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Walker Evans - Rockcrawling

Posted in Features on August 1, 2005 Comment (0)
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Walker Evans - Rockcrawling
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Personal FactsName: Walker EvansAge: 66Date Of Birth: December 3, 1938Birthplace: Cedar Lake, MichiganResidence: Riverside, CaliforniaHeight / Weight: 5 Foot, 8 Inches / 180 PoundsMarital Status: Married To PhyllisChildren: Melanie, Vicki, Kelly, And EvanYears In Racing: 34 YearsTeam: Walker Evans RacingRacing Series/Class: Retired In 2000Rockcrawling Events/Class: Rcaa/OpenVehicle/Number: Chevy S-10/No. 20

Behind The ScenesPersonal Vehicle: Chevy four-door Crew Cab pickupFavorite Food: ItalianFavorite Beverage: beerFavorite Color: blueFavorite Type Of Music: country westernHobbies: flying, snowmobiling, and motorcycle ridingI couldn't live without: competitionIf I weren't a racer, I would be a: helicopter pilot

Occasionally, an individual comes along who impacts the off-road community so significantly that he raises the bar and sets the standard for all others to follow. Walker Evans is just such a racer. With a career span of more than 34 years and 142 victories, we can safely say that Walker has made history and left his mark on the sport for years to come.

Dating back to 1969, the Baja 500 was Mr. Evans' first attempt at racing. He joined actor James Garner's American Motors Team and hit the course in an AMC Rambler Sedan. He took Third Place. Since that first race Walker has won the Baja 1000 nine times; the Baja 500 six times; and the Mint 400, Parker 400, and Fireworks 250 numerous times. He was the first off-road racer to win the Baja 1000 in a fullsize pickup in 1979. Other racing endeavors include SCORE, CORR, SODA, the Nascar Truck Racing series, the Daytona 24-hour Endurance, stadium racing, drag racing, boat racing, dirt track, motorcycles, and snowmobiles. The list of his racing successes is extremely long and distinguished.

Walker stepped back from full-time racing in 2000, but tells us he cannot live without competition. Needing to fill the void of high-speed racing with some type of adrenaline rush, Walker turned to rockcrawling as a competitor and enthusiast. For the past five years, he has been making his legendary presence felt on the rockcrawling circuit. To date, he has competed in RCAA, ARCA, ProROCK, CalROCS, and UROC events. He has stood in the winner's circle a few times and has left competitors and spectators alike stunned with his amazing driving skills.

Even after his lengthy career, Walker Evans is still probably one of the most affable people anyone could meet. Through it all, he has retained a down-to-earth personality that is, in some cases, unheard of for a guy with his credentials. We have bumped into him a few times over the years, but recently had the opportunity to spend the day with him out on the trail. He wanted to show us the trail he and some friends had forged on the backside of the famous Hammer Trails in Johnson Valley, California. He takes great pride in the fact the he was more than likely the first person to run the trail in his Jeep. His 'wheeling partners named the trail Highway 20 after his prominent racing number. This is perhaps the toughest trail in the area, and we were amazed at Walker's natural ability to easily maneuver in, around, up, and over some very challenging obstacles.

Spending the day in Johnson Valley gave us the perfect opportunity to get to know the racing legend.

4WD: Where are you originally from?Walker: Cedar Lake, Michigan

4WD: Can you tell us about your childhood and growing up?Walker: My father was a contractor and my mother was a schoolteacher. Some of my relatives were farmers, and they let me drive the tractors when I was very young. My dad let me start steering the family car from the time I was 5 years old. I have a younger brother and sister, and I had a good childhood.

4WD: What was the first vehicle you owned?Walker: A '47 Ford with a Chrysler Hemi.

4WD: Who introduced you to off-roading?Walker: I had a friend named Jim Wright who was handling a program for AMC Rambler. James Garner (actor) and John Crean (Fleetwood Motor Homes) were the owners. I helped build the engines at night after my regular job.

4WD: What was your first off-road experience like and what kept you coming back for more?Walker: I was supposed to be a ride-along mechanic in the 1969 inaugural Baja 500 race, but at the last minute John Crean got sick and I got to drive the race in his place and finished Third. I was hooked.

4WD: So when did you decide to race competitively?Walker: When I was old enough to drive, around 15 or 16 years old.

