The start of the 3rd season of the podcast sees off-road newcomer, Skip Scott, share his story of how he got started with off-road, competition, and this new phase of life. It’s important to remember that all histories matter, new and old, all tell the history of off-road. Thanks for joining us Skip.
5:37 – let’s get the hell out of this Burg!
11:37 – we’re communicating, sir!
17:53 – no one wants to hear your ideas
26:02 – I want somebody to want me and to be valuable
33:37 – I’m free
39:32 – that little dog changed my life right there.
45:01 – solving the puzzle is what keeps us in it
53:40 – I have a bit of an advantage I didn’t have last year
1:15:25 – drivers want to do more than they should, spotters are the reasonable ones
1:22:56 – you are the most important person in our lives because you are the future
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show
[00:00:06.310] - Big Rich Klein
Welcome to Conversations with Big Rich. This is an interview style podcast. Those interviews are all involved in the offroad industry. Being involved, like all of my guests are, is a lifestyle, not just a job. I talked to competitive teams, racers, rock crawlers, business owners, employees, media and private park owners, men and women who have found their way into this exciting and addictive lifestyle. We discuss their personal history, struggles, successes and reboots. We dive into what drives them to stay active and offroad. We all hope to shed some light on how to find a path into this world we live and love and call off road.
[00:00:53.730] - Speaker 3
Whether you're crawling the red rocks of Moab or hauling your toys to the trail, Maxxis has the tires you can trust for performance and durability, four wheels or two, Maxxis tires are the choice of Champions because they know that whether for work or play, for fun or competition, Maxxis tires deliver. Choose Maxxis Tread victoriously.
[00:01:20.350] - Big Rich Klein
If you still love the idea of a printed magazine, something to save and read at any time. 4Low magazine is a magazine for you. 4Low cannot be found in a storefront or on a bookshelf, but you can have it delivered to your home or place of business. Visit 4lowmagazine.com to order your subscription today.
[00:01:41.770] - Big Rich Klein
On today's episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Skip Scott. Skip is pretty new to rock crawling competitions. I think his first We Rock event was last season, and he's just coming off his first podium win in Mason, Texas at Katemcy Rocks with the We Rock Eastern opener for 2022. Skip, it's great to have you on the air and get a chance to talk about your life.
[00:02:11.290] - Skip Scott
Rich, I'm honored. I'm blown away. I'm in company of some big names, and I don't deserve to be. And it's a real pleasure to be here with you today.
[00:02:23.840] - Big Rich Klein
Well, thank you. Just remember, and everybody out there remember, none of us are superheroes. We just are people that have found a passion for a sport or a lifestyle. And we went after it. Every one of us puts their pants on one leg at a time.
[00:02:42.350] - Skip Scott
That's good to know. I thought you guys are superheroes. Son of a gun. All right, well, that's helpful.
[00:02:47.870] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, definitely not me. There are some guys I look at as superheroes, but I won't tell them that because most of their heads are too big. Anyway.
[00:02:57.170] - Skip Scott
I told my girlfriend, you know, I'm going to need I'm going to be too big for my britches, and I'm going to need all new hats tomorrow.
[00:03:05.510] - Big Rich Klein
There you go. All right, so let's jump right in and I'm going to ask the standard basic first question. And where were you born and raised,
[00:03:15.740] - Skip Scott
Rich, I was born. Well, let me say I'm going to answer that question.
[00:03:19.080] - Big Rich Klein
[00:03:19.510] - Skip Scott
But first, I want to thank you for doing these podcasts because they have accelerated my understanding and education of this sport that would have taken me lifetimes to do. So I want to thank you for that.
[00:03:32.320] - Big Rich Klein
[00:03:33.830] - Skip Scott
I was born in Oakland, California, and I was raised pretty much all over the Southern part of the country. I lived in probably 25 cities growing up, and it was quite an experience. Lived in Colorado, Texas, California, Florida, and everywhere in between in just about every damn city in those States. And I was an only child, so it was hard to make friends. Obviously, I've learned how to do that, but it was quite an experience. My dad, as I realized decades later, he was a state trooper in Texas when I was about four years old. And a car used to come speeding down our residential street, and he would jump up off the couch in his shorts and his underwear, his T shirt and underwear and run out on the porch and you son of a. You know what? And go jump in his cop car and chase after him? Well, I'm a four year old kid. I'm just thinking, okay, that's what dad does. I don't know anything. Well, then so shortly after a few episodes of that, I find that he's not a policeman anymore. And we're moving from town to town throughout my whole childhood.
[00:05:02.090] - Skip Scott
And I think he was just searching. My mom and dad were searching and we didn't have anything. We didn't have hardly anything at all. And they were trying to find themselves. They were very young. My mom had me when she was 17, but they did everything that a parent should do, and they love me, so they did everything that they could do.
[00:05:31.010] - Big Rich Klein
So moving all over, it was like a job search for your dad at that point.
[00:05:37.950] - Skip Scott
Then, yeah, we would get into a town, he would get a job, and the next thing I know, he's like, let's get the hell out of this Burg. It was always a Burg, whatever the hell that meant. And off he went to greener pastures, and he was running from something that he was never going to find running from it. And he finally did just stay in one place and figured it out after I was grown up.
[00:06:06.470] - Big Rich Klein
But yeah, I can relate to that, to be completely honest. My adult years after College, I moved a lot. I had a lot of different careers before I got into off road. And I don't think I was running from something. I was trying to run to something, but I didn't know what it was.
[00:06:32.690] - Skip Scott
[00:06:33.240] - Big Rich Klein
So maybe that's a way to look at it, you know, better than anybody else or would know, except for maybe your dad himself. But that's one of the things that drives the Bedouin lifestyle is what I call it, where we constantly are on the move and changing jobs and positions or within an industry or whatever you're just looking for that right fit someplace that you can call home or whatever.
[00:07:06.410] - Skip Scott
Well, that's a good way to put it. Someplace that you can call home. And I probably found that about 15 years ago. Finally a place that I could call home. And so I'm there. I'm at home now, and it feels good to be at home. It feels good to know where home is. I always wondered where home was.
[00:07:28.080] - Big Rich Klein
So while you were growing up and moving around, where were I call the informative years, at least for a male child like myself. Most of the time I find that it's like between ages eight or ten to 16 is where, you know, we're searching for our own identity. Where was the place that most felt like home while you were jumping all around?
[00:08:01.130] - Skip Scott
Well, that's a good question. It was more just a survival, probably in fourth grade, of course, I got bullied all the time because I was always the new kid and I was just a little guy. There's nothing about me. And shy, of course. And I go in and everybody always knew everybody except for me. I was always a new guy. Well, one day, this kid that had been picking on me, he comes out, I'm waiting for my dad to pick me up outside in front of the school there. And I thought he was going to kill me. Rich. He hit me and knocked me to the ground. And honestly, as I look back, I thought he was going to kill me. I'm in fourth grade, and the next thing I know, I've got him in a rear naked choke, and it's all just a blur. I remember kids trying to pull me off of him because they said I was going to kill him.
[00:08:57.270] - Big Rich Klein
I bet that's the last time he hit you.
[00:08:59.850] - Skip Scott
Yeah. The next thing I know, my dad pulls up and yells at me and I run away from that kid. Yeah. That son of a gun never even looked at me again. We'd be walking down the hallway and he'd duck his head. He's scared of death of me. So I think I figured out a lot right there. That was a defining moment in life right there.
[00:09:21.030] - Big Rich Klein
And that's a valuable lesson. And it's a lesson that I don't feel a lot of kids over the last 15 years have been able to learn.
[00:09:33.750] - Skip Scott
Totally agree with that, Rich. Totally agree with that. I think with your children and with my son, I have one son. And you got to teach them how to Hunt and kill their own food. And you got to let them have the freedom to learn how to do that because it's not easy out in that world.
[00:10:00.310] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. Not only learn success, but they need to learn failure, because without failure, you can never really truly have success.
[00:10:10.670] - Skip Scott
Yeah. And that's a metaphor I use. Hunt and kill your own food. That's just a metaphor. Yeah. They've got to fall on their face. And I agree just too much parenting going on. For God's sake, let them son of a gun run. Yes, let them run and figure it out. They're going to be okay. It's hard as a parent, though, because you can't let them kill themselves. I understand that. But too much safety and too much helicoptering going on. You know what I mean?
