Conversations with Big Rich

New WE Rock Competitor, Jeff Houser, highlights his first season in Episode 35

December 03, 2020 Guest Jeff Houser Season 1 Episode 35
Conversations with Big Rich
New WE Rock Competitor, Jeff Houser, highlights his first season in Episode 35
Conversations with Big Rich
New WE Rock Competitor, Jeff Houser, highlights his first season in Episode 35
Dec 03, 2020 Season 1 Episode 35
Guest Jeff Houser

New competitor to WE Rock, Jeff Houser, shares what it is like to start. You know, when you are new to a sport how you are excited and nervous and learning your car…Jeff describes his first season, the ups and downs.  

The 2021 WE Rock season schedule just released, if you’re thinking about competing in rockcrawling this next season, listen up, hear the emotion, imagine yourself in the driver’s seat.

1:36.70 – With age comes cage

13:34:30 – I’ve got to have this buggy

19:59:89 – It’s not going to fit in the trailer

28:40:61 – Running on Unlimited lines in Goldendale

42:30:93 – The first event

51:46:18 – Sand Hollow, 2nd event

1:01:30 – Trying to get to Donner

1:08:74 – We’ve got to go to Goldendale

1:14:41 – Please, we have to get to Nationals

1:21:43 – the camaraderie is the key


We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine. 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.


Support the show (

Show Notes Transcript

New competitor to WE Rock, Jeff Houser, shares what it is like to start. You know, when you are new to a sport how you are excited and nervous and learning your car…Jeff describes his first season, the ups and downs.  

The 2021 WE Rock season schedule just released, if you’re thinking about competing in rockcrawling this next season, listen up, hear the emotion, imagine yourself in the driver’s seat.

1:36.70 – With age comes cage

13:34:30 – I’ve got to have this buggy

19:59:89 – It’s not going to fit in the trailer

28:40:61 – Running on Unlimited lines in Goldendale

42:30:93 – The first event

51:46:18 – Sand Hollow, 2nd event

1:01:30 – Trying to get to Donner

1:08:74 – We’ve got to go to Goldendale

1:14:41 – Please, we have to get to Nationals

1:21:43 – the camaraderie is the key


We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine. 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.


Support the show (


Welcome to the Big Rich show, this podcast will focus on conversations with friends and acquaintances within the four wheel drive industry. Many of the people that I will be interviewing, you may know the name, you may know some of the history, but let's get in depth with these people and find out what truly makes them a four wheel drive enthusiasts. So now's the time to sit back, grab a cold one and enjoy our conversation.



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[00:01:20.250] - Big Rich Klein

Today's guest on Conversations with Big Rich is Jeff Houser. Got a couple of questions that we want to ask you and see how you got into Off-Road running sportsmen and in our We Rock Unlimited class. So shoot away.


[00:01:36.790] - Jeff Houser

I grew up motocross background, I did that for quite a while, on and off, since I was probably 16. Life happened. I ended up with my daughter and that kind of changed the whole dynamics. I mean, doing the motocross, saying it's all about going fast if you're not going fast and it's, you know, and having the fear of getting hurt. Kind of took the edge away. I just I didn't have the drive anymore.



So the old saying with age comes the cage. And I had a jeep. That was the first rig that I had. And I took it on a trail run. And one time, I mean, it was more of a pavement princess than than anything. And the one time I took it off road, it was pretty fun. I mean, I'd done some off roading, but nothing nothing serious. So I had that jeep and I think it was back and probably like two thousand.



Four or five. Somewhere in there, I went to my first rock crawl in Goldendale, I remember seeing that, I mean, I'm thinking a rock crawl. What's a rock crawl? And I get there and I'm just blown away, you know? I mean, I think. There was a guy in a yellow samurai, I forget his name, Iceman or something he went by that I don't know if you recall who that was. Oh, yeah.



Dean Bulloch. Yeah. And then there was another rig that stuck out in my head, and it was a little Honda buggy with the rear engine. At the time, it was orange Brent Bradshaw. Yeah, and I mean, I was sitting there, I remember watching and just kind of in awe and I mean, how did they come up with these things? You know, what would it take? And it was just more of a thought that crossed my mind.



So with time ended up. Doing a little more off road and stuff, but another jeep wasn't like a capable rig, but something just to go up in the hills, and then I ended up getting my first Toyota. That was semi-built, I beat on that for about six months. And I mean, where we go up here, it's pretty it's pretty popular. I mean, you got rocks, trails, mud, if you want to.



So that was kind of the start in my blood a little bit, you know, and playing in the rocks and. You know, just getting a feel for it, so you mentioned you mentioned you mentioned where where you're from, where where are you from, what's what's so city?



Yeah, so I live in eastern Washington in Naches. And for anybody that's looking to go wheeling in Washington, Google Naches or Funny Rock's moonrocks naches and that'll give you an idea. Pretty cool place if you haven't been there. But yeah I'm probably oh an hour from my house to be in the rocks. That's counting Dirt Road most of the way. I just I mean you can't go too fast and you want to go up in the jeep. She could cover a lot, lot more ground faster.



Right. So that and then I'll go to Goldendale and then just down the road from Goldendale down in Dalles Port, there's tons of rocks to go practice. And we haven't been there yet. We're getting ready to take the new car. We're we're working on that and trying to get it to where we can maybe tomorrow.


[00:05:23.740] - Big Rich Klein

So I looked into doing an event in Dalles Port on all that lava rock that's out there. Yeah, there's there'd be some great parking areas, and the rock was really cool. Of course, it's brutal on tires. But, yeah, there's there's like the River Conservatory Act or something, whatever they call it. And there's certain things that you can't do within the drainage area for the river, Columbia River, from what I understand. And so I was told, don't even think about putting an event on down in there, huh?


[00:05:58.000] - Jeff Houser

Yeah, I'm not real familiar with that. It would almost be worth checking into. I know they've been doing some trials, events there and the formations and the rocks that we have, everything's all on private private property.


[00:06:11.800] - Big Rich Klein

So and I'd love to hear more about that from you know, I'd love to talk to the person that has that property. Absolutely.



And the nice thing about that is, I mean, you got tons of parking and it would be good for the spectators because it would I mean, it'd be like Bagdad where you could see everything all at once.


[00:06:30.610] - Big Rich Klein

Right. Cool. So, yeah, growing. You grew up in Naches as well.


[00:06:36.820] - Jeff Houser

Yes or no? I'm sorry. I grew up in Enumclaw. I got tired of the rain and chaos on the west side and moved east and I've been there since two thousand four.


[00:06:49.690] - Big Rich Klein

OK, yeah. Let's talk about your. Your early rigs, you mentioned the Toyota, the Toyota was kind of the next step up from more of a street rig, is that right?


[00:07:02.520] - Jeff Houser

Yeah. So the first time I took that out, I learned about Birfield trying to pull somebody out in reverse. That was stuck and pretty much ended my weekend.



And that's when I learned about the long fields and, you know, build them and, you know, just going through your trying to see what everyone else was using and trying to come up with something that didn't break.


[00:07:28.770] - Big Rich Klein

Do you do the wrenching mostly yourself? I know that you have somebody helping you with some fab work on the new buggy. Yeah, but do you do a lot of the wrenching yourself?


[00:07:39.690] - Jeff Houser

I don't. I do what I can to help. Like last year, Thomas Cahill and Jesse Bigby. Jesse was spotting and Thomas wrenching and and Jesse would help as well. Actually, there was a lot of people that helped. But I mean, my main, my main core team and and wrenchers, mechanics, fab, you name it.



But I don't have the patience or the confidence, you know. I mean, I want to be able to if I take it apart, then I put it together. Right. And. I mean, in all honesty, I just want to go grab those guys, they're really good at what they do. I got Kyle Currier that's doing it now and he's got a gift. I mean, he's he's impressive every time I see that car. It's. I just shake my head.


