JOHNSON VALLEY, CA - With just under a week until federal sequestration cuts are set to go into effect, the Secretary of the Navy is curiously seeking Congressional approval to move forward with base expansion at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California[1]. Spanning nearly 600,000 acres[2], the combat center is the largest Marine base in the world with a comparable land mass to Rhode Island. Despite strong public opposition and a potential sequester that will cut tens of billions from the Pentagon budget this year, the Marines are asking Congress to approve an acquisition of 168,151 additional acres[3]; roughly the land equivalent of the country of Singapore.

DANVILLE, CA – Jason Scherer started on the pole position at the 2013 Griffin King of the Hammers presented by Nitto Tires, proceeded directly to Back Door where he one-shotted the obstacle perfectly and after regaining positions was 4th through the RM38 remote pit. From there it was a battle of man over machine.  “It was absolutely without a doubt the hardest thing I have every done to drive every rock trail twice without power steering,” said the 2009 King Jason Scherer who has finished in the top 20 for 4 consecutive years.  “I finished 21st with 25 minutes to go, my arms and shoulders brutally beaten and cold as hell, but I didn’t give up.”

The King of the Hammers week started with the announcement of Rubicon Express, who’s roots are on the Rubicon Trail building a business with innovation and technology, adding Jason Scherer, who grew up driving and got married on the Rubicon Trail, as their newest ambassador.  The Ultra4 car was wrapped in a new army green color with Air Force style panels complimenting the strong Rubicon Express, Nitto Tires and PSC Steering logos.

BANNING, CA — Team Poison Spyder Racing, with driver Larry McRae, Co-Driver Shad Kennedy and car #4415 “Venom One”, posted a solid 11th place finish at the toughest single day off-road race in the world, the 2013 King Of the Hammers.  King Of the Hammers, which combines hard core rock trails with high speed desert racing, is held annually in the desert around Johnson Valley, California, drawing tens of thousands of fans and competing teams from around the world.  McRae and Poison Spyder Racing were among only 21 finishers from a field of 127 entries.  This year’s 182-mile race course was unanimously hailed by competitors as the toughest yet, resulting in a gruelling 83% attrition rate.

Anaheim, Calif. – February 11, 2013 – Mitch Guthrie Sr. edged out Jon Crowley Jr. to defend his title as GBC Motorsports swept the 2013 King of the Hammers UTV podium Thursday. These drivers navigated their way through what is being called the most challenging KOTH course, and perhaps one of the most intense UTV races in history.

The King of the Hammers UTV race kicked off at 9:00am on Thursday, February 7 as 35 racers left the line in 30-second intervals. The 115-mile King of the Hammers course is known for its long stretches of desert terrain with torturous segments through beds of rocks and boulder-filled gullies.

Mitch Guthrie Sr. got his Mongrel-equipped RZR off to a great start through the desert, leading by about an hour around the halfway point. Jon Crowley Jr. caught up after Guthrie was forced to repair a broken ball joint. Then came the rocks. Mitch Guthrie Jr., a promising young UTV driver in his own right, co-piloted the Guthrie Racing vehicle, running the winch line out to help navigate the seemingly impassible boulder sections. Jon Crowley Jr. suffered a broken front axle along the way, but managed to make it through the rocks and make the repair while battling for the lead.

DANVILLE, CA – Industry leading suspension manufacturer, Rubicon Express has announced it will be sponsoring professional off road racer, Jason Scherer.  The new partnership brings together a company that pioneered modern high performance suspension systems for Jeeps with a championship winning driver and race team. Both Rubicon Express and Jason Scherer are based in Northern California with strong roots wheeling on the famous Rubicon Trail. As their newest ambassador, Scherer’s Ultra4 single seat race car will be wrapped with the very recognizable Rubicon Express black and silver logo which will be debuted at next weeks 2013 King of the Hammers and continue its appearances at the three Ultra4 Western Series races.

Rubicon Express brand manager, Adam Trowbridge said, “We are very excited to have Jason Scherer representing Rubicon Express. His professionalism, sportsmanship, and reputation as an exceptional racer are a great match with our company and what we stand for. We are looking forward to kicking off the 2013 race season with Jason at the King of the Hammers.”

The week of racing known as the King of the Hammers kicked off in Johnson Valley in Southern California this past weekend runs through Saturday, February 9th.