[00:10:42.970] - Big Rich Klein
Yes, absolutely. I call some of the parenting of really young kids. And it's probably going to make some people mad. But I call it free range parenting, where they really don't discipline the kids when they're younger. And then it becomes harder to discipline them. But then they start to Hover over them. It's almost like they're trying not to parent. And it becomes now electronic parenting.
[00:11:17.730] - Skip Scott
[00:11:18.610] - Big Rich Klein
You know what I mean? Well, I can get little Johnny to calm down because he's got his Xbox, 2500, whatever. And with his goggles and paddles and everything else, and no real socialization.
[00:11:37.650] - Skip Scott
Yeah, absolutely. Social skills. I've suffered that when I own my business for about 16 years. And social skills. Social skills. Social skills are very difficult to find in people. Let me just tell a little story about that. So we're here, and I'm in small manufacturing. We made Mesquite lamps and copper lamp shades. And you've probably seen them. They're in about 10 stores around the country. The business has been going on for about 43 years. And another gentleman, my spotter, Cole Bates, owns the business now. Okay, well, so when I was running and I had this old boy and we were out chainsawing these logs together. And I'm trying to teach him and communicate to him. And he's just quiet. He's not talking back to me. I'm asking, what did you feel about that? What do you think about this? Do you understand this or that? And he won't communicate to me. He just doesn't have the words to spit out of his mouth. And I get frustrated. I get frustrated. It's hard work. It's hot. We're sweating. I can't get him to communicate to me. He's a new guy. Finally, I kind of pick up the chainsaw, throw it in the back of the truck, get in the damn truck, I tell him.
[00:12:57.670] - Skip Scott
And we run into the shop area and go over to my general manager. His name was John. And I'm pretty lit up. And I'm like, John was working on the bandsaw. And I'm like, John, are we making lamps here? And he says, no, sir. Are we making copper lampshades here? He says, no, sir. I say, John, are you cutting lamps on the bandsaw today? He says, no, sir. And I go through a list of things and he says, no to all of them. A list of things that we are actually doing. And I say, John, what are we doing here? And he says, we're communicating, sir. Yes, that is what we're doing. All this other stuff is just nothing. We are communicating. That's why we are successful. That is the most important thing. And in the new world that we're living, kids are missing out on. Kids are missing out on. I get a group of employees. I had this big table in my shop there, and we would all eat lunch there. And then the smartphone came along because this was a time when people could bond and talk with one another at lunch.
[00:14:14.530] - Skip Scott
And I required them to eat lunch there. And then the smartphones come along rich. And now everyone's got their head down into their damn phone. It wasn't too long ago that I eventually got out for many reasons, but I took the phones away from them for a while. I had everyone put them in a basket. And eventually the world doesn't allow that anymore. You can't take somebody's phone away. You can't do it.
[00:14:46.460] - Big Rich Klein
No. And it needs to happen, though. It's just like I can remember when I was managing an automotive repair business and the smokers would all go take smoke breaks seven minutes at a time because I timed it. And this would happen like two or three times an hour. And I was like, all right, I sat everybody down and I said, we're in groups, actually, so people could keep working. And I said, all right, who here are smokers? Half of them raise their hands. And I said, this is how this is going to happen. You get 215 minutes breaks, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and you get an hour lunch. You can smoke to your heart's desire during those breaks. But if I see you out three times in an hour out smoking cigarettes, you're going to get written up. Three write ups, you're fired. I'll find somebody that doesn't smoke. And everybody's like, Why? And I said, productivity. These guys over here, look at the productivity numbers. I could tell how many alignments guys were doing, how many break jobs. They were doing different work. And the smokers were producing about 40% less than what the non smokers were.
[00:16:08.040] - Big Rich Klein
And it's the same thing. Phones.
[00:16:14.010] - Skip Scott
It's very difficult.
[00:16:15.940] - Big Rich Klein
The phones, even though they allowed us access to more information quicker. I think it's dumbed down society.
[00:16:29.710] - Skip Scott
It's the same thing we're talking about. It's very difficult to find people with social skills that can walk up, give you a firm handshake, look you in the eye and tell you a little story and get you involved in some conversation and start bonding with you. We're social creatures. That is the success of any organization is the social ability of those participants. Like I said, with the communication story, we're not doing anything else but communicating. And if we don't do that effectively, it doesn't matter how we do alignments or lamps or anything else. We have to communicate effectively. We're getting older, Rich, so you know how it is. Maybe we don't understand some things. I don't know.
[00:17:22.850] - Big Rich Klein
No, I think we understand them better than some of the people think I get kicked out of people going, oh, you're just a Boomer. Your typical Boomer. You know, I'm pretty happy and proud to be a Boomer.
[00:17:36.890] - Skip Scott
[00:17:39.470] - Big Rich Klein
There are things I don't understand about technology, but the one thing I do understand is people. And I think technology has its place, but it's become too invasive.
[00:17:53.090] - Skip Scott
You know, I used to tell people I had a crew when I was really efficient. I have a crew of about five or six people really bonded together, really working well. And then a new guy would come along, I'd hire a new person, and I had to teach them everything, of course, how to deal with life. And I would say, look, I'm fixing to let you lose those group of five men in there. They're a pack of wolves. They're a pack of wolves. They're not going to care one damn thing about you. You go in there, you flip upside down, show them your belly and submit. Nobody wants to hear your ideas. Nobody wants to hear your complaints, blah, blah, blah. Just go in there and submit and wait for them to accept you into the pack. And then you can maybe say what you think or give us an idea, but you need to go and turnover. And I think that did help some people.
[00:18:48.160] - Big Rich Klein
Actually, I think that's great advice. So anybody listening to that, remember that when you walk into something new, whether it's at a competition, whether it's at a new job, whether it's at a social event, I tried to do that same thing. When I go wheeling with people I don't know, I don't get out and tell everybody how to do things. I don't tell them I won't spot them unless they ask. I don't push myself upon people I don't know for the simple fact that I want to be able to communicate with them. And I have the kind of personality that can be probably overwhelming at times. And I know that.
[00:19:37.870] - Skip Scott
Well, if you talk too much when you're new, people are going to call you and know it all that's the common misperception is I use a Knowitall, because you've just stepped out of line a little bit too quick and tried to take a place in the pecking order that you haven't earned yet. And so you want to talk about a pack of woods, rich that's showing up in Congress? No, not in Congress, but Baghdad, Arizona, in 2018 and knowing nothing about anything, four wheel drives or competition buggies or anything like that. And I mean, you want to talk about stepping into a pack of woods, show up to a competition knowing nothing. And it is a pack of woods. That's what it seems like.
[00:20:25.410] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, everybody's a type A personality. Absolutely.
[00:20:29.140] - Skip Scott
Yeah. They're super friendly, as you come to find out, but it's rather intimidating when you first open that door to We Rock knowing nothing about anything or anyone's name or any history of anything can be quite intimidating.
[00:20:46.870] - Big Rich Klein
Right? I get it. So at what age did you realize communication was a key element in growing up?
[00:20:59.330] - Skip Scott
That's a good question. I don't know that. I think my dad was more of a philosopher. Okay. So we weren't doing things with the hands too much. We were having a lot of conversations. We went fishing a lot and we talked a lot. He was a dreamer. We explored kind of the universe and the nature of personal reality. The nature of things is what we talked about. So I guess it was just kind of that communication just put into me. And I was always the outsider, rich, always the outsiders. We would move to a new city. I would be sitting there in the apartment. I'd see the kids out on the playground, and it would take me a few days before I could walk out to that playground. But the day has to come. Your parents can't take you, right? I'm 1112 years old. I'll be damned if my parents are going to walk me into a bunch of kids. You have got to put on your bridges at some point and walk down to all those kids playing soccer or ball in the yard, Dodge ball, and you've got to walk up to them.
[00:22:13.970] - Skip Scott
And that's scary as hell. But you learn how to communicate doing that true.
[00:22:20.630] - Big Rich Klein
Were you able to spend your high school years in one area?
