Conversations with Big Rich

ARCA Founder, Ranch Pratt shares some history

May 07, 2020 Guest Ranch Pratt Season 1 Episode 5
Conversations with Big Rich
ARCA Founder, Ranch Pratt shares some history
Show Notes Transcript

Only a few can claim to be at the start of competitive rockcrawling, Ranch Pratt is one of those.  Ranch, founder of ARCA, shares some insights on how competitions drove innovation, why dads matter and his goals now.  Listen as Big Rich catches up with Ranch.

3:06 Guilted in to his first four-wheel drive

7:38 How Ranch bought an event that hadn’t even happened yet

15:44 The secret revealed: how rockcrawling promoters build a course

17:56 Another saga of prior BLM management getting it wrong

31:59 Walker Evans makes a valid point

45:45 If you’re in the aftermarket, you should be paying attention here

53:15 The number one question Ranch gets asked, How’s your dad?

1:04:45  Relive the most memorable moment of ARCA history

Support the show

Big Rich Klein:   0:01
Welcome to the Big Rich show. This podcast will focus on conversations with friends and acquaintances within the four-wheel drive industry. Many of the people that I will be interviewing, you may know the name, you may know some of the history, but let's get in depth with these people and find out what truly makes them a four-wheel drive enthusiast. So now is the time to sit back, grab a cold one and enjoy our conversation.  

Big Rich Klein:   0:29
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. 

Big Rich Klein:   0:56
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank 4Low magazine for contributing to the success of this podcast, 4Low Magazine, an enthusiast magazine for the 4x4 off-road community. Well, thank you for joining us today. Today we have none other than one of the OG's in the rock crawling world. One of the first promoters out there, ARCA president and founder. That would be Ranch Pratt..  

Big Rich Klein:   1:23
All right. Today we do have Ranch Pratt on Conversations with Big Rich, Ranch, It's great to see you again. We went a long a couple of years without physically seeing each other. And, uh, last year we saw each other and talked a little bit at SEMA. It was good to see you. And now that we're doing this podcast, I'm really happy that you agreed to come on board. Thank you.

Ranch Pratt:   1:43
Long time. Like you said, we have a lot of history and it's hope things are going really well. Looks like they are.

Big Rich Klein:   1:49
Yeah, things are going great, except for this COVID thing right now, but we won't get too much into that. I can't wait to get back out there and start putting on events. We started off this year with a real strong event and then, uh, had to throw the anchors out and curl sails in and do all that kind of stuff and wait for approval to go out and congregate in groups larger than 10. So we're waiting on that. But you know, let's talk. Let's talk history. How did you get started? in off-road and, you know, where did you grow up and all that kind of good stuff?

Ranch Pratt:   2:22
Oh, all the fun stuff. Yeah, so grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. Um, a lot of  - four wheeling to me in the in the early days was not what it actually is. My perception of it was wrong. And my father-in-law, actually, at the time got me into it. He he was into four wheeling had an old, you know, Toyota pickup, and he was always inviting me to Moab. And, you know, I didn't want to go. I perceived. It is just a bunch of drunks trying to hammer down up a dirt hill. You know, somebody might roll several times, and I'm like

Big Rich Klein:   2:57
There was that

Ranch Pratt:   2:57
I know that, I don't want to do that. That doesn't sound fun. And but he kind of guilted me actually into going down to Moab. And we went on Kane Creek during the Easter Jeep  Safari, and I was with him in his truck, and and we, uh well, we're in a big group, of course, Like it like it still is today. It wasn't quite as big back then, but we were following this light blue CJ7. it had one locker in it. Kane Creek is not a very hard trail, but back then it I mean, it was amazing and I watched the same creeping over everything. Just walking over all these boulders. I was blown away, and I think a lot of people are that way. When they first go out, they really realize what a vehicle can do. It blows 'em away. And And I was the same way and I can't. I just got bit by the bug. Uh, the time I was working for Easton Sports, I  was just a kid. And suddenly none of that stuff was interesting to me anymore. And all I wanted to do was was Jeep. So I found this old golf course maintenance CJ5 with a hard top. It was a 78. I didn't know anything about Jeeps, but I bought it. I was lucky. It had a  T18 in it, you know? And so a little bit better for off road. And I bought a Lock-Right locker, put some big 31 inch tires on it all-terrains and we  went down and The very first trail that I drove myself was ah, Moab Rim. And then it went on, the next day I went on Pritchett Canyon, which kind of tainted me for every other trail. Right? Those are those are still to this day somewhat challenging Pritchett challenges, Pritchett especially. So, uh, I just I just fell in love. And, uh, I bought a lot of parts from Mepco, which is ah. Which was just a jeep store. There was no internet, so there was nowhere to go to buy Jeep parts. And I went there and I got to know the owner, Mark Falkner pretty well, And, uh And then one day I came, I went to him and I said, I want to work here. So he hired me. I quit my job. My my family was telling me how stupid I was because it was a little teeny, tiny shop, you know? And and I went to work there. Well, then that kind of started my whole my whole adventure in off road at some time. Well, what in the 96 I guess Jeep, uh, changed their platform. They went to the TJ's coil springs. People were coming in and wanting to buy a lift It. The Jeeps were selling like crazy, but nobody had a suspension system. And so Mark and I thought, Well, lets just build one. We'll just build a suspension system, we'll be quick, and we'll sell them. And then when the big companies and the big companies at the time were Rancho and ProComp, Skyjacker, when they come out with their kits, we'll stop selling. I mean, well, you know, just buy theirs. But as we started developing it, we came up a couple of ideas. We noticed that the control arms that they had back in the day, which were box you just square tubing. They were forcing the axle to be a torsion bar. So we made a flexible control arm, the flex arms, and that changed everything, you know, for bolt-on suspension systems. And so that launched Teraflex and I did that for, you know, a lot of years, so that if you you know, several years ago now so

Big Rich Klein:   6:15
and your Ah, is it your cousin Vinny?

Ranch Pratt:   6:18
No. Zero relationship. I get that question alot.

Big Rich Klein:   6:22
Well, I thought you guys were related, wow

Ranch Pratt:   6:22
Yeah. Everybody does because his last name is the same. But we're no relationship. He he just walked in off the street and applied for a job in marketing. Vinnie Pratt. We hired him for his skills. Yeah, but zero. I've checked it out, of course, to see if somewhere way back, you know, there's some relationship, but there's not. And he's still there today. So we started that in 90. I think he started somewhere around. Probably like 97. 98. Okay, Still there. He's just an outstanding marketing guru.  He's turned out to be really great.

