Rock-Bouncin' Racing Invades Hot Springs
Rock bouncing is becoming more popular, especially in the Southeast. It’s all about big horsepower, big tires, and big air. These rock-bouncing tube buggies are purpose-built to do just that: bounce. They are generally 500 hp or more and built with bombproof drivetrains to withstand launching into the air off of rock ledges and such.
Capture the excitement of rock bouncing in an organized racing environment and you’ve got the Southern Rock Racing Series (SRRS). The SRRS began after seeing these drivers launch up trail obstacles at full throttle in an attempt not only to climb the obstacle but to do so in a fast and spectacular fashion.
The SRRS is a “run what ya brung” grassroots-stlye racing event. An element of showmanship is also prevalent—think Monster Jam meets hillclimbing. These guys love to put on a show. The SRRS consists of four races at four off-road parks around the Southeast. The rules are simple: The fastest rig to the top wins. No penalties, just a simple DNF if you roll over or time out. Courses are short hillclimbs and are electronically timed with lasers for precision.
This race at Superlift Adventure Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, marked the final event of the season. The outcome of the race would determine the series winner and who would walk away with $10,000 as well as the title of Southern Rock Racing Champion.
It’s all about big horsepower, big tires, and big air. These rock-bouncing tube buggies are purpose-built to do just that: bounce”
Rock bouncing is arguably one of the most brutal types of off-roading. With the amount of horsepower these buggies produce and the driving style they are subjected to, stuff breaks often. Parts that were considered unbreakable shatter when these drivers are at the wheel. The sport is evolving quickly and is pushing hard for the innovation of better and stronger parts.
Manufacturers are working hard to design new parts that will survive the abuse. RCV Performance, for instance, has been working with Jordan Tanner on a new larger CV bell and true 40-spline 300M axleshafts. Technology and parts from other forms of motorsports are being integrated into these rock-bounce buggies as well. For example, plan to see buggies with SCS straight-drive transfer cases from the monster truck industry hitting the trails soon.
Thirty competitors signed up for this event from all around the country. Not all competitors were the typical rock-bouncer type. Some Ultra4 desert race–style cars, some trail buggies, and even a W.E.Rock-style rockcrawler ran this event. The series points leader was Peter Basler in his BTF buggy. He took the lead in points early when he made a strategic decision at the first event and kept that lead throughout the rest of the season. Bobby Tanner was close on Basler’s heels all season driving the ColeWorx-built rock bouncer buggy Screamin’ Blue.
The first year of SRRS went better than the promoters expected. The series is quickly gaining popularity and fans. They are busy working on new ideas to improve the series next year. Be sure to check out more online at www.southernrockracing.com and Superlift ORV park at www.orvpark.com.
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If you’ve ever seen Southern rock-bouncing videos online, chances are it was a MadRam11 YouTube video. Cole Shirley started that YouTube channel years ago. He has been involved in this type of wheelin’ since the beginning, and his over 50 million video views show it! Check out all the high-flyin’, parts-killin’, Southern wheelin’ action at www.madram11productions.com.
Todd Puckett took the nastiest roll of the weekend. His supercharged Buick 3600 and cut TSL Boggers were the perfect combination for loose hillclimbing, but then he launched the buggy, took a bad bounce, and went for a wild ride.