Day 2 Event 3
The Mini Rubicon
What it is and how it works: When we saw the incredible rigs you chose for Top Truck this year we knew we had to bump the Mini Rubicon up a notch. Besides, seven of the 10 rigs made it through last year, which is an unacceptably high number. With that said, our psycho course builders spent days tweaking the 125-foot rock course in an effort to make it even more evil and miserable. The result was a work of art. This year, it sported four strategically-placed large holes that created chaos. It also sported some gnarly drop-offs at the edges of the course as well as a collection of loose boulders. Each competitor had 20 minutes to crawl, winch, or flounder as far as possible. This year, only two rigs made it through. Competitors who completed the course were ranked by elapsed time while those who did not finish were ranked by distance traveled. Competitors had seconds added to their elapsed time for infractions such as stopping, backing up, winching, and so on.
Finish Line Quotes
"They're huge. Look at those holes. They're big."
"I finally got something to go right. For the rest of my life that log [in the Frame Twister] will haunt me."
"That was awesome. I thought I was done like three, four, maybe 10 times in there. That was insane. That was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do."
"They were evil. It was fun. Never seen anything like that before."
Beck's International: Last competitor. Two minutes in, they had the hood open to investigate a power steering fluid leak. They continued on and fought for every inch of forward progress. Numerous back-up maneuvers to try new lines. Eventually blew the low-pressure power-steering hose and chose to end their run with 13:48 on the clock.
Hair's Wagoneer: Entered competition with a hastily-swapped front knuckle borrowed from another team. It took the team several minutes just to get up on the course. Fought for every inch of forward progress and the co-driver stacked rocks. With 10 seconds left on the clock, they entered the first hole. Timed out 79 feet into the course.
Hulbert's Willys: No issues climbing onto the course. Made quick forward progress. Tried to skirt the first hole to the right but got stuck. With three minutes on the clock they were winching. Ended up out-of-bounds and were disqualified 6:07 into the run. Bent the front driveshaft.
Kraatz' Warthog: Incredible run. Only winched once and that was only to move a rock out of their path as they came out of the second hole. The rig actually rolled onto its side numerous times, but Kraatz drove out of it each time. Got through the course quickly with a raw time of 11:26 before penalties.
Lammers' Bronco: First competitor. About 8 minutes into the run, they were stuck and winching. Five minutes later, the rig's rear suspension suffered catastrophic damage under torque that also damaged the rear driveshaft. The rig was so damaged, it was lifted from the course by an excavator. To add insult to injury, as the team winched up a hill on the way back to camp, the winch solenoids burned up.
Morris' Buggy: Aided by rear steering, they climbed quickly onto the course. Progressed to the first hole in 3 minutes. Ran into problems in the hole and spent the next 8 minutes trying to devise a way to climb out. They ended up out of the hole on the right side of the course, tipped to the passenger side. The co-driver tied a strap on the rig to try to keep it from tipping. Traveled out-of-bounds and were disqualified with 16:50 on the clock. Damage report: One of the driveshafts suffered a deep gash, and a boot on one of the rear knuckles ripped.
Naeger's Buggy: Blew through the course to the second hole then had some issues and almost rolled. Began winching. Completed the course with a raw time of 13:13 but gathered 2:16 in penalties.
Swartz' Chevy: Entered the first hole with 1:20 on the clock. Got stuck while trying to skirt the second hole. With 6 minutes on the clock, the co-driver unspooled the winch cable and connected it directly to the bulldozer at the end of the course. Almost rolled with 10:37 on the clock. They were close to the finish line with 1:10 left on the clock but timed out. Damage report: Cracked a passenger front main leaf spring, fried starter, bent traction-bar tabs, cracked headers, and slipping clutch.
Wood's CJ-5: Second competitor. Shortly into the run, the rig was tipped precariously on the right side of the course and the co-driver was using a strap to steady the rig. About 14 minutes into the run, a rock snagged the drain plug on the transmission pan and tore the corner of the pan out. The team chose to end their run with 17:30 on the clock.
|(overall time with penalties or feet traveled if DNF) |
|1 Kraatz' Warthog ||12 min. 54 sec. |
|2 Naeger's Buggy ||15 min. 29 sec. |
|3 Swartz' Chevy ||156 ft. |
|4 Wood's CJ-5 ||117 ft. |
|5 Morris' Buggy ||101 ft. |
|6 Beck's Scout ||95 ft. |
|7 Hulbert's Willys ||79 ft. 6 in. |
|8 Hair's Wagoneer ||79 ft. |
|9 Lammers' Bronco ||75 ft. |