Being chosen to compete in Top Truck Challenge is like winning the lottery. First, one experiences profound shock. This is followed by unrestrained elation. Shortly thereafter, the realization that nothing will ever be the same settles in. Eventually, though, you have to keep reminding yourself that you did in fact want this.
If Top Truck had a mission statement, it would include the words ultimate, diverse, and unforgiving (also soggy and itchy). In some ways, nothing has changed since Top Truck's inception 15 years ago. It's still a weeklong event held at the Hollister Hills SVRA in Hollister, California, and it's still hands-down one of the most brutal off-highway competitions in the world. But alas, over the years there have been some major changes. The most obvious are in the form of the competing rigs. Each year there are rigs that feature the latest and greatest in the ever-evolving world of dirt technology. However, techno-goodies don't always guarantee success, and over the years some mighty warriors have fallen. Shocker: Sometimes rigs sporting the simplest setups end up on top. Other times it's because of an often overlooked but critically important element called team strategy.
This year you voted in 10 radically different rigs from nine states and then many of you spent the next few weeks debating the outcome around the shop and around the keyboard. When the dust settled this year, there were big surprises, a fair amount of drama, inspiring teamwork, and of course, one Grand Champion. We've documented it all for you, and the action begins on the next page.