Day 2, Event 3: The Mini Rubicon
What it is: If you inject the name "Rubicon" into something, it had better be good. Our 150-foot course is worthy of its namesake, with giant boulders that have been strategically placed to ensure maximum challenge. The course is narrow, so there are not many options and we integrate four nasty, deep crevices that stretch across the course at random.
How it works: Each competitor is given 30 minutes to get as far as they can. Winching, reversing, stopping, etc., all earn penalties in the form of seconds, which are added to a competitor's raw time. Competitors who complete the course are ranked by their actual time, while those who do not finish are ranked by their distance traveled.
Barker's Ranger: Did not run due to transmission damage.
Gray's Blazer: Had trouble getting up on the rocks. Broke the ears off the passenger-side chrome-moly 35-spline stub shaft when the tire became lodged in an undercut boulder. With 5:15 on the clock, the power steering belt fell off. After several attempts to winch and move the truck further down the course, they chose to end their run with 14:11 on the clock after proceeding 22 feet. Other damage included a twisted steering ram mount.
Hale's Willys buggy: Arrived at the second crevice with 2:15 on the clock, third crevice at 3:04, fourth crevice at 3:20. Very steady run with no drama. Broke a spherical rod end on the rear upper link bar.
Karwath's YJ buggy: Insulted our track builders by easily blasting through the course in 57 seconds with no penalties. Photographers and video crew ran to keep up.
King's Power Wagon: Co-driver never exited the vehicle. Cleared the first crevice with 25 seconds on the clock and never looked back.
Knoche's Samurai buggy: Co-driver piloted the rig in this competition. Smooth, steady progress with no winching. Bluetooth in-helmet radio communication between driver and co-driver. Cleared the first crevice with 2:15 on the clock, the second crevice at 3:05, the third crevice at 3:45, and the fourth crevice at 5:25. Only gathered 6 seconds in penalties.
Kuether's "Fat Girl" buggy: Co-driver took the wheel. With 3:30 on the clock, the buggy rolled onto the driver-side in the third crevice, but the driver powered out of it by using Reverse. Co-driver never exited the rig. Gathered 1:16 in penalties. Damage report: Broke both front sway-bar end links, shattered the rear brake rotor, broke both front and rear limiting straps.
Quichocho's CJ-7 buggy: First competitor. Made it to the first crevice with 1:08 on the clock, the second crevice at 4:15, the third crevice at 4:33, and the fourth crevice at 4:45. Gathered 47 seconds in penalties.
Simmons' Ford: With 3:30 on the clock, the rig was tilted to the driver-side, just shy of the second crevice. Arrived at crevice two with 5:50 on the clock, crevice three at 6:16, and crevice four at 6:45. Completed the course. Broke their troublesome rear sway-bar link again.
Sinkey's Bronco: Got stuck early into the course and things never really improved. The team chose to end their run with 10 seconds left on the clock after proceeding 68 feet.
Finish Line Quotes
"We are the less experienced team out here on the rocks, but it really meant a lot to finish the Rubicon." -Joe Quichocho
"I'm very happy with that run. Very happy." -Mike Karwath
"That's what we do in Texas. That's what we do once or twice a month." -P.J. Hale
"That's what we enjoy. That was fun. That was a good rock climb." -Roger King
|(OVERALL TIME WITH PENALTIES OR FEET TRAVELED IF DNF)
|Karwath's YJ buggy
| King Power Wagon
||1 min. 29 sec.
| Hale's Willys buggy
||4 min. 06 sec.
|Quichocho's CJ-7 buggy
||5 min. 53 sec.
| Knoche's Samurai buggy
||6 min. 23 sec.
| Kuether's "Fat Girl" buggy
||6 min. 28 sec.
| Simmons' Ford pickup
||8 min. 18 sec.
| Sinkey's Bronco
| Gray's Blazer
| Barker's Ranger