The Making of Team 222 by Jim “Krawler” Smith
It is hard to believe that it was 5 years ago when Rausch Creek announced that they were going to start their own version of WeRock. My initial thought was that I wanted to be part of it, but I didn’t want to trash my Jeep, nor did I think it was built up enough to compete. So, about a week passes and Jay asked me if I was going to enter, which I quickly declined. He then asked if I would spot for him, if he decided to compete. This was my way to be a part of a team and check out the event. We both decided it would be a good idea to learn the rules and see what this type of competition was all about, by judging at a WeRock event at RC. This was a very useful tool and educational experience. There were times when we couldn’t figure out why they were doing what they were, but then we quickly saw the benefits of their strategies. We also saw attempts that failed and learned from that as well. The event gave us ideas on what we wanted to accomplish as competitors.We went into the first practice session with high hopes of kicking ass, but we were knocked off our mountain with a broken OBA belt and snapped driveshaft. This made us sit back and really think about what is needed to do well in this event. We had to do the opposite of our normal trail riding. Instead of trying to make the most difficult path with no assistance, we needed to pick the easiest way and stack rocks if needed.We carried this information into the one and only event for the 2007 year. I think there were 15 competitors in Class 2 that year and all seemed to be a good bunch of guys. It was a very cold day with snow still on the ground, which made the courses very interesting. Each time we hit the course, we learned something else about our abilities and the Jeeps potential. We ended up going into the shootout with a large enough lead that we didn’t have to run it, but sitting it out was not in our nature. We proceeded to hit the drop off that claimed 3 out of 5 vehicles in front of us and completed it like we have done it many times before. My wife even commented that someone behind her initially said, “why are they going that way, didn’t they see what happened to the other vehicles”, but they quickly followed up with, “well I guess that is why they are in first place”!!!
It was an awesome competition and we made a bunch of friends that day. Neither of us ever thought that most of them would continue to become better friends over the next 4 years and bring tough competition to each and every event. We thank you all for making this series such a great time.
4 years later, a ton of upgrades to the Jeep and memories of successful and destructive strategies, we are sitting as 4 time RCRocs Class 2 champs. “Rock On Team 222”