Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Big horsepower, insane hill climbs, action packed competition, it sounds fun right? Of course it does, it’s totally awesome and it’s exactly what the sport of Rock Racing is all about. You may have heard of “Rock Bouncing”, it’s a common term used to refer to Rock Racing. The high adrenaline rock bouncing events always feature a combination of competitive hill climbing and rock crawling; the idea is to run a course of obstacles, extreme terrain and gnarly hills as fast as possible and to push the limits of the drivers to climb up the impossible.
Over the past several years rock bouncing has become a very popular sport in the Southeastern region of the United States, in 2012 The Southern Rock Racing Series was formed to provide an organized venue for these extreme competitors to show the world the new founded sport they love. The Southern Rock Racing Series, or SRRS, quickly evolved the sport into multiple organized series of competitions as they expanded into other regions. Now, including the Northern Rock Racing Series and the Central Rock Racing Series, they feature a variety of series, events and classes for both custom buggies and UTVs within each one. All three of these series are banned together under the National Rock Racing Association, or NRRA.
After seeing some videos of the action from a few SRRS events we were really itching to attend one of these races, so we packed up and headed down to Blue Holler Offroad Park in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky for Event #3 of the SRRS RCV Axle UTV Bounty Series on June 23rd. We arrived a day early to get acclimated to the area and event, of course we’ve never been to Blue Holler before so we brought our Polaris General 4 and explored park.
Blue Holler Offroad Park is definitely a great place to ride, the park offers over 1,200 acres of deep woods to ride in featuring many nicely maintained wide trail loops, tight technical trails, a motocross track, gnarly hill climbs, rugged obstacles and an abundance of scenic lookouts, cool rock formations, and caves to explore. Yes, that’s right, caves. Their main attraction is a big cave you can drive right up in to. We definitely had a blast checking out the caves and exploring the park, we highly recommend putting Blue Holler Offroad Park on your list of places to ride.
On Saturday morning many drivers and spectators rolled in to the park, everyone met next to the marked off course down one of the trail heads beginning the day with a drivers meeting explaining the rules and layout of the course. For this race 16 drivers entered the competition, the machines ranged from bone stock UTVs to seriously modified SxS buggies with increased horsepower, custom chassis and finely tuned suspension.
The drivers were set to attempt the 5 climbs on the course; the first climb was on a hill loop that was timed. The timed climb was an important one; if none of the drivers make it through all 5 of the hills the placement of the final leading competitors would be determined on who had the best time on the first hill. After the first hill climb time didn’t matter, the drivers would then have to only complete the marked course to advance. The second climb was a hill branched off of the first climb, then the course moved into a dried up waterfall and creek bed for the next three climbs.
Hill 3 and 4 were pretty tough as the creek bed was very rocky and steep on the way out, but it was Hill 5 that was the most challenging. Hill 5, ruled darn near impossible to climb, was the top of the waterfall. Determined to make it to the top, several drivers who advanced to Hill 5 accepted the challenge, however, a few decided they had enough and backed out after assessing the situation. Although a couple of drivers were very close, no one who attempted Hill 5 made it up. It wasn’t upsetting though; Hill 5 was a total crowd pleaser. Drivers attempted to crawl up the very steep ledge, putting on a hell of a show for the crowd by displaying some impressive driving skills and maneuvers in each attempt. Of course we all know the crowd wanted to see some carnage as well and it was delivered as several of the drivers rolled over backwards on their attempt to make it up the near vertical bluff. We’re glad no one was hurt doing so, keep in mind these guys are professionals using the best in safety equipment and taking extreme precaution in safety procedures.
All in all, we had a blast at the Southern Rock Racing Series event. If you’ve never been to one of these events we definitely recommend it, we can’t wait to go to another one. Take a look at our photo gallery and make sure to check out the all action from the race in our event video below.
SRRS RCV Axle UTV Bounty Series Event #3 Race Results
1st Jamie Coldiron
2nd Bryan Hamby
3rd Michael Flener