[00:08:36.000] - Big Rich Klein

Well, let's talk about the evolution of. Of going from the Toyota and any other rig you have and then deciding, you said you came to the Goldendale watched the CalRoc/WE Rock event back then that got your interest piqued. When did you at about what time did you say, OK, I've got to take try to take this stuff seriously and come out and start competing? When was that thought process?


[00:09:02.370] - Jeff Houser

So I went and ended up getting a Toyota buggy and that's was about the time I met my wife. We went up and and ran that quite a bit. I actually bought it from one of my sponsors, Matt, over at Rogue and bought that. And that was kind of like the next level rig and it was pretty capable. I didn't have a body on it. It was tube, still have doors and a cab. But I mean, for the most part, I didn't have to worry about destroying it.



So I was able to do a lot different lines and more technical stuff. And it was. I got that that satisfaction that I did when I was racing motocross, you know, when you were at the starting gate and drop in or, you know, side by side or somebody coming into a set of doubles or through the whoops or something like that, getting in that rig and picking lines and going, you know, seeing what it was capable of doing and just, wow, OK, so now I'm going to go try this.



And that was kind of the the turning point. But there was still we were still a long ways from it. Was it was there the burn. If something came up and there was a possibility of even doing it, we would do it. You know, at that point I kind of got out of the wheeling with that rig I sold it, got back into fishing pretty serious.



We I've always done that. A whole lot of adrenaline rush fishing, you know, and the frustration of this state. I mean, I've always been into the outdoors to hunt and fish and but really took it serious at this point. I got rid of the the Toyota buggy because there was it was on propane. I hated the propane. I hated trying to fill the tanks. And they were in a bad spot. And there was I mean, it was fun to run, but to get it to the next level, that wasn't an option with that particular rig.



I didn't want to put the money into it to do that. I had a rather bought something else and started over. So I got rid of it with the intentions. Eventually getting something else got really serious. End of the fish. And we had a few good years. And, you know, my wife liked doing it and we were either on the river or on the lake somewhere, but mostly salmon, steelhead and. Up there in Roosevelt, Washington, up there on the Lake Roosevelt.



So and then all the laws and rules and changes and I mean, it got to the point where I could call my my buddy up, which is a guide, and spend two hundred fifty dollars with him. And he's on the river all the time, catching fish knows what's up, where they're what they're biting on and then trying to figure it out. And I get off work and find out they shut the river down or shortened the season. I mean, there was just it got to the point where the frustration, it was it was more work than it was fun.



And that's when I started thinking about getting rid of the boat. And then we started talking about Rock crawling. So my buddy Aaron, Aaron Montgomery and Jenny Montgomery, they're sponsors of us. They have M&M Heavy Haul. And he's he's kind of an adventure seeker, likes to to buy and sell and trade. And he had a couple of rigs that he wanted to get rid of and. He asked me if I'd list him for him because where he lives, he has like next to nothing as far as Internet.



And if somebody wanted to come out there, it's a it's a long drive. So I listed them for him and. They were kind of specialty rigs type of deal where one was a roadster and then I can't even remember what the other one was, was a roadster and something else. But we sold the one and we had the roadster, as was a T Buckett car. And I get this guy that sends me this picture, this because we put buggy on there, you know, we'd be possibilities that we'd do some trading and be interested in something like that.



And I get this picture of this buggy in and I have to have that. And so I'm talking to the guy. And and the more we started talking, the more I wanted it. And then he's like, well, I guess I don't want to trade, you know, it's not I thought I did, but I'm going to hang onto my buggy. He says, like, OK, well, I stayed in touch them and he picked me up once in a while and.



Sure you don't want to buy it. Yeah, maybe. So we have this other guy that gets a hold of us and he has us 70 what is it, a seventy four or seventy six Bronco. And this thing is cool. I mean it's set up really good, far from being perfect, but a nice way better than the t-bucket. And as far as we are concerned, this was a kit car. It wasn't like an original or anything like that.



We make the deal with him to possibly do the swap. So I take a day off of work. Aaron comes over, brings his trailer, have the t-bucket in there, and we drive to Lewiston, Idaho, end up doing the deal. So we get this Bronco loaded up. Our other deal was this guy that we've been talking to on the buggy. We finally come to the conclusion, we'll go buy the buggy and we'll just try it.



We'll just go do an event or two and just see, is this something we want to do for me? I was like kid at Christmas. I just couldn't wait. I was like, here's my chance. I don't even care if I only do one event. I just want to do it. I mean, it was it's always been kind of like a dream after I got it, got a little taste of it and got it into into my head that, you know, how fun it was.



And and I'd had a few more rigs since and I had a JK that was we built pretty well. I mean it was Coil overs and hydraulic steering and but still a Jeep, I mean we still had the body and and it was it was actually a pretty fun rig. I mean, we we had a good time on that. And so at that point, I had that or still had my jeep and we went and picked up the Bronco and I was talking to the guy on the buggy and call him up.



OK, we're going to go by it. We come to a price and Aaron's helping me out, he's going to pay for it and we'll decide what we're going to do after that. So we load the Bronco up. I call him and get the measurements of the buggy, the buggy. We were going to meet him in Vegas. He was coming up from Arizona. Measure it, and it's like an inch that we would be able to get both these rigs in this trailer because we didn't want to drop the Bronco off and then drive all the way back.



And we wanted to do it this weekend that we the three day weekend, we can figure it out. So we measure it tells me what it is. And I'm measuring the Bronco. And I mean, it's like, OK. This is going on somebody else's measurements, we're driving all the way to Vegas. I mean, can we drive down the road at the door partway open? I mean, we're like like way in and out. So, of course, I am somewhat of a bad influence on him.



I'm like, let's go. He's serious. And I'm like, let's just do it. I mean, we took the day off, but let's go on a road trip and we get this thing all tied down in there. Go fill the tank up. And I call Eddie Orton and say, hey, we're a go. We will meet you mapping it out in Vegas at this time. So Aaron and I, of course, are like hellbent to get there.



I mean, this is like I don't even know what to explain. I'm thinking, holy crap, we're going to have this buggy. We can go wheelin and not have to worry about doors or windows or mirrors on the Jeep. Because the one time I did get in a tough spot with my wife and daughter in the Jeep, it was a real tight pinch. The only time I broke anything on that jeep to that axle was drive train lines.



But I got in there and got kind of wedged and did a little little rubbin'. And other than fixing the mirrors, not done so anyways, we I'm thinking now I got a rig that I can go do something. So Eddie already had me all jacked up. I mean, I was ready to go, you know, how Eddie is. I mean, I never even met him, but I felt like we were friends for life, you know, type of deal.



And you buy it all. I'll even come spot for you. And it's like I mean, what better deal can you have? It's like I got a guy that's done this, you know? I mean, he's willing to do this, like, seriously. I mean, why not? So long story short, we make the trip, get there and we're like, we made really good time. So we got to wait. And I'm like, oh, I'm going to call and see if he'll get here.



And I just want to get it loaded and get home and get back on the road. And he had some other arrangements. So we had to sleep in the truck and at the at the pilot, which was hard to do because I'm thinking about this car and, you know, having something that I can take to the next level and actually compete. And if we wanted to, he shows up. Of course, I'm looking at this thing because, I mean, I hadn't really seen it up there.



Up there at Funny Rocks, you see buggies. But you really don't know what you're looking at. For me, I didn't know what I was looking at. I mean, some of them were running ls powered big motors. Some of them are running the small I mean, just a little bit of everything, but this is a full on comp car that had competed. And so I'm looking at it and of course I'm like, let's get it. You know, it didn't matter.



And Aaron, he like I said, I'm a bad influence on him as I. OK, well, if this is, you know, we'll do it and we figured we'd get our money back out of it if we just wanted to run it and then we'd get rid of it. Well, I get in it and it's not very comfortable. I'm a little taller than Eddie, not much, but enough to where it was. It's like, what am I going to do in this thing now?



