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2013 Griffin King Of The Hammers - Buggy Bashing

Posted in Events on May 14, 2013
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Photographers: Brian Sumner
After coming close in past years, Randy Slawson finally pulled off a victory at KOH. His Bomber Buggy runs King bypass shocks and coilovers that have had hours of tuning to perfect the ride, and 39-inch BFGoodrich KRTs on BRT beadlock rims.

It takes a tough car to win the Griffin King of the Hammers, but it takes a tough man to just finish. Despite efforts from some of the most talented drivers in the world, only 27 of 129 racers reached the finish line. The vast majority of them were not household names but instead, guys who have rockcrawling experience, are familiar with their rigs, and know how to fix things when stuff goes wrong.

In fact, the top two finishers this year were both guys who built their own race vehicles from scratch and know every nut and bolt. When was the last time that happened at a NASCAR or NHRA race? While KOH has evolved from a beer bet amongst friends just seven short years ago to one of the biggest off-road races in the world, you still can’t buy your way to Victory Lane.

Last year’s winner, Erik Miller, was campaigning a new buggy for 2013. The longtime wheeler built the buggy in his garage with the help of friends, something a lot of us can relate to.
The top two finishers were both guys who built their own buggies

This year’s winner, Randy Slawson, lives near Johnson Valley and prepares all year for this race, fabricating his own Bomber tube car that is packed with parts that are simple and strong. The LS engine, 9-inch axles, and 39-inch BFGs probably aren’t that different from what you are running in your rig. One thing that sets Slawson apart though is the hours of suspension tuning he has performed on his King shocks. King Shocks is conveniently located in the same town where he lives.

KOH ran three laps this year, so traffic was a factor later in the race. There were three ways to pass: be patient, push too hard and break or roll, or pass on the side hill if your vehicle had a low enough center of gravity.

All that hard work paid off. Slawson was the first to the checkered flag in what many are calling the hardest King of the Hammers race yet.

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