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Goodyear Skyjacker Extreme Rock Crawling Nationals - Let The Games Begin

Posted in Features on June 1, 2001
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Contributors: Mark Nobles

The time: February 16-17, 2001The place: Johnson Valley, CaliforniaThe event: The Goodyear Skyjacker Extreme Rock Crawling Nationals

In five years of traveling to some of the most remote areas in the country to photograph some of the most difficult trails to be found, the first event of the ARCA 2001 schedule in Johnson Valley was by far and away the most brutal four-wheeling I have ever seen. Hard-core? Extreme? Words don't do it justice. You had to be there.

When I first heard that the more than 70 teams would be competing on the same course that was used in the Warn Rock Crawling Championships last year, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. Or so I thought. Although the ARCA used essentially the same rock gardens that Warn did, the seven courses were flagged in ways that no one has ever 'wheeled them. If you take a look at our event coverage beginning on page 64, you'll see what I mean.

The drivers and their rigs were some of the most extreme that this sport has to offer, and yet I witnessed more rollovers and more destruction in these two days than at any other time in my career. Just to give you an idea, at the end of the first day of competition, approximately 25 percent of the teams were unable to continue due to extensive vehicle damage. This is by no means a reflection on the skills and dedication of the competitors (which was awesome), but rather an indication of just how challenging this event proved to be. If this is any indication of what we can expect from the remaining three events, it's going to be a spectacular year for competitors and spectators alike.

On another topic, you'll have noticed that we leaned a little heavily on coverage of the early Bronco this month. For those who were not aware, 2001 is the 35th anniversary of the classic steed, and a number of events have been planned throughout the year in celebration. We'll be bringing you coverage of these events from around the country and following up with some interesting tech and features as well.

As always, we're continually looking for feedback from readers on what they like, what they don't, and things they would like to see here on these pages. So if you have any questions, comments, or ideas, let us know.

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