We're going to have to figure something out. So this is after I got it home. I mean, I didn't care when I was there. I don't even remember sitting. And I think I, I was just wanting to get on the road and get out of there. So we start loading it and I'm looking and I'm like, did it? I did in the trailer. It's not going to fit. And I'm like, God. And I was telling Aaron the whole time, I'm like, let's stop somewhere.



We'll buy some blocks and we'll drive the Bronco up on. That'll give us a few more inches. And of course, as we're going and we get through this town and that town and we'll be all right, we just want to keep going. So we get there and we're loading and it's like three inches. And there's I mean, it's it's enough to where we're just going to strap the door in. So we take the bumper off. That gets us down a little more.



And then we had some blocks, a couple blocks, you know, just enough to where I can't remember how we did it. But anyways, we get these things loaded in there. And I mean, it's like nuts to. But Ty, I'm sitting there thinking, OK, we actually had a bench to spare, so I'm thinking we're good. Let's go. Then I start thinking, OK, bearings on the trailer. Aaron is pretty good at maintenance, so I'm thinking we're good as far as that goes.



But you start asking yourself all these questions. I mean, we've got a pretty good load. We got a Bronco and we have a buggy and a it was a twenty four foot trailer. So it's tight and and it's fairly heavy. And also I'm thinking, you know, we made it this far, no time to quit. Now let's just go and. I'm like thinking, how am I going to buy this thing, how am I going to talk my wife and what I mean, what can I get rid of?



You know, I'm going through all the scenarios so we get home, we check it out, and we were just going to run it, maybe one event and, you know, we'll sell it here if it doesn't if it's not what we want. So I get it home and I actually finally start to get in it, sit in it, trying to figure it out. Call Eddie like 20 times trying to figure out what this switch is and what's that.



And how do you do this and what do you think about this. And I think you started looking at his phone seeing that I was calling you just like, oh no, no, pushing the button, denying the call. But actually no, honestly, he was amazing. He would he help me with everything I needed, add all the questions and told me what he could. So I felt pretty good. And we took it out the first time.



And it was it was really tight in there. And I'm like, I can't do this. This thing is just. But I'd been Wheeling, for I drove an hour on a dirt road to get to where we could even start wheelin. So that didn't help anything. And long story short, after doing it, I'm like, OK, take it or leave it. I know that my wife's going to not really be all in on this whole deal just because I mean, we've I mean, she sacrificed so much, you know, on other things where every time I do a new mod to my Jeep,  Chad over at build it off road, you know, I'd walk in there and I'm like, OK, here's what I'm thinkin.



And how can I make this like a safety thing, you know, and let her know, you know, this is all about we want to go up and we want to be able to drive back home. Now, I get that thrown in my face all the time. Anything I want to do, she's like, let me guess, it's about safety. And yeah, you know, it is. We've got to do it. Take five and do all our safety precautions.



So, yeah, we do need that part. I get her talked into let me do one event. So we're doing this event over in Idaho. It's called The Groundhog, and that's first rock crawl we ever did. I mean, I'm like excited. I can't wait to go. I just want to, you know, get my feet wet, see what it's all about. And Chad and Joline the owners over at Build it off road. They came with their kids.



And I was just a one day event. So we stayed over there and shoot or it was in Bend. Did I say, Boise, I meant Bend. So we're over and Bend at this nice motel and which was cool because there was a pool. So the kids, it wasn't all about me. I mean, and I felt like it was, you know, so we go to dinner and then there's a pool and everyone's having a good time.



And I'm just thinking I can't wait till tomorrow. You know, laying there went to bed and I'm thinking about lines and OK, Aaron. And he was my spotter. He'd never even I mean, spotted or anything. He does have a jeep and he's he's in to it, he's got to LJ. That's Built. And he basically went out and bought it and dropped it off, didn't drive it or anything and dropped it off, Build it off road and told Chad, just do what you want, so to speak.



I mean, it was it was kind of cool to see the transformation of that thing, and it's cool. But anyways, he spotted for me and we got out there and of course, that car was the way their classes were. It was like an unlimited car or something like that. I can't even remember some of the cars that we were running against. There was a couple pretty decent, decent rigs and good drivers. I mean, we got smoked, but we got out on the first course and it was like, I mean, you got to start somewhere.



And that was my biggest thing, you know? I mean, if you don't try it, you're never going to know. And I'm look and I'm seeing I remember when I was racing motocross, you'd get on the starting line. The guy next to you would have a bike. I mean, he looked like a factory guy. I mean, just looking at him, you know, it was fast. And then you'd look at the at the results at the end of the race.



Or if I had won the moto, I'm like, I, I beat that guy. You know, I'm thinking that guy can't be that fast. And you look and he's like, mid pack are way down there. But, you know, it was always in your head. You'd see these guys. I mean, anything you could put on the bike, you know, tons of money sitting there on the starting line with an umbrella. Somebody hold over his head and you're thinking it's got to be fast, you know?



And so a little bit of that pot back in. You know, I'm looking at these other cars and thinking, damn, these things are there is a couple of rear steers. And I'm thinking, OK, well, we'll just go do what we do. I mean, that's that's all we can do. We got to start somewhere. So we get out there. And on the first course, we did really well. And I'm think. OK, so this is I got a little confidence, I'm thinking we can run with these guys and the whole time I told them and I said.



We can do it. I mean, we just got to get a rig and I mean, it's like anything else, you know, even like the fish and you see three hundred boats out there going around a little circle, salmon fishing. And I remember the first time I did it, I thought I was going to go out there and slam, you know, everybody's catching fish. And that's all I did, is watch people catch fish. So it was it was one of those things.



I'm like, OK, it's same thing. Just get out there and you got to try it. You got to do it. So get out there, do it. The next course were horrible. I mean, we're like plus 20 something. I'm like, no biggie. We'll just keep on doing our thing and just kind of started the next one. And it was bad. I think there was like six or seven different ones. It was, but it was just a one day event.



So they were cramming them in there. And and then we started to get some rhythm and, you know, just silly stuff that we were doing. But, you know, it's like, OK, now we know where we're at. We know what this is somewhat about. And to me, you're your events are like kind of like the Elite, the WE Rock. I mean, that's that's like the the cool stuff, you know, of rock crawling.



So that was our next and Goldendale. And we're sitting there thinking, OK, we get there. I think I talk to you a few times before it and I'm just trying to get a feel and support and trying to say, hey, if you lend a hand, I think I brought you some signs or something and just trying to understand and see the format of that and how that went, get there. And so we ran. I think we ran.



We ran the sportsmen, but we got to run the unlimited course, so. I didn't understand how the classes were, I know Eddie told me when I bought that car, you guys a cool thing about this cars, you can run sportsman A and you don't have to go out there on your first deal and and and do the unlimited stuff. So I'm thinking, OK, cool, I got a car that I can run sportsmen A. And so I'm going to go ask Rich if this car can really do sportsman A.



I'm like this car. Oh yeah. I know that car. I've seen it. I mean, that thing's been around forever. Everybody's had it. It seems like wherever I go, I remember when it was here, there. And we did this to it and then they had that. And anyways, we get there, get set up, look at the courses. And I'm thinking, I don't remember Goldendale looking like this from I hadn't been there since the first event that I'd ever seen.



And some looking at it and I'm thinking of this, we could do this, you know, and we get out there and that I mean, I'm bellied out on everything. And but anyways, before that, we get signed up, we're checking everything out. It's at that point, I'm just kind of looking and it's like surreal. You know, I'm thinking we're here, we're doing it. And I thought I never thought I'd really do it.



But, you know, and to some people, I mean, you think, oh, it's no big deal. I mean, what's the big deal? But to us, it was so we get everything unloaded and set up a drivers meeting and you're looking around and you're seeing some, you know, this is legit, know some of the stuff. But there wasn't very many. Of course, it's Goldendale, a lot of that, the unlimited guys, a lot of sportsmen.



And there was some some cool stuff that was there. Oh, wait, let me throw one thing. And I did forget I did do another rock crawl. The reader crawl. It was prior to this I did it before Goldendale. So I did bend and then I did Reader and Reader. We did not complete a single course. It was brutal. I thought after I got down there, I'm like, I'm never coming back here. I mean, it was big rocks.