[00:22:24.290] - Skip Scott
Actually, I was for the most part. We ended up in Albuquerque and I begged my parents to let me finish high school in one place. So Albuquerque was the place. I was on the football team, a freshman there. And six weeks later we moved. I thought I was in my forever home and out the damn door we go. We moved to El Paso. Ended up graduating high school in El Paso. And I had a wonderful childhood. I had a great time. I had a wonderful time in high school especially. It was a blast.
[00:23:06.090] - Big Rich Klein
Did you spend a lot of time outdoors? Those are areas with vast amount of accessible land.
[00:23:14.910] - Skip Scott
I did. We lived on the edge of the desert and guys were running those square body Chevys and we'd go out to the sand dunes and keggers 1617 years old, and I had a little motorcycle for a while. I cruise around on yeah, so we were outside quite a bit. It was beer, dirt and girls and school was somewhere in there. I think school was a pain in the butt as far as I was concerned.
[00:23:54.130] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I get it. That's why I joined your book staff. So I could write my own passes and take me and my friends out of class.
[00:24:02.890] - Skip Scott
Yeah, but I never got exposed since my dad. I never got exposed to anything much mechanical. If something broke, I had to have somebody else fix it for me. So I went through a whole long way of really not ever picking up a rent or knowing how anything worked. I didn't care. I was doing other things.
[00:24:26.170] - Big Rich Klein
So then after high school, you're in El Paso. I assume you graduated high school or you leave high school. What was the next step?
[00:24:36.550] - Skip Scott
Well, I graduated high school. I went to Harvard. That next semester. Harvard on the border. That's what they call the University of Texas at El Paso. Harvard on the border. So I tell everyone I got out of Harvard and people immediately look at you different when you say that.
[00:24:57.610] - Big Rich Klein
I just did.
[00:24:58.970] - Skip Scott
You can't visually see it.
[00:25:00.420] - Big Rich Klein
But I did.
[00:25:01.590] - Skip Scott
You just profiled me?
[00:25:02.970] - Big Rich Klein
[00:25:03.330] - Skip Scott
I resent that you're profiling me. I joined Harvard there and lasted about a semester. I was in the fraternity, had a zero five GPA. I was proud of that.
[00:25:17.450] - Big Rich Klein
Did you show up to any classes Besides orientation?
[00:25:21.420] - Skip Scott
No. I don't know how I got the .5 I smooth somebody. I talked my way into that one. No, I didn't do crap. So I'm like, this isn't any fun. And I just got out of College and went to work. And so back to working. Beer and girls, what do you do?
[00:25:43.340] - Big Rich Klein
[00:25:45.050] - Skip Scott
Valet parking. So low hours and high money. But a year and a half later, I realized, you know what? This isn't going to work.
[00:25:55.070] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. Valet parking in El Paso?
[00:25:58.610] - Skip Scott
Yeah. At Sunlin Park Racetrack.
[00:26:01.040] - Big Rich Klein
[00:26:02.030] - Skip Scott
Yeah. And at a couple of high end restaurants. All right. Fine dining. Yeah. And you realize this isn't going to work. I need a skill that took me a while to figure that out. I admire kids that know what they want to do and start on the path early. But that wasn't me. I need a skill. So I went to the College again and got back in and I said, talking with my counselor. And I said, you know what? I want to do something that is hard because when I walk out of here, I want somebody to want me and I want to be valuable. And he says, Well, I think I want to be in Petroleum engineering. I told him and he said, well, how are you in math? And I'm like, well, not very good math. And he says, well, that could be a problem. And he said, Why don't you go over the engineering building and just walk through the hallways and check it out? And so that night, I'm over there, no classes are in. And I come into this big auditorium and there are 5 billion numbers on this chalkboard.
[00:27:04.850] - Skip Scott
I mean, just choke full of numbers and symbols. And right there, I'm like, I'm not going to do this.
[00:27:16.190] - Big Rich Klein
It's not quite so hard.
[00:27:18.190] - Skip Scott
Yeah. Is there anything in the world that doesn't involve math? Because that's not me. I'm not doing that. And he says, well, business. I want the hardest thing in business that a person can study. He says accounting. I'm like, sign me up. I did really well because I learned what it was like to not have a skill. And I did fantastic. I mean, straight A's nice and got through pretty quickly and was going to be a CPA and still working at the race track. They're the horse racing, and the owner of the horse track came up to me and said, hey, I'm building a new horse and dog track in Kansas City. He said, Why don't you come up there with me and check it out? Wheels up at seven in the morning and. Yeah, sure. Okay. I'm thinking valet parking, maybe. I don't know what it is. That's what I've been doing to get my way through College. And so he has his Mercedes pick me up with a driver, and we get out there at the airport and his just nice ass Leerjet red carpet drinks service. I've never experienced anything like that.
[00:28:39.630] - Skip Scott
I didn't realize it at the time, Rich, but he was doing something called wining and dining, and I was getting wined and dined, and he knew how to do it. He put me on his lyrics and he gave me his leader Jet to go back and forth to the race track because I was still working down there, back up to the construction side in Kansas City. And he gave me that Learjet for about a month.
[00:29:03.830] - Big Rich Klein
[00:29:04.840] - Skip Scott
You just tell them when you need to go, you get back and forth. I'll have a car there for you. Brand new Mercedes when I get off of it. Are you kidding me, Rich? Yeah, I'm going to accept that job.
[00:29:16.310] - Big Rich Klein
I think you communicated something very good to him, whether you knew it or not.
[00:29:24.550] - Skip Scott
Oh, boy. Well, that was all cool. But then when the party was over, I was in mid level management and just working my ass off. There was no Leer jet or Mercedes. And then I learned what getting wined and dined meant, and I've been suspicious of that ever since.
[00:29:46.220] - Big Rich Klein
So he trolled you until he caught you?
[00:29:48.760] - Skip Scott
Yes, he did, Rich. He did a great job at creating an organization. If you have resources like that, I mean, imagine you if you had access to those kind of resources and out wanting competitors to come to your event. Can you imagine if you could send a Lear jet for them and blah, blah, blah?
[00:30:10.200] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I had plans to do things like that, but I've never won the lottery. And I do play occasionally.
[00:30:17.750] - Skip Scott
Oh, my goodness. I know. So, yeah, I don't know where we were, but I spent 22 years in that industry and worked in Phoenix at the racetrack. Director of operations was the title. Just facilities management. It was a great time. Just loved the career until I didn't. And it was a wonderful time. But it was corporate America. And I turned 40 years old at that time and thought, I'd not been liking things. You're just kind of handcuffed. I'm an entrepreneur at heart, and I wanted to express myself. All my skills, my marketing skills, my personal relationship skills, my policy skills. I had all kinds of skills that I wasn't allowed to develop because I'm in a large organization and I've got to do just my little part of the work.
[00:31:18.350] - Big Rich Klein
[00:31:18.940] - Skip Scott
And getting to the top was difficult. There's a tiny little hole to get to the top. There's all these people that want to get to the CEO position. And it wasn't going to happen. I don't think it wasn't. People were kind of coming up over the top of me at times and getting past me. And I realized I'm just going to be stuck here forever. And I had a midlife crisis for sure.
[00:31:47.870] - Big Rich Klein
So I think that's common with a lot of people. I know it was with me. I talked about managing automotive repair facilities, and I got to that same thing. Of course, it was only five years in that industry, but everything I did up until the rock crawling days, nothing lasted more than five years because I got restless and just moved on and tried something new. So I get it.
[00:32:18.290] - Skip Scott
Well, in the corporate world, especially in mid management, what you want to do is I had about 150 employees and about eight or nine managers under me. And the idea is to delegate everything. Of course you have to, right? It's a large group. I had gotten pretty good at that and delegated everything, and I did nothing. I came in and got my check and looked busy. That was cool. That was neat that I created that reality for myself. It was free money for a while. And then you realize, well, this is boring sell. This is no way to live. Yeah, the money is coming free. You're not doing anything for it, but this is no way to live. I need some challenge. I want to be challenged. I want my turn up on the stage. So I left that career and wandered around a little bit, ended up buying a small company in Alamagordo, New Mexico. And, boy, that was just life changing. I mean, now I've got a small business and you're cleaning the toilets and you're setting policy and you're doing everything. And I loved it. I remember telling my good friend, and I cried when I told her.
