Spotters play as big a role as drivers in the sport of rockcrawling. Spotter extraordinaire, Josh Wilson from Kentucky gives us the lowdown on getting started in the early days.
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3:48 – Mom said no!
4:50 – an auto accident introduced me to my first wheeling
7:16 – think twice before leaving your Jeep behind before you go on vacation
10:09 – Learning to do it ourselves
12:26 – Have you ever been to the Jellico rodeo?
17:41 – doing whatever it takes to compete
25:22 – competing and sharing with the best
28:15 – the importance of a spotter
34.12 – how time plays a factor
41:10 – my favorite events
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
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[00:01:56.260] – Josh Wilson
First off Big, I just want to say thanks for having me on here, it’s definitely an honor, especially with the list of other people you’ve interviewed and the places they’ve been, and the things that they’ve done so I’m honored just to be on here to start out. But for me, just a small town country boy grew up in Lawrenceburg Kentucky. You know, growing up on a farm working tobacco, ATV go carts, that kind of thing, was really my first introduction to anything off road related. And then as I got older, as I get my driver’s license, obviously, the more I think like any young kid 16 years old, you get drawn to the four wheel drive crowd, especially growing up in rural Kentucky.
And I think what really turned it for me was actually my cousins went and got a Jeep, it was a brand new 98 wrangler that had fallen off the back of a railroad car. And he got super cheap and really wasn’t damaged and that it was flares and the windshield frame and cage in. He rebuilt it and then he started building it, he started wheeling it. And that really got my blood boiling to get involved in that. My parents had a deal with me from the day I started school.
Whenever I asked about it, I guess there’s no way if you can graduate high school with straight A’s, good attendance, some college scholarships for college, we’ll buy you a vehicle. Whatever you want. So that day came, I didn’t really get through high school, I got an academic scholarship to University of Kentucky. So my parents brought it up and said, all right, what do you want? Well look, here’s this ad. It’s an Eighty seven Jeep CJ7. It was perfect, you know, redone, completely, new paint, like a small box 350 in it, you know, just an ideal redneck Jeep for what I wanted at the time.
Of course, my mom wouldn’t have anything to do with that. So they bought me a ninety nine, T.J., because I will be commuting back and forth to college, my mom thought I needed when you need something more dependable, something with a hard top that I could actually lock and park for a week or so at a time in the lots at school and things like that. So in my brain, that’s what I end up getting. And of course, we went mudding, splashed through rivers and creeks and stuff like that. And what I’m leading up to is actually a rainy morning.
I was driving into school and apparently. A truck in front of me stopped, then we stopped, I get my brakes, Jeeps aren’t exactly known to stop on a dime right Jeep slid, I hit the back of the truck. demolish my fenders, crease my front fenders, destroyed my bumper, I went off the road, slid through the mud. Threw mud and grass all over the top of my Jeep and there I was. Right. So police came to get the insurance report. I had to go to school . I parked my Jeep. Just so happened that there was a group of guys about three years older than me who’ve been wheeling for a while and they saw my Jeep in the parking lot muddy, covered in grass, front end all beat up, they left a card on my windshield for the University of Kentucky Jeepers Club, just a small club they’re starting.
That’s how I met my Buddy Trandsen, who actually the first guy that I started competing with. So wheeled with those guys that winter, the Jeep got lifted like thirty three’s, open open. You know I was a college student, I couldn’t afford to do much more than that. And so we’d wheel do the weekend trips to local areas here. This is going to be my stuff and. Course, right down the road from us is Jellico, Tennessee it’s about two hours away, and this is when EROC is first kicking off. So in the summers, like from April to October, finish work and drive down to watch the EROC competition.
And that led into, you know, we should do this. This know. We look at these and that was really cheap entry fees