Idaho-X-Rocks is a relatively new competition on the race circuit with 3 events taking place outside of Nampa, ID in 2015. The third and final event was held over 2 days in Mid-August with the first course being set up in the sideyard of Idaho X-Rocks co-founder Tate Elquist. The course consists of a combination of large boulders, concrete culverts and a very nasty shotcrete bounty hill worth $500 that has never been conquered! The competition is run following "standard" rock crawling rules, with cones set up for the gates and penalties for hitting cones, backing up, going out of bounds etc. For this competition there was a small variation of doing only 3 gates per stage and lowering the stage time to only 7 minutes to complete (usually there is 4 gates and 10 minutes per stage) in the interest of speeding things up and getting such a large number of rigs through a small course. In total 27 rigs signed up to compete, 8 unlimited, 16 pro-mod and 3 stock class.
Saturday morning started off cool with the heavy smell of smoke in the air and a haze on the southern horizon from all the wildfires in the area. With a forecast of only 85* and not a cloud in the sky it was shaping up to be a great day on the rocks! After a random drawing to determine the starting order the rigs set up and got under way. The courses proved to be extremely difficult for even the most well built rigs. The $500 bounty hill stayed unclaimed as rig after rig ended up on their lids after trying to climb it. One of those victims was Shawn McNearney, with some of the craziest driving we have ever seen he did a full backwards roll, ending up nose down and gassing out of it to save the roll and land back on his tires. While everyone cheered that save he lined up for another try and ended up launching off the hill, landing on his side. Shawn and his Spotter Jared Neff were able to right it by themselves with brute strength and determination so they could continue the stage, unfortunately timing out just a few feet shy of the finish line. That level of difficultly and that sort of hard work characterized the day with team after team struggling on the hard obstacles and putting in a huge effort to just to complete the course. Stage A3 quickly became the impossible stage, with everyone struggling through an extremely tight set of gates and a difficult climb over some massive rocks. Rig after rig got stuck and timed out or broke trying to make it over the rocks with no one making it through.
With a laundry list of carnage including some rigs already out for the weekend and a few teams with hours of wrenching ahead there was still smiles on everyone's faces. A fantastic day on the rocks was capped off with a huge potluck dinner including some amazing bbq and good company on the lawn that really brings out the family feel of this event. As the sun went down and the beers quenched tired throats, everyone hung out late into the night talking eagerly about what to expect for the next day's competition.
The Sunday event took place on a different course about 5 miles away across the rolling pastures of South West Idaho. The property is owned by the parents of the other X-Rocks co-founder Todd Young. This course has a different flavour, still characterized by large rocks and tight cone placement but a completely different playing field with some huge holes and loose boulders. James Treacy started the day with a 60 point lead in the unlimited class and proceeded to put on a clinic, clearing all of the stages with ease and finishing the event with a combined two day score of -30 points, good enough to take home the win with a 41 point spread over second place Shawn McNearney. Shawn finished with 11 points total after his amazing driving on Day 1 and some clean driving on Day 2. Third place was won by Clark W with a score of 65 points. With five Pro-Mod cars broken and out of the event and the scores from 1-11th only separated by 45 points it was anyone's event to win on Sunday. A tight back and forth battle all day lead to "Taco" taking the Pro-Mod win with a final score of 119 points. He was followed closely by Kyle W with 138 points. Third place went to Kaitlin Yates in her small but extremely capable Suzuki, finishing with a two day score of 149 points. While the Unlimited class and Pro-Mod class run the same courses with different restrictions on tire size etc, the stock class runs a slightly different route with easier courses better designed to challenge their mostly stock rigs. With only 3 vehicles in this class of up and coming racers it was fun to watch them figure out what their rigs can and cannot do off-road. Holly in her well built first-gen Toyota led for the entire weekend to take home the win with a final score of 89 points. She was followed closely by Daniel R. in his open differential Jeep Wrangler with 111 points and Montana Bigelow coming in third in her Suzuki with a total combined score of 154 points.
With a fantastic facility and great atmosphere you should really put this event on your schedule as an awesome family activity to check out during the summer in Southern Idaho. Dates and more information can be found on the Idaho X-Rocks website at http://www.idahoxrocks.net/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Idaho-X-Rocks/133044586768679