It was different, different than what we do on most of the WE Rock events. It was more like boulders and it was manmade. So they were placed, you know, the way that they did them and logs. And now looking back, I mean, it was actually pretty cool, but I told myself, I'm never coming here again. It was a waste. So they did last year. They did. We did go back. And and I'm glad I did have a good time.



It was fun. They did have another course. I basically went more so for the seat time at that point because we were running in your your series. It was yeah. It was a good time, but but the first time to go back in time, not to jump around here. But we, I mean like I said, I loaded the car. I was like I couldn't wait to get home. I was like, I'm done. I mean, we bellied out timed out on everything.



I mean, it it was just frustrating. It's like and I looked at these things and I thought, oh, yeah, we can do that. I mean, I remember when we were going to the first course a guy broken axle, just trying to get onto the course. And I was thinking, Jesus, you know, I mean, just to get there is like a gauntlet. So but not everybody did that. The cool thing that I took away from that event is I met Jason Conover and he's been an inspiration.



And and Nate, those two guys, I mean, I didn't know him, but they were helpful. That was the one thing, just the people that you meet, everybody's kind of willing to help out. So, Jason, I got to talking to him and, you know, some of the stuff that he's done and his cars that he built the S&M fab cars and stuff like that and shed some light on stuff. And then I ended up kind of staying in touch with him and talk to him or we message each other quite often.



And in fact, I was going to have him take my buggy that I had and build a car this year, but with some other challenges, we were just not able to do that. So I'll get to that. That rock crawl was, like I said. Never going back, so we end up at Goldendale, we're doing that, we get there first day. I remember watching James Tracy just I mean, he made it look so easy.



It's like we can do this. James does Sportsman. Yeah, he's he's an sportsman. I mean, it's we're kind of comparable, right?



Oh, Jesus. So and then Nate was in our class too. So that's that's when I met Nate. I'm watching these guys and I'm going, OK, yeah, we're pretty much out of our league again. And but that's OK. We're here, we're doing it and we're getting seat time. So Corey, he ended up becoming my spotter, which it was a little bit tough because he worked nights. And Corey, he helps Chance Holleyman on there Ultra4 car for Hammers.



But anyways, he came over to spot for me because he'd been in this and he may have competed in a WE Rock event or two or something like that. But anyways, he started spotting for me and we went that route he spotted the first day. And we both, at the end of the day, were just like, you know, he's apologizing.



I'm saying, hey, well, I mean, I've got other options, you know? And I'm thinking, is it him or is it me or is it a combination? But I started thinking, OK, he drove over. It was a long drive after working nights. Enjoy the event, go walk around. Don't worry about me. You know, I want him. I mean, we're not going to do anything anyways. It's just we're here, we're competing and this is what we wanted to do.



So I wanted him to enjoy his time. And so I went over and grabbed a buddy of mine, Nate Shilbury. He came over and I tried to talk him into spotting for me. And I know he didn't want to, but he did anyways. So he and he he did a good job. I mean, it was it was kind of fun because he's wheeled way more than I had at that point. And probably even now today. I mean, he's he's always up in the woods side by side or but anyways, he spotted that event and that second day and we did much better the second day.



I felt better. I mean, we were starting to kind of hit a little bit of rhythm, got that done. And ended up at that point, I felt like, OK, I've done three events. We'll sell the car. I mean, thank you, Aaron and Jenny, for the opportunity. I mean, what more could I say? I got to do it. So I'm talking to my wife, trying to come up with a game plan.



We'll sell the car and I'm like, I'm going to sell my boat, too. I mean, at that point, Springer Fish and came on and I was just over. It was so frustrating. By the time the fish got into the river, they shut it down and I got a thirty thousand dollar boat sitting there and. I don't want to use it. It's three hundred dollars to put on by the time to gas, gas and the boat food, all the other crap, you get a minimum.



So I'm like, I'm going to sell it. If I want to go fishin, I'll call it my buddy John. Plug off outfitters. I can go with him. Two hundred fifty bucks. I don't have to worry about someone stepping on a rod or running around trying to figure the fish out and not even catch anything while they're you all the time. Like I said, that's what they do and they're tossing them in. Sometimes it takes a little while to get to that point.



So I sell the boat and now I'm working on selling the car. And I had it listed and my wife at that point said, well, I mean, sold about. Why don't you just keep the car and compete? And that's where it started, really, I mean, that was the OK, we got a feel for it in those three events and kind of seen what happened. And I'm thinking, OK, you don't need to tell me twice.



Done deal. After I sold my boat, I sold, I sold my tackle and a bunch of rods, I ended up with like eleven thousand bucks and we were she was like shocked on how much I was to I'm not going to lie. I mean, but I had a room that was literally like a sporting goods store. I mean, I needed to just go down to the freezer. It was all in there. I mean, we took it pretty serious.



So I sell this gear and I give Aaron the money and I'm going to buy the car with some time and. I end up doing that or let me back it up. I got rid of my white jeep and I got this LJ, my my JK I was going to compete with that. I'm like, screw it. I'll just run that thing. And it was it was done up good. But this guy had this LJ close to where I lived and it was really built.



I mean, it was linked. Nice rig, LS, awesome rig. Anyways, it was very capable. Good, good wheel and rig. I'm like I'll, I'll compete in that. So I bought that, then sold the boat and then it kind of started to snowball. So that's why I sold the tackle and that's what got me buying the car from Aaron. And then once she told me that I decided to sell the LJ, which I hated doing.



But there was more to the LJ thing. It was kind of cool. So I sold. Sold the LJ , paid off the buggy, met the guys that bought the LJ, ended up becoming really good friends. And they live around the West Side. They've come to a few of my rock cars. They sponsor us McNall Septic. And actually they were going to come down. They're going to bring their rigs down to Sand Hollow and we're going to spend some time wheeling and stuff, take a take a week and just go screw off.



But obviously, with COVID thing going on, everybody knows what that's all about. So sell the LJ, pay the buggy off. Now I own it. So I'm thinking, OK, I need to come up with a game plan. What are we going to do here? And I talked to Eddie a little bit and it was way out there before we are going to do anything. So I figured I met Jesse Bigby once. It was kind of ironic because Jeremy Sodorff, he spotted for Jeremy and Jeremy's with the Toyota, he's done all your events around Goldendale.



And then those guys ran the full series here a while back. And so I knew Jesse was Spot and Jeremy wasn't really doing a whole lot as far as the full series. He was just focusing on the local stuff, Goldendale and that sort of thing is he's been busy with work and life and all that stuff. So I I reached out to Jesse and I called him up and I said, hey, what do you think? Are you interested in maybe trying to do the full series?



And he's like, I don't even think he hung the phone up and he was at my house type of deal. So that's commitment. So I'm feeling good. I'm like, OK, he's done it before. And I mean, I'm still Newbie, green, you know, there's I mean, I'm just taking it all in. I'm still. And now we're doing it now. So Jesse gets a hold of Tom and I got Chad Veazey nailed it off road and I've got pretty good support getting going.



So we all kind of sit around and talk about it and how are we going to do it? Come up with somewhat of a plan that we load the buggy up, take it over to Jesse. And that's when we start going through and really seeing what we have here and, you know, changing a few things and getting it to our satisfaction. But the bad thing is I had to have surgery on my foot. So I go in, I get surgery, and then I start counting.



Then the schedule comes out for WE Rock. I'm counting the days and I'm like, oh, man, I might still be in a cast. So I go down. I don't think the cast of that. No, they didn't. I had this other deal on there. I think I got cleared the Wednesday before we took off for Bagdad. So car's ready. I can barely walk, like literally I couldn't put my shoe on because my foot was still too swollen.



So I borrowed one of Jeremy shoes, that guy with the mismatched shoes at Bagdad two years ago. We're trying to walk the courses. I can't even, like, walk the courses, I just so I just tell me which way to turn. I mean, let's just get this first one. We only need to do three of three of the four. But if we can get here and just get on the board and get this one behind us, we'll be better for the rest of the season.



