An In-Depth Look At Nine Of This Year’s Top Truck Champions’ Challenge Rigs
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the legendary Top Truck Challenge, we’ve invited all of the past champions of Top Truck to Hollister Hills, California, to compete in an unprecedented, history-making, weeklong mega-throwdown on seven of the gnarliest challenges known in the wheeling world. We’re calling it Top Truck Champions’ Challenge (TTCC), and it’s going to be incredible.
Since its inception in 1993, Top Truck has morphed considerably to adapt to the changing world of off-road competition. For example, we don’t waste time with the Show-n-Shine and the Ride-n-Drive any longer. Nowadays, Top Truck is lean and focused. Competitors at this year’s Top Truck Champions’ Challenge will compete in our seven famous events consisting of the Tow Test, Frame Twister, Mud Pit, Obstacle Course, Hill Climb, Mini Rubicon, and Tank Trap.
We didn’t put any stipulations on what the past champions can drive in TTCC. They can drive the rig they originally competed with or something completely different. What’s interesting is that the majority of TTCC competitors have chosen to drive their TTC-winning rigs. Others have created new rigs and some have even borrowed rigs.
Over the next several pages you can read a detailed overview of half of this year’s TTCC rigs (in no particular order) along with some comments from the drivers. The second half will publish next month in part two of “We Are The Champions,” so look for them in the November issue. Full coverage of all the TTCC action will follow in the December issue.
Name: Jeremy Naeger
Champion in: 2008
Driving: 2008 Avalanche buggy
In 2008, Jeremy Naeger, Bloomsdale, Missouri resident and president of Custom Differentials, tied with Clayton Kraatz for First Place. Naeger will be returning to Hollister, California, behind the wheel of the same ’08 Avalanche buggy, albeit with a few mods. This year, there will only be one Champion.
Most memorable moment from 2008: “Tying for First. On the last day I was hoping for Second and had my doubts on that. We had no idea we still had a chance.”
Wants First Place in: “Tank Trap. It was my favorite event.”
“I know I’ll be up against a lot more expensive, lighter, and bigger horsepower rigs, but will try to finish every event as high in the points as we can and maybe the big guys will mess up.”
Driver name/city: Jeremy Naeger/Bloomsdale, Missouri
Occupation: President of Custom Differentials
Vehicle model: 2008 Avalanche buggy
Estimated value: $66,000
Engine: GM Ram Jet 350ci V-8, 150hp NOS nitrous kit, Hedman headers, Flowmaster mufflers
Transmission: Transmissions To Go TH400 3-spd auto, manual valvebody, Hurst Pistol-Grip shifter, Stef’s pan
Transfer case: NP203/205 doubler
Suspension (f/r): Four-link, 16-in-travel King triple-rate remote-reservoir coilovers/four-link, 16-in-travel King triple-rate remote-reservoir coilovers
Axles (f/r): 2½-ton Rockwell, Ouverson Violator axleshafts, Ouverson Violator locker, Ouverson Violator U-joints/2½-ton Rockwell, Ouverson Violator axleshafts, Ouverson Violator Full Spool, Ouverson Violator U-joints
Axle ratio: 6.72:1
Wheels: 24x11 TrailReady beadlock w/inner reinforcement rings
Tires: 16.9-24 BKT tractor