lead2.jpg2012 marked the 40th Anniversary of the Las Vegas Jeep Club Jamboree. This was a milestone event for the club as it has certainly lasted the test of time. The Dumont Dunes, a couple hour drive west of Las Vegas, was the site for this Anniversary event. Many long time racers as well as a few new entrants showed up for competition at this unique event. Saturday featured a Hill Climb event with Sunday being the 300’ Sand Drags. It certainly was amazing to see a flat piece of sand built and groomed into a sand drag track in a matter of hours. Read on for the full coverage of this event.

Sand Drags

The majority of the competitors at this year’s Las Vegas Jeep Club Jamboree were looking forward to the traditional sand drag event. This isn’t like the typical sand drag event, as it is contested on pure dune sand as well as running an all-heads up format with classes broken down by 2WD or 4WD & Big Block or Small Block. With a low cost of entry, many racers entered 3 or more categories to get the maximum amount of passes for the dollar.

The Pro Drag class was the highlight class of the weekend. Pro Drag is open to any entry for this heads-up battle. Thirteen entries made the first round call, and by the time the semi-finals came around the four quickest cars on the property were left in competition. The first pair saw the blown Small-Block “Grinch” Funny Jeep of Dave Stidham pair up with the Nitrous-assisted Small-Block Jeep of Joe Simeone. Both Jeeps would leave together, but Stidham’s blown entry would pull ahead for the victory. In the other pair, the Blown Alcohol BBC-powered Funny Jeep of Bruce Taylor squared off with Nick Schulzman’s Alcohol-Injected SBC-powered Altered. Shultzman got the starting line edge, but the Blown Big Block power of Taylor drove around for the win with his quickest & straightest pass of the weekend. This set up a final round between Taylor and Stidham with Taylor being the favorite as he had the clear performance advantage over the field all weekend long. Unfortunately for Taylor, he would let go of the button just a little too soon, and Stidham would make another clean pass to take the Pro Drag final round victory.

The next hotly contested category was the X600 Jeeps, which consisted of basically anything sort of Jeep/Front Engine related with no limitation. Stidham would slice through this field to face off with Schulzman’s Altered in the final round. In this battle, both drivers would leave together, but the “Grinch” Jeep of Stidham would take the win at the stripe by a Jeep length or so for his second class win of the day.

X600 Trucks was the unlimited category for truck-type vehicles. The always entertaining battle of the Blazers between Mike DeJohn and Ken Allen usually headlines the Truck classes. In X600, with three entries Allen and DeJohn would face off in round one. Ken would take the hole shot advantage and not look back to advance on to the final round. In the final, Allen would handily defeat the S-10 of Brad Mendrick to take the class win. DeJohn and Allen were the sole entries in the X500 Big-Block Truck category. They put on a great side-by-side battle in this class’ final round. By just inches at the stripe, DeJohn took the victory in a thrilling match.

A great addition to this year’s Jeep Jamboree was the XDuner Jeep class, which was created for dune able Jeeps. Jon Kendig in the Instigator, ex-Matt Hegwood Jeep, stole the show by slicing through the field and defeating Steve Gurschke in the final round. Another of the popular categories was the X200 Jeep class (Small-Block power ONLY). This class came down to a battle between Joe Simeone’s Funny Jeep & Charlie Owens in the Thompson Drywall Jeep. When the dust cleared on a wheel-to-wheel battle, Simeone took the victory.

Other big winners in the sand drags were Jon Warren’s Raspberry Thunder Jeep (X500 Jeeps - Big Block 4WD), David Den Hartog’s T-Bucket (X400 Jeeps - Big Block 2WD), Brad Mendrick’s S-10 (X400 Trucks - Big Block 2WD), Frank Wagner’s Jeep (X300 Jeeps - Small Block 4WD & A Jeeps), Mike Stone Sr. (B Jeeps), Ben Decker (G Jeeps), Lola Warner (K Jeeps), Charles Fickes (K Trucks), Debbie Gilmore (UTV Modified), and Wendy Thompson (UTV Stock, Women’s X200 X400 & X600 Jeeps).

Dave Stidham - Pro Drag & X600 Winner.

