2010 WE Rock Grand National Championships
For the second time in as many years, WE Rock has brought the Grand National Championships (GNC) to the western half of the U.S. There were 41 teams that traveled from across these great states and Canada to prove their worth at rock crawling and to test their abilities on the man-made mountains of Miller Motorsports Park.
Just south of the Great Salt Lake sits an ever-changing 511-acre venue that has something on the menu for every motorhead’s palate. From full-throttle, high-speed assaults on asphalt to the technical aspects of rock crawling over carefully designed rock courses, the facility is quickly becoming the area’s place to be for a large variety motorsports.
The place to be for the country’s best competing rock crawlers was on the west end of the park, where Lil’ Rich Klein laid out eight courses to determine the champions. During the day, the Stock-Mod and F-Toy classes would run their courses, reserving the evening for the main event where the Pro Modified and the Unlimited Classes would compete with Utah’s setting sun as a backdrop.
In the Unlimited Class, the Trail Tough-owned team of Brent Bradshaw took off to an early lead and proved to be the team to beat. Having won the Western Pro Nationals Unlimited Title, Bradshaw knew teams would be aiming to gun him down. Course after course, Bradshaw and spotter Chris Pablano kept their heads level and continued to grow the gap between themselves and the other Unlimited competitors.
By the end of day two and heading into the Shootout, Bradshaw had a 40-point advantage over nearest competitor, Matt Messer. With the lead, Bradshaw had the luxury of being the last of the six to run the Shootout course. Watching Matt Heimsoth roll on the Shootout course and Messer post a respectable -2 on his final run, Bradshaw knew he and Pablano still had work to do. One missed step could put him rubber-side-up and out of first place.
Proving why they are the series champs, the Trail Tough team navigated the course like they had been doing all weekend. Keeping his cool, something that had plagued him in past events, Bradshaw went on to have a clean run and finish the weekend with a -51.
The Pro Modified Class wasn’t so easily decided, as the Championship ended up separating first and second by only four points. The top three teams spent their nights exchanging low scores on the courses. Surprisingly, Western Pro-Mod Series winner Troy Bailey was not one of the teams in contention. Having lost all forward gears early in the competition, Bailey’s chances of winning a GNC quickly slipped away.
Nick Campbell, of Monster Energy and Campbell Enterprises, turned out to be the front-runner at the end of day two by a narrow margin of five points over East Coast competitor Ken Blume. Although Nick is no stranger to the driver’s seat, he is mostly known for his spotting duties as an animal of a man, who has been influential in helping his brother Shannon Campbell to numerous wins. At this event, reversed roles had Shannon spotting for his son Wayland Campbell, leaving the empty seat in the Campbell’s second Pro-Mod car open for Nick.
Although a valiant effort was made, none of the other Pro Mod teams were able to reel in Nick Campbell, who went on to win his first Grand National Championship in what is sure to be considered his best performance to date.
For WE Rock, 2011 looks to be bigger and better as sanctioning body presses forward, building their national series and helping other grass-roots series along the way. With facilities like the Miller Motorsports Park opening their doors and spending their time and resources to take these events to the next level, rock-crawling fans and competitors can only hope that other venues will follow suit.
Nick Campbell -5
Ken Blume -1
Brad Lovell 23
Jesse Haines 33
Buzz Bronsema 43
Wayland Cambell 48
Brent Bradshaw -51
Matt Messer -9
Todd Young 9
Robert McKenney 12
Nate LaRusso 39
Matt Heimsoth 81