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John Currie ran away from most of the competition to earn his third consecutive Everyman Challenge win. Photo: Art Eugenio, GETSOMEphoto.com

John Currie earned his third Everyman Challenge consecutive win today in Johnson Valley, but in spite of the fact that he ran away from most of the field, it didn’t come easy. Brad Lovell challenged Currie for most of the race, although Currie said that he wasn’t aware of Lovell’s presence.

Johnson-Valley-Hammers-3-1-13JOHNSON VALLEY, CA:  Hammerking Productions, the founders of The Griffin King of The Hammers Presented by Nitto Tire, are pleased to announce that the week-long off road festival held annually in Johnson Valley, CA will be able to continue in its current location for the foreseeable future. After six years of negotiations between the United States Marine Corps, the federal government and the Off Highway Vehicle(OHV) Community, a deal has been reached to preserve the majority of the land in Johnson Valley for OHV use.

Congressman Paul Cook spearheaded the deal which allows nearly 100,000 acres of land to remain open to the public and managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Marines will have access to approximately 55,000 acres of shared use land for 60 days a year to meet their training objectives, but will not retain ownership of the land the remaining 305 days a year.  The proposed legislation is expected to pass  the House later this week and the Senate next week before the holiday recess.

Ultra4-National-Championship-Off-Road-9-19-13CONGRESS, AZ: The 2013 ULTRA4 Nitto Tire National Championship race is back on at Thunder Rock Off Road Ranch in Congress, Arizona.

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.

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.

Twin Peaks, CA: The 2012 Ultra4 Pro Series Championship began with the 2012 Griffin King of The Hammers and ended with the 2012 Ultra4 American Rocksports Championship last weekend in Tooele, Utah.  More than 50 drivers from 20 states competed for a chance to be named the 2012 Ultra4 Pro Series Champion. Ultimately, Ultra4 veteran and short course champion, Brad Lovell, would claim the title.

The 2012 Ultra4 Pro Series Championship consisted of three races. Each race was meant to highlight the unique characteristics and strengths of Ultra4 cars. The three races for this year’s series were: 2012 Griffin King of The Hammers, which emphasized high speed desert racing, endurance and rock crawling, Best in the Desert’s Vegas to Reno; a 500+ mile race through the Nevada desert that tested both cars and drivers endurance, and The American Rocksports Challenge which combined short course racing and rock crawling with multiple cars competing simultaneously in a series of heat races.

GLYN-NEATH, WALES – King of the Valleys is a brand new event, inspired by the legendary Californian extreme off-road race King of the Hammers, and held with the full support of Ultra4 Racing.  King of the Valley’s will be held 27-29th of July on Walter’s Arena, a 1,600-acre motorsports complex in a reclaimed coal mine in South Wales.

“It’s been some 20 years in coming but a secluded Welsh hillside will soon reverberate to the sound of a special kind of punishment only big rocks can inflict on specially modified off-road vehicles,” explained event organizer for the All Wheel Drive Club, Neil Whitford.  The King Of The Valleys it is the first and only European Qualifier for the 2013 King Of The Hammers.

TWIN PEAKS, CA – March 21, 2012 – Hammerking Productions released the trailer for the 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers movie titled, “Rise of the East” today. The title for this year’s film is a reference to the 2012 King, Erik Miller. Miller is the first winner of the race to reside east of the Mississippi in Cumberland, MD.

The movie will document the week-long off-road racing event held every February in Johnson Valley, CA. 2012 marked the 6th year for the King of the Hammers race which featured more than 200 teams and 30,000 spectators competing in over 5 days of racing. The movie’s release date is expected this summer following a red carpet premiere.

Check out the trailer below:

Capitalizing on a 10-year relationship with Lincoln Electric, Robby Gordon Motorsports has embraced the new addition to the Lincoln family and welcomed Torchmate CNC Cutting Systems onto Planet Robby. Gordon, who has acquired the Torchmate Racing built TTB car for the upcoming Griffin King of the Hammers event, will begin testing the rebadged Speed Energy #77 car this week and he has tasked rock crawling champion and former Pirate4x4.com owner, Lance Clifford, to navigate. “Although I have not yet met Lance, he has come highly recommended and is a welcome addition to our team. We put a lot of value in having the right people to help us succeed,” said Gordon. Clifford, who has worked during KOH the last 4 years providing live web based coverage, is looking forward to racing. “I was just planning on enjoying the event with my family, but when the best off-road driver in the world calls you up and asks you to navigate you don’t think twice about accepting.”

The new relationship will put Torchmate CNC cutting systems to work in both Robby Gordon Motorsports North Carolina and Southern California facilities, and will see Torchmate as an associate sponsor of Gordon’s new venture into Ultra4 racing as well as his current SCORE Trophy Truck and Dakar off-road programs. “We’re excited to work with Robby Gordon and it’s a perfect fit with Torchmate philosophy on racing and business,” said Bill Kunz, general manager of Torchmate. “The same Torchmate machines the general public can purchase will be put to good use at the hands of Robby Gordon Motorsports,” Kunz added.

Glen Helen, CA: Historic Glen Helen Raceway recently played host to the 4Wheel Parts Ultra4 Grand Prix. Over 40 worthy competitors showed up for the fifth and final event of the 2011 Ultra4 series in beautiful San Bernardino, California. The Grand Prix format required drivers to circumnavigate a punishing five mile course for a total of four hours in an effort to find the toughest competitor on the planet. In the end, 2010 King of the Hammers winner Loren Healy took home the gold in his familiar ATX-sponsored Jimmy’s 4×4 buggy, but it was anything but an easy victory.