Big Rich Klein:   6:55
You're Mepco, then you help. You were a Teraflex which was kind of all one thing, but, you know, all owned by Mark, but still one business,

Ranch Pratt:   7:04
actually. Mark and I and Jeff Mauk all co founded it, and were equal partners in Teraflex. All right, so but yeah, but what then? Ah, Then what happened is, um you know, that spirit of competition is has always been alive in off road off roading and rock crawling particularly and, you know, you get to an obstacle. And honestly, I think most people could relate to this If they're watching their buddy try it and he has to try it a second time. They're counting. kind of, right. He tried two times, he tried it three times he gets now he gets up five times. I've got it. I've got to get over this obstacle in less than five attempts. And so that spirit of competition. It's always been there. Bob Hazel, As you know, he put on an event. He created some rules down in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and I thought, I want to do that, Phil Howell you  was working on an event. And it was. He's also the editor of Four Wheel Drive and Sport Utility Magazine, and he was talking to me one day and he goes, This is It's just there's so many things going on in my life. I don't know if I can do all of this, and I So I said, I'll do it. So I bought his event from him.

Big Rich Klein:   8:11
Before It was actually an event.

Ranch Pratt:   8:13
Yeah, he was. He was actually starting it. It was kind of a local, not locals. Ah, good. Kind of a good old boys event. Right? Where? And he had his good old boys in his circle were the top dogs. And so I bought that event from him and we went down to Farmington,New Mexico. That's where it was. And, man, I tell you, I didn't know any of the guys. I didn't know anybody. We set up rules. Um, I was pretty tight with Goodyear and they sponsored the event, as the title sponsor and they sent down a guy to tell me that that was going to be their only event that they were going to do. Because as it progressed, I decided I wanted a series. I wanted more than one event, I want I think was four events at the time, because I think that the cream kind of rises over an average right. You might have a bad event. That doesn't mean you're the worst driver. So they sent him down to tell me, Uh, yeah, they just wanted to do the one and I got wind of that. So I put every dollar that came in from that event into advertising, radio advertising and television. We had a huge crowd. I mean, it was massive. And the and the event it's not like the events that you're doing now. We're it were that I was even doing that are in a small area. This thing, this thing covered Miles was a huge event, and there were people everywhere, and, uh, that kind of kicked off the whole thing. He saw the crowds. He called back to headquarters and said, No, we need to be a part of this. And and so they signed on for the following year.

Big Rich Klein:   9:42
That's awesome. That first event were you in Chokecherry Canyon?

Ranch Pratt:   9:46
Yeah, it was Chokecherry Canyon

Big Rich Klein:   9:48
and Brown spring. But you were spread out a lot farther.

Ranch Pratt:   9:52
No, it wasn't Brown Springs we had in the area was open, you know, from the BLM. It's is designated open so that the permits were easier to get than they are today, even. Yeah. So, yeah, we had two separate canyons. And to be honest, it's been so long. I don't remember exactly where those were, but we had two separate canyons. So we had A side and we had a B side. And there were I think there was 15 obstacles in each of those groups. Wow. Yeah, And they were long obstacles. I mean, it was a It was a long event. Two days, but it went from morning til dark by some miracle, everybody got through every obstacle you would drive from the A side to the B side. I mean, the Spectators wouldn't just walk over and see, you know, the other side of the obstacles they had to, had to drive. Lots changed.

Big Rich Klein:   10:43
Yeah. So you did got that first one under, and that was that was one of four for that year.

Ranch Pratt:   10:51
That was one of one, with four the following year.

Big Rich Klein:   10:54
Okay, what year was that was at 98 or 99

Ranch Pratt:   10:59
I think it was 98.

Big Rich Klein:   11:00
That's that's what I was thinking. It's one of those things. It's really cloudy. In the first interview that that we did that airs, my wife is interviewing me, and I'm like, Well, you know, I think it was 98-99. Couldn't come up with the exact dates. Yeah,

Ranch Pratt:   11:18
I think that right. But, hey, I'm the same way. I've got a great memory. It's just short.

Big Rich Klein:   11:23
Yeah. So we go from the first event there in Farmington. How many? How many teams did you end up having? Do you remember?

Ranch Pratt:   11:33
We probably had 60 teams or or so it was a lot really good, he said. It was miracle. I don't know how we got him on through. It's an interesting thing to because John Currie was there. Jeff Wagner. You remember him? Rookie his nickname, and he was like the king of the drivers in people's minds. He was the guy to watch out for a I guess it is a better way to put it. And there was a particular obstacle and he rolled and rolling at the time. You know, that was an event. I mean, if somebody rolled, that was bad. Bad thing, right? And so he rolled. Everybody was freaked out. Rookie rolled. This is crazy. What are we doing? You know he was okay, of course. And and, uh, now it's It's not a big deal, but it really struck a firestorm and people were panicked about it. There were that we were talking about Jeeps, some of them daily drivers, and I In fact, I remember John Williams from, uh, from, uh, at the time, Mount Logan Off Road. He had a beautiful bronco, and I'm When I saw Rookie roll, I just thought man I'm gonna I'm trashing these vehicles. It wasn't my intent, but you've got to make it hard too, you know. And so I guess that's noteworthy because so much has changed with the vehicles too

Big Rich Klein:   12:50
Yeah, absolutely. There are no full if they're full body vehicles there nowadays. They're trail rigs anyway, that have been thrashed and beat on. You know, guys, fix 'em up, but, you know, there they're not. It's not like back in the day. I remember the first event that I put on. That was a series event. It was Lucerne Valley at the Lions Club, Lions Club Pride Park, and they had It was a gun range and we had three classes, a Mod Stock, ProMod, Unlimited and the Mod Stock showed up. And there's all these beautiful, full bodied jeeps and two guys in particular had. I mean, they looked like hot rods, you know, with all the fancy, you mean flaked paint, flames and everything. And I'm like, you know, I don't know if you want to do this or not. They like, yeah, we wheel all the hard stuff at the Hammers, you know? And I'm like, OK, and each of them started on a different obstacle, and they both, one before he got through the first gate and the other one, he was about halfway through the first gate, called for a winch to help them, you know, a safety line to get off the course, and they're going like, Okay, we're done. We're not doing this. We're going home. And I said, I'm sorry, but I kind of told you that was gonna happen. Everybody else went out there and thrashed stuff. But these two guys, I mean, they were older guys, you know, I was 42 at that time or 43. These guys were, you know, my age now in the sixties. And they were like, we're not here to beat our stuff up. And, you know, you totally understood, especially back in the day,

Ranch Pratt:   14:32

Big Rich Klein:   14:33
But you appreciated those guys coming out, cause I remember the first event that I went to of yours was the Arizona event.

Ranch Pratt:   14:43
Yes, I was our second event.