[00:33:37.080] - Skip Scott
She said, how are things going for you there? This is maybe four or five months in. And I said, I'm free. I'm free. And I was free of that corporate, those handcuffs that had been on me all those years. You know what I mean, right. So I did that. And I was always playing the long game, Rich. I put everything back into that business. I took nothing out for myself. I was going for the long game. I grew the business about 35% a year. It was a little bitty business when I bought it and ended up being a decent sized business. When I was done, I grew it for about 13 years, and I wanted a cash cow, right? That's what every business owner wants is that thing called the cash cow. And I said, well, I've been feeding this cow for 13 years, and she looks like she's ready to milk. And it's time for me to get my money, and it's time for me to get paid. And I did that for a little while, and I got paid. I'm very fortunate. I got paid and I sold the business, and hopefully I have enough money to survive.
[00:34:55.230] - Skip Scott
I have no idea, because I don't have that much.
[00:35:00.430] - Big Rich Klein
If you figured out that you have what your needs and wants are and that's on your balance sheet, and you work away from that to make that level. And as an accountant and that management skills that you've gotten, I'm sure you have, it pretty much dialed in. And it can be very liberating. I don't know if that's the position you feel you're in or not, but that's how I feel.
[00:35:29.050] - Skip Scott
Well, Rich, I mean, come on. That was just like you describe it. I would say that was me. Until I met you. Until I met competition. Rock crawling. And that just blew that damn shit out of the water. Let me tell you, we're operating on a whole different level now, Rich.
[00:35:53.370] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, that's true.
[00:35:56.990] - Skip Scott
You've destroyed many people their retirement. Trust me.
[00:36:02.960] - Big Rich Klein
Well, I like to think that I provided the opportunity to live life.
[00:36:09.410] - Skip Scott
Oh, you have. You get a lot in return for it. You do. You pay back people stuff that you can't buy, right?
[00:36:18.570] - Big Rich Klein
Like their own adrenaline back.
[00:36:20.870] - Skip Scott
Yeah, you can't just go buy adrenaline. You provide stuff that nobody sells and no amount of money can pay for it. So that's why we come see you. At my first competition, I sat down with you, and, man, I didn't know it was going to be that much fun, right? I didn't know, Rich. And about halfway through the first day, oh, my God, I'm like this competition stuff. This was last year only in Mason. And I remember you were sitting under a tree or something. I'm like, oh, my God, Rich, you've destroyed me. I'm just so into this. This is the best thing I've ever done in my life. I called you a drug dealer. I said, Rich, you're a damn drug dealer. I figured it out first day. I figured it out pretty good for a new guy. Yeah, you're a damn drug dealer. And now I'm hooked. Dang it.
[00:37:21.830] - Big Rich Klein
I always equate that job of a promoter is like a drug dealer that hangs out at the elementary school and gives it away for free. So you've captured them for the rest of their life.
[00:37:35.930] - Skip Scott
We were so innocent, Rich. So we all ran into you.
[00:37:40.010] - Big Rich Klein
I'm a destroyer of innocence. There you go. That's awesome. I'm going to have a shirt made of that. Shelley has a shirt that says chaos coordinator. I'm going to have destroyer on there.
[00:37:57.470] - Skip Scott
Innocent destroyer. I like that. Yeah, I like that.
[00:38:02.340] - Big Rich Klein
So you're no longer employed. You're not working a job then you're just kind of freelancing life now?
[00:38:15.410] - Skip Scott
Yes, actually, I tell you, I was going along there about I don't know. It was about four years ago, maybe three or four years ago, and I immersed myself into my business and did nothing but that. I was really trying to make a run at it late in life there. And then something happened. I'm working full steam, Rich. I'm giving it 100% of my everything to work. That business. And so one day my girlfriend gets a little dog that she's got a babysitter little Chihuahua. And she says, well, at her house, she says, well, the little dog will be fine. She says, I'll come home at lunch and I'll let her out and she'll be fine. Well, I'm an animal lover. I said, well, I said, I'm going to find a way to leave my office and come over and spend a little time with her. Other than that, during the day, because she needs a walk. Every dog needs a walk every day. And so the first day I go, poor little thing was scared hiding in the house. And I take her out. She's five pound Chihuahua, and I take her out to the park and take her walking.
[00:39:32.390] - Skip Scott
And that was when my life changed. I stopped. That's the first time I'd stopped in about 13 years. I left my business, Rich. That's like you leaving during the middle of an event to go walk a dog. And, well, that little dog just stopped me in my tracks and gave me a completely different perspective on life. And I was able to think for the first time, and the little dog changed my life. Changed my life right there.
[00:40:04.900] - Big Rich Klein
Wow. That's awesome. What was the dog's name?
[00:40:08.630] - Skip Scott
Well, my racing team is Chiquita Racing, and that was the dog's name. Chiquita.
[00:40:15.130] - Big Rich Klein
That is awesome. That's a great story.
[00:40:18.120] - Skip Scott
That's why it's named Chiquita Racing. And it took a couple of about three years, but I started to look for the exit door in the life I was living. But that's where the door opened right there that day in that park. And I continued to do that every day. Go over there and take her out. And it just put the brakes on. You get so caught up in everything, it's time to focus on something else more important than the business. And I thought I had enough money to do it. I probably don't. I'm just dreaming when I say that I'm anything but a rich man. I'm dreaming when I say I have enough money, but I thought I'm young enough to go do something else enjoyable. Right now I want to rock crawl full time, and I can always go back to work. But I can't always rock crawl. And I'll tell you, I was in the park one day with that little dog and we passed this old guy. He must have been 105 years old, Rich, and he's on two Canes and he's walking about three inch steps. Okay. But he's out doing it about three inches at a time.
[00:41:29.310] - Skip Scott
We go by him. I turn around and look at him walking away and I say to myself, he's not rock crawling. You better get this done. Here I am.
[00:41:42.830] - Big Rich Klein
So when did you first get the bite for offroading?
[00:41:47.150] - Skip Scott
Well, my buddy owned or didn't own. He had a little just what do you call amateur shop downtown, a garage. You do work for people? And I used to go down there and visit him. And I loved the camaraderie of those guys. They were having fun working on those cars and they were struggling and it was exciting to me. They get a bunch of guys up underneath there to lift an engine down and everybody was dirty and greasy. And then I wanted to be a part of that. And that's where I first got a bite. And I asked the guy, should I buy a side by side or a Jeep? I didn't know anything about anything. This was only six years ago. And the guy said, probably a side by side. We go to Arizona. I rent side by side. I realized what side by side I need. And I just got a little utility side by side, right. A six seaters with a bed in the back. My son reminded me of this the other day. All I wanted to do was get in that side by side, go out in the desert, which I live out in the middle of nowhere and Cook bacon and pancakes.
[00:42:53.390] - Skip Scott
That was my goal. That was level one, Rich. Level one, bacon and pancakes out in the desert. I don't know know you. I get it not the way he told me. And we got a 50th birthday for a friend coming up in Vegas. And I've been to Vegas a lot in my life. I wanted to do something different. And I get on there and say they have these rock crawling tours. What the hell is rock crawling? I don't know, but I look at the pictures, I'm like, that looks cool. I tell them we could be in like a Jeep and everything. And we go out on this rock crawling tour in Vegas. And Rich, we're going over rocks. I'm not kidding you. That are four to six inches big. It's unbelievable. It's unbelievable. I know you've heard the story. It's unbelievable. We're going up ledges that are probably 3ft in elevation at a 45 degree angle. I am just bit. I mean, I get back from there and I go buy a Jeep just like the one we were in a Rubicon on 37. Pretty nice rig. And we get out. A buddy of mine had a little TJ and he takes me out a couple of times.
[00:44:05.800] - Skip Scott
And then after the first couple of times out of banging up that Rubicon, that damn expensive Rubicon. I was like, this is stupid. Why are we just out here crawling over these stupid ass rocks? This makes no sense. And then I saw people would break their stuff and like, why would you come out here and break your perfectly good stuff? This is just ridiculous. And so I left it. I told my girlfriend we were like, that's stupid. Let's just go up and drive on the forest roads and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So how I got from that moment to where I'm at now, rich, I'm not for sure. Something happened along the way.
[00:44:50.990] - Big Rich Klein
I think there's more camaraderie with breaking stuff than there is with just scenic wheeling.
