MOUNT VERNON — He had one shot at it and that was all he needed.
Mount Vernon’s own Jason Hess had to best a sensational final run of 43.57 seconds by Columbus’ John Hall to win Wednesday night’s rough truck competition at the 2012 Knox County Fair and he did just that. Hess, the final competitor of the evening, ran the punishing course in an oustanding 43.04 to take first place in front of the home crowd.
“We call this the Super Bowl of all the tough truck events,” said Hess, who drove a modified Trail City 4x4 pickup truck. “Everybody wants to win this one. This is the biggest one of the year with the biggest crowd.”
Hess shares the credit for the win with all of the people who helped put his truck together.
“It takes a lot of people,” said Hess. “We help each other out when something breaks. The guys from Trail City all help me. I can’t do most of this stuff so, they help me do what needs done.”
Right behind Hall was Levi Lape of Howard, who posted a third-place time of 44.22 in his final run. That was enough to edge Nick Anderson of Zanesville, who also did well in his second run, finishing with a 44.93 to place fourth.
“This is the biggest one of the year,” said Lape, who looked dapper in his pseudo-tuxedo tee shirt. “We go to 30 different races. This is my hometown and more people come to the gate, here. It’s so much fun.”
For Hess, Lape and the others, the excitement is what draws them to rough trucking.
“It’s an adrenaline rush,” said Hess. “I want to go fast. That’s about it.”
“I first tried this in a Jeep,” said Lape. “I just drove it off the road, took the tags off and tried it. I had such an adrenaline rush, it got me hooked.”
Mount Vernon’s Joe Maglott was a little slow on his second run and had to settle for the time of 47.57, which he posted on his first run, where he broke a front axle shaft. That time, however, was good enough to put him in 5th place ahead of Zanesville’s John Moore (6th, 47.97).