4WD: What types of competitive racing have you done?Walker: Motorcycles, drag racing, boat racing, off-road racing in the desert, stadiums and other short course tracks. Nascar truck racing and extreme rockcrawling.

4WD: You must have had some very incredible moments in your racing career. Can you tell us about the highlights or your most memorable moments?Walker: One of the highlights was winning the 1979 Baja 1000 Overall in a truck and being the first to ever do it. Another one was winning the Mickey Thompson off-road stadium Championship in 1991. Finally, winning both my last race in my 1999 farewell tour year and the CORR championship.

4WD: How many races have you entered, and how many have you won?Walker:I don't know how many races I've entered, but I've won 140 off-road races and 20 championships. In rockcrawling competition, I have won four events and one championship.

4WD: What keeps you going?Walker: I am very competitive. No matter what I do, I want to win.

4WD: What was your first contact with rockcrawling and what interested you in the sport?Walker: I went to some Jeeping fun runs with Goodyear Tires.

4WD: How has the rockcrawling competition gone for you?Walker: I feel like I have done a fair job, but I would like to do much better.

4WD: How much longer do you see yourself competing in competitive rockcrawling?Walker:Two or three more years. I definitely will retire at 70 years old.

4WD: We have watched you complete some really amazing things in racing, rock crawling competition, and four-wheeling in such places as Moab. Do you ever get nervous? Is there some fear involved? How do you control it?Walker: Some 'crawls really get my adrenaline going, but I always think I can do it, I can make this one. Getting hurt never crosses my mind. It's not something I ever think about.

4WD: You have started and maintained a successful business, Walker Evans Racing. How is the company doing and where is it headed?Walker: With the expertise and design innovations of Randy Anderson, my partner, we plan to keep expanding our wheel and shock-manufacturing business.

4WD: Is there any advice you would give anyone who's interested in racing or just getting started?Walker: You must be completely dedicated. You work all week to get ready for an event, then you compete all weekend. If you're not competing, you're testing.

4WD: Where do you see the sport of rockcrawling and enthusiast four-wheel adventure headed?Walker: I see rockcrawling as a rapidly growing sport.

4WD: Do you have any comments or concerns about land-use issues?Walker: Land use is a very serious problem right now. We all need to work together to keep land open for off-road use.

4WD: What does the future hold for Mr. Evans?Walker: Fun, fun, fun!

Competition vehicle: '04 Custom Campbell Moon Buggy Current series: United Rock Crawling and Off-Road Challenge, Professional Rockcrawlers Organization, California Rockcrawling and Off-Road Championship seriesRacing career: 34 yearsCareer victories: 142Championship titles: 21First race: 1969 Baja 500 in AMC Rambler sedanCurrent series wins: Rockcrawling: 2000 ARCA in Vernal, Utah; 2001 ARCA in Cedar City, Utah

Multiple race wins: DesertBaja 1000: 1970, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1985 and 1986; overall win: 1979Mint 400: 1973, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, and 1986Parker 400: 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1982, 1983, and 1986Baja 500: 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, and 1976Barstow/Mojave 250: 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, and 1987Barstow Fireworks 250: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1990, 1991, and 1992; overall wins: 1982, 1990, and 1991Frontier 250: 1983 and 1985Laughlin 250: 1976, 1984, and 1991Barstow 350 in Class: 1980 and 1985Frontier 500: 1983 and 1984

Short-CourseScore/Riverside World Championship: 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1986Riverside Heavy Metal Challenge: 1983, 1985, and 1986Phoenix Classic: 1980, 1982, and 1983Coors Off-Road Challenge: 1980 and 1981Devore Off-Road: Two events in 1984; Class 8: two wins, Class 7: one winSODA/Fall Run 101 - Crandon, WI (Took the overall win in 1990 and 1991)2x2/4x4Production Challenge: 1989, 1990, and 1991; Class 8: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995; Heavy Metal Challenge: 1993SODA/Spring Run 101 - Crandon, WI: 2x2/4x4Production Challenge: 1990 and 1993; Class 8: 1995CORR/Spring Run 101 - Crandon, WI: Class Pro-4: 1998 two wins, 1999SODA/Antigo, WI: Class 8: 1994 and 1995; 2x2/4x4 Production Challenge: 1993 and 1994SODA/Luxemburg, WI: Class 8: 1993 and 1995SODA/Winter Heat - Glen Helen, CA: Four-event series in 1995; Class 8: four wins; Class Pro-4: 1997SODA/Oshkosh, WI: Class 8: 1995; Class 4: 1996; 2x2/4x4 Production Challenge: 1996