We get to Bagdad. Everybody came, you know. I mean, it was cool. Jeremy came. Freddy's wife Thomas rolled in and slept in the trailer the first night. And we figured that wasn't which time we got to get your room or something. So long story short, we stayed over in Prescott. Jesse stayed in the motel in Bagdad, Tom sleeping in the trailer, Jeremy and Friday in the camper. And I mean, it's just kind of a shit show.



But we roll in there, we fire up the car and we're getting ready to go for the little run up to the mine. And we're thinking, cool, well, we've done all this work and we have not got to run the car at all. So we're thinking we need to go on this. So we parked by Charlie, Charlie Vacha and Charlie was like it. It just it was cool because, you know, he's looking at our car and talking about his and I mean, Charlie is it just felt, OK, we've got we've got a person, a friend.



So it's not just us. So Charlie's like, well, are you going to go or not? I'm like, oh yeah, I'm going to go. So we take off out of there, get up towards the mine and my car dies my, Jesus. Here we go. And now we're at the furthest point and get it started back up, runs for a little while and that dies. So I'm having fuel pump issues. I reach out on the WE rock site and on the competitor site that you have, ask if anyone has a fuel pump.



It was crazy. I mean, the people that were willing to help and Tyler ended up or. Yeah, it was Tyler ended up having one. I didn't end up needing it, but we're messing with it. This guy comes over and he's looking at it, you know, and I'm thinking, OK, cool, this guy knows. What he's talking about is asking these questions. And it sounds like I'm sitting there going, look over and I see his car and it's like, OK, we're good.



I did a few things, checked a couple other things. Go and take it for a spin. Everything's fine. It feels good, it's running good. We're OK. But we do have a spare fuel pump at this point. So I'm thinking, OK, we'll be fine. We didn't drive, you know, two days to watch an event with a car in the trailer. We go to bed and get out the excitement of the first big deal. We're out of our own town.



I mean, we're we're here. We're going we're at WE Rock and just watch. And, you know, like everybody I mean, you could tell the guys had been there, you know? I mean, it's just the normal thing for us. It's a big deal. So we're thinking, you know what? Let's go do what we do. Let's go get out there. And you still got to put your your shoes on or boots or whatever.



Get your helmet on. Everybody's got to do the same thing. Anything can happen. Let's just go have fun. At that point, my wife had flown in. She wasn't able to travel with us. She had to work. So I'm feeling good. We got our our group and let's go. And so you we split the groups up and you're looking at people and there's a few other people that hadn't done it. And I end up talking to this guy that's like either in front of me or behind me.



We get to talk and have a pretty good conversation throughout the day. We're running the course is the first day. First course. It actually cost us like I mean, we may have had an opportunity to win, but I almost ran Jesse over barely. I can't remember we may at time that I can't remember the whole thing. But it was it was horrible. I mean, it was I did. We just do that. We don't belong here.



I'm thinking it's like, Jesus, that was embarrassing, but it's like, you know, who who cares? Everybody has their moments. So I had to just calm down. I'm pretty. I get yeah, I get wound up pretty easy and Jesse's the same way. So I ended up kind of being the one like Jesse would get kind of crazy on the radio. And I'm like, What? And he goes, Oh no, no, it's OK.



Sorry, I just. And so as we're getting to learn each other because we never work together. So after that, things got better. We got that first one kind of like the first. Was out of the way, and here we are, we're going so I'm talking to this other guy, which I find out he's from Washington also, and it's Gilkey Brett. I you know, he finishes like seventh or something, or maybe I was seventh or I can't remember.



Maybe we were fifth and he was seventh. But anyways, Casey Aragon wins it. I remember when Casey he pulled into the lot, I'm like, oh, my gosh, look at that set up. That is awesome. You know, and as you look brand new and I'm thinking we're not competing against those guys, you know, rear steer the thing, you know, cool. A couple of times we talk to them throughout the course and do our thing and Duncans are doing their thing.



And the day ends and I look at the score and a girl is beating me. And I'm like ticked off, I'm at the motel, I'm telling my wife, it's like I mean, there's so many things that we could have done. I mean I mean, we're mid pack and I'm thinking, OK, if we could clean it up. We could definitely make some progress here. I mean, we're not that far out, some of the stuff we did or I did was just like easy to to get.



I mean, definitely room for improvement. I apologize. I'm not making fun of you. Mackenzie, you're a great driver, but you are kicking my butt. And so, anyhow, we get back for the second day after. A close call we're heading heading there from the motel and I'm cruising on the back roads from Prescott to Bagdad in this rental car, and I'm kind of messing around and it's a long straight away. And I'm looking at look at this little Nissan.



My wife looks over and we're doing like one hundred and two. I'm like, can you believe it's gone that fast? Just playing around? You know, I just wanted to show her and, you know, being silly, every once in a while I look over as I'm go and there's like a big lot. And there's two staters sitting there as we go by. And I'm like, looks like we're done. We rock. And, you know, I'm just waiting for them to pull out and they don't.



So I'm thinking, OK, somebody is looking out for me, I'm going to quit screwing off. It was just that one little stretch, you know, just screwing around type. It almost cost us. So we get going, get to the event, get ready. And I'm feeling pretty good. I'm I'm like I told Jesse, I said, here's the deal. He goes, Do you want to be conservative? I'm like, no. And he kind of gives me that look, and it's like it's three out of four.



We have nothing to lose. We've got to go run every bonus type of deal. I know we can do these things. It's dry. We're not dealing with the rain, the slick rocks like it was the first day. I'm like, let's just go for broke. We get out there and right off the bat, we're on A1 and we. Have an awesome score. I mean, I think we're we're close to perfect on it. That was one of the tougher courses or I'm sorry, not a one.



But see, once you get through it now, I've I've got a little confidence, you know, I'm feeling like, OK, we belong here finally. Watch and watch. And Tyler and Logan, those guys do their stuff. I'm watching them and doing the burn downs and all this stuff. And I'm thinking, dang, these guys are dialed, you know, and here we are. We've got a more capable vehicle that the driver is not as capable as I am.



I mean, I just I'm still learning that I'm trying to get things figured out. We changed everything around. We just the second day we got out there and I think we had the lowest score. It just it felt good to get out there and look at that and take that. That's what we took away from that event. And I told Thomas and and Jesse how much we can win. I mean, literally, we can win this stuff.



We can do this. I mean, we just got to clean up a few things. And and so next event is sand hollow. We get some other stuff done on the car. Tom changed basically the whole front end to where one of the things on that thing is there was really poor visibility. So changed a bunch of stuff there. I could see a lot better. And and now we're you know, we got a little confidence. I'm feeling like we can do this, you know, and and I mean, we really actually won the second day, if you look at it like that.



So trying to get them, you know, and they're thinking the same way and, you know, let's go do it. We can do so. We get Sand Hollow, beautiful place. I mean, just looking at it and just kind of an odd sight, I could stay here for the rest of my life and we'll and hang out with these golfers and go over to the reservoir and, you know, screw off. They're in the water. I mean, this place is awesome.



And so get the car unloaded, do our thing. And now we're feeling like, OK. And in between the two events we've brought, Gilkey and I, we talked on the phone a little bit. I talked to Eddie. Are you gone now? Why? You know, like you said, you're going to spot for me, he was judging at Bagdad and inside. I'm looking at him going, you're going to judge when I need you to spot.



And but I had Jesse, so we were good. And so anyways, we. Get out there and just start doing what we do, and I told Jesse, I mean, it's all we can do. I'm not going to worry about what anyone else is doing or what their car is or anything. We just need to focus on us. So we start going. And we were doing good. Everything was just as planned. Had a couple little things that we screwed up on that in the back of my mind.



It's like, OK, we can fix that tomorrow. I mean, now we're past that. Get to the last course. I'm thinking, OK, we this this one this car will do good on this and we got it. So I back up the hill and the rock and I'm thinking, OK, I'm going go through this bonus, no big deal easy. And I start going. And when I dropped off it and I didn't know this at the time, it felt like this happened.