[00:45:01.250] - Skip Scott
That's the whole game right there. The solving the puzzle is what keeps us in it. You get out there. And that's what I learned eventually. I think that's what probably got me going is that there's a puzzle out here, skip, and it's an infinite puzzle. You'll never figure it out in your lifetime, all of it. You'll never master any of this stuff. And that was the hook. Eventually, like, I just started just going crazy over it. Just crazy over it. I tried to meet everyone and everyone. I just went out and joined all the groups, did as much running as I could learn, as much as I could see. A guy was following a guy one time at chili challenge. And I see this big axle under this big pumpkin, under his Jeep and ask him, why is that so big like that? And he says, well, those are tons. And I said, what's a ton. I've heard of that before. He explains it. And I'm like, well, that's what I need. So I went and got a TJ on tons. And that's when the fixing and mechanic and really started to come into play.
[00:46:17.600] - Skip Scott
And I started to learn a little bit of stuff. I still don't know how I made the leap up to the jhef moon buggy, but somehow I did. Like I said, what happened was somebody had mentioned to me, if you ever get the chance to see those guys competing up in Farmington or wherever you should go, they do amazing stuff. And two days before the event in Baghdad, I decided, you know what? I'm going to fly over to Arizona And go up to that Baghdad event and see what the hell these guys are doing. Because I looked at videos and it just seems stupid going through cones and these weird looking cars, and it just seems stupid. It seemed absolutely ridiculous to me, and I wasn't interested in it at all. But I wanted to go see what it was about. And I knew I had to do it face to face. And I'm getting to another defining moment. So we get there. My son, his family were there, and everyone was really friendly to us. We feel like a fish out of water, Rich. Like a fish out of water, man. And we go in.
[00:47:22.080] - Skip Scott
We're watching the event and everything, trying to figure out what's going on. We don't know what anybody's doing. They're just all over. And I'm standing next to Jeff McKinley's car, iron man number 34. Yup. And I keep looking at it, looking at it, and I see Cody Wagner drive by in his little car, get an interview from somebody. And I'm looking at that strange looking machine. And my son says, you have to go over and talk to that guy. And I'm like, I will. I was scared. And I went over and it was Mitchell, Jeff's spotter. And he spent about 45 minutes with me, Rich, telling me what the hell that car was. And that was it. He changed my life. And I wrote Jeff a letter just not that long ago, telling him that story. If that guy would have shrugged me off, Rich, I wouldn't be where I'm at today. But he dropped, you know, how busy it is at these competitions. He dropped everything he was doing, knew I was a new guy and just spent all that time with me explaining stupid ass questions. What Motors in it? What are those axles?
[00:48:34.450] - Skip Scott
Blah, blah, blah. If he wouldn't have done that, Rich, we wouldn't be talking right now. That's awesome. I'm a great guy. Great guy. Came back and two days later, told my buddy what I had seen. He says, oh, yeah, that's Jesse Haynes. Who the hell is Jesse Haines? I don't know. Well, he has these chassis, and that's what they're doing. And we bought one. Two days later, bought a chassis. Two days later, Jesse posted one up. We're sitting there at work, and he says, hey, Jesse just posted up one of these chassis. I think it's chassis number four. And I said, Hell, let's get it. And just like that, boom. Texting says, we'll take it. And off we went. Off we went, Boy, oh, boy.
[00:49:20.330] - Big Rich Klein
Down the rabbit hole.
[00:49:23.270] - Skip Scott
Thank you. Coming back out of Baghdad, I was sitting in the back of the car my son was driving. And I just kept saying, My life has changed. My life has changed. They're looking at me kind of funny, like, what do you mean? They didn't understand what I had experienced. And what I wanted to experience at that point was the ultimate in rock crawling. And that's what Mitchell had told me. This is the ultimate machine. Rock crawling machine. There is nothing above this. This is the ultimate that the world has to offer. And I wanted some of it.
[00:49:55.850] - Big Rich Klein
[00:49:58.310] - Skip Scott
So, boy, Rich and about $5 million later.
[00:50:08.250] - Big Rich Klein
Well, and that's great, because you can always sell it and recoup all your money back.
[00:50:15.510] - Skip Scott
[00:50:17.250] - Big Rich Klein
Maybe the interest it would have made in the bank. You might get back.
[00:50:21.830] - Skip Scott
No kidding. But like we say, I had traded my money for time. Before that. I said, I'm going to give up the money and I'm going to get the time. And that's what I'm doing. I'm spending my time is what I'm doing, and I'm living life to the absolute fullest thanks to a large part, thanks to you and your organization.
[00:50:43.350] - Big Rich Klein
And where do you see yourself in five years?
[00:50:49.350] - Skip Scott
Okay, well, here's how it works. I've learned, okay. Every time you achieve something in this game, you achieve something. Whatever it is, whatever level it is, you achieve it. And then about shortly after you achieve it, you look up and you realize there's another level in another door. You can't really see that from the level you're on until you get up to that level. And then you go, okay, well, there's another level, huh? Well, I want to experience that. And then you work and you work. In one day, you realize I've achieved this level that I wanted to do. And then you realize, oh, there's another level there. And so honestly, Rich, I don't know where the level is in. I'm just taking it one level at a time right now. Today I want to go to Cedar City and I don't want to finish last. If I finish anything but last, I will consider it. I'll be a champion if I don't finish last, if I finish last. And I know I got a bunch of work to do, but the next level for me is to get in and just not finish last, if possible.
[00:52:04.450] - Big Rich Klein
I think you have a good chance of not finishing last. Not really truly watching you this last weekend there in Mason, we were on everybody was running Jake Goods first set of We Rock courses, and they were difficult. They challenged everybody. I think they would have even challenged a lot of the West Coast guys. Unfortunately, the guys on the West Coast get to practice all the time or they have the opportunity to or they have so much experience that maybe they don't need to practice as much right at the moment, but they can get into their cars, somebody like Jesse Haines or Cody and perform at a high level and understand stand what that car is going to do, whether it's whatever tools they're using that car provides to get across the train. It's almost muscle memory. And I don't think that our East Coast competitors or Central competitors have had that time competing to challenge those guys. And I think that you all got challenged pretty good this last weekend, and I think that's a good step to being able to get to that next level. So I think you have a really good shot going into Cedar City.
[00:53:40.370] - Skip Scott
I appreciate that. I have realized I realize this going into Mason last weekend, that and looking forward to Cedar City that I have a bit of an advantage that I didn't have last year and that's that we have a new course designer and it's going to help level the playing field, I'm hoping, because the courses were different from what everybody told. Well, they were different because I did the competition the year before. They were way different. The whole experience was different. And so that's an advantage to me because they haven't run with this course designer yet, and I have only run once with him. So I got a little taste of Jake. And so it's a bit just a hair of an advantage to level that playing field, that they're not running on the same course designer they have had for years and years. It helps me because it's going to be new to them, too.
[00:54:36.810] - Big Rich Klein
And I think not only is it going to help the new guys or the newer guys like yourself, you were talking about getting hooked and having that conversation that we had. Oh, you're a drug dealer thing. I had that conversation with at least four, maybe five guys this week. Brand new guys.
[00:54:58.630] - Skip Scott
[00:54:59.340] - Big Rich Klein
That was their first event or maybe their second event. Maybe they'd been to one before but watched and it was their first time at this time. And I got the same response this weekend. So Jake did a really good job of hooking them, even though some of those guys maybe didn't finish a course at all or only finished one course out of the eight that they ran. They were hooked. They know that it's a challenge. They want to overcome that challenge. And I think that that's going to be good. And I think the sport for the future is in really good hands.
[00:55:42.070] - Skip Scott
I couldn't agree with you more. Jake is just I mean, he's anointed by Angels to take over for you. There couldn't be a better person on Earth. I mean, there couldn't after spending the first competition with him, he just slid right in. He's fantastic. He's fantastic for us.
[00:56:02.490] - Big Rich Klein
Right. And I think he's going to be great for the sport. And I know he's great for we rock. Shelley and I were talking about that that we did good picking the person that's going to pick up the reins and lead the wagon train forward.