Big Rich Klein:   14:44
Yeah, second event. And it was Florence Junction on Upper and Lower Woodpecker. And we were standing there right about where the road crossed between Upper and Lower. And it was the last obstacle there with with huge boulders saw Steve Remore go in there and blow up a U-joint or break an axle in that 2.5 ton Rockwell stuff that he had under there. And I mean, it was a huge explosion. And some guy that was standing there goes, oh man, these guys don't know how to drive. I drive through that all the time, and I'm like, you're not driving the same lines. These guys were being forced to drive because, yeah, I drive that all the time. I said, I'll give you 100 bucks right now if you go get your Jeep. Hey, and you drive through there on your 33's or 35 's whatever you have and drive and take that same line that that guy did in that Sniper. And he was like, Oh, yeah, I know I could do that. Everybody around was like, You lying sack of shit, you know? Yeah, there was no way.

Ranch Pratt:   15:44
Yeah, it's amazing. You can look at an obstacle and people drive it a certain way, right? It's usually the easiest way. 

Big Rich Klein:   15:50
Well, that's where you put the cone.

Ranch Pratt:   15:51
That's right. That's where Yeah, you've got a block that way. Or you. You think you know, if their vehicle were twisted a little bit, that would be it would be terrible. It's not the way you normally come into this thing. But if you had to, would that be rough? And that's how you kind of said, I'm sure you're e. I mean, your courses are outstanding. So you know what I'm talking about.

Big Rich Klein:   16:10
Yeah. Now they got through that the first event there, second season or the full season the next year. So we're figuring, like, 99. That's when I first met you personally. I was the club president in Cedar City, Utah. Yep. When you've brought in the ARCA events to Cedar. And at that time it was BLM property, and our club went out there and cleaned up because, I mean, there used to be cars and refrigerators, and it was a free dumpsite. Basically, everybody was using it as a free dump. It was Dean Bulloch, Dave Burling, myself, Doc. Buzzy Bronsema. I mean, there was a ton of us that went out there, and I spent probably 4-5 weekends in a row hauling trash out, Mossdale Trash Company. I think it is called. They brought up dumpsters for us, free of charge. The thing that amazed me was how many people showed up to that first event there? I mean, there was a lot of people in Arizona. Probably not like there was in  Farmington, but the amount of crowd that showed up to Cedar City absolutely blew me away.

Ranch Pratt:   17:23
Yeah, I remember that well, Phil Smith. I haven't seen him in years, You know, he kind of introduced me to Probably to you and also to Cedar City and Three Peaks. And yeah, it was an amazing event. Well, and that was one of our easier events to pull off, thanks to the help of you know, your club and the city and every everybody was wanting us to be there. It's an interesting thing. We were talking for just a minute about Apache Junction. That was that. That was a sport changing event in a couple of different ways. One I learned about the difficulties that we can have with the BLM. Yeah, Francisco Francisco Mendoza? Yep.

Big Rich Klein:   18:06
Whatta jackwad

Ranch Pratt:   18:08
He was terrible. So yeah, um, Sandy McCullen helped a lot with that event. She was outstanding, she was awesome. That would never have. We probably wouldn't have gone on any farther without her, quite frankly, because she just she was a bulldog, you know? And she wasn't taking anybody's crap and including Francisco, but yeah, I remember. I flew down there. He wanted to look at the site. She and I came. We went out to Apache Junction. We came over this hill and there was four BLM vehicles and probably 12 people. A lot of ponytails and walking sticks. And I thought, oh man. You know, this might be rough and it was. We showed them the course we wanted He, uh he said no because there's petroglyphs and we went back and forth for a long time. And he said We will give you authorization for this is months later for this area, which is the area we had it in. And I remember we kept pointing to the map and saying this area Yes, this one right here. But you won't give it for and I apologize. I don't remember the exactly. So you'll give it for Canyon A But not Canyon B? Yes. And I look at Sandy. And you know, we both had this look, we said, OK, we'll sign up for it. So we did. But that canyon had so many petroglyphs, I mean, it was crazy. How did they authorize that? We couldn't believe it. It had way more than the canyon we wanted. I actually think they made a mistake, but nevertheless, that's where the approval was. So we were out hanging banners and hiding  petroglyphs and then roping it off so people wouldn't go there because, you know, we knew that would be trouble. We had a Goodyear wanted to bring to , I mean, the blimp out Well, and, uh, here's a story. And I was casually talking to Francisco after we were, when we were ready to sign the documents and said, It will be exciting. Goodyear's bringing the blimp and he's going, um, they're gonna fly over the event and said, Yeah, and he goes, No, they're not. It'll scare the wildlife, and I and I said, Francisco isn't Isn't their regulatory body, the FAA, he goes, Do you want your permit? So they didn't fly over the event they had to fly over the city. Wow. So that was my first run in with BLM and the challenges that they

Big Rich Klein:   20:35
did he make you do an owl study?

Ranch Pratt:   20:38
Yes. And then we had to put we had to do an owl study, we had to pay for an owlstudy. I don't even know what that meant, right? I don't know what came of it. I mean, I know it gave us our permit. So we we paid for the owl study. We had to publish how to move desert tortoise in case you stumble across one. And then they had a lot of you know, they had a just a ton of their rangers out there for for the event and parking. Parking was the challenge because a lot of people did come out. And, of course, they're worried about where these guys are gonna park. We want him on the road and we're trying to control a giant crowd with very few people volunteers. And it was challenging, but But it was a great event,, you know. And for I remember a conversation you and I had had their with respect to the BLM. So it sounds like you've dealt with Francisco yourself.