Single Race WinsSnore Midnight Special: 1971Borrego: 1971Mexicali 250: 1978Mexicali 300: 1978Silverbird: 1978HDRA/Dallas: 1983Mears Gang Rumble: Class 7: 1984Mears Gang Rumble: Class 8: 1984SNORE 250: 1984SODA/Lake Geneva, WI: 1986Budweiser 250: 1986Colorado 300: 1987Montreal, Canada: 1988Winston Smokin/Wheels, Guam: 1990HDRA/Willow Springs: Class 8: 1990HDRA/Willow Springs: Heavy Metal: 1990SCORE/San Felipe 250: 1991Autodroma Monroy: 1991 and 1992SODA/Ionia, MI: Class 8: 1991HDRA/Nevada 500: Class 1: 1992SODA/Lake Odessa, MI: Prod Challenge: 1993SODA/Elkhart Lake, WI: Prod Challenge: 1995SODA/Bark River, MI: Prod Challenge: 1996CORR/Joliet, IL: Class Pro-4: 1999CORR/Stafford Springs, CT: Class Pro-4: 1999

Stadium RacingMickey Thompson Off-Road Grand Prix Series: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: 1979Denver Mile-High Stadium: 1988Pasadena Rose Bowl: 1989Houston Astrodome: 1989 and 1990San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium: 1990 and 1991Las Vegas Silverbowl: 1991Oakland Coliseum: 1991

ChampionshipsCalrocs Pro Modified Champion: 2002CORR Pro-4 Points Champion: 1999SODA Pro Class 8 Points Champion: 1994 and 1995HDRA Class 2 Unlimited Champion: 1992DRA Open Division Champion: 1992MTEG Grand National Sport Truck Champion: 1991SCORE/HDRA Class 8 Champion: 1986SCORE/HDRA Heavy Metal Champion: 1986HDRA Overall Points Champion: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1992SCORE Overall Points Champion: 1974, 1975, 1978, 1983, and 1987NORRA Overall Points Champion: 1972 and 1973Total Championships: 21

HonorsScore/HDRA Off-Road Person of the Year: 1986Toyota True Grit Award: 1986SCORE Off-Road Person of the Year: 1983SCORE Off-Roadsman Driver of the Year: 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, and 1978Member, 1st Invitational Fast Masters : 1993Iron Team Award for Baja 500: 1993

Events, Class, Off-Road RacingVehiclesPro-2/Class 8: Fullsize two-wheel-drive utility pickupsPro-4/Class 4: Fullsize four-wheel-drive utility PickupsClass 2: Two-seat unlimited vehiclesClass 1: Single-seat unlimited vehiclesClass 7: Mini-trucksGrand National sport trucks: Mini-trucksRockcrawler: Four-wheel-drive utility vehicleCircle-track racing: NASCAR Craftsman truckRoad racing: Daytona 24-Hour Endurance,Jaguar Fast Masters series

