Falken Tire sweeps unlimited class at W.E. Rock West

Posted on July 22, 2014
Massa Tsuda, driving the Falken-liveried Rock Crawler, would take second in the Pro Modified Class.

Massa Tsuda, driving the Falken-liveried Rock Crawler, would take second in the Pro Modified Class.

Falken Tire, manufacturer of high performance on- and off-road tires, swept the Unlimited Class at the W.E. Rock Western Series competition with Matt Messer in first; Justin Hall second; and Olivia Messer in third. In addition, Massa Tsuda, driving the Falken-liveried Rock Crawler, took second in the Pro Modified Class.

All three unlimited cars ran the Falken WildPeak M/T 38x13.50R17 tire while Tsuda fielded the WildPeak M/T 37x12.50R17 tire. The event, held over two days in Goldendale, attracted 29 competitors running four classes, all battling within their respective fields for the W.E. Western Series titles.

“Hands down, the Falken tires are the best I have ever run,” Matt Messer declared, who earned the series title in the Unlimited Class. “The WildPeak M/T’s performance and consistency not only helped me win in Goldendale; they were the ‘difference-maker’ that enabled me to win the 2014 Western Series championship.”

En route to his victory, Messer edged out Hall for the overall win.  It was a fierce battle, with Messer taking the lead after Saturday’s rounds and never relinquishing it.

“I had a few difficulties,” admitted a disappointed Hall.  “The car and I didn’t cooperate together. And the weather was all over the place – super windy and dusty. However, my Falken WildPeaks would latch onto every rock and clawed me to a respectable second overall finish.” In addition to the wind, temperatures ranged from the 90s to low 80s over the weekend.

The W.E. Rock event – short for World Extreme Rock Crawling Championship – is based on competitors racing against the clock as well as one another to determine who can finish the course in the shortest amount of time. Additionally, W.E Rock competitors use their technical capabilities to negotiate through designated obstacle courses and are penalized when veering from the course’s established route. The driver with the lowest points wins the event.

“To run 48 courses in one season with one vehicle is unheard of,” Matt Messer added. “We ran every course with the same set of 38-inch WildPeaks. They held up with zero failures and helped us become champions.” Of particular interest is that both Matt and Olivia shared their race car throughout the season.

Team Tsuda traveled from Japan to compete, resulting in second place in the Pro Mod Class. “I am highly honored to be a part of Team Falken,” stated Naozumi Tsuda, team owner and crew chief. Team Tsuda has been instrumental in the development of the WildPeak M/T.

“Falken continues to align itself with key drivers and teams in our off-road ventures to further establish the WildPeak’s credibility and viability,” stated Nick Fousekis, Falken Director of Motorsports and Event Marketing. “It is extremely gratifying to see how well they perform in these grueling events. Most importantly, each of these venues serves as both a test market and a validation of how our WildPeaks succeed under even the most extreme conditions.”

Added Olivia Messer, who reached her first podium with her third place finish: “I would like to thank Falken Tire for helping me get through my rookie season. I can’t wait for the Nationals.”

The Grand Nationals will take place in Cedar City, UT, on September 13 and 14.

Related Topics: Falken Tire, Falken WildPeak M/T, World Extreme Rock Crawling Championship

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
The 2016 AAPEX show is expected to feature more than 2,200 exhibitors and 45,000 targeted buyers.

AAPEX By the Numbers

The Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) will be held Tuesday, Nov. 1, through Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, with AAPEXedu (educational) sessions starting on Monday, Oct. 31.

The Pantera Touring A/S (left) and Sport A/S (right) private brand tires are available to TAG members in 41 and 29 sizes, respectively.

TAG Celebrates 20-Year Milestone

In 1996, a half dozen large independent tire dealers banded together to form a buying group that would “help them compete against warehouse clubs and the big box stores,” says Mark Rhodes, president of Plaza Tire Service Inc.

The zLine A/S tires come fitted with Nokian’s Driving Safety Indicator on the center rib which shows the percentage of tread depth that remains.

Nokian Extends its All-Season Lineup

Winter tires may have brought Nokian Tyres plc to North America, but they aren’t enough to pave the path to the brand’s growth here. The tire maker knew it needed to invest in all-season products. First came the eNtyre and Rotiiva lines, and up next is an all-season ultra-high performance tire, the zLine.

Putting the right tires on the right vehicle is like dressing up in a tuxedo, says Barbara, left, with his store manager, Denny Reiser. “You can dress up in a tuxedo and wear black tennis shoes and still look OK, but try to go out on the dance floor. You’re not going to be able to do it.”

Follow Your Gut Instinct: Advice From Our Tire Dealer of the Year

When a customer walks in convinced his car doesn’t need synthetic motor oil when you think it does, and argues with you at every suggestion, do you take the time to educate him and explain your recommendation? Do you turn down the job? Or do you take his money, use traditional oil, and hope for the best?

Tom Formanek takes over as TIA president for Glen Nicholson at the annual membership meeting.

Tom Formanek Will Take Reins of TIA Board

Tom Formanek will be inducted as the next president of the Tire Industry Association (TIA) during its annual membership meeting on Oct. 31, 2016. He will serve a one-year term.


Goodyear Furthers Strategy by Announcing Plant Closure

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. remains focused on capturing "the growing demand for premium, large-rim diameter tires." The company says part of that strategy involves"reducing excess capacity in declining, less profitable segments of the tire market."

Jose Perez (left) and Matthew Greco explained how they increased alignment sales at their Golden West Tire Centers stores at a seminar for Big O tire dealers.

How to Sell More Alignments

How can dealers get more cars on the alignment rack? Matthew Greco and Jose Perez answered that question in a seminar at Big O Tires LLC’s annual dealer meeting last April.

"Our goal is to provide a clear and compelling 2017 Dealer Program well in advance of 2017 so that we can hit the ground running on Jan 1, 2017," says Falken Tire Corp.'s Darren Thomas. 

A Familiar Face Returns to Falken Tire

Darren Thomas proves you can go home again. Thomas, vice president of sales and marketing for Falken Tire Corp. from 2002-2008, has returned as senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!