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.
PLACERVILLE, CA – W.E. Rock proudly announces Naozumi Tsuda’s JRCA, Japan Rock Crawling Association, is now officially sanctioned by internationally known W.E. Rock Events, LLC. The three round Suzuki Samari events will now be named Jimrock powered by W.E. Rock and the extreme rock crawling event will now be called W.E. Rock Japan. “We are very excited to extend our international presence into Japan,” said Rich Klein, President and founder of W.E. Rock Events. “Rock crawling around the world continues to be successful and we are very excited to join forces with this already successful Japanese series.”
GILBERT, AZ: The Arizona Short Course Championship and Lucas Oil Regional Off-Road Series Arizona presented by ADS Shocks kicked off the 6 round season with over 100 racers at the Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix, AZ. With Monster Truck Rides, Freestyle Motocross Exhibitions, Off-Road Vendors and 20 green flag races, there was no lack of entertainment for the over 1500 spectators. “We always enjoy the first race of the season, getting to see the new racers join the group and previous racers coming back with improved cars,” said Tim Jones, President of the ASCC/ Lucas Oil Regional Off-Road Series Arizona. “We had some great races out on the Lucas Oil course here at Firebird. There will be some real strong competition all year long.”
Saturday the track was open for regional and national practice bringing out some of the biggest names in LOORRS racing. Some stayed for Sunday’s race including Drew Britt who won the Pro2 Class and Jacob Pearsons who finished 3rd in the Open Pro Class. Sheldon Creed took the Kary Environmental Checker Flag in the Open Pro Class, in front of other Saturday drivers Kyle Hart, Marty Hart’s son and Wayland Campbell, Shannon Campbell’s son.
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.
Randy Slawson was the co-driver for John Reynolds on the winning team the first year of the event, referred to as the OG13 in 2007, but in 2013, Slawson came across the finish line in the driver’s seat to earn the title of King of the Hammers for 2013.
“I don’t know what to say,” Slawson said at the finish line, the racer still coming to grips with the fact that he won the race. “It was a fun day, not a lot of traffic. It was windy so the dust wasn’t too bad. We were able to just run our own pace and, I don’t know, everything just came together for us.”
Slawson held off two-time winner Shannon Campbell to earn the victory. Campbell explained after the race that he got lost at one point, and then on his way toward the finish line on the third lap while chasing Slawson he tipped over on the “Elvis “ section and was pushed off the pace.
Santee, CA – FOX—the industry-leading ride dynamics company— equipped rock racer, Erik Miller, wins his first King of the Hammers, becoming one of three FOX drivers to win the race since its inception five years ago. FOX now has four of the five titles to its credit with Shannon Campbell’s two wins in 2008 and 2011, and Jason Scherer bringing home the win in 2009.
Erik Miller crossed the finish line after 6 hours of controlled chaos besting second place by nearly thirteen minutes. Miller previously finished fifth in 2010, fourteenth in 2011. The win-defining choice that attributed to his 2012 victory was his decision to purchase a set of FOX Bypass shocks and Coil-overs from his local dealer.
The 2012 edition of King of the Hammers (KOH) was the largest yet, drawing 134 competitors and thousands of spectators from across the globe to Johnson Valley, CA. As the event grows, so does the caliber of the competition and level of suspension technology to gain that competitive edge. KOH is a unique race in that it combines two disciplines of racing from both ends of the offroad spectrum, and everything in between, to pit man and machine against the most extreme, natural terrain the Mojave Desert has to dish out.
To finish strong—let alone win—teams must design their vehicles for optimum performance in the methodical and meticulous rock climb sections for the long, wide-open sections where they reach break-neck speeds of up to 120mph. This is where an intimate understanding of the wide range of terrain dynamics is crucial to getting a perfectly tuned suspension system for the driver’s vehicle is a distinct advantage. With every vehicle having its own distinct characteristics, there is no one-suspension-fits-all solution.
The 2012 edition of the race saw a new champion crowned by the end, as Maryland resident Erik Miller showed that the East Coast rock-crawlers have what it takes to tackle the brutal Hammer course.
More 2012 King of the Hammers Coverage:
To get a glimpse at all that encompasses this unique event, check out Off-Road.com’s highlight video of the race below:
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Hammer Town, the city constructed on the Means Dry Lake Bed, is bustling with four-wheel activity leading up to the 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers. Thousands of off-roaders will venture to the Johnson Valley OHV area to partake in the festivities, and many have already enjoyed the action over the past few days leading up to the main event.
The unique race has grown every year, and for 2012 new events have been added to the lineup to further cement KOH as the must-attend hard-core rock-desert race. The Smittybilt Everyman Challenge kicked off on Sunday, offering off-roaders the chance to test the Hammers course in more restrictive vehicles. John Currie took the overall victory on the 85-mile course in a TJ, while Larry McRae won the modified class in a heavily modified Poison Spyder JK.
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.