[00:56:22.270] - Skip Scott
Yeah, it's an absolute perfect fit. And he kicked our ass with those courses. And you were talking a little bit about this earlier about the competition level and whatnot. And let's face it, we're in big giant boulders, and I have the only portal car, Rich. And I don't care what anybody thinks, it's a distinct advantage. There was stuff that I was just that nothing stops that car except me, the driver. Nothing stops that car. It's unbelievable what that car does compared to a lower axle. And it kicked my butt. Boy, it's exciting. I had finished the A two with about a 10,000th of a second. We figured out no kidding. Before I timed out well, I went into a three. And of course, this was the second day and Cole and I had decided we have to finish no matter what. We cannot. Dnf and I hit that a three like a rock bouncer, and we're down to the last gate. Cole says, settle down, settle down. We got four minutes. I couldn't stop rich. I couldn't change modes. I just rock bounce the hell out of that son of a bitch out. I finished with like three and a half minutes.
[00:57:41.780] - Skip Scott
I couldn't turn myself off. It's like a motor that the kill switch is broken. I couldn't turn myself off. I was in that mode. And so that was a new experience.
[00:57:54.590] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, the one on two. Everybody looked like they heard the countdown. And I could see the judge looking at the stopwatch and watching your front tires. And she turned away from the stopwatch, watched your tires hit the button. And those things when they go to zero, start to beep. And I was close enough that I would hear that beep and it said zero, and there was no beep. So she pushed the button at the same time the beep would have started as you came across the line. So, I mean, that's as close as you can get to pull in 40 minus your progressions as opposed to a negative score. So you didn't have any spare time?
[00:58:53.350] - Skip Scott
No. And I had one of my mentors. Well, I had two mentors. I want to mention their names before we get off into things. And that's George Soros and Steve Marquart. Those two guys have gotten me to level after level after level. And George was my first mentor here. He's in New Mexico. And that guy just what a great teacher and patient and knowledgeable and just really took me under his wing to start me in this competition arena. And I can't thank you enough, George. And the same with Steve. I had the opportunity to spend a bunch of time in Texas with Steve, just him and I for I think it was three or four days, which is a lot of time. Just him and I, and he's 1000 times the driver I am has a thousand times more knowledge than I have. And I'm slowly extracting it out of him. And he's got a disadvantaged car, a great car, but it is at a disadvantage. He can't unlock his axles. He doesn't have cutting brakes, et cetera, et cetera. And going into the last course on Sunday, he was only two points behind me.
[01:00:12.090] - Skip Scott
There's nothing fancy about my driving skill to have that guy. He just overcome it with experience. He overcome my portal car with just incredible experience.
[01:00:22.470] - Big Rich Klein
One of the things that cracks me up about Steve is he'll walk the courses and he'll go, oh, my God, I'll never finish this. I don't know why they put a course in like this. And then he finishes it.
[01:00:34.050] - Skip Scott
Yeah. The whole day before, he's like, I'm not running unlimited. It's just a waste of money. I'm not doing that. There's no way I can compete with you in there. I don't have the car and. Okay, we're on the last course and the last day, and he's two points behind me. Give me a break.
[01:00:50.250] - Big Rich Klein
And you're driving one of the Premier chassis and designed car, and he's in this transaxle Buggy that he's driven that he knows really well. And if he hadn't appointed out and drove out the start finish gates instead of cutting soon enough to make the turn into gate five, it might have been a different story.
[01:01:16.240] - Skip Scott
Oh, he had many opportunities to beat me. I had many opportunities to beat myself. Right. So it's just the luck of the draw, really. Just the way it comes down. I'm losing my thought. I was going to say something else about Steve and his car. It's like for me, Steve is so much more experienced and skilled and smarter than I am. But I've got the car, which kind of levels the playing field. And I tell people, it's kind of like, I'm going to go play tennis with John McEnroe for you old guys out there. I'm going to go play tennis with John McEnroe and I'm going to be competitive against him. Now, the only difference is I'm going to be using his racket and he's going to be using the palm of his hand, and that's what it's like competing with Steve in his car.
[01:02:11.710] - Skip Scott
But we're working on getting him a car. I can't go into all those details, but he's going to get a great car, I think coming up fairly soon. Yeah, I'm not going to go into the details now, but I've been working with him and we're talking with other people and this and that, and they know who they are out there. We're going to get him a good car, and I'm really looking forward to that because beating him in his car does not impress me. I'm not satisfied at all.
[01:02:45.440] - Big Rich Klein
I get it. That will be an interesting change, because I do believe that Steve, he'll have to learn to drive a car with those kind of tools, which he's not used to. So there's a whole bunch of muscle memory he'll have to learn. But that'll be interesting because he keeps calm and that's one of the things that guys need to understand is if you screw up on one obstacle, you can't let it destroy the rest of your day. The Mexican teams, Max and Louise, they broke an axle the first day. And I told Lewis, you got a spare. And he goes, yes, I got a spare, but I don't think it's the right one. I said, we'll find out. And there's three or four of us. They said, you won't know until you tear it apart. Well, finally that night, they tore it apart, and sure enough, it was the right one. Well, they could have knocked that out and had a car. Maybe they had to take breakdown time, but they would have been able to continue and at least not just take forties. And it's just one of those things that you got to push forward and not let things get you down.
[01:04:08.010] - Big Rich Klein
But I got to say that with life.
[01:04:11.250] - Skip Scott
Good point. Yeah, good point. That's absolutely correct.
[01:04:17.550] - Big Rich Klein
So I see a team coming about then Shakira racing team or something. Is that what I see? What I hear?
[01:04:24.890] - Skip Scott
Was Steve involved?
[01:04:25.980] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, maybe. No.
[01:04:30.650] - Skip Scott
We're going to be brutal enemies out on the competition course.
[01:04:33.460] - Big Rich Klein
[01:04:35.310] - Skip Scott
I doubt we'd ever be in bed together like that. Okay. Unless I retire from it. I'm a student and I'm looking to kick his butt ever chance I can, which I haven't ever done really good. And then the next level is coming up at the end of the month. Like you say, the West Coast guys and I've run with some of them have been really kind to spend time. I've spent time with mad cow and some seat time. And of course, Woody, who just kind of started in his portal car. But I haven't run with too many JHF buggies. And so that's the next level for me. It's just to get time with other JHF moon buggies or portal cars. They don't have to be JHF or portal cars. The portal is a game changer from where I'm a new guy. I know they get upset, but the portal from where I see I have one. It's a game changer.
[01:05:34.540] - Big Rich Klein
I think in Mason this week it was for sure.
[01:05:38.930] - Skip Scott
[01:05:40.210] - Big Rich Klein
Because of the boulders and everything moving around and being able to get up on top. I mean, you saw Cam. He was just trying to drag his belly everywhere and just getting hung up.
[01:05:49.260] - Skip Scott
Yeah, depends on the terrain. Absolutely, yes.
[01:05:52.650] - Big Rich Klein
Good point. Cedar is much more stable.
[01:05:57.370] - Skip Scott
[01:05:58.750] - Big Rich Klein
There's some breakovers that it might help on an angled breakover or something like that. But there's way to drive drag axle cars without the or a non high heeled portal car. That's a good point.
[01:06:13.600] - Skip Scott
Yeah, that's a good point. I had the advantage in the terrain that we were in. I do want to make sure and be clear about that. For anybody that doesn't have that. I'm certainly not dissing any car. I hope people don't take it the wrong way.
[01:06:26.830] - Big Rich Klein
And I try to tell people you don't have to have portals to be competitive. Does it help? Yes. But is it a game changer? It can be. But if you know your car and you know what lines you can take and how to approach the course with the terrain given you can do it without portals.
[01:06:53.230] - Skip Scott
Yeah. Like Steve Marcott just did, that was impossible. What he just did, it was impossible. What he did in that car, it was impossible. From my perspective, but he did it. The driver is the most important tool, obviously, and he's a great driver. But there were times when I would come down and have a Boulder that would say be 18 inches up above my axle in front of me. I just hit the gas. The car just goes over anything. I just hit the gas, and I don't know what happens. I'm over it. I mean, it's unbelievable. It's just unbelievable.
[01:07:34.010] - Big Rich Klein
So you're getting ready for Cedar. Are you going to try to get out there early and run some of the past terrain or they're still marks to show where things were at. But some of the locals could show you if they were so interested.
