instead and he said no he asked you. It didn't feel right because it was Jamie who had dragged my ass down there. But he insisted I practice since it was offered to me.

 

  I grabbed my helmet and Hans restraint and jumped in his rig. Everyone laughed at me and asked what my neck brace was and how I was going to see anything with it.  Same bullshit I used to go through at monster truck events. (remember this is 2006 things were different) I explained, they laughed, I still wore it. 

 

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I didn't realize that my life was about to change. There are moments in every ones life that there's a path. You make one decision and your life and you become something or something else. This was one of those times and I had no idea. What was happening right now would change my life and trickle down to many other Canadians over the next few years. Dave went over the cutting brake levers in his rig. Showed the switch to engage/disengage front and rear lockers and the disconnect for his rear drive shaft. These are all things we'd seen and some of us had but he was about to school me on what they were good for.

 

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First thing he pulled me between two mounds, had me unlock the rear pull the one cutting brake and power around with three tires. Pivoting in one spot with the rear tire hooked not moving on the one mound. Then re engage  but disengage the front and power around the next point with the other three tires and one dead one in the front.  Then in a low steady voice said "good" He brought me further into the course right into a bonus line. We tried out the rear disconnect and used the front drive with cutting brakes to enter. (I was already good at it but he made me do it without stopping) again "good"

 

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we were driving one of the hardest courses (one Cory could barely get into) with out tagging a single cone. We cruised through. This Dave guy was frickin amazing. I learned what a good spotter could do. As well that in order to be a good spotter that person had to intimately know the rig and it's full limitations. As well as know the ground and traction. I could not believe what we were going through and over. Unreal !!!

 

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He had me try some things very slow and controlled that had the entire area run over and watch. A few I failed at but got the buggy up and over and to hold right on a couple ledges. After I apologized for not being able to make the buggy do what he wanted. Laughing he said " don't worry I didn't think the buggy could do it, I was curious, I just wanted to see if it was possible for tomorrow and to see how well you listen."  I remember everyone coming up and saying "Wow you can drive!" What I hadn't realized was that I was brought there with the reputation as a throttle jock Canadian. Dave had taken me through the course to see how I drove because I think  his drivers brother was nervous about lending me his rig.

 

 

 

 

 

As I walked away my head was spinning with what I had just learned and the f#cking awesome course I had just driven. I was so impressed by the spotting. Now I felt fear. What if my spotter isn't good? What if I'm not good. What if we don't work? I need Dave!!!

 

 

As I was flipping out in my head I ran into pickle goofing around. It was a good distraction. I don't understand how that guy gets so many women?

 

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#8
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As I was walking around I got really thirsty and dehydrated. Mostly from a hang over. Marty and Jamie went to score some water and told me to wait for our buggy to show up. So I stood there and must have looked pretty Pathetic because this older guy came over and invited me into his super sweet toter home.He said "hello mister my name is Bobby you look like you need some water and air conditioning"  Looking back it could have gone down like a guy in a van offering me candy but this guy was so nice I didn't even think about it. I went inside and visited with his buddy Odie and his wife, we chatted for a bit and hit it off very well. After the visit, re hydration and core cooling (from the amazing air conditioner) I figured I should probably go looking for Marty and Jamie. So I said goodbye and went looking. I heard Jamie's angry voice though the crowd yell "where the hell have you been?"  I shrugged pointed to the toter and said "in their they gave me water" Jamie's jaw dropped and he went almost hysterical. He asked me over and over "do you even know who's trailer that is?"  "Do you?"  I replied "ya Bobbys why?" Then Bobby stood out his door and said " Good luck Mister!"  Jamie shook his head in disgust with me. Mumbling "I can't believe you were in there visiting with him and we were were looking for water come on your buggy showed up lets go check it out. GOD I can't beilieve you!" Marty and I didn't understand at the time what he was so excited over. Later we found out who Bobby was and I introduced Jamie who was a HUGE fan.

 

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Again I felt like an idiot for not recognizing Bobby Long



#9
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Night fell

 

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 The lights came on. The smell of the hot asphalt baked in the heat of the days sun, mixing in with the night air, the dust from the spray crete and the lingering rubber from drivers doing burns to heat their tires.

 

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It was a surreal moment.

 

 

We went over and looked at Daves buggy. It was simple but I was completely in love with it.

 

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Being naive Jamie Marty and I figured we should ask Dave if he could spot for me between courses. What we were used to was slow small courses and spotters often spotted for other drivers so it never hit us that it would be impossible. I asked him and he apologetically said "no I can't but don't worry Scott knows his buggy and knows his stuff"

 

 

  Being a simple northerner I still had no idea what we were about to face and I was a little disappointment.  However things were about to change and my eyes were about to be opened to a completely different world. 10 or so courses (can't remember) and about 50 teams. This was a fast pace no screwing around deal. You had to be on, moving from course to course and your spotter had to be watching how the courses were denying drivers rigs and tires.  As well fixing the rig as it fell apart from abuse.

 

 

My rig still hadn't showed up. It was stuck at Sema. Nerves were getting bad. Anticipation was growing but Marty and Pickle new what to do!

 

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We had a few. It's a well known fact I drive better hung over. It prevents me from thinking and just allows me to react. I guess like Ritalin?

 

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 The nights activities included a celebrity crawl in the rhinos. Dave had to spot for Jesse Combs. She was on a new show called Extreme 4x4. The first season was just airing and they were there covering the event for one of the shows. 

 

 

 

 






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