Thank you to our Local Presenting Sponsors for this years Congress, AZ event:
We paid out over $4400 in winning!
2014 Kickoff to W.E. Rock Rock Crawling and Dirt Riot Endurance Racing in Congress, Arizona a Grand Success
Rock Crawling Winners: Unlimited: Justin Hall ; Pro Mod: Jared Neff
Sportsman A: Uriel Varela ; Sportsman C: Charlie Vacha
An Arizona a double header this time of year normally means you are going to a baseball game, but on this particular weekend it meant there were two days of professional off-road events in town: Trail-Gear Western W.E. Rock Championship Rock Crawling on Saturday and Dirt Riot Endurance Series on Sunday brought to you by Fly-N-Hi Total Offroad Performance Center and LetzRoll Offroad. The action packed weekend gave all the spectators a lot to watch on the rocks and through the fast sections of dirt on the Thompson’s Ranch in Congress, AZ, a short hour from Phoenix.
“We can’t thank the crowd enough for coming out and letting the drivers put on a spectacular show for you all,” said Rich Klein, President and founder of W.E. Rock Events. “As the awe struck spectators watched the events unfold during both days events, we can certainly say that the drivers literally drove the wheels off their cars! We love being able to bring this type of racing to venues across the country.”
The Trail Gear Western National Pro Series Rock Crawling event kicked off with great showing of drivers, setting up the field for the next event in Rangely, Colorado, the second of three event series. Professional Rock Crawling is one of the most intricate sports in the motorsports arena. It is technical, mechanical and filled with the one day event consisting of six courses of difficult obstacles that the drivers had to complete, followed by a final shoot-out obstacle.
The Dirt Riot Endurance Racing Southwest series puts race buggies, 4×4 trail jeeps, and UTVs on a track to complete as many laps as they can within their group’s set amount of time. Polar opposite to rock crawling, rock racing is a race of speed and endurance to complete as many laps of the rocky terrain as possible. The Arizona race challenged the drivers to complete 3 hours of the 4.5 mile course of challenging rock obstacles, technical and fast sections.
Team Rock Hard Justin Hall would take the win in the Unlimited Class, proving that last year’s championship rookie year in W.E. Rock wasn’t just a one-time event. Second place Dion Wakefield from Canada was the crowd pleaser when his tire and wheel broke loose from his car bouncing down the hill into the crowd. But that didn’t stop him, he continued on the course with three tires on the ground and a brake rotor. Pulling out of the gates with only seconds to go, he completed the shootout taking over second place. Trail-Gears Matt Messer, who went into the shootout tied for second, finished in third place after trying to complete the final bonus in the shoot-out round. Team Moab Steve Nantz, making a re-entry into rock crawling after focusing on his Moab 4×4 offroad based business for the last few years, proved with a fourth place finish that he is ready to again. Matt Heimsoth, also coming out of retirement, would have been the winner based on competitive points, but due to a firesuit penalty, he fell down to fifth place. Trail-Gear Olivia Messer, age 14, made her debut in rock crawling with her dad Matt Messer spotting for her, finished sixth. Fly-N-Hi Justin Keilman and Jason Jordan, Arizona locals, did well throughout the day until a broken knuckle kept left them finishing in seventh. Following up on her initial appearance in 2013, Campbell Racing Bailey Campbell, spotted by dad Shannon Campbell, followed her Dad’s lead up some of the hardest obstacles for an 8th place finish.
The Pro Modified Class was a close battle all day and finished with only 4 points separating each of the competitors. The class featured familiar names to all, Aaron Sykes, Jesse Haines, Jason Feuilly, Jared Neff and Buzz Bronsema challenged each other, all champions from previous years. Course A4 proved challenging to three of the teams with A6 taking out the other two. No one ran a perfect day. At the end of the day; Jared Neff with spotter Bernie Martin took home the win.
The Sportsman classes are designed for teams to try their hand at competitive rock crawling and see how they fare; in this case, Charlie Vacha with spotter Airen Patrick took honors in the Sportsman C class and Uriel Varela with spotter Ryan Miller took the win in the Sportsman A Class. They were competing against Paul Tyler, Michael Krupp, Troy Dagen, Rob Flandro and Virginia Foster.
The day ended with the awards ceremony where hundreds of dollars were distributed to winners along with classy trophies made by Artec Industries.