Big Rich Klein:   21:30
Yeah, we actually, we actually did one in in lower Woodpecker. And I remember walking it. This was after your event and I walked it. Sandy was there to help as well, but we were, hell there was probably 10 of us with this without BLM, and we're kind of looking at, you know, mapping it out in our mind where we wanted to go and what we needed to do to make it work. Before we brought BLM in and ask permission. We were just trying to get a lay of the land. My son goes, Wow, there's That's a really cool line right there. And I'm like, Yeah, but there's there's a barrel cactus there, you know, they're never let us use, you know, do that with the barrel cactus there. So we talked about it a little bit and we went on, and the next thing I know is, you know, we kind of lay out what we wanted to do, had it, you know, kind of mapped out on paper and got Francisco out there to walk the area and seeing that we only used one, you know, we used a smaller area than you did as we're walking it. I'm looking around. I said, Yeah, we really want to use this area and that barrel cactus isn't there. But it had been there, like, the week before two weeks before and so I didn't say nothing. And Francisco's walking around and he goes, he said, You know, you're going to have to block off the petroglyphs that at that time I think they had some of them fenced off actually after because it probably happened after your event. They fenced it. He pointed. And he goes, There used to be a barrel cactus right there. Wow. I mean, he and I was like shocked and I said, Really? I said, we were here two weeks ago and I didn't see it barrel. I mean, there was no barrel cactus there. And so he walked up and looked at it and says, Oh, maybe I'm mistaken and we continued walking afterwards. I don't remember who it was, but it was somebody that was there with us the first trip, and it wasn't Sandy or any of the Sandy's kids or Jack or anybody, but they, uh, the guy comes up to me and goes, We moved that that barrel cactus, he goes on, they transplanted it, Yeah, I'm a certified or my friends, a certified landscaper, you know, for moving cactuses for construction projects. And we moved it. It's, you know, 50 feet away from where it was at. And I actually went and looked at that, like, five or six years after the event, just to make sure that, you know, it had been moved or it was still alive because I wouldn't He showed it to me later on. And sure enough that that barrel cactus was just fine. So, you know, we didn't kill anything. Um, we just moved it. That the owl study, that that was one of things that really perturbed me at the time. And I'm saying I asked him. I said, Okay, so when was the last time? An owl was seen out here. Well, we don't have any recorded history of an owl, of owls being here, And I'm like, So what's the process for this owl study? And he goes, Well, we send it a team out there and they actually call owls and see if any show up, and I said. So here's an area that nobody's seen owls at. But you're saying it's a fly, it's a possible habitat for these owls. There's no owls there now or you've never seen one. I wish I had known that you had done the study at that time because I would have thrown

Ranch Pratt:   24:59
it ignored, Get a capital. Yeah.

Big Rich Klein:   25:01
Yeah. And so I started to argue with him. Like you're gonna call them in. Well, I want I want my representative there. When they're doing this, I want to make sure that they that they're not just saying they saw an owl and they

Ranch Pratt:   25:17
He made you pay for that study. What's that? Did you have to pay for this study?

Big Rich Klein:   25:21
Oh, yeah. And I don't remember what it was. Their typical thing was always 500 bucks on anything. It seemed like unless it was those archaeological studies and that kind of stuff, which they'd already done. But they always charge you, you know, $15,000 or that kind of thing.

Ranch Pratt:   25:38
Yeah. Yeah, They made me do the owl study. They let me off from the polar bear study. Amazing. Yeah. I didn't have to do the polar bear study in Phoenix, but other than that I think I had all of them, tortoise, So yeah,

Big Rich Klein:   25:55
yeah, and we had to do the same thing. Just like two years later. I think it was I might have been three or four years later. Maybe that's why they made it. Made us do it over again. 

Ranch Pratt:   26:05
Cedar City was a different story. Cedar City was fantastic. The place was great. It was perfect. In fact, Cedar City is what I think. That was our third event. And that is what gave me the idea to condense it, really shrink it down. You know, the whole sport morphs, and it morphs from recreational trail riding. It makes sense that the first courses were kind of big because they were sort of like trails. But we got to Cedar City, Three Peaks, a smaller area. And I remember thinking, I bet we could We could probably make it work in this small area. We'll just have to kind of makes tight loops or whatever, and so that's what we did. The crowd was huge. They all got to see the obstacles, and even then, our course was three times as big as what it became later

Big Rich Klein:   26:52
Well, I remember it was so right out. Quite we Everything was spread out quite a bit. And that's where your course designer at the time out of Farmington. Phil? Phil! Yeah. Phil,. Phil Collard came out in the bunch of us of the club, walked with him and made recommendations and showed him the rock areas because we've been playing on em, you know, for a couple of years. He was always It was amazing working with him, and he actually took some of our ideas. I remember he looked at my son, cuz, Little Rich at the time, was like a sophomore in high school or freshman in high school. And he was like, I was like, Well, what if What if you guys did this and he's looking at him and going' You don't even drive yet. What are you talking about? Yeah, but But it was It was good to work with Phil. I saw Phil a couple of years ago down in Farmington. He came by one of our national events there at Chokecherry. He said that you know? Hey, if you ever want some help, setting courses come out and set with me. I'd love to, you know, share my ideas and stuff. And I don't know if he remembered, but if he remembered that he had shared his ideas previously to with me and you know, that was where I learned a lot. Of course, Bob Roggy was my first course designer. He had competed there, and, uh, at Arizona. That's how I met Bob Roggy and Lance Clifford. They were They were kind of homeboys from Northern California. And then when Cedar City happened, they stayed at our house in Cedar. We had quite the party, but there were parties going all over that town during the the ARCA event. That's that was an amazing an event. I have to give you that, That's for sure.

Ranch Pratt:   28:25
Thank you. Well, yeah, it was fun times. We learned a lot. I actually learned a lot. I would say if there's anything that shaped me, more than Teraflex, more than the challenges of developing product or cash or all the problems that come from a new company like that, You know, ARCA and UROC, And the competition was in dealing with the teams and setting rules working with managing agencies and so forth that that changes a lot about a person. You know, you you learn a lot. And you, I think you really learn to manage people more than anything

Big Rich Klein:   29:01
Yes,One of things that I like, that I like to remind teams because everybody's got their idea how you should do things. I know you've come across this, whether it's teams on how the rules should be written, how the vehicle classes should be, how the courses are designed, where the events are at all those kind of things. But as a promoter, you don't look it at the event overall as one team, might you look at it what's good for the whole sport and good for your business model, you know? And that's one of the things that the teams and they don't realize how much effort goes into putting on an event. It was like when Jesse Haines started doing his event, Silver State Rock Crawl, and then he changed it to Supercrawl. When he made the deal with you, he came up to me after that first event he did and says, Well, Rich, I've got to give you a lot more credit for doing everything you do and how many events a year you're doing, because at that time we were doing 20 events a year with the rock crawls and the racing. And he goes, I don't know how you do it, because I live 15 minutes away 20 minutes away from our site, and it's taken me all year to set up for one event.

Ranch Pratt:   30:16
One event, yeah

Big Rich Klein:   30:17
you do it twenty times.. It's crazy.

