From left to right: Ray Jacky, Jason Gray, Mike Karwath, Brad Watts
The Winners! Here are the top finishing teams of Top Truck Challenge 2010!
Team Gray, from Amity, Oregon, scored the most points of the trucks in this year's competition, and Team Karwath, from Union, Kentucky, scored the most points of the buggies.
Both ended up on top, but they arrived there in vastly different fashion. Team Gray, in their '75 Chevy Blazer, had problems with a defecting power steering belt in almost every event, which eventually forced them to keep their 454ci big-block in the lower rpm through the Tank Trap in an effort to keep the belt on the pulleys. The Mini Rubicon put the big hurt on the team when they bent up the steering ram mount and snapped the ears off a 35-spline, chrome-moly stub shaft. Conversely, Team Karwath reported no failures of any component on their 468ci, V-8-powered, Rockwell-equipped YJ buggy.
It's interesting to note that Gray was the only truck to complete the Tank Trap, while Team Karwath was the fastest buggy. Also notable (to GM fans anyway) is that both rigs are GM big-block-powered and sport TH400 transmissions.
In addition to their award, Team Karwath was invited to compete in the 2011 Griffin King of the Hammers (KOH) event in Johnson Valley, California. Jeff Knoll of KOH says, "King of the Hammers was built on the idea that the right combination of trail ingenuity, desert racing speed, rockcrawling technical ability, and driver skill could yield a vehicle that could do multiple tasks off-road. TTC's foundation has been laid on a marriage of off-road capability coupled with a broad requirement of skill sets, making it a relative of modern Ultra4 racing. It seems a natural fit to bring the winner of Top Truck Challenge to the Griffin King of the Hammers platform."
What did our winners think of Top Truck? Jason Gray says, "Pure awesome event. This thing, put together from beginning to end, it was seamless from the very start, and each event is just awe-inspiring. It just gets better. Every day you think 'it can't get better wheeling than this.' And then every day they throw you something else that just gets better." Mike Karwath says, "It's the most amazing off-road event I'll ever be a part of. Period. Leaving with lifelong friends. You guys put on an amazing event, and no matter what, everyone here is a winner."
We handed out several specialty awards during Friday's closing ceremonies. From the competitor who traveled the furthest to the rig the judges would most like to own, we cover it all. Here are this year's winners.
Long Distance: Team Quichocho (from the Territory of Guam, approximately 5,876 miiles)
Hard Luck: Team Barker (battled persistent transmission problems)
Team Spirit: Team Knoche and Team Quichoco; both displayed positive attitude from start to finish
Driving Elegant: Team King (drives
like he's listening to Tchaikovsky, and he probably is)
People's Choice: Team Quichocho's CJ-7 buggy (big-block goodness with attitude)
Judges Choice: Team Kuether's "Fat Girl" buggy (looks great, runs great)
|FINAL RESULTS (POINTS)
|Karwath's YJ buggy
| Quichocho's CJ-7 buggy
| Hale's Willys buggy
| Knoche's Samurai buggy
| Gray's Blazer
| King's Power Wagon
| Barker's Ranger
| Sinkey's Bronco
How Top Truck is Scored
The winner of each event gets 10 points; Second place gets 9 points, and so on. The final event, Tank Trap, is worth double points. When all seven events are completed, each team's points are tallied, resulting in their final score. This year, we awarded Champion plaques to the truck and buggy with the highest point values of all competitors combined.