Extreme 4X4 rock crawling became a true sport around 1999 when several ‘leagues’ of competition began popping up– WeRock, UROC, WRCC…the sport combined the sheer power of motor and drivetrain with the delicate finesse of precision driving, making for an exciting experience for both competitors and spectators.
Rock Star Racing was born when Jason Bunch, along with his racing partner, Steve Hastings decided to build a custom Jeep (RockStar) as well as a rock buggy worthy of competition against the likes of fellow competitors Dustin Webster, Mike Palmer, Jason Paule and Shannon Campbell, to name a few.
They enlisted the help of Brian Smith and Keith Graham to spend many a late night fabricating a formidable race vehicle. Brian Smith was heavily involved with the fabricating of the chassis and the building of a custom roll bar ( which supassed expectations on more than a few rollovers!) Both Jason and Steve were involved in the overall design and build, with Jason making the decisions in all regards: drivetrain application, gearing, weight and dimensions of the vehicle and especially steering and manueverability. Keith Graham was in charge of fit and finish–he also painted the vehicle, making its blue and yellow color scheme the trademark colors of the team. Both Keith and Brian were ‘crew members for the travelling race circuit, lending their help all over the country to assure that things ran smoothly during race weekends as Jason and Steve got about the business of competition.
Jason and the Rock Star Racing team were consistently a top finisher at these rock crawling events, and were considered to be one of the sport’s top competitors. Jason and Steve took top honors at ARB’s charity event “24 hours at The Hammers,” the pre-curser to today’s King of the Hammers event (read the article “The Race & The Reasons“).