Ranch Pratt:   30:19
It's it's a It's an incredible amount of stress and condensed work with drop dead deadline, you miss the deadline it's gone. You know you don't get a kick it down the road a little bit. Well, we'll reconvene. None of that happens, and I agree with you. The And it's an interesting thing, because when we were starting it again, we came from recreational four wheelers, rock crawlers and and full body jeeps, trail vehicles. And then we introduced a purse. You know, a good sized purse. We paid $20,000 an event. It was a total purse and everything changed everything with the relationship with the teams changed as immediately and you're right, they they come in with the perspective of an event, winning an event you're coming in with a perspective of. I've got to put on a a good event. I've got to make it. It's fair as I possibly can for a judged event, which is challenging. Yes, I've got to keep people safe. I want them to also be able to see right. I've got all these other, these other pressures from sponsors and people displaying there, and they've got their distinct needs for being at the event. In their perspective, you know, if a tire manufacturer comes in, he wants to be able to interact with the crowd. Of course, that's his goal, and he wants to brand himself, and you've got to make sure all of that stuff, right? And, yeah, it's exhausting. And so and then you have the safety issue of the teams. So for me, and I don't know how much you experience this or you probably did, you were right in there. The rules were changing a lot because we were transitioning from regular and and a lot of was driven by the team's, oddly enough, right. So in fact, I remember the first big transition was Walker Evans. It was after he came into Ah, Phoenix. And he had a full body like S series blazer. He didn't do so well, but he's a competitive guy. So then, Ah, he he went to Vernal and he showed up with a tube chassis kind of an S series pickup with skins. I would say it was the first rock crawling buggy, at least that I was aware of.. The team's hated him because he's a desert racer, right? You're a desert racer or go back to your home. But But he came in and he won that event and suddenly everybody's building buggies and we're trying to define rules. We have pressure from, you know, people like Jeep there. They're wanting to keep the sport so that they can identify with the vehicle. We want people to look at a vehicle, sort of like NASCAR might be. They look at that car, they they identify with the car, and that's how they wanted it. And the teams were moving faster than we were. We go to an event and we'd go to tech and we'd see something new every single time, and sometimes it it puts, you know, it might be something that's an advantage that you haven't considered rear steer came along like I didn't see that before. Rear engine vehicles open open engine compartment vehicles. All those had to be addressed over time. And every time you did a rule the teams might perceive it is You're out, too, like make somebody's life hard or you're trying to, make a rule for somebody else or build a course for a particular vehicle. You know, those are that the kind of the conspiracy theories of the rock crawling world and in fact, that very thing. I've had that accusation a few times from teams where they said they I heard that I build a course for a specific driver and, like, I am not that good. I wish I was. I wish I could foresee how well a certain vehicle I know they're wheelbase. I know exactly how the driver drives. I know exactly what's going to make it work for him, and I could actually build a course that would be, but I'm not that good. I just build a Course and, looked at a thing and said, You think it's doable? You know, sometimes you really don't know. You hope one or two guys make it, But, uh, that still happens? Yeah, I'm sure. Yeah, you hope? Yes. So, yeah, a lot of fun. And, ah, lot of changes during that time. And so there was that that it's sort of a little bit of a conflict between the promoter and the teams and also where you were trying to. We were looking at a bigger picture. We want the and I still want to see Rock crawling is a well known nationally recognized, you know, motor sport. It's not an easy task, and it takes the cooperation of the promoter and the teams that I think the teams or if anybody, I shouldn't say teams. I think if an individual is looking only out for an event, how well he does, it's a little bit short sighted, because if that whole sport can grow, if it becomes bigger, if more people come along than more sponsors come along and he's in better shape himself. So it really takes that teamwork and boy, even today, you know, I would exhort those teams to really get on board with the promoter, have a little bit of faith, recognized it. He's probably he's not doing things to benefit one team or to hurt the teams. He's trying to grow the sport, and the teams were the beneficiary as much as he is, so if they can all get on board and do that. The entire sport benefits?

Big Rich Klein:   35:53
Absolutely. Nowadays, I think, you know, we don't have the number of competitors that we that we used to have back before the housing crash that really drove the numbers down. And then, of course, people went to go, go fast and are doing the King of the Hammers and Ultra4 thing. And but we're starting to see people, the sport grow again. The last event we had 52 cars, that was substantial, and we could have had probably over 60 if all the unlimited and pro mod drivers had shown up. We don't get a lot of mod stock rigs anymore. They typically you're just jump in with what we call sportsmen, and we have three sportsman classes that kind of mirror the pro classes, except they're not quite as you know, I don't expect the guys to be in fire suits. I don't expect the guys to have. You know, the vehicles quite up to par that the unlimiteds that, you know the pro classes are yes, but we also put them on a lot easier courses. It's a place for people to get their feet wet, have fun, hopefully learn the strategies so that they can move up or we get him to move up. And so that's That's been We've been doing that the last couple of years because all of a sudden, when there were no other rock crawling events except for WE Rock, it was like, My God, we don't have you No, no, no parks are putting them on. Nobody else is putting them on. It's like we have. We don't have a feeder system. It is gone. You know, we had to figure out How do we become? I mean, we started off CalRocs myself as a feeder system, you know, is that to feed the Pro Series, get the guys, I'd go drag my little trailer out with all my stuff and put an event on for 20 guys, you know, and I was happy doing that. And then, you know, all of a sudden everything got bigger and bigger and bigger, and it's without all those other organizations trying to put things on, It was like, Okay, how do we sustain what we've got going? You know, how do we keep it growing? And it's been difficult changing, You know, we've had to change rules, finally took away the rear steer penalty in Unlimited. That was the best thing I did in years it all of a sudden. If if all the unlimited show up there's 20 plus of them again and they're all rear steer buggies, there's a couple of drag axle cars. Most of those guys are competing in the Sportsman, but they're all looking that either changed a rear steer and get back into the pros, or they're building new cars with rear steer. We still see that vehicle Tiny Oh, come out! Yeah, it's down in Mexico in Salido, Mexico, and the guy comes up and competes in our Texas events. So it's always good to see that we just talked to, John Bondurant yesterday and Larry McRae a couple of days before that. I want to say thank you for you being the first one out there to put together a series of events like that to get the basis of the rules and classes started because as I watched what you were doing. You know, I was formulating when I moved back to California. What I was gonna do you. Ah, you had already broken ice. And so I just went through the ice field that you create, You know that you broke to try to to get things going, you know? And that's why, after the first event put up or shut up, we went to multiple classes. You know, we because I saw the disparity in vehicles really quickly. I mean, you know, the first event. Like you said, everybody showed up with full body vehicles, you know? And then the next event all of a sudden, you got buggies and, you know, guys on 50 inch tires or whatever they were, you know, the biggest bogger you could find, you know, And the guys on 35 all competing against each other, right? You broke the ground. So it was easy for me. Easier for me to come along and say, Okay, this is how we're going to do things.