But I was like, you know, I'm still, you know, until we seen the video of my helmet cam, that's when it confirmed it. But when I dropped off it, I had my hand on the shifter and it kind of jolted. So it put the car in reverse. So it kind of came up. And I'm like, I didn't even expect it to really come up that much. I knew that. I mean, it wasn't anything that serious.



And so I'm like as it came out and I'm like, gosh, it feels like it's still going I'm going to drive through it. So I hit the gas and I mean that thing immediately. And as it flips and I'm like, that was weird. I mean, it was almost like white. And I went right through the town, like Jesse said. And some of the pictures, it looks like he's running for his life. He did that a lot.



I mean, there was a lot of times where I was like I almost killed him. Is not spotting for me this year. He says he's busy life. And it's like he's sitting there thinking, I'm glad I got out of that. I'm alive. So he ran for his life and then comes out and goes, Dude, we got to get the car back over. You made it through that thing. And I'm like thinking the same thing.



But I can hear a lot of stuff like on the intercoms and I'm thinking I hear stuff leak in and get out. Of course, my wife wants to run out there and I can hear her. And it's like, is this thing on fire? I mean, do I need to like I mean, where are we at? I want to try to get the car back over so we can finish. So at that point, I didn't know it, but we were in first place and that basically we were done.



We couldn't get the car flipped back over. And I felt like I just let us let the team down because, I mean, in our minds, it's ours to lose. I mean, we won the second day there. We belong here. We're running good. You know, just threw it away. The crazy thing about this is we get the car flipped back over with the help of everybody else that jumped in and helped and and whatnot and get it towed out.



And Casey Aragón comes out and says, hey, you can take my truck and trailer. Keep in mind, he's in the points lead. He won Baghdad, lets me take his pick up, just gives me the keys and he doesn't really know me. He doesn't have to do this. Stephen Nantz lended a hand and said if anybody broke or this or that, I got my shot, I get a hold of Steve, Casey. He gives me his truck and trailer so I don't have to load my tank up and try to get it down there.



It just it was a lot easier, faster loaded up, take it down to Steve Nantz and the shock tower was tweaked and a couple other things. So Steve gets in there and I mean, gets it almost back to perfect. I still owe you, Steve. Thank you so much. We get the car basically put back together, get back to the event. And we had some issues with the steering. I mean, from it being upside down, had to do a few things anyways.



We get the car dialed back in. When you hear a noise the whole weekend, there was like a noise in the transfer case or the transmission. We were trying to figure it out, couldn't figure it out. And I'm thinking, OK, something's screwed up. We're not I mean, we're broke. We're not it's not going to happen. I mean, I'm I'm thinking the worst. I'm kind of frustrated at this point, but it's like we still got to go.



I mean, who cares? Things around and now we're going to run it until it breaks the second day we get going and we're having a good day. So we went from 1st to 7th and thinking, OK, well, if we could just get on the podium, that's that's all we want to do. That's all we want to do. We can't worry about what anyone else is doing. And of course, Jesse, you know, he's he's a little more watching and paying attention and seeing what other people are doing.



And then Tom's passing somebody time out here. And this person that and I'm like thinking, huh, we're running good, you know, so everything's coming together and just keep doing what we're doing. So we finish the event, go down and turn my card into Shelly. And I'm like, hey, we've got to get on the road. So tell me, are we close to the podium? And she adds it up and she goes, Yeah.



And I'm thinking, how cool is the podium? But I want to get I got to go to work tomorrow. So we're wanting to go. So we go load up everything and get ready and go over to the awards ceremony. That was kind of I mean, like the the moment you're calling off people and come to find out we won the event, it was like, wow, you know? And it reminds me, I was I was thinking like back in the day when I raced motocross.



I mean, you fall down and in the early stages when I first started the race and if I crashed or something like that, it was just like, screw it, I'm not going to win. I'm over it. I just go out and and just putter around. I would just I'd give up. And then as I got older, it was like, you know, what if I crash, I'm going to get back up. There were a couple of times where I'd crashed, got back up and still on the moto.



So it was that was kind of like the the same thing, you know, I mean, flipped the car. I mean, basically threw it away in a sense, but we still have a whole nother day. I mean, so much can happen. Somebody else could be us that was ahead of us. So we stuck with it and ended up winning that event. And that put us, I think, in a tie, I think, with Casey Aragon.



And then Gilkey was moving up into the the points after that when he had a good run. I think he finished for third or fourth or something like that. McKenzie was third. It was it was a fun event. It was a good deal. And but it was something to take away from. It was never give up. We load it up.



And it was a nice drive home and always nice when you go home with the winner. Exactly. Exactly. So I'm feeling pretty good. Jesse's happy. There was probably two or three times we texted and I was like, did we win? You know, you're you're thinking, this is what we're here for and we're finally starting to hit our marks. So. We get back, we're doing stuff to the car and like a week before Donner or I'm up the funny rocks, we went up, we did a bunch of stuff to the car again.



And Kevin Horn Baker came over him and his wife. And we're like, cool, let's go up. We're going to go play, go practice. And we get up there and get going. And of course, I'm like I it's been a while since I've been in the car, like since Döner, so I couldn't wait to get out there. And it was a nice day. Perfect situation. I go over and look at this line that I've never been on and it's pretty gnarly.



It's a tough one for our cars because without rear steer and without running forty twos, it was undercut really bad. And we figured, OK, well I'm going to I'm going to mess around on it a little while. But what I didn't do is wait for Jesse and I figured Kevin's over here. I'll just have Kevin just kind of watch for me not saying this is Kevin's fault or anything like that, but we didn't have the headsets on or the communication.



And so I start thinking around on it and I'm going back and forth and I'm trying to just get it to grab and just get me to the point where I can maybe climb this thing, struggle and try another line. Well, it grabs I flip it over backwards when it comes down at bus, the wheel and the unit there. And we've got next weekend and Donner. So back to the we rock competitors site. Does anybody have any bearing?



Does anybody have a wheel? You know, I'm asking people that are local. Hey, let me see your block. Let's offset on that. I'm trying to just come up with something. We got to go to Donner no matter what. So John Matthews, another king of the Hammer guy, and and does some rock curls as well. I get a hold of him and John calls trail already calls him up. And anybody that's try to get ready blocks are usually on back order.



You know, you got a bit of a way. They're pretty popular. He gets a hold of the guy. This is no joke. I literally had a brand new well made for me sitting at my work in forty eight hours. So I'm thinking, where do I think who do I hug? That was the main thing, was that we all, because every will seem like the offset was a little bit off or whatever, and so we get the same way also.



We're we're good there. Eddie gets a hold of me. He's got unit bearings. He can mail them. Well, Chad, easy over it, build it off real. It ended up getting me something and making me between him and Blaine, another one of our friends. It's very talented. Fab Fabin stuff was able to get it squared away on the universe and everything was put back together. And Thomas spent I don't know how many hours fixing my screw up.



And we get the car together, test it. We're good to go and load up for Donner, get to Donner. We got to put water in that one and a couple other things and. We make the event so, Donna. Very disappointing at that point, we're in the points lead and I'm thinking, OK, if we could win Döner. Well, when the series First Day we go out and everything's going just like it, should we get on to the second or third course?



I can't remember, but we end up pinching the throttle cable somehow. We were kind of in a weird position that got pinched. So I'm going and I go through this little spot. I go to go up the little hill. And it was it was kind of ironic because just because once you get going, you're going to have to gas it. Well, I go to gas it and I can't get the thing to stop. I mean, it's full throttle because it's bound up or it was pinched inside the line and I'm trying everything.



So I shut the car off and I'm like, hey, this thing, you know, we're screwed. I can't get it know. So we realize it. We got to do something, so we end up I'd start it, I kept my hand on the on the kill switch and I'd start it and go a little ways and shut it off. I mean, full throttle. Limpet, through the course, we end up finishing with like nothing on the clock and.