[01:07:56.030] - Skip Scott
If we can, I want to mention my spotter, Cole Bates, and thank him for everything that he's done for me. He worked his ass off. He's got the business and kids and a family, and it's hard for him to get away. So if we can, we'll get there and do a little bit of pre running. I'm comfortable with that kind of terrain as opposed to Farmington. Right. And so I'm not nervous about the terrain. I tell you a story about being nervous and being afraid. The guy that did the movie or the documentary Free Solo, he's a rock climber, okay. And they climb without ropes. You've probably seen it, hopefully. And they might be hanging out on a 3000 foot edge and all they've got is their little powder bag, right. And they're climbing. It extremely dangerous. I get sick when I see him. Well, his name is Alex Honnold, something like that. And I've been listening to him. He talks around the country and with various experts and things like that. People want to know how does he overcome fear? And I think one thing I took away from him was he said, well, first of all, you practice.
[01:09:16.410] - Skip Scott
Okay? So you know what you're getting into? You practice, practice, practice, practice with ropes in his case. And, you know, every single move you're going to make, and then you're confident when you do it without the rope. Okay.
[01:09:30.330] - Big Rich Klein
[01:09:32.170] - Skip Scott
Yeah, I know. But it pertains to kind of what I'm going through in rock crawling. He said fear and excitement are very close emotions. And so switching from fear to excitement, he said, is not that difficult to make that mental switch. And I have tried this. He's right. But you do have to be prepared. So fear of standing in front of a freight train, you're not going to flip that over to excitement. Okay. But they're very close. So, like going into Cedar City against this very high level competition, I'm scared. But if I just flip that a little bit, I am so excited to see and be close to these guys and learn from them. And as opposed to when in Farmington last year, I came up to you and said, there is no way I'm running those unlimited courses, rich, I can't do it. I'm afraid I'm not prepared. I'm going to leave out of here in a helicopter with no car. And you were so gracious. And you're like, absolutely, go run in Sportsman's day and have a good time. It's a matter of being prepared. And we're going to get up to Farmington this next month.
[01:10:48.730] - Skip Scott
That's on our agenda with Matt Brunoiser up there. And we're going to run those unlimited courses in Farmington and see if we can get some seat time and get comfortable on the edge of those cliffs.
[01:11:02.130] - Big Rich Klein
There's a lot more traction up there than you think looking at that. And they're steep and they're big drops. But part of that is I'm going to give away a secret, at least for me. It may be totally different with Jake at the helm, but.
[01:11:27.130] - Skip Scott
Now I'm back to fear. Thanks, Rick. I was excited and then you brought Jake into that.
[01:11:32.030] - Big Rich Klein
Now I'm scared, but I think that you're still going to see the same terrain. I mean, it's not like we have a whole lot of different things we can do up there. Angles and the cone placements always make things different. But the basic terrain is still up there. It's huge. And if you get used to just being on that edge and knowing that you can maintain traction and stability on that stuff and get past that, it's 60ft below you or 80ft below you. That's the key.
[01:12:10.970] - Skip Scott
I agree. It's just seat time and practicing and working into it slowly.
[01:12:18.020] - Big Rich Klein
Yes. Standing on those edges.
[01:12:21.050] - Skip Scott
Yeah. And one problem, they got those big walls and you got to hit them hard and all that. I can do downs. Right. Because downs are easy. You just go over and go down, whatever. Yeah. That does not take a really I don't think a lot of experience. Maybe experience does not crash, but experience as far as making the drop. Well, that's easy. Anybody can do that. I found when I light that car up and on a big climb and I haven't done it a lot, that all the information coming into my brain. My brain just goes to like a blur. I lose my hearing, I lose my vision, I lose my thoughts. It's too much information coming into my old brain. It just can't process it. So. Oh, boy. We'll see what happens.
[01:13:08.180] - Big Rich Klein
[01:13:13.710] - Skip Scott
Oh, my goodness. I'm nervous even thinking about that right now.
[01:13:17.910] - Big Rich Klein
Well, you have the rest of the season to get over that.
[01:13:22.470] - Skip Scott
[01:13:23.860] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. Cedar and Rangeley are not as big. Nothing is as big as Farmington. I mean, that stuff is just vertical.
[01:13:37.410] - Skip Scott
Yes. That's what I've heard. A lot of people don't go I've talked to a lot of people in the east and this and that and other people, and they say, I won't do Farmington. Not going to happen. Wow.
[01:13:46.500] - Big Rich Klein
That's crazy because that's such an iconic place. And we've never hurt anybody there. I take that back in his Promod car, which is massive. I mean, it's a rebuilt Toyota and it's not a true Promod. It's built from a truck frame. And he went off a bonus that truly was only designed for the unlimiteds to take. And I told guys, I said, you don't have to take every bonus out there. I mean, everybody goes, yeah, but you put the cones on it. Well, he had the lead. He thought if he got that bonus, he could keep the lead. And he went off of that without being able to get set up properly and pinned the front bumper on a little Ridge there and wasn't able to get the car to continue down the Hill except upside down. And when it hit hard and had he not taken that bonus, he probably would have won the event anyway.
[01:14:55.690] - Skip Scott
[01:14:56.430] - Big Rich Klein
But he wanted to push and make sure that he could and he rang his Bell pretty good on that. But that's the only one that I can remember getting a Bell Ringer, except for maybe Charlie vodka. And again, it was probably on something that he shouldn't have gone for. So there's always a better part of Valor is do I really need that bonus or is somebody else going to screw up on it?
[01:15:25.540] - Skip Scott
Yeah. And I learned something again, something new this last weekend that I didn't know and that's that drivers want to do more than they should and spotters are the reasonable ones.
[01:15:39.970] - Big Rich Klein
[01:15:40.470] - Skip Scott
And I saw that across the board in many instances. I didn't know this. I didn't know that because I'm always fighting with myself. Spotter like, no, let's do the bonus, let's do this. Let's go for that. Blah, blah. And he's always not, you shouldn't do that. We should just blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I find that many spotter and drivers have that dynamic with each other. So I'm going to work on that, giving my spotter a little bit more leeway. And I told him the second day because I screwed up the first day. And I said, Cole, I tell you what, we're going in the second day, if we have a disagreement on strategy, you're going to make the call. It's your call 100%. I'll do what you tell me to do and well, we won. So I guess that says something for that. Wow.
[01:16:19.500] - Big Rich Klein
That's interesting because typically the spotter is the one if you win, it was the driver. And if you lose, it's always a spotter's fault. That's what I've learned. But it's not necessarily the truth. It's just what is portrayed.
[01:16:37.810] - Skip Scott
Yes. And I talked to a lot of spotters and drivers at the event, of course, and I kind of got the same story from them that the spotters were wanting more say so because they were making better calls than the drivers overall. The drivers just would not listen to them. And I heard this is kind of pervasive in the sport, that dynamic. So we tried to just interrupt that dynamic. And I said, you're making the call. If it's a disagreement between us, it's yours. And it seemed to work. Maybe we'll do that going forward, too. Yeah.
[01:17:10.280] - Big Rich Klein
I saw a couple of spotters that were just almost willing to walk away on course because the driver wouldn't listen.
[01:17:18.070] - Skip Scott
Yeah, it's hard. And like with Cole, I know my car. I'm advanced further than he is in driving this stuff. And I think I know everything better, but it's really not true all the time.
[01:17:33.190] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. Cool. So any last thoughts?
[01:17:38.470] - Skip Scott
Yes, I do. Thank you. I've got a question for you.
[01:17:43.870] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, go ahead.
[01:17:45.610] - Skip Scott
And maybe people have asked it. What do you think this whole thing is going to look like? It's been 20 years for you? What do you think it's going to look like in the next 20 years?
[01:17:56.530] - Big Rich Klein
[01:17:57.910] - Skip Scott
Yeah. What's going to happen with all this stuff?
[01:18:01.870] - Big Rich Klein
I think right now, if you ask me this, the end of last year, before Jake committed, I would have said good luck. I think now the sport is in good hands instead of good luck. See what the future holds with somebody else trying to start from new. Being able to take something that's already built and just massage it to fit, maybe some new ideas or some new concepts is a lot easier than starting from scratch with any business or most businesses. Maybe in tech, that would probably be the only thing that I could think of. That might not be the case because so much tech is brand new. But I think that for the next 20 years that the sport is going to be in really good hands. I think that you're going to see vehicles mirror what is being done by manufacturers, meaning power plant wise, I think you're going to see more electric vehicles coming out. Will they have portal axles? Probably. Will they have all the tools that the cars nowadays have? Yes. But I think you're going to start seeing some innovation in drivetrain or at least power plant. I really hope that we can find more areas to use.