Ranch Pratt:   39:51
No, thank you. Well, yeah, it was Ah, it was a lot of fun. We like I said, I think it was, uh very forming for me, you know, as a person. But it was something to be a part of the beginning of a whole new motor sport. And, uh and we we were clipping along. We did that event. Ah, way started to a manmade courses. We get the manmade course at SEMA, which was a probably one of the highlights of of ah, least our efforts and have a You know, it's just an outstanding event, a lot of challenges. Exhausting event building an event, building a course on poly styrene blocks, you know, Styrofoam blocks and then tearing it down a couple of days. I just kind of heartbreaking this of the money and the effort. Uh, but it was really cool. And you're right in 2008  came, and for us it was in October. I I was negotiating with. We were fortunate. We had we had B F Goodrich. We had Toyo tires, Nitto, Maxxis all of those sponsors all, Goodyear, of course were working together, which is weird, and I

Big Rich Klein:   41:05
they don't nowadays

Ranch Pratt:   41:07
no, and they didn't before, you know, it's just such a momentum, and then 2008 came along. And somewhere in October, Um, probably early October, I got a call from B F. Goodrich from Jackson Dawson. Everything had unfolded, right? It was unfolding at the time the crash. And they said our marketing has been cut. We had an agreement. We didn't have a formalized agreement. They did nothing wrong. But they called up and said, I'm just terribly sorry. We This crash has killed us. Our marketing budget has been slashed. The only off road we're going to keep is the Baja 1000 which we've had forever. It's understandable. So that was discouraging. And then within three days, I had gotten had received calls from Maxxis and Toyo.  you know, just all the big guys had marketing dollars cut as a result of of the economic just downturn. And so I was fortunate because it was in between seasons. So I wasn't out particularly. But it was money and and support that wasn't going to be coming in the following year, and by the time in December rolls around. I thought, I'm gonna I'm gonna just kind of furlough the year, so I planned nothing that 2009. And then as things started to improve, I had already moved on to doing different things and so just never picked it back up, you know, but it sure was a fantastic years. Decade of my life.

Big Rich Klein:   42:38
Yeah, I have. I have to agree. It's it for me now. It's going on two decades and 20 years now of putting on events in its I love the people that I've been able to meet, whether they've been a small part of my life or a large part there. Truly, there's an enthusiastic love that creates guys to do what what we do, you know, whether it's us as promoters or or the people that are in the industry building the stuff, you know, building the vehicles, building all the high end tech stuff that's come along the way on the driver's the Spectators. You know, we're all enthusiasts. It's not curious. We don't attract the same kind of crowds like Monster Truck or NASCAR. You know, there, there, there to see something totally different with us. It's there, there, there to see what the's drivers can do. Oh, and the driver's are there you know, for that same reason. You know, it's not about the money. There's there's not enough money in it for, you know, for the drivers were at any point, you know, even when they're when it seemed like they were good paydays what people had into their vehicles. We're not nothing close to what they invested in time and effort. I'm an including dollars. I mean Rock crawling's a lot less expensive because of maintenance costs compared to the racing. Because when you know you break something at 80 miles an hour, you know, there's that there's a cause and effect that just, you know, spreads across the desert. You might say, Yeah, yeah, rock crawling, You know, you break the link, you know, you we strap you up when we get you off the course,

Ranch Pratt:   44:26
Can you fix just a link at the rate we did some racing for, uh, as you know, for a year and a so that one must been 2007. We started Rock Cross and started it at Pomona Fairgrounds. Pomona show. You know, we did that. That show two years, but just one full season of rock cross and then you know the disaster of the economy struck. But yeah, you're right. I mean, it's an expensive sport, but not nearly as expensive as others. And I think that the fans have more of an appreciation for what? The drivers. The team's can do because they have. They're going back and they're driving their own Jeep back home. But they've been on trails, you know? So they see that stuff and think, No way, no way I would do that.

Big Rich Klein:   45:12
But they want to look like those guys that were competing. So it was like, You know, Okay, they got the cool shocks with coil overs. You know, they've got, you know, the cool link suspension. They've got all this cool steering and brakes and all the other stuff, you know, harnesses and cages and all the stuff that that happened because of the technology advancements due to guys driving harder and harder courses and just pushing the envelope that it just pushed the after market.

Ranch Pratt:   45:42
Yeah, that's what I was just going to say it. And even today, the after market should be looking at competitive motor sports. They should be looking at your series. Anybody who makes a other than cosmetic pieces. Any type of performance parts, whether it's suspension or tires, wheels or anything, should be looking at competitive rock crawling and racing for some level of participation. If nothing else, and probably the biggest thing that they can gain out of it is an understanding of the next step and performance improvements and what people are doing. People are smart. These rock crawling teams come up. They know what they're talking about. When you talk about, for example, suspension. When we when we started the when I started ARCA and I already had Teraflex. Part of the reason I did it was because so I could promote my own brand right now, obviously. But the other part was, I wanted to see what people were doing. Somebody might have an outstanding idea, and you can talk to that person and incorporate that into, ah, aftermarket piece that anybody could use. You got to go in there with that mentality. It's not all about branding. It's proving product branding or developing product. All three of those are good reasons to get involved with competitive rock crawling and I, you know, even when I'm talking to manufacturers today. I asked them if they are involved in anything. A lot of them aren't. And I think it's important that they realize that there are avenues they should be taking to improve their product and really come up with some new ideas. Because

Big Rich Klein:   47:21

Ranch Pratt:   47:21
the guy who's trying to win is the guy who's really thinking about how to make that happen, how to come up with performance improvements. You know, it's it's not the guy on the trail. He's going to Facebook for answers. And, well, probably everybody's going to Facebook. But but the communities and groups and ah the Innovation and the depth of knowledge within the competitive space is much more profound than the recreational guy

Big Rich Klein:   47:49
true. You had ARCA. You moved To a relationship with the Patey's and UROC and set ARCA aside and became part of UROC in 2008- 2009 You stop doing events. What have you done since?

