"I believe this is number eight," commented Daryl Rath during an ESPN interview. "I'm blessed. I have raced all of my life and got to do things that most people just dream of. I seriously have nothing to complain about, I'm 44 years old and I saw people this weekend that I had not seen in 20 years and they could not believe that I am still doing it. And still doing it competitively!"
The K&N backed veteran competitor said he has every intention of racing in 2013
What Rath is "still doing" is TerraCross racing. If you've never heard of it you're not alone. Terracross, as seen on ESPN, was formally branded as the Quad Terrain Challenge, and in September of last year it made its spectacular return to motorsports racing at the 2011 Haydays Extravaganza.
Fans immediately take to the sport as it pits ATV's, UTV's and Side-by-Side's against the most excessive, extraterrestrial inspired terrain imaginable. Topography that includes lunar-like rock crossings, malevolent log sections, vehicle consuming mud and pretty much anything else a demented track ogre would need to claim victims. The idea is not only to survive the course and chaos, but to undergo it faster than everyone else. The series recently wrapped and it was none other than K&N racing veteran, Rath, claiming the overall ATV category title and complimenting that with the runner-up spot in Side-by-Side.
Rath is no stranger to TerraCross, as he's been diligently working behind the scenes for two years helping the ESPN X Games Promoter to bring the sport back in a big way, by debuting it in front of 35,000-40,000 estimated spectators. "TerraCross was created for the ESPN Great Outdoors Games by Tes Sewell," explained Joe Duncan, another key player in bringing the event together. "It evolved into the professional sport of Quad Terrain which played for two seasons on ESPN. With the original name TerraCross back and the help of Rath the large crowds at Haydays will see this thrilling action packed form of competition."
Give us a few insights from your thrilling opening round win in Elk River?
Rath added a 2nd overall in Side-by-Side's to his 2012 ATV TerraCross title
"I had some experience with terrain racing in these conditions on a Utility, but was excited to see how the RZR would do. The biggest battle is with the track, and making sure you can race a good line, and to be quick to adapt to the track as the track changes. It was also great to be a part of a series that will be televised on CBS Sports Network giving this sport such great exposure. After talking to some of the people involved both the racers and the spectators, everyone is pretty excited about Terracross."
How long have you been racing Side-by-Side's, how'd you get started?
"I have been lucky to have such a great long standing relationship with Polaris, and that opened the door for me to try Side-by-Side racing. My first race in a Side-by-Side was a GNCC event , and I did some Ice Racing in it, and now I am doing the TerraCross."
The Elk River race was back in June, and we know the 2012 season treated you very well overall, recap some of the highlights as you saw them?
Daryl Rath won the season opening TerraCross event at the Haydays Extravaganza
"I am happy with what I was able to accomplish in 2012. I finished winning the Championship in the Utility Class and finished 2nd Place in the Championship for Side-by-Sides . Winning a Championship will follow you in your career, winning races is a lot of fun, but a championship is what every racer strives for."
What's up next and have you started thinking about the 2013 season yet?
"I am honored to be able to say I am racing another year. I have been blessed to be able to do it for so many years and to build some lifelong relationships with people in the Industry that I now consider friends. I am hoping to be able to fit more TT racing into my schedule for next year along with Terracross and a few other surprises. It's that time of year and some things still need to be kept quiet!"
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