Day 1, Event 2: The Frame Twister
What it is: Exactly what its name implies, we've packed this 400-foot course with a banner collection of frame-twisting nastiness. Seventy-two feet into the course, there's a tight, 90-degree turn littered with rocks. By 170 feet, competitors have been through two gnarly water holes. At 195 feet, the sheetmetal-gouging, axle-grabbing boulder pile has surfaced. A special treat, our legendary log section, which contains a series of 2-foot-diameter logs placed perpendicular to the direction of travel with deep water holes between each log, waits at 271 feet. This year, we extended the course by approximately 100 feet and included an evil log pile and some large cement culvert pipes. The course climbs slightly in elevation from approximately 1,104 feet at the starting line to approximately 1,115 feet at the finish line.
How it works: Each team is allowed 12 minutes. This is an increase of two minutes from last year to compensate for the added course length. During this time, each competitor battles to get as far as they can on the course. Penalties, for infractions such as reversing, winching, etc., are added to each competitor's raw time. Ranking, for those who finish, is by total elapsed time including penalties, or for those who don't finish, overall distance traveled.
Finish Line Quotes
"The biggest surprise was when I hit the culverts, how hard my nose smashed into the steering wheel when I landed. I totally drilled it." -Leo Kuether
"Those logs are serious. They're serious." -Mike Karwath
"What a mess. Very nice. You could do that all day, I think. You see it on the video, but nothing is what's like on the video." -P.J. Hale
Barker's Ranger: First competitor. Got to the first turn with 23 seconds on the clock and had to execute a three-point turn, which used up about 10 seconds. Arrived at the rocks with 1:10 on the clock. Made good progress and entered the log section with 2:41 on the clock. Got stuck in the logs and traveled out of bounds while winching. The C6 transmission housing was severely damaged during the run.
Gray's Blazer: Last competitor. Got stuck in the logs and fought to get out, to no avail. High revs and water caused the power steering belt to fall off. Timed out.
Hale's Willys buggy: Consistent, restrained run. They arrived at the logs with 2:50 on the clock, got stuck, and started winching. Exited the logs and began disconnecting winch cable with 4:00 on the clock. Drove the remainder of the course with no drama. Somewhere along the line, the winch quit working and the welds holding the front hydraulic steering ram were damaged.
Karwath's YJ buggy: Ran with 51/2 psi of tire pressure. With 3:30 on the clock, they were stuck in the logs and beginning to winch. With 4:45 on the clock, they were out of the logs and spooling cable. Less than a minute later, they were done.
King's Power Wagon: Made it to the boulder section in 40 seconds. Exited about 90 seconds later. Got stuck in the logs with 3:18 on the clock. Broke the intermediate driveshaft to the divorced transfer case. Winched as far as they could until they timed out. Their electric winch threw in the towel.
Knoche's Samurai buggy: Ran with 6 psi of tire pressure. Arrived at the boulders with 40 seconds on the clock and easily crawled through using front "dig" maneuver. For some reason, the rear axle didn't re-engage and the rig got stuck early into the logs. With 4:00 on the clock they were winching the rig. Drove the rest of the course to finish on the clock.
Kuether's "Fat Girl" buggy: Fastest run of the event. Never winched. Co-driver operated the rear steer through the boulder section. Rolled on the big-block horsepower and flew over most of the logs on two wheels. Also airborne over the cement pipes.
Quichocho's CJ-7 buggy: Blew through the course. No winching and only a few penalties for backing up. Flew over most of the logs.
Simmons' Ford: Slow, calculated run. Entered the boulder section with 1:20 on the clock and exited 80 seconds later. Got stuck in the logs and winched, exiting with 6:40 on the clock. Broke a spring retainer cup on one of the rigs coilovers in the boulders.
Sinkey's Bronco: Conservative run with his underhood siren occasionally wailing. With 4:00 on the clock he was stuck in the logs. Winch problems forced the team to end their run with 6:04 on the clock.
|(TIME WITH PENALTIES INCLUDED OR RANKING ORDER IF DNF)
|Kuether's "Fat Girl" buggy
||2 min. 40 sec.
|Quichocho's CJ-7 buggy
||2 min. 50 sec.
| Hale's Willys buggy
||5 min. 03 sec.
| Karwath's YJ buggy
||5 min. 37 sec.
|Knoche's Samurai buggy
||5 min. 42 sec.
| Simmons' Ford
||7 min. 30 sec.
| King's Power Wagon
| Barker's Ranger