Rock Crawlers Grand National held in Farmington


Sponsored by the World Extreme Rock Crawling Championship Series, 50 of the best off-road vehicle drivers from across the country competed for the National Championship across the steep boulders of Chokecherry Canyon in Farmington. By Donna K. Hewett

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From across the country, the best drivers of off-road vehicles recently competed at the World Extreme Rock Crawling Grand Nationals at Chokecherry Canyon in the Glade Run Recreation Area in Farmington. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Sunray Park and Casino and Farmington ACE Hardware. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. Chokecherry Canyon is an iconic competition site that has historical significance to the rock crawling community because of its thrilling vertical terrain.

It's hot out here. It's awesome out here. There are people doing ridiculous things on ridiculous courses that when you're standing here looking at some of these courses, you can't believe they're actually able to make it through this, but they do. Some of 'em do.

Rock crawling is a form of off-road driving that involves maneuvering what looks like a moon buggy across unforgiving territory, like steep, sleek boulders. These rigs cost upwards of 100 grand to build, some with horsepower at six hundred plus. Driver Jessie Haynes from Dayton, Nevada broke his collarbone at this event a few years ago. He's what you might call "seasoned".

I think this is my 19th season. So yeah, well I mean, you know, we're out here technically kind of running obstacle courses and you know, you got gates set up and you got to get, get your car between the gates.

The Grand Nationals event marks a return to Farmington of the World Extreme Rock Crawling Series before arriving in Farmington, It had stops in locations as far away as Georgia and Kentucky, as well as bordering states like Colorado and Utah. The two-day competition consists of more than 50 teams consisting of three components, the rig, the driver, and the spotter. Together, they must complete four mind-blowing courses.

Yeah, it's a timed course. They've got 10 minutes to get through five gates and they're two cones each. They've got 10 minutes to get through there and they're extremely steep. You walk around and take a look at some of these courses a little later, you'll see how crazy they are. They get penalty points for hitting cones or backing up. And they're trying to get done in that time with the lowest possible score. So there's a set of bonus gates that can go through for a 10 point bonus. And these guys are trying really hard not to hit any cones and try not to roll over. And it's pretty fun to watch.

The city of Farmington closes down Main Street the night before the event. So people can mingle amongst the drivers and their giant rigs up close.

It's a real unique atmosphere and I've been super stoked to come here every year because of that downtown little festival they have for these rock crawlers. So it's pretty nice, very welcoming community here and some great scenery. So, thank you Farmington.

Rock crawling is a spectator sport of unusual dimensions, full of action, dirt and sunshine. It's a blast to be a mere few feet away as these monsters roar to life, not for the faint of heart. To get in on the extreme amusement next year, go to the sponsor's Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.


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