TEAM DRIVER ACCOMPLISHMENTS CHAMPIONSHIPS AND HONORS
AWARD DRIVER
Class 7S Driver Championship - 1989, 1990 Rob MacCachren
Class 6 Driver Championship - 1989 Evan Evans
Class 6 Driver Championship - 1990 Scott Douglas
Mini Metal Championship - 1989, 1990 Rob MacCachren
Person of the Year - 1989 Evan Evans
HDRA Class 7 Driver Championship - 1992 Scott Douglas
SCORE Class 7 Driver Championship - 1992 Scott Douglas
SCORE Mini Metal Championship - 1992 Scott Douglas
SCORE Class 8 Driver Championship - 1994 Brian Stewart
SCORE Milestone Award - 1994 Brian Stewart
SCORE Class 7 Driver Championship - 1994 Sergio Nolasco
SODA Class 13 Driver Championship - 1995 Brendan Gaughan
TEAM DRIVER ACCOMPLISHMENTS RACE WINS
EVENT/YEAR DRIVER VEHICLE
Fireworks 250 -1988 Rob MacCachren {{{Jeep Comanche}}}
Gold Coast {{{300}}} -1989 Steve McCachren {{{Dodge D150}}}
{{{Nissan}}} 400 -1989 Rob MacCachren {{{Jeep}}} {{{Comanche}}}
Nevada 500 - 1989 Rob MacCachren Jeep Comanche
Mojave 250 - 1989 Evan Evans {{{Jeep Cherokee}}}
Nissan 400 - 1989 Evan Evans Jeep {{{Cherokee}}}
{{{Baja}}} 500 - 1989 Evan Evans Jeep Cherokee
Fireworks 250 - 1989 Evan Evans Jeep Cherokee
Gold Coast 300 - 1989 Brian Stewart Jeep Cherokee
Baja 1000 - 1989 Evan Evans/Brian Stewart Jeep Cherokee
Baja 1000 - 1990 Brian Stewart `{{{Dodge}}} {{{D150}}}
Baja 500 - 1990 Rob MacCachren Jeep Comanche
Fireworks 250 - 1990 Rob MacCachren Jeep Comanche
Nevada 500 - 1990 Rob MacCachren Jeep Comanche
Gold Coast 300 - 1990 Rob MacCachren Jeep Comanche
Parker 400 - 1990 Scott Douglas Jeep Cherokee
Nissan 400 - 1990 Scott Douglas Jeep Cherokee
Fireworks 250 - 1990 Scott Douglas Jeep Cherokee
Nevada 500 - 1990 Scott Douglas Jeep Cherokee
Willow Springs - 1990 Rob MacCachren Jeep Comanche
Willow Springs - 1990 Scott Douglas Jeep Cherokee
Nissan 400 - 1991 Brian Stewart Dodge D150
Fireworks 250 - 1991 Brian Stewart Dodge D150
Parker 400 - 1992 ScottDouglas JeepCherokee
Nissan 400 - 1992 Scott Douglas {{{Dodge Dakota}}}
San Felipe 250 - 1992 Scott Douglas Dodge {{{Dakota}}}
Baja 500 - 1992 Scott Douglas Dodge Dakota
Fireworks 250 - 1992 Scott Douglas Dodge Dakota
Baja 1000 - 1992 Scott Douglas Dodge Dakota
Parker 400 - 1994 Brian Stewart  {{{Dodge Ram 2500}}}
San Felipe 250 - 1994 Brian Stewart Dodge {{{Ram 2500}}}
Gold Coast 300 - 1994 Brian Stewart Dodge Ram 2500
Baja 500 - 1994 Sergio Nolasco Dodge Dakota
Fireworks 250 - 1994 Sergio Nolasco Dodge Dakota
Gold Coast 300 - 1994 Sergio Nolasco Dodge Dakota
San Felipe 250 - 1995 Sergio Nolasco Dodge Ram 2500
Antigo, WI. HM - 1995 Brendan Gaughan Dodge Ram 2500
Crandon, WI. Spring - 1995 Brendan Gaughan Dodge Ram 2500
Crandon, WI. Spring - 1995 Brendan Gaughan Dodge Ram 2500
Luxemburg, WI. - 1995 Brendan Gaughan Dodge Ram 2500
{{{Milan}}}, MI. - 1995 Brendan Gaughan Dodge Ram 2500
Oshkosh, WI. - 1995 Brendan Gaughan Dodge Ram 2500
Oshkosh, WI. HM - 1995 Brendan Gaughan Dodge Ram 2500
Crandon, WI. Fall - 1996 Brendan Gaughan Dodge Ram 2500
Antigo, WI. - 1997 Brendan Gaughan Chevy CK 1500
Crandon, WI. Spring I -1997 Brendan Gaughan Chevy CK 1500
Crandon, WI. Spring II-1997 Brendan Gaughan Chevy CK 1500
Bark River, MI. - 1997 Brendan Gaughan Chevy CK 1500
Crandon, WI. Fall - 1997 Brendan Gaughan Chevy CK 1500
Crandon, WI. Spring I-1998 Brendan Gaughan Chevy CK 1500
Crandon, WI. Spring II-1998 Brendan Gaughan Chevy CK 1500
Bark River, MI. - 1998 Brendan Gaughan Chevy CK 1500
Crandon, WI. Fall - 1998 Brendan Gaughan Chevy CK 1500
Indianapolis, IN. - 1998 Brendan Gaughan Chevy CK 1500
Crandon, WI. Spring - 1999 Brendan Gaughan Chevy {{{Silverado}}}
Las Vegas, NV. - 1999 Adrian Cenni Chevy Silverado
Total: 56

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