[01:19:41.700] - Big Rich Klein
I know Jake is able to, you know, they cut all that new course area up or out that I couldn't have done. I could not have done that by myself or even with just one person helping. But them getting out there and cutting all that new course area really helped to define the start of his course designing career. Being able to get fresh area, look at things at a different angle, but yet still come up with the same kind of results, which is a competitive competition was fantastic. And so I think the sport is in really good hands, and I think that we made the right decision going after the right person to take over.
[01:20:33.210] - Skip Scott
Okay, very interesting. That's all. Very good to know. And I agree with that about Jake. I'm looking forward to his brand coming forward. I think he's going to enhance it. Like you say, it's easier to take something and enhance it than start from nothing. So a lot of that credit goes to you, obviously, as well. And another thing I wanted to mention was I got on this. I don't deserve to be on this podcast, Rich. Oh, yes. Okay. Thank you. We talked about it, and you had mentioned the word current history. Okay. All right, there's your end. Current history. I got it. But more so when I had reached out to you, I'm the new guy, and I wanted to share a story, my story, which we have of being the new guy. When I ran my business, I didn't want to know what the 15 year old or the 15 year customer thought of me. He's been my customer for 15 years. I want to know what the guy that just walked in the door 5 seconds. Exactly. Right now, what does he see in that 1st 5 seconds is going to determine everything and what is going through his mind.
[01:21:43.500] - Skip Scott
That's the information that I want to advance my company with. And so that's kind of what I wanted to offer to everyone listening out there, and I hope there's people. Well, I know there is Christian over in Las Cruces. I'm talking to you right now. I got Christian Rich. I got him on the hook, and I'm reeling him in. Okay. And he's coming in. He's not fighting too hard. A little bit. He's not fighting too hard. But we're going to get Christian in as a competitor. And I want to let everyone else know out there that if I can do this, you can do this. I came into this with zero knowledge. I don't have a lot of mechanical ability, but everyone will help you. This sport and this group of people like we were talking about earlier, what it's all about is helping one another stand up. And so you're not on your own. You come in, and once the pack recognizes you, they're going to do everything they can to make sure you have an experience. And I mean everything even give you money at times. I have given people money, Rich, because I want to see them with us.
[01:22:56.490] - Skip Scott
It's a tight family. And then that new person coming in is the most important person. Listen to this new person out there. When you walk up to an event, a spectator or a competitor, know this. You to us, those that are in it, you are the most important person in our lives because you are the future, and we need you. We want you, and we'll do everything we can to get you going. This is a very welcoming group of guys. When the helmets go on, maybe different story because that's that. But otherwise, you're not going to find a better group to belong to. And someone will take you under their wing, and they're going to get you where you need to go. And so come out and join us, Christian. Hello, Christian. Come on over. Because like everyone says, it will be the best wheeling you've ever done, period. End of story. I can attest to that. It's not even a close call.
[01:24:00.150] - Big Rich Klein
I agree. I agree 100% with everything you just said. I'm dying to meet Christian now.
[01:24:08.660] - Skip Scott
Yeah, Christian, he's good. You know, his ears right now are popped up. Oh, my goodness. Because he listens to your podcast. He's interested in the history and the knowledge, and he's interested in all these things. And that's the type of person that ends up with us. The type of person that is curious, right? Just curious. So all you curious people that are sitting out there on the sidelines, you are the most important person to us. Please come up, ask me a question, shake my hand, get in my car, do whatever, because we need you.
[01:24:44.170] - Big Rich Klein
That's awesome. I think that Cody Wagner has done a great job in letting people drive his car and to get to build interest with other people. Maybe it might take the next two or three, four years till we see some of those guys, but I think that he's done a wonderful job at that. Luckily, we have some dads out there like Wyatt Brown with his son Landon, who's been competing for a few years now, and Gunner that's going to start competing next year. I think our sport is in good hands with not only those young kids, but also with people like yourself who have found the passion for off road competitive rock crawling and what it means to them.
[01:25:41.250] - Skip Scott
I agree. And I want to make sure that I emphasize one other little side note to this is that I don't know how to build a car, Rich. I don't know all this stuff. I probably couldn't fix my engine. It needs a computer. I don't understand all that crap. I don't care about it either. I can fix a lot of stuff when it's broke. But there are so many people that will help me and have helped me and they keep me going. And so you don't have to have all this. You don't have to have all that to have a good time. Maybe. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be Jesse Haines and show up to that first competition in that Portal car and what that must feel like to have invented and created that yourself, or any builder, for that matter, that made progression. That must be an unreal feeling. And I will never experience that. But I'm telling the new guys out there, you don't need to experience that to have the time of your life. These other builders and competitors need you to buy their products, okay? They need you to buy their products.
[01:26:46.470] - Skip Scott
They're for sale. They want you to. That's how they're feeding their family. There's nothing wrong with buying a car and coming out. No one's going to look down at you. Oh, bought, not built. Bull crap. Bull crap. Bull crap.
[01:26:58.840] - Big Rich Klein
[01:26:59.160] - Skip Scott
We want you to know, but I don't care how you got your damn car. You're at the party and you are welcome to be at the party.
[01:27:08.610] - Big Rich Klein
Truth. That is the truth. I've always hated that you need to build it and not buy it. That, to me, has always been crap. There are people that have the talent to build things, and there are people that have the talent to drive things. I have never been the talent to build things. Can I repair them? Yes. Can I build them from scratch? No. Am I ever going to build them from scratch? No. I know my limitations, but that doesn't mean I can't be part of the crowd. I can't be part of the experience, whether it's trail riding or rock crawling, competitions, whatever. There's a lot of guys like you and I that know our limitations when it comes to building. But, you know, there's people out there that are making a living because they have the knowledge and the understanding to build. And there's nothing wrong with using that.
[01:28:09.930] - Skip Scott
Absolutely. We're on the same page with that. We're the same kind of people, too, right? And I don't care about it, Rich. To do something, I got to care about it. I don't care about knowing how to tune my motor. I could care less. Just somebody come tune the damn thing. I want to go.
[01:28:31.110] - Big Rich Klein
[01:28:32.330] - Skip Scott
That's what tuners are for, right? They're out there. They're all over. Yeah.
[01:28:35.540] - Big Rich Klein
We got to keep those guys employed.
[01:28:37.540] - Skip Scott
Yeah. And I need one if you're out there listening, I need one.
[01:28:43.470] - Big Rich Klein
Somebody out there. Give Skip a call. Get hold of that Skip Scott.
[01:28:50.950] - Skip Scott
Before we get off. I'm not going to do it by name, but I want to thank all the people, the family and friends that have given me money, actual green money this year. And you're on my mind, you're the reason that we're out here. And you make it so enjoyable for me. You've given me such a great gift because I feel like I'm driving for a team. I feel like I'm driving for you all. And I can't thank you all enough. All of you. My son, my girlfriend, business owners that I know I can't thank you enough. It's meant everything to me.
[01:29:26.400] - Big Rich Klein
So thank you all, Skip. Thank you for coming on and sharing your life and giving us some insight into why.
[01:29:38.390] - Skip Scott
My pleasure, Big Rich.
[01:29:40.490] - Big Rich Klein
And with that, I guess we'll see you in Cedar City.
[01:29:47.170] - Skip Scott
[01:29:48.220] - Big Rich Klein
All right. Thank you so much for your time today.
[01:29:50.990] - Skip Scott
Thank you, Victoria.
[01:29:52.730] - Big Rich Klein
All right, goodbye.
[01:29:54.350] - Skip Scott
[01:29:56.270] - Big Rich Klein
Thank you for listening to Conversations With Big Rich. Please let your friends know about this podcast. Let us know what you think of Conversations with Big rich please forward ideas to me contacts of those that I should attempt to interview leave a rating on any of the services you found us on. We look forward to your comments and ideas. Enjoying life is a must follow your dreams and grab all the gusto you can.