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Rock Crawlers Go Desert Racing
By Lance Clifford

[ Our 2006 Baja 1000 Adventure ]

It all started while drinking beer on a Saturday afternoon. Camo and I were sitting around kicking back and not doing much of anything. I mumbled to Camo that I wanted to go play in the desert. So we get to talking, and start throwing out ideas. Camo brought up the idea of building a tube pre runner with this and that, and all the bells and whistles. We kicked around ideas for a good hour and then it came to me, like a message from above...

"Let's get a JeepSpeed," I said.

After a long pause Camo said, "Damn, that's a great idea. Let's do it!"

I kid you not, 24 hours later we were the proud new owners of JeepSpeed number 1715, the 2004 Baja 1000 Sport Truck Class Champ driven by Jason LaFortune. 24 hours after that, we had paid our $3000-something in entry fees to race in the mother of them all, the Baja 1000. Nevermind that I have never raced or chased the Baja 1000 before. Nevermind the event is less than a month away. We do things big (and usually dumb) here at Pirate4x4.com, and we figure the best way to get our feet wet is to go BIG.

Apparently we are not alone. Among the 420+ registered racers of the largest Baja 1000 ever, is a large contingent of professional rock crawlers.

Here is the list we were able to compile. I am sure there are many more rock crawlers that we may not be aware of, but the list we have is still quite impressive:

Team Pirate's new ride

Team Pirate4x4 (Class 17 JeepSpeed) -
Drivers/Co-drivers/Chase team
1) Mike Shaffer (2002 RCAA Champ)
2) David "Kyle" Halabuk (Trail wheeler, and employee at Shaffer's Offroad)
3) Lance Clifford (Lame ass wheeler dude turned pro desert racer )
4) Camo (ex desert racer turned rock crawler)
5) Jeff Mello (Ba-zillion-time rock crawling champion)
6) Jody Everding (The King of the stock-mod class)
7) Mike Lyster (Wannabe VORRA racer, and long time trail wheeler)
8) Bob Roggy (Owner of C&R Motorsports and champion stock mod competitor)
9) Dan Patterson (Champion stock mod competitor)
10) Matt Kinney (Winning stock mod competitor)

Team Donahoe - DoR - Shannon Campbell

Team Donahoe (Class 3 FJ Cruiser)
1) Shannon Campbell (UROC and WEROC Champion - Dirt Sports Driver of the Year)
2) Nate Willams (UROC competitor)
3) John Williams (UROC competitor)
4) Johnny G (UROC competitor)

Team Fat City will be buying the beers in La Paz

Team Fat City (Class 17 JeepSpeed)
1) Captain Eric Filar - Mr. Fat City - Need I say more?
2) Ron Stobaugh (Owner of Alloy USA, Precision Gear, and Reider Racing)
3) Brad Lovell (Multi year/multi series Pro Mod Champion)
4) Roger Lovell (Multi year/multi series Pro Mod Champion)
5) Ryan Filar - ("Smart" part of Fat City)
6) Ray Currie (Owner Currie Ent. and life long rock/desert rat)

Jason and his little bug that could.

Team Dirt Sports (EMPI Elf - Class 11 )
1) Jason Scherer (Owner of Nelson & Nelson built "Tiny" and 2006 UROC 2nd place series finisher)
2) Clifton Slay (Owner of Poison Spyder Customs)

Old Horse Racing (Class 3)
1)Jack Covert - Crew Chief and owner of IronBender Design & Fab
2)Dan Wright - Crew Chief and Owner of AreaBFE
3)Lance G owner of Sunray Engineering

Monster Energy Pflueger racing (Trophy Truck #28)
Chase, and Pit Crew
1) Jeff Knoll ( 1999-2002 CRCA promoter, 2007 Jeepspeed 2)
2) Bart Dixon (ARCA/RCAA Spotter, CRCA driver, ex EJR Protruck Crew chief)
3) Scott Parker ( Owner of Rockbuggysupply.com)
4) Scott Hartman ( Pumkin brother, CRCA spotter, 07 J.S. 2, and trailside hitman)
5) Quinn Moss-Pultz( Freelance writer Sand addiction,07 J.S. 2, and Trust fund baby)

Team BF Goodrich (BC-3 wide open car)
1) Tracy Jordan (2004, 2006 UROC Champion)

Some of these guys have never set foot in a desert racer before. It will be interesting to see how they fare in the unforgiving Baja desert. Will some of them have so much fun that they decide to abandon their rock crawling roots? Anything's possible. I think the majority will continue to enjoy both, and be the first of many cross-over competitors to satisfy their need for speed.

So as casual as the whole idea of racing the Baja 1000 started for Camo and I, the casual trash talking took on a life of it's own. Team Pirate and Team Fat City will both be running in Class 17, with the looser buying the beer for the winning team in La Paz. If you only knew the amount of trash talking that has gone on between the two teams. Let's just say it's been bad enough to make a sailor blush. To see one of the trash talking threads, go here on the Pirate Board.

We are planning on bringing you live updates via a IriTrack communications and tracking system to show you who is where on the Baja Peninsula. Stay tuned for more info on this.

The staff at Pirate4x4.com wishes all of our rock crawling brothers luck in the Baja 1000. We hope to see you all at the finish line!

Links
Score International - http://www.score-international.com
JeepSpeed - http://www.jeepspeed.com

[ Our 2006 Baja 1000 Adventure ]