2010 WE Rock Grand National Championships

Oct. 04, 2010 By Chad Jock
Father/Spotter Shannon Campbell guides his son Wayland through one of the tough gulches on Friday evening.  The father-and-son team would go on to finish a respectable sixth.

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.

Whether for function or show, Buzzy Bronsema’s rock lights made for some unique photo-ops as they negotiated the courses under Utah’s night skies.

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.

Hard luck and transmission failure also befell East Coast Unlimited Series Champion Karl “Nutman” Shortridge.

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.

Starting obstacle B4 with no forward gears, Troy Bailey’s effort to run the course in reverse gets halted when he gets hung up in a rock-filled gulch.

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. 

2010 Pro Modified National Champion Nick Campbell proves his driving skills are just as good as his spotting skills.

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.

Western Pro National Series Unlimited Class winner and Grand National Champion, Brent Bradshaw, navigates a climb that sent several other crawlers rolling down the hill.

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.

Pro Modified
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

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