So that gets us some time to go assess why the throttle sticking and long story short term figures it out and we're going to we'll be OK. I mean, it's moving to where it's not Stick and Tyler Harper and Logan, they were going to go down to summit. The next day or no after the event, because they needed to go get some parts, I'm like, please, of course those guys were all about help. And so they picked me up a new round table that we ended up using for the second day.



But we did get through. I think we are in second place. Maybe at the end of the day behind Brett, we knew the second day that we I mean, there's no I mean, Brad's at this point, he's driving, running and they're doing it. They're on strike. So going into the second day, cars running it, we're doing our thing. We did hit one cone that we shouldn't have. It was I still think Scott might have kicked it over.



He was he was a judge in the Scott Duncan, I'm not sure, but I think he did. And he kicked it over an extra five inches. But that's OK.



We hit it. And I'm just kidding about that, Scott. Yeah, but anyways, we hit the cone, ended up, you know, whatever. Just keep going, keep pushing, keep doing what we do. The last course it was gosh, I can't remember which one, what number it was, but it got pretty routed out, pretty dirty. It was kind of by where the the shootout started down there. And I mean it was gnarly, especially for my car, because some of the rocks that were exposed, you know, that that car didn't have a whole lot of belly clearance.



So we get get going and Jesse's like, we shouldn't do that. But I'm like, now we have to do that bonus because we're too close in points. I don't want to look back and go. If we would have just done that, you know, I'd rather do it and not be able to make it or something like that. Jesse's a little more conservative. I'm like, I mean, it's all or nothing. I don't want to be conservative.



I just I don't want to look like I said, look back, go. If we did that, we would have been, you know, so we get going on this thing and get through them. And there was one that we didn't do that. I mean, it was obvious. And we finish. And we're really close. Then I hear my wife screaming in that thing because they're looking at the time and I'm I know how much, you know, I know where I was.



You know, to them, they're thinking 15 seconds and you still got to go through this and that. And I just you know, it's funny because a lot of times when I'm out there, I can hear her screaming. So we get down there and I'm thinking, I can hear her, like, freaking out. Go, go, go. You know what I'm thinking? I'm going just it's OK. And we get through. And of course, we didn't time out.



I mean, we were we're close. But it was one of those things and it was like, I know we didn't have enough. I mean, it was just in the back of my mind. And so we get down there and of course, Brett and Shaylah won, we took second. And so we were still in the points lead going to Goldendale. That is the one place we wanted to try to win Donner. And that would we wouldn't have to worry about Golden.



No, we could have just went in and just done our thing and. No pressure. And so in the back of our mind, we're like, OK, we got to go to the place that we do not want to go to because this car is you know, it's just not a good car for Goldendale. We didn't run the C course in the first year. So I'm thinking I think I asked, do we run A or C? Is it because that was the only place we did it and you were like, now if you're doing the thing, you're on C?



So we're thinking, OK, we got to see the C course. That's better for us. But it was tight. And of course we had a monsoon rain the night before and that course was slick and muddy and right off the bat I think we. What do we do? We I mean, it was like horrible, we pointed out on the first one and I'm thinking, OK, we dug ourselves a big hole right off the bat, but we've been here before.



I mean, most of the time we've come back, you know, and we're thinking and going into that we won reader. So we're feeling pretty good. We're podiums or getting on the podium each time and we're getting some rhythm. We need to do this here, Goldendale in front of our hometown and all our support and marketing partners and people that have followed us, they're all here. So it's time to get it done. Just a little pressure.



Yeah, exactly. I mean, for me, I kind of like the pressure for some reason. I don't know why I just do better under pressure. So we dig this hole and I'm I mean, I'm like really disappointed. I'm like disgusted. And I we just. How did that just happen? So onto the next course when we get out there, and I think this is when I finally come to the conclusion that I am going to run my own timer because I know how you are.



It doesn't matter what timer. This is the one that counts. So we get going and I'm like, well, if that's the case, you know, if I need to know the time, we'll just ask. We don't need a timer in the car. So the judge on that course was they started it and they were counting it backwards rather than going and clicking it from one to ten minutes, it went from ten to one. So we're out there on the course doing our thing.



Everything's going good. And we're like, well, we got what we asked time and they tell us time. And we're like, oh, well, we're doing good. So we spent a little more time on this bonus thing, got through that and came up to the next one. And we're doing our thing and going through and all of a sudden time and I'm like, what do you mean time? How is it time? Well, when we asked for the time.



When they said the time that was not how many minutes we were in, that was how many minutes that were left. So which is that?



Is that he'd be doing it right. So it was a big difference. They were doing it opposite what they normally do, I think. Yeah. So we usually go ten to one. She went one to ten. OK, and that's right. Yeah. I mean it is what it is. That's why you should have your own timer, you know. I mean, not that it's going to make a difference, but you're going to know it and you know where you're at on course.



Exactly. We get through that. So now we timed out. So we pointed out and we've timed out. And then the next two courses, we were negative 20, 30 somewhere in there on both of them. We did we did well, did our normal, you know, for us that we felt we we had a pretty good run the rest of the day. So we go into the second day, of course, is a lot better now.



We're running some tougher stuff and. It's you know, we started doing our thing and things are going good and I break a cable on my transfer case, so luckily I was locked in. But I mean, for that car, I need to be able to lock unlock my cutting breaks where everything. I mean, that's. I would get done with an event and go to work the next Monday and pull on to a job site, I feel like I needed to grab my cutting break to get around a piece of equipment or through a gate or somewhere.



I just it's like I just need to burn this over, dig here or whatever. And, you know, it's just like Jesus. So we break the cable and we're in four wheel drives. So, I mean, at least we're not open and we're able to just keep doing our thing and we struggle a little bit. And we were we knew we weren't going to when we knew at that point, it was pretty much we're not going to win the championship, we're done.



But we want to finish strong and it's still anything can happen type of deal. And we went to the last course, I think it was C one that was on the hill there and. Even now, I don't know if it was me or if it was a cable, but we're in a tough spot and I don't know if I went to push the brake and push the gas or if the throttle stuck. We I mean, we were doing good.



We got through that, the hard parts of that thing. And I thought, you know, we're going to run this thing clean. And this is the one that everybody was struggling on and and whatnot and had a pretty good plan and everything was going like it should. And away we went down the hill and that was the end of it for Goldendale. We were talking about nationals. So if we won the championship, we were going to the Nationals.



If we didn't, we're done. The more I thought about it, you know, is it right for me to just say I'm going to go no matter what? And for me and my position and all the people that invested in me, I felt like I need to go. So I knew Jesse couldn't go, but I mean, I was begging and twistin and same with Tom and I was trying to get those guys if there was any way, shape or form to come with me to be there and and do this.



And there was just no way. I mean, everybody was out of time, you know, at work. I'm lucky where I'm at. I've been there a long time. I got a lot of vacation and sick pay. So I was fine on the days. And so Jeremy asked me, so if I'm like. You want to go to Nationals? He's like, heck, yeah, I'm in. He gets his rig wet back in shape from Goldendale.



I mean, we were just like, screw it. It's just you and I. My wife couldn't go. Jesse Tom, Jesse's wife, she came to all the events, too, and helped out with some of the planning and some of the stuff. So huge thanks to her to see Jeremy and I come up with this game plan and load up his Toyota and my bag in the trailer and. Take off and headed for Farmington. We got down there early so we could go do some of the other stuff.



You know, Friday night, the last there was a Thursday night, I can't remember Friday, got down there early and went and attended all the stuff. It was cool. That was fun. That place, I would love to just go down there and go for a weekend and go run some of that stuff. I mean, there's so much stuff that was down there that I mean, even in people's backyards, I wanted to knock on the door and say, hey, can I go drive my buggy in your backyard on some of your rocks?