The week of racing kicked off with the King of the Motos on Sunday, February 3rd. With today being a pre-run option for racers, the Last Chance Qualifying will kick off on Tuesday, leading up to the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge Race and the HCR King of The Hammers UTV Race on Thursday, February 7th.

For live coverage of the event as well as a full list of the week’s events, check out below.

PHOENIX, AZ – JANUARY 29, 2013:  Jeremy Hammer, owner of Fly-N-Hi Total Performance Center in Phoenix, will race the 2013 Griffin King of the Hammers on February 8th.  Well, that is after he qualifies successfully through the Last Chance Qualifier process taking the 3rd green flag on Tuesday February 5th.  “We spent most of 2012 building a new car that will debut at the Last Chance Qualifier,” said Jeremy Hammer owner and driver.  “We took our old proven car that has run the last 4 King of the Hammers, kept the good parts and added better parts to build another masterpiece.”

The Fly-N-Hi team will kick off the excitement this Wednesday January 30th with their 4th annual fundraiser at The Blind Pig in Scottsdale, AZ. “We are asking for $10 donation at the door per person for some great Mexican food and soda. There will be an auction for some great items and you can see the newly built car,” said Jeremy.  “This is grass roots racing, we hold this event to raise money to get our team of drivers and pit crew out to the ‘toughest single day race on the planet’…169 miles of some of the most treacherous terrain in the country.”  There will be cocktails and other food items for purchase, located at 3370 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

El Cajon, Calif. – FOX athletes have ruled King of the Hammers, an extreme competition called “the toughest single day event in the world.” Competitors race across the desert at high speed and conquer several of the toughest rock crawling trails in the United States, all in the same day. FOX athletes have consistently been the fastest due to FOX’s precise tuning and superior damping performance. FOX tuning gurus will arrive on Monday, February 4th to begin assisting in vehicle set-up. They observe the racecars performance and review technical feedback from the driver. They then consult with the driver to implement any adjustments needed to maximize performance. FOX’s direct involvement with competitors provides vital information that goes right back into developing new engineering solutions that dominate the competition.

To request a FREE tuning and setup session please email our race support department at orrace@ridefox.com .  After requesting a session, see the FOX techs on the Johnson Valley lakebed starting on Monday, February 4th.  Stop by the FOX compound in Hammer Town or drop us a call or text on our At Track Direct-to-Tech hotline, 619-933-3074.

Spend some time making the most of your vehicles performance and then take advantage of FOX’s lucrative contingency program. FOX pays $5000 to the Ultra4, King of the Hammers and $1000 to the winner of the Everyman Challenge. Just make sure to get your FOX decal at the FOX compound in Hammer Town to be eligible.

LOOMIS, CA – The Free Ruffstuff Specialties Open Pit will be set up for the third consecutive year at the 2013 Griffin King of the Hammers.  The 8 bay capabilities will include 9 Lincoln Electric Welders and a 4×4 Torchmate Table in addition to 3 full service mobile welding trucks that can come to you anywhere.  Racers have priority, but nobody will be ignored, including those without broken vehicles who would just like a Free RuffStuff or Lincoln Electric T-shirt or koozie!  “Last year we repaired 198 different vehicles and this year we have doubled our size and added additional capabilities,” said Dan Fredrickson, owner of Ruffstuff Specialties.  “We go above and beyond for anyone, and one of the cool things that we offer is allowing you to try all the latest and greatest equipment from Lincoln Electric.  We know that most off-road guys are welders, sometimes amazingly good and sometimes not, but all can benefit from the hands on experience. If you are looking at plasma machines, there is no better time to check out the Torchmate 4×4 Table in use, and while the pressure is on to get it done right now!”

The California Association of 4WD Clubs Inc. recently sent over information on the final comment period for the Johnson Valley OHV. More information and ways to help are outlined below:

We need every off-roader to participate in a targeted outreach. One phone call or fax a day is all we ask. Talking points can be found below. Contact name is underlined. Congress is on recess this week, they should be in the District Office. Every off-roader must participate!

USMC Preferred Alternative:
Alternative 6 was selected in the DEIS as the preferred alternative and slightly modified in the Final EIS: it is the optimal alternative for the Marine Corps considering operational and environmental impact factors together. Developed in response to public comments it was designed to rpeserve public access to important off-road recreation areas during periods when MEB training did not require use of those lands. The Preferred Alternative would allow for reopening to public recreation use approximately 40,000 acres of the acquisition area for ten months a year. The land would fall under management of the Marine Corps under this proposed plan.