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January 2010 Letters to the Editor

Top Truck Challenge
Posted January 1, 2010

Top Truck Suggestions & Slams
I'm a long time wheeler/truck builder, and I've always been a big fan of Top Truck Challenge. I look forward to it every year, and I've always hoped of someday having the chance of entering it myself. However, over the past years I've seen TTC slowly evolve into a "Buggy/Machine" Challenge rather than a "Truck" challenge like it was intended to be. In my mind, this has been discouraging for guys like me who modify their trucks and who like to push the limits of what a truck can do.

I suggest splitting the event entirely into two fields: Trucks for Top Truck Challenge, and Buggies in their own division all together. I challenge Four Wheeler to place a poll on your website to see where the public stands on this issue. After all, every single other motorsport event is separated into fields and/or classes. In dirt bike races, do 500cc bikes race the 125s? In Baja, are the pre-runners in the same field as the Trophy Trucks? Maybe we'll see sailboats racing hydroplanes? Please consider this suggestion-I know in my area, this opinion is shared by many.
Dwight Sexton
Moses Lake, WA

I watched one of your 2005 videos of the Tank Trap. Just hearing the editor describe the track in the first video, I knew what a seedy, limited perspective your organization takes. He was almost giddy describing how the traps would damage the trucks. Is this what your organization has for goals?

Then, when they pulled the one truck that broke down back out and did more damage than when the truck was running, I realized what kind of damage an unprofessional and myopic group of people can do to others. The track you and your "editors" set up was typical of the organizational leadership's one-sided perspective (build the course to stop the trucks, and who cares if there is no recovery plan-the idiot owners signed a release, right?). Sure, it makes sense to have a challenging track, but to have no decent plans to recover the trucks that get stuck and to let the guy's truck get destroyed during the recovery is a direct reflection on your organization's professionalism and skill set. Congratulations on destroying someone's hard work and passion.
Patrick Scileppi
Via the Internet

Seedy editor Douglas McColloch replies: We've been called all sorts of things over the years, but this is a new one on us.

We'd probably take your suggestions more closely to heart if you weren't commenting on an event that happened four years ago. We do recall the situation you describe, and while we do whatever we can to avoid damaging someone's vehicle, in that particular case, there was no other way to retrieve the truck safely except by dragging it backwards through the canyon-and unfortunately, a fair amount of carnage was the result. Bear in mind, the Tank Trap is a narrow canyon sluice-the canyon walls are very steep in most places, and overgrown with foliage. You can't just put a recovery rig anywhere you want in there. There are always going to be some inaccessible "blind spots" in the Trap, and the infamous "canyon" is one of them.

But TTC is a learning experience for us, as well as for the competitors, and we are better prepared nowadays to handle Worst Stucks like the one you described, with more trucks and heavy equipment on hand than we had in 2005. Check out some of our later videos, and you'll see what we mean.

About splitting up TTC into separate truck and buggy classes: Sure, the thought has crossed our minds in the past. And we're sure there are others who think of TTC the same way you do. Up to now, we've been content to run 55 to 60 vehicles-trucks, buggies and everything else-in the April issue each year, and let the readers sort them out by using the power of the ballot to choose a Top Ten. But maybe, as you suggest, we should try something different next year-maybe pick the five trucks and the five buggies that get the most votes, and hand out awards to the winners of each class when the event is over? It's an idea at least. Readers, what do you think?

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