Ranch Pratt:   48:10
So yeah, so after that, there was a period of like I have had several companies. One of them wasn't the most glamorous, but I, uh I had a buddy who had a technology to run assisted living communities, but he couldn't sell it very well. It was too expensive. So he was talking to me in and we came up this idea that give it away, Right? But get your money somewhere else. So we bought a pharmacy for long term care, and then we set up a assisted living and skilled nursing facilities throughout the U. S. With this technology, and they got the technology free if they were using the pharmacy. So we did that for several years. Sold that and then, uh and then we were approached because of rock crawling and Teraflex and so forth. I was approached by a particular person who I had been working with Roush to develop extended range plug in hybrid electric, full size vehicles. And they had a, uh they had to get three vehicles ready for the Detroit Auto show. This is the in October of 11 something like that. And they had to get you have three vehicles developed for the Detroit Auto Show in February, and they said, Can you can you do it? I'm an  idiot. Right. So I said, Sure, I called on everybody. I knew that that was good Ben Hanks was there. Just a lot of rock crawlers, but just a lot of people that I knew from automotive and we developed We We drove into the Detroit auto Show, two of the three vehicles that we were required to build one of them. We didn't have batteries for us. We pushed that, but he couldn't driven. And so because we had, we did that we had. And Roush had been working on these vehicles for years and they pushed  their truck in as well. We got that contract. And I did that for several years, developing electric trucks for the Department of Energy. I called it the Manhattan Project. It was is tough, You know, at first I thought it would be easy. You know, you you swap out the transmission for a generator, throw in some batteries and a motor, but you don't think of all the other things like no power steering. Uh, engine is not running. We don't have power steering. We don't have power brakes. We don't have. We don't have cabin, air or heat. And what about, um you know, we're talking about vehicles that go on the street. So we've got a FMVSS and NITSA. We've got a pass. All those tests we gotta do crash tests. Yeah, So that was the Manhattan project. And I did that for several years. And then, uh then we sold that company and they're still working in building even bigger vehicles now that are electric. And then and then after that, I thought, What do we want to do? And I've always been a scuba diver, so I started a company called Indigo Industries, and we're a scuba diving products manufacturer. We have, ah, tactical division for military, which has been really the military stuff has been quite fun. You know, those guys were like, the mentality of rock crawlers. There's nothing that's too hard or challenging, and they they always want to kind of push it. So I've enjoyed that, Um, and I have a, uh, the company we actually launched at the Mint 400 this year called best off road dot com. Awkward timing. So we launched it at the Mint, and then the next week, or maybe within two weeks, things began to change. So that was our racing portion launch. And then we're going to launch for rock crawling at the Easter Jeep Safari. But obviously that didn't happen. So we've kind of pushed that back and we're waiting to see We still will be doing that. So we'll have offroad dot com and or I'm Excuse me. Best off road dot com. and best off road products will be developing some products for the off road industry again.

Big Rich Klein:   52:18
Excellent. I'll have to look that up. Check it out. Cool. So what, uh, what do you see for your future? You know, the, uh, you're still you're still living in in the Salt Lake area? Yeah. Based out of there?

Ranch Pratt:   52:33
Yep. Still, uh, i'll always be here. I love this area. And, you know, the people and all of my friends at Teraflex And so I'll stay here. You know, I I've gone up and down. I've had several 14 different companies. Um, and I've realized I don't want to do one, and then another. That's too hard. So I five is my goal that way. It kind of adds some stability and diversity, and I just love developing products, and that's probably what I will do. I don't see me ever getting back into your arena other than to come and hopefully watch an event and, you know, meets. Um, see some old friends, but it'll be manufacturing

Big Rich Klein:   53:14
cool, How's your dad doing?

Ranch Pratt:   53:17
He's good. Yeah, he's getting a little older, you know, And he But he's not slowing down much. He skis a lot. He still jeeps, got a T. J. And yeah, yeah, he really misses it. 

Big Rich Klein:   53:29
you know, with the old days back in those old days of rock crawling, I looked forward every time I came to one of your events was hanging out with Bob and just talking. Yeah, I never really about rock crawling or anything else. It was just, you know, sitting and talking. It's kind of like, you know, when I get a chance to talk with Don Campbell, you know, same thing. You know, the wealth of knowledge. It's in those minds. It was awesome.

Ranch Pratt:   53:57
Yeah, my dad was my buffer, you know, because I had to be the bad guy. I had to make the rules. I had to make the awkward calls just like you. But everybody loved him. He was just the good ol' boy. He was joking with them and telling jokes that probably aren't appropriate and, you know, fun stuff. And and so he kind of bufferedme from the teams fully lynching me, but, uh, I hear that a lot, you know? How is your dad? They miss him. And yeah, he was. He was probably the most heartbroken when we decided to cancel the season. He just he loved going to the events. He worked his guts out. He really misses it. So he'd love to come to one of your events, dude.

Big Rich Klein:   54:41
so. Is there anything that we haven't touched upon that you want that you want to talk about?

Ranch Pratt:   54:48
No, I think, uh, I think you know what? There's any message. I've already stated it, but it would be, You know, teams have a reason to align with you. There's little things that come up right. But but or or a call or a rule to, maybe a vehicle rule or safety rule or a call that you have on the course or whatever. It might be those things. That's competition. You know? What's contract? What's competition? Without controversy? There must not be enough competition, right? And but the mindset has got to be the whole. It's got to be for the whole sport. And that includes, you know. And I hope that some manufacturers have an opportunity. To hear this, but they really should be looking at their marketing and their development avenues and focusing some energy and diverting some resources to building up that sport if the sport grows. If if it gets to a point where it's it's yeah, there's the buggies and there's a high end that the high dollar guys. But those air the That's kind of the halo product of, ah, promoter, right? Your halo product is the Tracy Jordan's and the guys who are just the extreme guys who are always just amazing to watch. But that's that's what everybody aspires to. But they're not that that they want to be that because they want to be that they start taking action, they buy products they want their full body vehicles to be as close to that as they can. And so that's an investment that manufacturers should be making. And I certainly hope that in the future they do more of that and the teams get onboard more and really build that whole sport up

Big Rich Klein:   56:31
Yeah, there's there's not another motor sport like it where you get to be so close to the action that your your tantalizing all of everybody sensories you know, whether it's the sight, sound, smell, taste, you know, I mean, off road off road in particular, is the one sport you get to take home with you. Course you get. You shower it off later.

Ranch Pratt:   56:56
But yeah, it's the one sport where you can look on the ground and watch the rubber coming off the tire and making a little pile right. You're not up in a stand and can't. You can maybe smell some rubber burning after it's happened. But when you're that close, safe enough but close you can. You can smell it. You can see it, you know you're really part of it. It's It's an exciting thing, and the things that they do even today are still, well, even more so. Today, those obstacles that they they're doing now, especially a lot of the downhill stuff. It wasn't done even back then. You know, it's just it always steps up, always steps up, and you you've done an outstanding job of continuing that push to make it more difficult to push the envelope. And, you know, you probably have some teams saying, What are you thinking, Rich? You're trying to kill us

Big Rich Klein:   57:48
exactly. Especially at Farmington, you know? Yeah, the first time somebody comes to Farmington, you know, they they look down those those lines or up. Um, and they said, you know, God, I hope I don't die. Yeah, right. You know, we haven't We've never gotten into that situation. The vehicles nowadays are so advanced to make it difficult. And I go back, and I just I blame I blame John Nelson, and I'm gonna have a conversation with him, Hopefully. But I blame him when he called me up and said, Rich, you gotta allow us to put water at least water in the tires because water's free. And I was like, No John ,water's, not free because it's gonna come with the newest, greatest metals that are unobtanium, you know, in that kind of stuff, because because everything is going to start breaking and you're gonna take we're going to take the obstacles and make him that much more difficult To where you know, people are gonna consider it death defying And those, Well, that's great for the crowds. And I'm like, Yeah, did you don't You know, I didn't want to take that. That's step into that unknown, we ended up doing it, and, you know, we've done well with it, you know, for a while there we until the technology really caught up with the with the courses and meaning that, you know, the cars could drive them. But, you know, half the field we'd break right. So on Sunday, you know, you just wouldn't second day, you just wouldn't have enough vehicles to really put on a show. And you know, we've gotten past that, that the products are there to keep the car surviving. Now it's just whether or not they will survive a roll over. One of things that I always learn is you don't have to force anybody into a roll over cause they'll figure out how to do it all on their own.

