Team Feature: Team HoneyBadgers - Rasa & LeeWhay

January 19th, 2024

The HoneyBadgers Team #156 of Rasa Fuller and LeeWhay Pasek are ready to take on the 2024 Rebelle Rally with their trusty steed and third team member, PHXTaco, a 2004 Toyota Tacoma. It all started in late 2020 when Rasa decided it was time to stop waiting for her friends to come up with the idea of competing in the Rebelle and jump in with both feet. When her original partner didn’t work out, she asked her friend LeeWhay to join her on the adventure. The rest, as they say, is history, becoming an exceptional team, and even better friends. “LeeWhay is now like a sister to me,” said Rasa. “It’s important to be able to talk through and work through challenges so we can come out stronger on the other side. I think we’re a stronger team because of that commitment to each other.” They have shown they are a competitive team, finishing in the top 10 in the 2023 competition.

One of the keys to their success has been a simple idea, but not always something teams do; they bolster each other’s skills. The driver knows how to navigate, and the navigator knows how to drive. Considering both have a passion for off-roading, their familiarity with each other’s roles is no surprise. LeeWhay and Rasa met over a decade ago and have been traveling and overlanding with their significant others ever since.

Just because they had spent a lot of time traveling together didn’t mean they knew immediately they would make good teammates. They share many of the same interests but are two very different people. The two had barely spent more than 30 minutes together in a vehicle during their trips. “We were both nervous about how we would do in year one of the Rally,” said LeeWhay about becoming teammates. “Lo and behold, we worked amazingly well together and have grown closer year after year.”

LeeWhay is happy to share advice with rookies from cross-training to communication, but her number one tip is “Have easily accessible snacks in the car. Navigator, remind your driver to eat and drink and assist with packages as necessary. Driver, offer drinks and snacks to your navigator when they are plotting or measuring.” Excellent advice when you’re sharing a vehicle for eight days.

Their third teammate and one of the most recognizable and loved vehicles in the Rebelle Rally over the past few years is their 2004 TOTAL CHAOS-equipped Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4×4 Limited TRD Off-Road. The HoneyBadgers Team #156 Tacoma has shown up regularly on the Rebelle Rally Live Show broadcast throughout the last three years of competition. Nicknamed PHXTaco, their ride has been in the Fuller family since it was brand new. Rasa’s now husband, Craig, purchased the vehicle about a week before they met. She learned how to drive off-road in the truck, and they spent quite a few of their early dates exploring trails throughout Arizona with it. PHXTaco now has about 300,000 miles on it, and Rasa knows what noises are normal, which parts might be nearing the end of their life, and what regular maintenance looks like for the first-generation Tacoma. They’d love to see a few 4th generation Toyota Tacomas in this year’s Rally to show how a 20-year-old can age gracefully with care and diligent maintenance.

Watch for The HoneyBadgers Team (Rasa Fuller/LeeWhay Pasek) at the start line of the 2024 Rebelle Rally!