Arizona Drivers Claim Goodyear Extreme Rock Crawling Event
27 September 1999Arizona Drivers Claim Goodyear Extreme Rock Crawling Event
FARMINGTON, N.M., Sept. 27 -- Two Arizona off-road drivers and a new Goodyear tire beat all odds Sunday to climb atop the Goodyear Extreme Rock Crawling Championship here. Shannon Campbell, 29, of Gilbert, Ariz., drove his off-road race truck over Farmington's mountainous terrain to claim first place. Dan Dunaway, of Mesa, Ariz., came in second. Both drivers were on Goodyear's new off-road tire, the Wrangler MT/R, which will be available at retailers in the spring. Campbell credited "a bit of luck" and his tires for the win. "I was amazed by the traction when I climbed steep rock. I believe this new tire will set new standards in off-roading," Campbell said. Dunaway said he was surprised to be in the 12-driver final on Sunday. "I give a lot of credit to the Wrangler MT/R. Its traction and toughened sidewalls never let me down." Despite its showing, the Wrangler MT/R was an underdog in the finals. Only five of the 12 vehicles were equipped with the new tire, yet it was on four of the top five finishers. Ron Wells, marketing manager for Goodyear light-truck tires, said he was excited about the tire's showing and the level of interest in rock crawling. Nearly 5,000 people attended the Sunday finals. The Wrangler MT/R off-road tire features a new Durawall puncture-resistant technology that uses high-tech silica compounds, three polyester plies and tread elements that extend down the sidewall to resist tire sidewall punctures, a common problem in off-road travel. Wells said the tiremaker recognizes the growth in extreme sports, such as rock crawling. Goodyear market research indicates more vehicles -- up to 20 percent -- are leaving the roadway -- intentionally. Nearly 60 highly modified vehicles competed in the three-day four-wheeling event, sanctioned by the American Rock Crawlers Association. ARCA has tentative events scheduled in Las Cruces, N.M.; Phoenix; Cedar City, Utah; and Montrose, Colo.