Day 3 Final Event
The Tank Trap
What it is and how it works: There really aren't enough words in the English language to describe the Tank Trap. You can pore over the photos and study the videos, but Tank Trap alumni agree that the only way to appreciate, or fear, the Trap is to try to conquer it. Over the years it has easily humbled some of the most well-built Top Truck rigs. The Tank Trap is held in an evil quarter-mile-long narrow valley that climbs 195 feet in elevation from start to finish. This valley is scary in stock form, but we make it worse. Our demented track builders work their black magic on it for days before the event, and the result is a lurid collection of outrageous off-camber sections, ultra-slippery rock waterfalls, ridiculously loose dirt climbs, and seven deep and slimy water holes. We're not kidding when we say that every inch of the course is designed to test competitors and their vehicles. The obstacles come hard and fast, and leave you breathless quickly. Naturally, an event of this caliber deserves special treatment, so the Tank Trap is worth double the points of the other six events. This means it offers competitors the opportunity to gather much-needed points or extend a lead. The only rule is that a competitor must travel through the marker cones when they appear. Time limit: 30 minutes.
Finish Line Quotes
"Well, at the bottom, one of us shut off the fans or I forgot to turn 'em on, so we lost all of our water right away and we ran the whole entire way with the needle pegged on the gauge. It's TTC, I don't care, we'll blow the motor up. I'll build another one when I get home."
"Just had to bump it in a few places and back up to get a good straight line and keep on it. The tires worked great."
"I've been wanting to do this my whole life. Ever since I seen this on TV. I've wanted to run this damn hole. I'm just so happy it went this well. Couldn't ask for a better spotter, couldn't ask for a better day."-Jeremy Naeger
"We expected the worst because every event was getting harder and harder. They pulled out the stops on this canyon. The canyon is brutal. The water holes are brutal. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for those other eight competitors who helped me put that front end together yesterday. I love these guys. I'd wheel with 'em anytime."
"Just a dream come true. That's all I can say. My motor's toast, my tranny's slipping, and we still got up here. We're here at Top Truck Challenge. I know I didn't do the best. I know I'm not even close to number one, but you know what? We did the best we could."
"It was just a blast. It was just too fun. First time we've ever been in deep water. That's the deepest I've ever been. We're from the desert."
"Loved it. I was still having fun even getting pulled out from it."
Beck's International: Made it through Water Hole 4 with no winching. Winched out of Water Hole 5 with 8:40 on the clock. Winched again on the final hill. Completed the course.
Hair's Wagoneer: Second competitor. Awe-inspiring run. Drove the entire course without having to winch. It took three attempts to climb out of Water Hole 2, but they cleared it with 2:00 on the clock. Entered Water Hole 5 with 6:00 on the clock. Easily captured First place in this event. Lost a rear coil spring somewhere along the line.
Hulbert's Willys: Winched out of Water Hole 2 with 7:10 on the clock. With 10:51 on the clock, the team was winching in the Canyon. With 18:50 on the clock, the truck was not running and the team was swapping in a fresh battery. The team chose to end their run in the Canyon with a few seconds left on the clock.
Kraatz' Warthog: First competitor. Winched out of Water Hole 2 with 5:14 on the clock. With 7:51 on the clock the rig was overheating in the Canyon because the electric cooling fans were inadvertently shut off in Water Hole 1. This boiled all the coolant out of the engine. Entered Water Hole 3 with 14:00 on the clock. Stopped in Water Hole 5 to let the engine cool and add water from bottles and then the water hole itself. Drove out of Water Hole 5 with 3:00 remaining. A bolt in an auxiliary-pump hole in the transmission fell out, which allowed all the fluid to drain and the transmission to fail. In a weird turn of events, the transmission sucked sand through the hole, which gave the plates something to grip and allowed the team to continue on. Timed out in Water Hole 6.
Lammers' Bronco: Had some problems with Stan's Log before Water Hole 1. Winched through Water Hole 2. With 11:05 on the clock, the truck was stalled and smoking in the Canyon with a broken front driveshaft. Tried to winch further up the Canyon but the winch solenoids failed. Eventually timed out in the Canyon.
Morris' Buggy: Flew through the course. With only 7:00 on the clock, the team was at the final hill. Somewhere along the way, a rear inner axleshaft broke. The team winched up the final hill and finished on the clock.
Naeger's Buggy: Traveled all the way to the final hill without winching. Driver and co-driver were laughing coming up through the Canyon. Blew an O-ring on the rear steer pump near Water Hole 7, and this allowed fluid to contact the engine and start a small, brief engine fire. With 9:00 on the clock, they were spooling out the winch cable to ascend the final hill. Completed the course.
Swartz' Chevy: Made it all the way through Water Hole 5 without winching. With 11:00 on the clock, the truck succumbed to some clutch problems that forced the team to winch in Water Hole 6. Lost time after reversing to travel through some marker cones they missed. In Water Hole 7 the clutch problems continued, and the winch cable got wrapped around the front axle. Eventually the team timed out on the final hill.
Wood's CJ-5: Winched out of Water Hole 2 and with 6:38 on the clock began the climb into the Canyon. Cleared Water Hole 6 with 11:37 on the clock. Winched up the final hill. Completed the course.
|RESULTS (time or finishing order if DNF) |
|1 Hair's Wagoneer ||8 min. 08 sec. |
|2 Naeger's Buggy ||11 min. 43 sec. |
|3 Wood's CJ-5 ||14 min. 50 sec. |
|4 Morris' Buggy ||14 min. 55 sec. |
|5 Beck's International ||15 min. 56 sec. |
|6 Swartz' Chevy ||DNF |
|7 Kraatz' Warthog ||DNF |
|8 Hulbert's Willys ||DNF |
|9 Lammers' Bronco ||DNF |