Ten questions for Mike Karwath, Union, Kentucky, '10 TTC Champion.
What will you be driving in TTCC?
"The FatGirl, 2006 Coleworx Rock Racing Chassis, fresh Ramjet 502, PTC TH400, Atlas 4.3, pair of steering Rockwell 2.5-ton toploaders with all Ouverson parts, Fox 2.5-inch bumps, Flux Capacitor, Marsh wheels, 46-inch MT Baja Claws (for now). And of course all the other garbage that makes up a retarded rock-bouncing rig."
What is your most memorable moment from the year you competed?
"A huge highlight of the trip was the time spent with my team and the other competitors areound the campfire every night. Knocking back a few cold ones and trading stories from the days festivities helped us all relax and prepare for the next day. I made a ton of friends the year I was there, and still talk to quite a few of them every week. That was the real prize of the trip. Hearing your name called as the winner is pretty damn cool as well. Standing on that stage with Brad accepting our award was something I'll never forget. It's the high point of my wheeling career."
If you could take First Place in only one event, which would it be?
"Tank Trap most definitely. It's worth the most points and often decides the outcome of the entire event. It's the rockstar event, even if you don't do well, you're still in the spotlight. With everyone lining the hillsides watching it's like you're in some insane arena battling this ridiculous trail. It throws everything at you in a five-minute period; insane water holes, mud, rocks, canyon climbs, etc. You have to be on your A-game, one simple mistake and you're on your top."
If you had to take last place in one event, which would it be?
"The Mud Pit. I'd rather not even start that event. Mud sucks...bad. You can keep it."
Besides yourself, who has the best chance of taking home the First Place TTCC trophy?
"Matt Thorson, hands down. Any man that attractive and that amazingly tan has an advantage in every aspect of life, including champion off-road wheeling events. Chicks dig him, dudes dig him, he's got the full package. All kidding aside, I will be rooting for the voted-in driver; as long as he's not a past TTC competitor. If it's a past competitor, that's gay, you had your shot. UNLESS it's Cheston of course, then I'm sure he'll win, hell, he's been there 15 times, he's got an advantage over everyone. I wojld love to see someone unknown come into this event and wash the floor with the Champions. I'd gladly shake his hand, or high five, or fist bump, or sword fight with our [edited]- whatever the cool guy gesture is these days."
When was the last time you barfed?
"Last Easter I guess... something about friends, family, and holidays that brings out the best in me. I keep myself on a schedule of covering my shoes in puke about every six months. It cleanses the soul."
When was the last time you were truly scared?
"Waiting in line in 2010 to do the TTC Hill Climb event. A bit scared, overly excited, adrenaline-pumped, and in the dark about it all. It was the only event we weren't familiar with from the videos, or walking the course, etc. The first four or five drivers rolled over. All we could hear were full throttle assaults, then a split second of silence, followd by more full throttle assaults, then radio news of a roll and people yelling and shouting directions. We had no idea what we were up against. Even when you lined up to start the climb, you can't see anything at all from the bottom. Judges told us that if forward momentum stops, your run is over. Brad and I had in our minds that we wouldn't let out of the throttle until we were at the top of the hill or on our roof. Toby said 'GO' and the while thing was a blur. All we remember is seeing sky, dirt, sky,dirt, sky, dirt, giant excavator, trees, sky, finish line. At the end Hollywood asked me what I thought about that, and all I could say with shaky hands was 'WOW.'"
What was the last movie you watched?
"Iron Man 2 on the Netflix. That Don Cheadle is a sexy *** mmmhmmm."
What's playing on your iPod/CD player right now?
AMG- *** Have My Money, Benni Bennasi- Who's Your Daddy?, Dust Brothers- Commissioner Castration, (hed) p.e.- Renegade, Orange 9mm- Feel it"
What's one thing people should know about you?
I already used the toenail thing, not thinking that I would ever be asked this again, so this is a tough one. I'm a pretty transparent person; if you've met me- you know me. I've seen every Broadway musical to hit my area in the last 10 years. Season tickets, *** you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way, from your first cigarette to your last dyin' day.'"