Cypress, Calif. (January, 2015) – Nitto Tire raised eyebrows in the hard-core off-road community at the 2015 Nitto King of the Hammers driver’s drawing party. On January 9, Campbell Enterprises announced their new tire sponsor: Shannon, Wayland and Bailey Campbell will campaign Nitto Trail Grappler tires.
The race was originally cancelled in Las Vegas due to a permitting issue that caused two off road racing organizations, including ULTRA4, to cancel races the weekend of September 27th. At the request of ULTRA4 drivers and their sponsors, a suitable location was found for the same weekend at Thunder Rock Off Road Ranch in Congress, Arizona.
TOOELE, UT: Driver “EZ” Rick Mooneyham is no stranger to the ULTRA4 podium. Over the years, he’s been one of the most consistent top three finishers at the Griffin King of The Hammers Presented by Nitto Tire. However, despite all of his podium finishes, a first place trophy had proved elusive to Mooneyham; that is until last weekend’s American Rocksports Challenge held at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, UT where Mooneyham crushed the competition and claimed first place finishing nearly 45 seconds ahead of Shannon Campbell. The American Rocksports Challenge is thethird and final race in the Trail-Gear Western Regional ULTRA4 Series.
ATTICA, IN: More than 30 teams competed in the 2nd Annual ULTRA4 race held at Badlands Off-Road Park last Saturday as part of the Ultimate Motorsport Championship in Attica, IN. While the course layout was similar to last year, the dry and dusty conditions of 2012 were replaced with heavy rain and extensive mud. Thousands of fans braved the wet and mucky conditions for a chance to see some of their favorite ULTRA4 drivers compete in a course that featured a newly created off road amphitheater and a technical rock quarry made even more punishing due to the slick conditions.
Several west coast teams made the trek to Indiana including; Shannon Campbell, Jesse Haines, Troy Stone, and Nitto Tire drivers Nick Nelson and Loren Healy. Shannon Campbell, the only two-time King of The Hammers and this year’s 2nd place KOH finisher, laid down a blistering 45 second qualifying time, beating out 2012 King, Erik Miller by 5 seconds. One second behind Miller was this year’s 3rd place KOH finisher, Chicky Barton.
SAN BERNARDINO, CA: Last weekend’s 4 Wheel Parts Glen Helen Grand Prix marked the third annual ULTRA4 race held at Glen Helen Raceway and the second annual win for 2012 Nitto Tire National Champion, Nick Nelson. It was the largest regional ULTRA4 race to date with 80 cars registering, 66 of which competed in the unlimited 4-wheel drive class known as ULTRA4.
Over the course of two days, drivers competed in a series of qualifying and preliminary races on a 3 mile course filled with hill climbs and tight turns which also featured the Lucas Oil short course at Glen Helen. Ultimately, 66 drivers were narrowed down to the top 40 cars for Saturday’s main event. Many drivers were not only looking for a win but also hoping to earn a coveted qualifying spot in the 2014 Griffin King of The Hammers Presented by Nitto Tire. Only 13 of the 66 drivers registered for the event were already qualified for next year’s race KOH.
Rausch Creek, PA: Last weekend’s WIDIA Rausch Creek Qualifier proved to be one of the coldest, wettest races in ULTRA4 history. Heavy rains on Friday produced thick fog and low-visibility conditions, prompting race organizer, Dave Cole to move qualifying to Saturday morning just two hours before the main race. 2010 Rausch Creek Champion, Derek West qualified 4th for the main race behind two former Kings of the Hammers, Shannon Campbell and Erik Miller, as well as 2012’s Rausch Creek winner, Bill Baird. By the second lap, West had worked his way past all three competitors to claim the lead and never looked back.
After just three hours and eighteen minutes, Derek West in his Nitto Tire ULTRA4 car had completed all five grueling laps and claimed the checkered flag beating 2012 King of The Hammers, Erik Miller by less than two minutes. Saturday’s win makes Derek West the only two-time ULTRA4 WIDIA Rausch Creek Champion. Saturday’s win makes West the current leader in the 4WD Hardware Eastern Regional ULTRA4 Series.
PRAIRIE CITY SVRA, CA APRIL 9th, 2013: More than 2,000 fans attended the inaugural ULTRA4 MetalCloak Nor Cal Stampede held at the Prairie City State Park near Sacramento, CA last weekend. Over the course of two days and multiple heats, 48 ULTRA4 cars waged battle on a brutal two mile course that left only 29 vehicles running by the final two races. Drivers pushed their cars to the limit in this first race of the 2013 ULTRA4 Trail Gear Western Regional series in pursuit of both a podium finish and a chance to qualify for the 2014 Griffin King of The Hammers Presented by Nitto Tire. Ultimately, two former Kings and the son of a King claimed the podium. 2009 King of The Hammers, Jason Scherer took the checkered flag followed closely by 2010 King, Loren Healy, and third place went to the youngest King of the Hammers competitor to date, 17 year old Wayland Campbell, the son of the only two-time King, Shannon Campbell.