Everyone showed up yesterday and got all checked in. So I wandered around the camps again. I bumped into Randy Ellis who is for sure the underdog of this event. He'll be sporting a four-banger making less horsepower than some of these V-8 guys are making in one cylinder. But don't be fooled. He didn't exactly show up to a gunfight with a knife. He's got a few tricks up his sleeve, and don't forget the guy can drive!
Early on I got a few sort of secretive and vague emails from him about tires. Apparently he got the answer he needed to install four sand paddles on his Suzuki Samurai. That's right, paddle tires designed for the dunes. His thinking is that his rig is light enough that he can keep them alive in the rocks and pretty much float and paddle his way through the mud. His explanation involved those Icelandic buggys that do everything from climb vertical sand walls to hydroplane across water. Only Randy has a lot less power. Which didn't seem to bother him much. He's ready with a huge shot of nitrous and a spare engine-in-waiting on the trailer. The tires are pretty much 33s but measure out around 36 inches tall when you include the paddle cups. Will the paddles hold up?