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2014 King Of The Hammers - Hammertown Revisited

Posted in Events on May 16, 2014
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The King of the Hammers racing snowball just keeps rolling and growing and growing and rolling. What used to be a one-day event at the Hammer trails in Johnson Valley, California, has grown into a weeklong juggernaut of off-road competitions, vendor displays, and off-roading in the desert. Hammerking Productions, the promotion company that puts on King Of The Hammers, has continually expanded and developed more classes, events, and action for fans, and has done everything possible to make the event enjoyable on location and for viewers watching online from anywhere. In fact, many fans claim that the live feed of the racing on was so good you could almost breathe the wind, taste the dust, and feel the hundreds of 4x4 race buggies bombing through the extreme rock trails of JV.

“Everything went sideways and upside-down, and sideways again, and sideways-down, and so on and so on”

If you’ve been living under a rock for seven years, then you’ve probably been wondering what that sound has been coming from your roof. That is the sound of the Ultra Four race buggy craze, which combines extreme rockcrawling with high-speed desert racing to form a race of varying terrain and dual sport engineering. These King Of the Hammers style builds are still growing and developing. Some teams spend big dollars on high-tech independent suspensions, while other spend big dollars on high-tech, solid-axle-equipped machines. Of course, you can try and compete on a budget, but it seems most of the budget racers are only competing for a coveted “finish” in the race with high attrition of the field.

King Of The Hammers has expanded its breadth of classes to include five 4x4 classes, a UTV class, and a motorcycle class. Plus, for 2014 a hillclimb competition was added at the famed Back Door obstacle that brought out a crew of east coast rock bouncer drivers along with many race buggies and recreational wheelers vying for the winning check.

If you’re looking for a week of action next February and you like watching hundreds of race teams scrambling to try and finish one of the toughest off-road races in the world, then you may want to attend KOH 2015. Or you could just log on and watch the action from your office desk when the boss isn’t looking.

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The start of the 198-mile race was a high-speed desert romp where those teams in serious contention for the win opened a wide lead over those purely fighting for a finish. Kevin Yoder’s Pit Bull–tired buggy would work hard over the following 13 hours and 19 minutes to finish 30th out of only 32 finishers from the starting 158 teams.

Kevin Sacalas and co-driver Tim Carlson had just finished their qualifying run when everything went sideways and upside-down, and sideways again, and sideways-down, and so on and so on. Their race team is called Big Ugly Racing, but their race car is now a big ugly mess. Luckily they found a competitor who lent them his spare buggy and they were still able to enter the main race.

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