Meet Mike Karwath, Team #11, '09 YJ buggy, Buggy Class
Q What made you want to compete in TTC?
A "I have always viewed TTC as one of the most exclusive off-road events that exists in the world. You can't pay to get it, you can't win an event to get in, you can't get in by a raffle, etc. You have to get voted in by the public. And it's not some crappy riggable Internet vote. It's a 'get off your ass, buy a mag, cut it out, and mail it in' type of vote. You can't rig it and the results are real. The fact that you are voted in by your peers makes it that much more of an honor to be a part of it. Finally building a rig that could compete at the TTC level, it became a very strong desire to be part of the history that TTC is. Only a handful of people can say they've done it, and I'm ecstatic to part of that handful."
Q What type of wheeling do you normally do?
A "East Coast throttle jockey, slippery mucky rocks-type wheeling. Make it, or break it trying-kind of wheeling. We build rigs that allow us to never have to back down from any obstacle. Hit it harder and harder."
Q What type of wheeling do you rarely do?
A "Mud. Hate mud. Hate it. Would rather lose a finger than get in the mud. It breaks things, gets in places you can't get it out, etc."
Q If you could go wheeling anywhere in the world, where would that be, and why?
A "I haven't wheeled Johnson Valley at all. Have always wanted to, and if my pig is still in one piece after TTC, we are heading south to do some wheeling there. That's a big 'if.' Cross your fingers."
Q What TTC event are you most looking forward to and why?
A "Tank Trap. Seems to be the biggest challenge of the week. Some seem to roll right through it and others have problems every part of the way. There also seems to be no rhyme or reason to this success or lack of success. So I'm amxious to see how my team fares in the 'Trap."
Q What TTC event are you not looking forward to, and why?
A "The Mud Bog. Ugh. Mud sucks. 'Nuff said."
Q What's playing on your iPod/CD player right now?
A "Next four songs from the random playlist: 'I Go To Work' by Kool Moe Dee, 'Drink to the Dead' by Clutch, 'Gimme Back My Bullets' by Lynrd Skynrd, and 'Break 'Em Off Some' by Cypress Hill."
Q The San Andreas Fault is very close to camp. Have you ever been in an earthquake?
A "Nope. Don't want to be, either."
Q Have you ever been chased by a wild boar?
A "Nope, but I've taken a few home at closing time."
Q Have you ever been subjected to poison oak?
A "Nope, and I've heard its insane out there. My poor co-driver. But heck, I'd eat it if I had to, to be a part of the event."
Q What's one thing people should know about you?
A "The big toenail on my left foot grows at a 45-degree angle, to the left."