RENO, NV - Roger Norman decided to compete in another discipline of racing this year: Rock Crawling.  In his rookie appearance at the W.E. Rock West Tucson, AZ event he challenged himself and finished on the podium in his Torchmate Racing Pro Mod #8 rock crawler.  “Rock crawling is tougher than it looks,” exclaimed successful Trophy Truck racer Roger Norman. “There is actually a ton of strategy and teamwork involved.”

The whole experience was different than anything Norman had participated in before.  The spotter was outside the car giving directions via Bluetooth headsets.  There are many controls not found in a trophy truck including a transfer case for controlling front wheel and rear wheel drive, front and rear air lockers and  cutting brakes.  The front and rear winches are not for pulling you out of a bad situation, but rather connected to axle housings used for sucking in the suspension to account for different angles.  The BFGoodrich Krawlers had amazing traction, strength and stability on the man made course.

Competitors complete four courses on Saturday and four on Sunday, and then enter a shootout on Sunday afternoon that can change the entire outcome of the event.  With each course timed, Norman only completed one of the four courses on Saturday.  Come Sunday, he successfully turned that ratio around to completing three out of the four courses, with one tied for the best score of the day.

Roger Norman will add to his repertoire of off-road racing competing in the 2011 W.E. Rock West Series with the Torchmate Racing Team.  “I am really excited to be able to learn and participate in the rock crawling series,” Norman said.  “Being able to be a part of the Torchmate team is great, it allows me to have a solid chance at learning from the best, in a proven machine.”

Torchmate Racing Team is naming Norman as their Pro-Modified Rock Crawling featured driver for 2011.  “After seeing how he seemed to be really excited about King of the Hammers and rock crawling, I think it is a good fit for everybody,” said Bill Kunz, Owner of Torchmate CNC Cutting Systems.  “It certainly shows Rogers dedication to the sport of offroad racing and to all the other competitors.  I just hope that he doesn’t get discouraged at first.  It is hard in the beginning, but I know he will be able to pick it up quickly.”  Torchmate Racing will completely prep and maintain the rock crawler at their facility in Reno, NV.