The winner of Top Truck Challenge 2009 is Team Green of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. The team consists of the vehicle's owner, David Green (holding trophy in photo), and co-driver Nick Souchuk. Green's custom buggy has a potent combination of a 5.9L Cummins diesel, NV4500 transmission, twin-stick NP205 transfer case, Rockwell axles, and West Lake ag tires.
The team had an exciting path to First Place and they finished in the Top Three for six of the seven events. At the end of Day One, they were three points behind then-leader Team Jerome. On Day Two, they won two of the three events and Team Jerome had a rough day. The result was that Team Green took the lead by five points over Team Jerome going into the final day. It all came down to the final event, Tank Trap. And it was a nail-biter. Team Jerome poured on the coals and they earned First Place in that event. Unfortunately for Team Jerome, Team Green had a great showing in the Tank Trap as well, and it earned them just enough points to hang onto the lead.
Even more amazing about Team Green's win is that David Green competed all week with 32 stitches in his left hand, the result of a run-in with a Sawzall in camp the day before the event. Also, the Cummins diesel engine suffered damage to two pistons during the Mud Pit event. The engine knocked for the rest of the competition but held together.
So what did Green think of Top Truck? He says, "The event was unbelievable. Very well organized, very well put together." He also notes, "It was a blast. It was worth the trip down."
| Green's diesel buggy
| Jerome's TJ buggy
| Latham's buggy
| Graf's X-Chassis buggy
| Kahlstrom's Power Wagon
| Eulberg's CJ-7
| Smith's F-350
| Williams' FJ Cruiser
| Sidwell's Ranger
| Sheeley's FC-170
How Top Truck is Scored
Straightforward and simple is our motto when it comes to Top Truck scoring. The winner of each event gets 10 points; Second place gets 9 points, and so on. The mega brutal Tank Trap is worth double points. When all seven events are completed, each team's points are tallied resulting in their final score. The team with the most points wins.
As is our tradition, we handed out several specialty awards at Friday's closing ceremonies. Here's the tally of this year's winners:
Long Distance- Team Sheeley (2,983.04 miles)
Hard Luck- Team Sheeley
Team Spirit- Team Sheeley
Driving Elegant- Team Kahlstrom
People's Choice- Team Latham
Judges' Choice- Team Jerome
Get the DVD!
Shot and edited by our professional film crew, the high-definition Top Truck Challenge 2009 DVD is a must-have for all Top Truck fans and off-highway junkies. It covers all the action and drama from this year's TTC from beginning to end. There's only one place to get this DVD and that's through 4Wheel Parts Wholesalers, so call 800/213-5668, visit www.4wheelparts.com, or get to your local 4Wheel Parts Wholesalers retail location.
If you want to see more photos of TTC '09, head on over to www.fourwheeler.com. There you'll find scores of images from all seven Top Truck Challenge events.
* "Hate to go back to work on Monday."-Doug Kahlstrom
* "I've had a great time. Awesome time."-Leroy Latham
* "Really good time. We're both really glad we did it. It's something we've always wanted to do."-Brett Jerome
* "I've had the best week of wheeling I've ever had."-Leroy Latham
* "It's the stuff. We loved everything. The people, the layout, the way it was organized and pulled off. Nothing bad, all good. I give it a 10."-Scott Sidwell
Top Truck Challenge doesn't just magically happen. The reality is that the logistics of this weeklong event requires the help of a number of people. For instance, the ratio of support staff to competitors was about 4:1 this year. With that said, the Four Wheeler team sends our gratitude and admiration to the following folks and companies who helped make this year's event a success.
Official judges: Dan Black, Dustin Chernoh, Toby Lavender, Stan Pruiett and Jack Shelton. These experienced wheelers left their families and real jobs to spend a week working in Hollister Hills in conditions that would make most folks recoil. They put in incredibly long hours and supervised everything from course construction to scoring. They did all of this while exhibiting a positive attitude and the highest levels of professionalism.
TTC extraction team: Jeff Arabia, Mike Blick, Chris Brown, Cody Kanuscak, Rodney Hill, Justin Langford, and Jerry Sparkman. These guys have years of wheeling experience and it shows. They exhibited excellent communication skills and they were quick and safe. They're the Royalty of Recoveries.
Event sponsor Hobart Welders, for furnishing on-site welding equipment and supplies for the competitors to use. Some of the equipment they provided included a Champion Elite engine-driven welding generator; Trek 180, Handler 140 with portable CO2 kit, Handler 187, Handler 210 with DP-3545 Spool Gun and Ironman 230 wire-feed welders; and Airforce 250ci and 400 plasma cutters.
Chris Finstad, our lead medic, and Robert Lund and Oscar Grimaldo from the San Juan Bautista Fire Department. Need we say more?
Ned Bacon, for once again crafting the one-of-a-kind winner's trophy from remnants of last year's carnage.
Phillip Indihar, for providing the pressure washers so the competitors could wrench on clean rigs.
J3 Excavation and Las Animas Concrete, for the equipment support.
California Site Services, for the safety fencing.
Mansmith's BBQ (www.mansmith.com), for providing the mouth-watering meals, including the wood fire-cooked welcome dinner.
Hollister Hills SVRA staff and rangers, including John Vallett, Jeff Gaffney, Crystal Sanchez and Kris Plank. These are some of the folks who keep the park up and running, and without the help of these folks, Top Truck in Hollister wouldn't happen.
Four Wheeler Would Also Like To Thank The Official Top Truck Sponsors:
Official Retailer: 4Wheel Parts Wholesalers, www.4wheelparts.com
Official Tire: Mickey Thompson Tires, www.mickeythompsontires.com
Official Axle: Yukon Gear, www.yukongear.com
Official Oil: Amsoil, www.amsoil.com
Official Winch: Warn Industries, www.warn.com
Official Clothing: Blanco Basura Clothing, www.blancobasura.com
Official Lighting: Lightforce, www.lightforce.com
Official Welder: Hobart Welders, www.hobartwelders.com