On paper, Matt Thorson's big-block-equipped, Rockwell'd, four-link'd, coilover'd TJ rolling on 54s looks like a serious contender. On the trail, it proved that it is. Team Thorson won the Frame Twister, Obstacle Course, and Mini Rubicon, took Second Place in the Mud Pit and Third place in the Hillclimb. A strong finish in the Tank Trap sealed the deal. "It was great, had a great time," says Team Thorson codriver Steve Bray. "It was tough. Waterproofing is a killer, man. Ate us up. Luckily, we did good enough." Thorson echoed his remarks. "The biggest surprise was that stuff broke," he noted.
Team Thorson said that their plan was to stay consistent throughout the competition and for the most part they did just that. Their beating came in the Tank Trap when they suffered a litany of failures. Even so, their rig held together long enough to carry them to within sight of the finish line.
In addition to joining an elite club of Top Truck Challenge winners, Thorson says the team left with something very cool; "We got a lot of new friends."
|FINAL RESULTS (points)|
|1 Thorson's TJ ||68|
|2 Hadden's S-10||66|
|3 George's Bronco||60|
|4 McGilton's K1500||59|
|5 Wells' M135A (tie)||38|
|7 Fink's TJ||36|
|8 Miller's Sonoma||28|
|9 Langford's Bronco||23|
|J Johnson's K3500||22|
The following people were integral to the success of Top Truck '07. Many of them walked away from family and real jobs to spend a week eating, sleeping, and drinking Top Truck. Most of them left with only memories and an annoying case of poison oak. Others brought critical products or support items to the table. One thing they all have in common is that we think of them as members of the Four Wheeler family. Here's to you.
Official Judges: Tim Hardy (head judge), Dan Black, Toby Lavender, Jack Shelton, and Stan Pruiett
Official Scorekeepers: Dustin and Heather Chernoh
Official Extraction Team: Rodney Hill, Scott Shreve, Don Brown, Tom Kennedy, Chris Finstad, Jason Finstad, and Noel Chadbourne
Yamaha Motors for the use of the Rhino 660
Blue Devil Products for the Trail Pail Emergency Spill Recovery Kits
Silva Trucking and A&S Metals for the heavy equipment and operators
Emergency medical technician Mike Golub
Ned Bacon for designing and fabricating the winner's trophy
Mansmith's Barbeque for the absolutely rockin' food
Jacob Pacheco for the use of the sweet 5th wheel/toy hauler
All of the rangers and staff of the Hollister Hills SVRA including Chief Ranger Jeff Gaffney and Deputy Director, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division, California State Parks, Daphne Greene
Official Retailer: 4Wheel Parts, www.4wheelparts.com
Official Tire: Mickey Thompson Tires, www.mickeythompsontires.com
Official Suspension: Tuff Country Suspension, www.tuffcountry.com
Official Drivetrain: Yukon Gear, www.yukongear.com
Official Lubricants: Amsoil, www.amsoil.com
Official Bumper: Fab Fours, www.fabfours.com
From the moment we met him, we liked him. Noel "Dozer" Chadbourne was an alternate at Top Truck Challenge '06, and his enthusiasm was contagious. He threw himself into helping with Top Truck and was clearly happy to be a part of it. Fiercely proud of his family, his wife Debbie and their 16 kids came up in conversation often. Noel didn't get chosen to compete this year, but once again, he was there to help. Little did we know it was the last time we would see him. At the age of only 45, Noel Chadbourne passed away in his sleep Saturday, August 11, 2007. We will miss him greatly.
The perfect companion to this detailed story and our expanded Web coverage is the official 2007 Top Truck Challenge DVD. Think of these three as the Top Truck Trilogy. Shot and edited by our professional film crew, this action-packed DVD brings the sights and sounds of Top Truck right to your television. To get your very own copy, call 800/213-5668, visit www.4wheelparts.com, or get to your local 4Wheel Parts Wholesalers retail location.
Want more TTC? Want it for free? Get to www.fourwheeler.com and see even more images from TTC '07.