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"Man, I ain't never been to a Rally-party like this," explained Rally Innovations driver Kevin Welker as we both stood gawking at the hordes of beautiful-ish people that had bum-rushed the Avalon in Hollywood for the X-Games After Party. Rallying, that loveable sport where hopped up Evos and STIs go "Dukes of Hazzard"-style airborne crazy, has been added as an official X-Games event. Mr. Welker went on to explain that every Rally party he's been to comprised drivers, mechanics and owners slamming cheap beer and pizza in a community center. This was very, very different.

"It's like a christening, a baptism," Rally Innovations crew chief Kevin Mount boasted. I'll tone down the religious aspect, but this was indeed a coming out party for the sport — and in a big way. Not counting the cost of the car, the average US Rally team gets by on a budget of $50,000 a year. This Hollywood-style party spent more than that on wristbands. Hell, the Miller Lite was $6 a can. Case in point; the United Colors of Benetton rap collective Visionaries were letting their anti-corporate rap flow underneath not one, but three huge projectors displaying WR Pearl Blue STIs flying every which way. "Will this work?" I asked Mr. Mount. "It already is!" he shouted back to me. [by Jonny Lieberman]


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