Average Joe 4x4 Challenge Arizona

A New Event We Can All Enjoy

Rick PéwéPhotographer, Writer

Challenge this, challenge that-it's like whatever mag or Web site you check out there's some sort of competition going on that's a challenge. Of course, most are big-bucks investments for professional racers or intensive travel trips for top-notch vehicles and drivers, except for our own Cheap Truck Challenge, of course. But we ran across a Web site and event that promoted the regular guy and his daily driver, all for fun, trophies, and a few bucks back. That concept warmed our hearts and transfer cases, so we headed to Arizona for the first Average Joe 4x4 Challenge.

This first event was much smaller than a big-buck rockcrawling event or monster mud-bog competition, but that was the beauty of it. It was essentially a bunch of wheelers out for a good time in an organized event that wouldn't kill you or your truck, unless you were full-on stupid. Organizers Ben and Walt Kuntz rented out the rodeo grounds at the Ft. McDowell Indian Reservation just East of Phoenix, and tractored and backhoed a bunch of berms, moguls, pits, and hills-with a bunch of rocks thrown in for good measure. Separated into Stock, Super Stock, Pro Stock, and Open classes, the contestants bashed, crashed, wheeled, and jumped for three days for bragging rights and the general fun of wheeling.

We like the regular-guy concept and plan to check back with Ben and Walt for their next event. A manufacturer's midway and killer food from Big Belly Barbeque complemented the event, and even cruising the parking lot looking at bitchin' rides like a '67 J-3000 Jeep pickup and a '72 Blazer was fun. For more information, go to www.averagejoe4x4challenge.com and check out the results of this event and the schedule of coming events, or call 480.66.TRUCK and tell 'em who sent you.