Bruce Taylor - Pro Drag Runner-Up & Low ET

Jon Kendig - Duner Class Winner

Nick Shultzman - X600 Runner-Up

Jon Warren - X500 Jeep Winner

David Den Hartog - X400 Winner

X200 Final Round - Joe Simeone (Far Lane) WINNER vs. Charlie Owens (Near Lane)

X600 Trucks Final Round - Ken Allen (Near Lane) Winner vs. Mike DeJohn (Far Lane)

UTV Modified Final Round - Debbie Gilmore (Far Lane) Winner vs. Cole Warren

Wendy Thompson swept the Ladies Jeep categories not only in the sand drags, but on the hill as well.

The race track ready for action at the Dumont Dunes.

Hill Climb

The Hill Climb competition is a traditional part of the Jamboree event. This part of the event starts with several elimination rounds were each competitor in a class will start at a specific spot on the hill in each round. With each passing round, the starting spot gets higher up the hill, and those who do not make it past the finish line are eliminated. After several rounds, the remaining racers in each class either go into a Turtle Crawl, or Uphill Drag elimination to determine a class champion. The Turtle Crawl sees racers attempt to go up the hill as slow as possible, and the last remaining racer with forward momentum is the winner. The Uphill Drags are self-explanatory with the first racer across the finish line taking the win.

On this weekend, Chris Adamson with his “Bounty Hunter” Jeep was the man to beat at the Hill Climb. He would out last a tough X600 Jeep (Unlimited Jeep) category defeating Jamboree rookie Jon Kendig in a close Uphill Drag final round. Adamson doubled-up as he would also take the win in the X400 (Big Block or Smaller 2WD) Jeep class defeating Steve Perkio in a spirited Turtle Crawl final round. Another of the tough categories was the X200 (Small Block 2WD) Jeep class, where the final round saw Joe Simeone outlast the competition in a 4-wide Turtle Crawl with Clark Harris taking second place. Jon Warren, in his Raspberry Thunder Jeep, was extremely hard to beat on the Hill Climb as he would take both the X500 Jeep (Big Block 4WD) and A Jeeps classes. Another top contender on the Hill was Chris Price as he was very impressive in taking the X300 Jeep (Small Block 4WD) victory as well as close 2nd place finishes in the X500 & A Jeep classes to Warren. Other big winners from Saturday’s Hill Climb competition included Brad Mendrick (X600 Trucks & X400 Trucks), Eddie Spears (B Jeeps), Cole Warren (UTV Modified), David Stidham (UTV Stock), and Wendy Thompson (Ladies X600 Jeeps, X400 Jeeps, & X200 Jeeps).

Chris Adamson - X600 & X400 Jeep class Winner

Jon Kendig - X600 Jeep Runner-Up

Jon Warren - X500 Jeep Winner

Chris Price - X300 Jeep Winner

Chris Adamson

Shawn Thompson with a nice launch on the hill.

Clark Harris had a great showing in the Hill Climb event

Joe Simeone with the front wheels up on the Hill.

Brad Mendrick was a strong competitor on the Hill & in the Drags with his S-10.

Wes Gilmore's Rattitude Jeep climbing the Hill

JR Speer's beautiful Sand Dollar Jeep ran well in both the Drags & the Hill

Special Awards

A great feature of the Las Vegas Jeep Club Jamboree are the special awards given out at the end of each event. This year’s Best Engineered Award for vehicles that showed excellence across both the Hill Climbs & Drags events went to Jon Kendig with his Instigator Jeep. Jon went rounds on both days & took the Duner class win on the drags in impressive fashion with his newly purchased Jeep. The Best Appearing award went to Mike DeJohn and his beautiful Yellow Blazer for the Las Vegas area. Mike’s Blazer not only has tons of Big Block Chevy power, but also is a show quality piece. The Hard Luck Award went to Wes Gilmore as major parts breakage in early rounds of the Hill Climb took Wes & his Rattitude Jeep out for the event. The Fool’s Award for toughest mistake throughout the event went to Jamboree rookie Randy Pearson, who had his wheelie bar set way too low on the sand drags and got hung up on the starting line. Long Haul Award went to Ed & Lola Warner, long time Jeep Club members who made the trip from Oklahoma to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the event.

Photos Courtesy NSDN

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