Ranch Pratt:   59:37
Yeah, that's right. They always have. They been good at that, but well, yeah, the water in the tires, We had some of that. I don't remember what we ruled or not. It's been so long, but it makes a huge difference. And even that, though, is an example of what I was talking about with manufacturers. You know, if they really understand the difference between rock crawling and racing is tremendous. I mean Unsprung weight, where it's at so forth. They're almost polar opposite, right? And, uh, and they can learn from that, and so can people. So the more Spectators that get involved in this that are actually average Joe that, you know, the better they can become as drivers themselves. You watching these things that you can learn a lot, but yeah, those those courses, You know, I've seen a lot of video. I watch it. Of course I follow it. And I have a lot of friends that are still actively engaged in competitive rock crawling. Sometimes I look at it and I'm like Huh, I think if I were doing it today, of course I haven't. You know, it's been a while, right? So I haven't changed day by day. I don't know if I would do that line. So there are changes and you've done like I said a great job. And I can only imagine what, five years from now or 10 years from now will be these vehicles be doing,

Big Rich Klein:   1:0:52
I wonder on Jesse Haines is really pushing the envelope on developing, especially those unlimited cars. It is a course designer and a promoter. I have to look at everybody that shows up to that event, and in that class it's gonna run those lines. There's the guys that want the hardest, most difficult obstacle that they can hit. And I have to look at it saying, Okay, well, I still have to put pro mods over there. I have to put guys brand new to buggies on that, that are stepping up into pro's. You know, I have to make lines that they can do, because if if they're unsuccessful, they won't come back. They have to have little wins, meaning they have to finish a course.

Ranch Pratt:   1:1:38
now they might. They might finish last in the event, but they cleared two obstacles. Yes, and one of them they did really well. And they that's what hooks people, right? That's what gives you that passion.

Big Rich Klein:   1:1:51
Yeah, and I always tell those those best drivers, it doesn't matter. Don't come and tell me it's easy. Unless you've done every single obstacle Meaning you know, you've taken every single bonus line and you've scored. You know, zero or you know the best score possible, or you've You've only taken a couple of backups If you've left anything on the table, you know, any bonus out there, don't tell me it was too easy.

Ranch Pratt:   1:2:22
Well, and I had the reverse of that, too. I we do an obstacle. You probably remember Portland, Indiana. We had a pretty gnarly obstacle, and it was rough one. But we had three people make it. So we had a lot of teams saying, you know, that was ridiculous. That was way too hard, ridiculous. And I'm like, Well, except three guys made it. So it's not impossible. Maybe it was impossible for you, you know, Right? Never. I mean, I would say something that gum and maybe it was impossible for you. And that's how I made friends. But

Big Rich Klein:   1:2:59
I still do that.

Ranch Pratt:   1:3:00
Yeah, but you know, But it's true. I mean, a few guys make it two or three guys make it. I feel like it's a good obstacle if if everybody clears it with a low score, I probably felt that's probably how you feel.

Big Rich Klein:   1:3:12
Exactly. Absolutely. But at the end of the day. As long as that winner has at one point better than second place, that's all it matters to me. I know that that those guys would rather be farther apart. So when we go into that final obstacle to shoot out that they don't have to stress, it's it's amazing to watch the third place guy go into the shootout. Clear the course, Maybe not taking every bonus, but now laying the Smackdown for number for the second and 3rd 1st place guys that follow him now having to finish the course but score better. Yeah, like that's one less back up, maybe catch another bonus, whatever. And whenever that second or third place guys jumps up onto the first place podium and beats the guy that spent all weekend in first place, I know that that guy hates the shootout, and he may not have liked that obstacle, but it still was the culmination and it was the hardest one to do, you know, And then you're like, OK, you know, next time you just got to do a little bit better, But it's a fine line.

Ranch Pratt:   1:4:21
Well, you know, I agree with you. The closer the better for a promoter, actually, for everybody, even even the competitors, even the guy who, you know, I used to race motorcross and my very best race. My most memorable race. I took second, but I was in 1st 3 or four or five times, you know. So those close those closer events, closer finishes or better, One of the most memorable from UROC/ARCA day's is it was actually a SEMA show. Jason Scherer on the very last obstacle. The very last obstacle was the defining moment, and everybody was watching it because whatever happened in this next six minutes, you know, changed everything could change everything. And it did, in fact. And those were the exciting ones.

Big Rich Klein:   1:5:09
Yes, I agree. Well, Ranch, thank you for spending time with me today, Talking about the history of the sport and and the nuances from a promoter side. I can talk until I'm blue in the face and the guys just look at me like, yeah, right. You're just looking out for yourself. But you know, the here come from you as well. You know, maybe, they'll have a better understanding of why I have all this gray hair

Ranch Pratt:   1:5:35
all right. It is really a challenge to be a promoter. It's every bit as hard to be a promoter as it is to be a a competitive team. You know what it takes? All of the same energy directed in a different way. There's tons of stress. So I have a lot of respect for what you've done and how long you been doing it. And and I know you've taken many beatings. You know, it's tough.

Big Rich Klein:   1:5:56
I always get you to say I'm not I'm not the best promoter. I'm not the smartest promoter. I'm just the dumbest promoter to stay in the game. This long

Ranch Pratt:   1:6:06
Nah, and the sport need you.

Big Rich Klein:   1:6:08
I appreciate that. Well have a great day. I'll let you know when this is gonna air. And, uh, you know, thank you for being a guest on Conversations with Big Rich. I appreciate it.

Ranch Pratt:   1:6:20
Yeah, thanks. Rich for inviting me. And it was really good talking to you.

Big Rich Klein:   1:6:23
Excellent. Thank you. Well, that brings this episode to an end book. You enjoyed it. We'll catch you next week with Conversations with Big Rich. Thank you very much.