Dirt Sports + Off-Road 2014 Driver of The Year - Loren HealyPosted in Features on March 20, 2015
To win The King of The Hammers is no easy task. Winning it twice is almost unheard of. Mix that in with three championships in the Ultra 4 Racing Series in 2014 and surely that puts you in contention for the Dirt Sports + Off-Road Driver of the Year nomination. That’s exactly what Loren Healy achieved. Healy’s record includes two King of the Hammers wins, a 2010 championship, an East Coast regional championship, a West Coast regional championship, and national championship in the Ultra 4 race series in 2014, and, of course, a handful of event wins.
Loren Healy lives in Farmington, New Mexico. Growing up, Healy was a fan of rockcrawling, driving an old Scout and Jeeps with friends. In the ’90s Farmington was on the map for rockcrawling. Healy owned an old tube chassis crawler but was unable to buy competition tires. Healy entered the Sportsman class in an event that came to Farmington to make him eligible to buy the competition tires. That’s where Healy met promoter Dave Cole, who told him about this crazy idea to do an event called King of The Hammers. Healy told Cole, “That sounds right up my alley!” In 2009, Healy took his Sportsman tube-chassis crawler and headed west to Johnson Valley. Healy made it 20 miles into the race before breaking the car in half, blowing up the transfer case, and running into other mechanical issues. That year, Healy went back home and decided to sell the crawler, took out a second mortgage on his house and built a Jimmy’s 4x4 purpose-built Ultra 4 car. Healy was determined to conquer the Hammers. In 2010 Healy went back west to Johnson Valley and pulled off the impossible. Healy had won the King of the Hammers. “Racing has really taken off for me,” Healy says.
Winning Racing Career
After Healy’s 2010 KOH win, he went on to run almost all of the Ultra 4 racing events held around the country. That year Healy won the Silver State race and managed to lock up the Ultra 4 Championship. Healy decided it was time for a new car with better parts and a different setup. The new car would again prove successful as Healy would come back in 2014 for another King of the Hammers win. Shannon Campbell is the only other driver to win King of the Hammers twice. At the end of the summer, Healy would introduce another new car into the Ultra 4 Series. Healy locked up three championships in the series—East Coast, West Coast and National Championship. Healy also won the Nitto National Championship race in Reno this past October. In the first couple of laps Healy was locked in a fierce battle with Shannon Campbell, but Campbell ended up rolling down a hill and breaking his car. This gave Healy the clean air out front he needed to win the race. Healy says, “If I am going to do something, I am going all out!”
A Look into the Future
On Monday mornings Healy is up early hitting the gym. Then, it’s off to work at his day job in the gas and oil industry. It’s the late afternoons and weekends Healy finds the time to prep the race car. “Racing is my full-time job, ” Healy jokes. To win King of the Hammers in 2015, Healy says it will take a lot of luck. Anything can go wrong. So far no one has won the Hammers back to back. Healy believes he has the best race car out there, giving him an advantage. Before a major race, Healy does his prep work at Jimmy’s 4x4 in Cortez, Colorado, just over an hour north of Farmington. Jimmy’s 4x4 owner Randy Rodd is like family to Healy. “Jimmy’s handles all the fabrication, and I handle all of the mechanical work,” Healy says. Healy also wants to do more desert racing. He is currently building a two-seat truggy. Healy says he would like to tackle Baja as well as a few stateside races. He also plans to run the Western Regional Series in Ultra 4. One thing is for sure, Healy is planning on a full racing schedule for 2015, and sponsors have taken notice.
Loren Healy: Year at a Glance
East Coast Ultra 4 Regional Championship
West Coast Ultra 4 Regional Championship
National Ultra 4 Championship
2014 Race Wins:
King of the Hammers
Glen Helen Grand Prix, Glen Helen, California
American Rocksports Challenge, Tooele, Utah
Off-Road Blowout, Sturgis, Kentucky
Nitto Tire National Championship Reno, Nevada
Dirt Sports+ Off-Road Short-Course Driver of the Year:
Kyle Leduc has been mostly unstoppable in the Pro-4 class in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. Leduc secured the Pro-4 championship and an impressive number of back-to-back wins, as well as the coveted Cup Race in Crandon.
2014 Race Wins:
Lucas Oil Round 1- Chandler, Arizona
Lucas Oil Round 3 and 4- Lake Elsinore, California
Lucas Oil Rounds 5 and 6- Reno, Nevada
Lucas Oil Rounds 7 and 8- Tooele, Utah
Lucas Oil Rounds 9 and 10- Glen Helen, California
Lucas Oil Rounds 14 and 15- Lake Elsinore, California
Lucas Oil Challenge Cup
TORC Series Round 15
Crandon Cup Race
Dirt Sports+ Off-Road Desert Driver of the Year:
Jason Voss has now claimed back-to-back championships in the Best in the Desert Racing Series. Racing the No. 1 Trick Truck, Voss has a number of wins this year that include the Parker 425 and Vegas to Reno Race.
2014 Race Wins:
Best in the Desert Parker 425
Best in the Desert Silver State 300
Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno
Dirt Sports+ Off-Road Rookie of the Year:
Trophy Truck driver Steven Eugenio gets our Rookie of the Year nomination. Eugenio had an impressive season in the Score Desert Series. In 2013, Eugenio and his father-in-law Fidel Galindo had a Trophy Truck built. They campaigned the truck full time in 2014 with a big payoff. Eugenio secured the Score Trophy Truck Championship. Eugenio had several top finishes throughout the season. Eugenio has seen success in the Buggy class so the natural progression was to step up to the big leagues, racing with the top off-roaders in the sport.
2014 Race Wins:
Score Imperial Desert Challenge