Jeepspeed racers took time out from battling on the racecourse to honor the top finishers in their series. The General Tire Jeepspeed Challenge presented by ATX Series Wheels is a desert race championship for 6 cylinder Jeep SUVs with limited modifications and the General Tire Jeepspeed Cup presented by ATX Series Wheels is an open class for Jeep, Dodge, & Mopar SUVs/Trucks.
After a highly competitive season that came down to the last race of the series, it was nice to get everyone together to share a meal, a few stories and acknowledge those who achieved top results. The crowd contained Jeepspeed newcomers Dustin Hoffman and Brandon Berge as well as seasoned veterans like Billy Bunch and Eric Heiden. A diverse group of competitors who all share the same desire, to race in a lower cost series that pits the race truck that they build themselves against each other. Jeepspeed is unique because it does not require you to purchase a “spec” vehicle to compete. Jeepspeed racers build their own vehicles to their own design as long as it conforms to the rules. Jeepspeed success depends on great driving in the dirt but also the innovative engineering and fabrication skills that have traditionally set desert racing apart from all others. These are all well-rounded racers who earned their trophies by using many different skills.
Taking the General Tire, ATX Wheels, Jeepspeed Challenge championship and a check for $3000 was Mike Vernak. He wrapped up the title at the last race of the year, the Henderson 250 driving his SoCal SuperTrucks sponsored Jeep Cherokee.
He was in a tight, back and forth battle with championship runner-up Eric Heiden and 3rd place finisher Todd Jackson until the very end. In an act of extraordinary sportsmanship, Todd Jackson actually loaned parts to Eric Heiden during the race that allowed Eric to take the runner-up spot. 2012 Champion Mike Vernak was very humble during his acceptance speech but the significance of beating tough competitors like Heiden and Jackson did not go unnoticed.