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XRRA US Finals Jellico, TN
Xtreme Rock Racing East meets West
September 20, 2008
Story and photos by Nolen "Rock Midget" Grogan

>>> [ EVENT RECAP BY NOLEN ] <<<
[ LISTEN LIVE! ] [ PHOTO GALLERY ] [ LIVE EVENT COVERAGE BY ANDY ]

POSTED FRIDAY 4:15PM PST

Perfect weather greeted us today in Jellico. Low 80's, low humidity and plenty of sunshine are in store for us this weekend. It is perfect racing weather.

Teams gathered for tech inspection at Veteran's Park in beautiful downtown Jellico Tennessee. First to arrive were Ken Blume and company. Derek West, Eastern Series Champion, is not here this weekend but his spotter Ritchie Keller stepped up and will be driving his buggy for the event. A quick look at the Jimmy's 4x4 rig shows a season's worth of abuse that has landed Derek a championship in WeRock and XRRA East. When I asked about the airbump on the front of the buggy, Ritchie said "It has at least moved down a 1/2 inch." Ritchie is here to show us what he has and it should be great.

The RockWare crew is here sporting 2 racers. Josh missed the last race of the Eastern series due to a blown transmission from Cortez. He ran both series this year and qualified for the finals in both series. Eric Holder was here at the last Jellico and landed a 3rd place finish. I look forward to watching these two duke it out.

Branik Motorsports rolled in heavy with their 3 rigs. Coming off a win at the Eastern Series final at the Badlands, Rosco was pumped up for his shot at the gold. The entire Branik team made the finals and they are ready for the big show.

The only new buggy I saw was Doc Nazir's new buggy built by Marco Customs. This buggy is first class. Unfortunately, Doc did not qualify for the finals, but Marco wanted to run the buggy through tech and get the XRRA inspectors to look it over to ensure is was in spec before he finished it out for Doc. I think Doc needs to let Marco run this buggy in the finals!

Xtreme 4x4 is following Kim and Droopy Sears around this weekend doing a show. Droopy is looking nice and tan and Kim is ready to put on one of her "shows".

The only no-show's at tech were the Lucky Dog race team. I understand Dave Smith ran out of spare tires on the road from Kansas so they may be doing tech inspection at the event in the morning. Also, I heard Rick Dermo made it in safe and did his tech inspection earlier at the event site.

I look forward to seeing the Eastern racers who I have followed all year stack up their skills against Dick Dermo, JT Taylor, Mark Munson and Brad Lovell. I can't wait until tomorrow.

Andy will have live coverage of the event in the morning. Stay tuned to www.pirate-4x4.ru for updates and pictures throughout the day.

I will follow up with a detailed story of the race next week.

Now I am off to the Jellico Motel for all the craziness.

Stay tuned for Andy's LIVE coverage tomorrow during the event with live radio broadcast, and up to the minute score updates. Also be sure to check out my detailed event recap and photo gallery after the race.

UPDATED 10:45PM EST FRIDAY NIGHT

It was awn like Donkey Kong at the Jellico Motel (with permission from the land owners)!!!

Click here to see Page One of Rock Midget's race coverage...

>>> [ EVENT RECAP BY NOLEN ] <<<
[ LISTEN LIVE! ] [ PHOTO GALLERY ] [ LIVE EVENT COVERAGE BY ANDY ]