I mean, it was cool. It was. Let's see, we got everything squared away the first day. Struggled a little bit. Jeremy and I, you know, I mean, I don't care who or what, I mean, everybody is a little different, you know, and I'm used to Jesse and Jeremy, you know, hand signals and what he calls something's a little different. And it just we I think we are in like third, third or fourth, maybe fifth.



But we're everybody was really close after the first day. We knew that we plan to improve on the table. So going into the second day, I felt like we're right where we need to be and let's just go do what we do. And the first course we get out there, everything's going great. We come up to this deal where I got to burn the front over and I got to do it and. The breaks, they felt real spongy and I'm pulling back and my gosh, he's like, grab the brake and lock it up, I'm like, it is because no, it isn't.



And I'm like, yeah, no, I'm serious. And we're kind of are you. And all of a sudden and Jeremy is like, really chill, easy going. You just don't argue with me. No, you're not. I'm like I'm like laughing in my head. I'm like, wow, I've never seen this side of him, you know? And I'm kind of cracking up. He doesn't want me to argue with them. And it's OK.



So long story short, we ended up either pointing out or timing out or something. And there was like a cone that we thought we'd went through and we ended up going over and got with the judge and and it was it was irrelevant. At the end of the day, I mean, we go back and we're thinking, OK, we got air in the line or something like that because there's no fluid anywhere. We're trying to figure this out and we can't figure out why we have no brakes at that point.



It was just handbrakes. So take it back, take the the break down time, go back to the pit, go through it. I mean, we're making phone calls and trying to figure out, you know, trying to get all the time because he'd been the one that had you know, he knows how the systems you know, what do you think? What do you what's your suggestion? So we go through and we bleed and we're thinking, OK, now I break.



So I drive up to the next course. And get up on the deal, ready to go, tried to mess around with that a little bit, but we knew we were running out of time so we couldn't really test it too much. So we get out there as soon as I get on course. I realize that they're starting to fade again. So I'm like, you got to be kidding me. Go through the first couple. Now they're getting way down there and there's this big climb that we were going to try to climb it and then cut back over.



And I needed I needed to use my handbrakes. This is when I realized that they were like almost totally gone. And I go to grab them and there's nothing. And I go over and roll the car down the the rock and it lands on its wheels. And I'm thinking, OK, well. Let's just keep going, go back around now, I know I don't have brakes, I'm just like, I'm going for enough. And we can if we can finish this course, get up this deal, we can go back to the pits and see what we can figure out.



It'll buy us some time. So I go up, get up on time, go to the next obstacle. I make it up the diesel. We roll down and go through the next go to. Set up for the next set of counts, and I put my foot on the brake and we just keep on going. And I'm like, we're done at that point. And that pretty much was we struggled a little bit at the end. I mean, Brett won the regular season championship and but something for him and.



The cool thing about it is those guys, his car ran good the whole time, I know he just sold it. He's looking to move up into the unlimited class as well. But I mean, that's if you can it's consistency. I mean, you might not win every single one, but at the end of it, if you stay consistent, you're going to be in the hunt. And that's you know, they actually did win a couple events, too.



So I can see if consistency is big. Absolutely. Yeah. Now, it was it was awesome. I mean, the camaraderie, the thing that. I would say is the cool thing to me about this, we rock and this series is it's like family. You go and it's the same people, everybody's helping everybody and looking out for everybody, even like the unlimited guys. I mean, they're walking around. I mean, these guys that you look at and you're thinking their God.



I mean, these are the guys. You've seen them on TV. They're in all the videos. They're you know, it's. I mean, it's awesome. So just to go back a little ways, the guy that comes over first of Baghdad, we're doing the fuel pump thing and he comes over and I'm looking at his collar and I'm like, that is awesome. He's got a cool car. You know, I'm thinking and he's talking to us.



I mean, why does he even give to you now that we're having issues comes over? And I mean, he's like 20 minutes trying to help us out. Come to find out it's Jeff McKinley. And I mean, you seen what he did last year. He won everything, entered pretty much. But to take the time and, you know. Somebody didn't know sportsman car, I mean, you don't I don't think there's anybody that competes out there with us that's got.



The two cool for school attitude where they're I mean, they're they're arrogant, you know, I mean, there isn't one person that I came across myself that I noticed that. I mean, everybody is willing to help. Everybody had parts they were willing to give. You know, sometimes we were giving up parts to other people. I mean, everybody, kerogen and in those guys. You doing doing what they did to help, I mean, everybody, it seems like, will chip in to get the next guy.



I mean, who wants to win on the fall anyways? But, yeah, it was just the the people. It's amazing how how everybody is just willing to get in and help compared to, like, doing the motocross thing. I mean, everybody might get some one week and they wouldn't give you a spark plug the next. If they thought that if it was a points then that's the one thing I like about the rock crawlers.



Those people want to be on course, not out in the parking lot. Exactly.



And that's awesome. Yeah. Like like Goldendale for me, I, I want to I know that's a long drive for everybody and I know that it's not everybody's favorite, but more so. I mean I think it's a drive. But I'll tell you. I did not want to go and I look back and it's like those guys didn't show up out of them, fine, but think of how many sportsmen, guys, everybody that was minus McKensie because they were waiting on parts.



But everybody that was kind in the points made it to that event. I mean, Tyler, Logan, Miles, Casey was awesome. Everybody was there that was in contention. So for me, that's what I wanted anyways. I mean, was to I mean, to be the best, you got to be the best in your class. And it was a fun event. It was cool watching Jessie go out there and rocks. I mean, it was just.



A fun event last year or so to wrap this all up, we've got you've got a new buggie. You're going to campaign that in which class we're moving up to Unlimited. There you go. Yep, we're we're going to. That was our goal all along. I mean, talking with Jesse, he was kind of wanting if we were to go maybe run one more year, try to win a championship. And sportsmen, in my mind, I mean, yeah, but for me, where I was is if I was able to get into a car, I mean, I wanted to buy Jesse Heinzel buggy.



I didn't know McKinley was selling his car. I mean, there was I was trying to do something. It was just the timing on everything. My wife, she had back surgery again, that was unexpected. So that set us back. We weren't even going to compete actually this year. We were just going to take the year off, sell that car, try to find a car, whatever we had to do or whatever we could come up with for the next season.



And it was kind of weird because once again, Eddie sends me this picture of this car and I'm looking at it and I'm like, well, that's kind of what we're looking and the direction something something like this that we could move up to the unlimited class and have something that hopefully would be competitive. And then you got to start somewhere. We're right back to we got to start somewhere. So I wanted to move up as quick as I could just because, like in motocross, I mean, you can stay in the same class and ride with slow guys or guys that you're beating all the time and you're not going to get any faster or you go up and go up to the tougher competition and you raise your level.



And that's the only way I'm going to get there. So that's where it is. I'm looking forward to going out there and learning from, you know, the guys that have been there, the ones that have set the standards and just go out there and do what we can do. I mean, that's all I can do. And and Eddie's actually spotting for me this year. We haven't talked a whole lot with this covid thing going on. So I don't know if it'll still fit his schedule for the rest of the season.



But I will say that we plan on running the rest of the rest of the World Series and doing an unlimited class courses and, you know, moving forward. It's exciting. And that's from the time we started. That was our our main goal is to get to get up and run with those guys and just get better at what we do.



Well, excellent. Well, I want to thank you for coming on board and sit down here talking with us. And I will let you know when you know we're going to air the the the episode. So thank you for coming on board with thanks for nations with Big Rich and. Yeah. And talking about your story.



Yeah. Thanks for having me Rich. Like I said, I want to thank everybody that's made this possible and look forward to seeing everybody at Sadr City.



There you go. Sadr City is a great spot. Looking forward to it.



I haven't been to that one. It seems like everybody says that's one of the the best or it was their favorite or whatever. So let's go.



All right. All right. You take care. They get you back. Thank you, Rick. Take care. If you enjoy these podcasts, please give us a rating, share some feedback with us via Facebook or Instagram and share our link among your friends who might be like minded. Well, that brings this episode to an end. OK, you enjoyed it. We'll catch you next week with conversations with Big Rich. Thank you very much.