Healy had to beat out tough competition from fellow King of the Hammers winners Jason Scherer and Shannon Campbell on a course that was packed full of jumps, banked turns, and loose hill climbs that wreaked havoc on man and machine alike. Beautiful weather made for pleasant spectating and pitting, but the 80 degree temperatures conspired against the fluids trapped within overtaxed transmissions and shocks. By the end of four hours, only ten vehicles were still running under their own power, but every driver had a huge grin on their face and vowed to return next year for a race that has quickly become a favorite with fans and competitors alike. Below is the complete list of competitors, the laps they completed and who qualified for the 2012 King of The Hammers this weekend.

The 2012 Ultra4 season starts off with an action-packed week of festivities in Johnson Valley on February 3rd. Thirty thousand enthusiasts are expected to make the annual pilgrimage to Means Dry Lake Bed to witness the returning 4Wheel Parts Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) and Pit Bull Tires UTV Race, as well as the all new Smittybilt Every Man Challenge. The week culminates with the sixth running of the now famous Griffin King of the Hammers on Friday, February 10th. Save the date, this is one race you will not want to miss.

4Wheel Parts Glen Helen Grand Prix Results
FINISH, NAME, CAR#, HOME TOWN, TOTAL LAPS, QUALIFIED
1 Loren Healy 4428 Farmington NM 28
2 Jason Picket 4444 Ft. Collins CO 28 *
3 JT Taylor 13 Fountain CO 28
4 Nick Nelson 4404 Cortez CO 28 *
5 Brad Falin 457 Frenley NV 27 *
6 Tony Pellegrino 4485 Simi Valley CA 27
7 Shannon Campbell 5 Gilbert AZ 26
8 Cottin Rodd 4407 Cortez CO 26 *
9 JR Van Ortwick 4466 Rowland Heights CA 26 *
10 Brian Shirley 18 Dodge City KS 26
11 Jason Scherer 76 Danville CA 25
12 Levi Shirley 81 Dodge City KS 25
13 Brandon Watson 4488 Glenwood Springs CO 25 *
14 Scott Ward 4438 Lake Havasu City AZ 25 *
15 Mike McClure 733 Ness City KS 25 *
16 Alex Hardaway 4481 Santa Rosa CA 25
17 Darren Henke 4441 Golden CO 25 *
18 Gary Ferravanti Jr 25
19 Casey Currie 2 Anaheim CA 25 *
20 Richie Carter 4474 Simi Valley CA 24
21 Bill Phillips 4480 Whittier CA 24
22 Warren Thomas 257 Morro Bay CA 24 *
23 Dave Bovich 50 Shasta Lake CA 22
24 Ben Napier 4461 Sydney AUS 22
25 Mike Nappi 4490 Idaho Springs CO 20
26 Travis Carpenter 4405 Orangevale CA 19 *
27 Randy Avery 348 Sonora CA 19
28 Brent Goegebuer 4473 Corona CA 19
29 Chris Hoyt 53 Castle Rock CO 18
30 Gregory Lundeen 701 Broomfield CO 18
31 Bill Baird 5252 Sturgis KY 18
32 Jeremy Hengl 85 Orangevale CA 17
33 Paul Hoffman 4483 Victorville CA 16
34 Greg Adler 210 Manhattan Beach CA 12
35 Kevin Sacalas 4435 Riverside CA 12
36 Gary Ferravanti Sr. 4446 Paso Robles CA 10
37 Rob Lynch 4463 Spokane WA 10
38 Dean Bulloch 4411 Cedar City UT 9
39 Eric Brown 502 Las Vegas NV 9
40 Billy Briney 4439 Ness City KS 7
41 JT Stephens 4454 Little Rock AR 1 *
42 Jeremy Dickinson 0
43 Nathan Unruh 63 Clovis CA 0

Drivers qualified either finishing in the top 10 unqualified drivers or by being the top 5 unqualified drivers to have completed at least 4 races this season.

About Ultra4 Racing: Due to the incredible success of the Griffin King of the Hammers, Hammerking Productions created the Ultra4 racing series. The defining characteristic of this class is that all cars must be possess 4-wheel drive. Beyond that, the class is unlimited and combines multiple off-road disciplines such as desert racing, rockcrawling, and short course racing. The Griffin King of The Hammers takes place each year in February, on public lands in Johnson Valley, CA. The race has evolved from 12 teams racing for bragging rights and a case of beer, to more than 150 teams competing before tens of thousands of live spectators and hundreds of thousands of online fans.

RENO, NV: JT Taylor, Team Manager for Torchmate Racing, took the win at the Ultra4 Torchmate Stampede in Reno, NV on Saturday September 10th. The 130 mile Northern Nevada race boasted as the hardest Ultra4 race yet by promoter Dave Cole, even tougher than the King of the Hammers, makes the win even stronger.  “This is a huge deal for Torchmate and this win is a long time coming for me.  We knew we couldn’t let off and had to run a fast and consistent pace because there were 45 quality racers chasing me down… so, this is a big frickin deal,” said JT Taylor at the awards ceremony Saturday night as the crowd of racers cheered.

Qualifying second behind Shannon Campbell, Torchmate Racing JT Taylor felt confident in the car and the starting position to have a good day.  “The TTB car performed perfectly and the crew was on the top of their game.  We had a plug wire issue on the beginning of lap two so we ran the 17 mile loop and ducked back into the pit,” said JT Taylor.  The crew attacked the car led by Crew Chief Jake Povey who found and fixed the problem and they were back out of the pits before the 2nd place car came through on the first lap.