It’s that time of year again, when the southern California desert turns into Hammertown—a temporary sprawling tent metropolis of some of the most amazing off-road racers, race cars, and spectators in the world. It can only be one thing: The King of the Hammers.
Held every year in Johnson Valley, CA, King of the Hammers combines rock crawling and desert racing into one grueling off-road melee. You’ve got some of the top names in Ultra4 racing, some who have won the event multiple times, others who are here to seek glory for the first time. Many will start, few will finish.
There are actually a few races held during the week. There’s the King of the Motos and the King of the Hammers UTV races. There there’s the Every Man Challenge (EMC), held Thursday, Feb. 4. This is composed of Stock, Modified, and Legend classes and have specific rules for entry. And while it might not be the high horsepower over-the-top Ultra4 rigs, it’s still an awesome race.
Then of course there is the big daddy, the King of the Hammers (KOH) race, which is held Friday, February 5, 2016. This is the main event. If a driver is not prequalified for the race, they must run the Last Chance Qualifier, or LCQ. This time trial is held during the week and just 10 percent of drivers entered in to the LCQ will make it into the actual race. First car out is at 8:00am pacific time, and the cars will roll in all day and night. However, to technically finish, racers must cross the finish line within 14 hours of leaving the start, and must make it through all of the checkpoints. It’s quite the spectacle.
The event is something that needs to be experienced by all off-road racing enthusiasts. The race is expected to bring in around 50,000 people from all over the world. Some have compared King of the Hammers to the racing equivalent of Burning Man. It can be totally intense because not only are you battling other drivers, you’re battling the harsh environment and often brutal weather conditions, too.
Another highlight of the event is the huge vendor area. Rampage Products and our sister brand, Bushwacker, will have a booth at this year’s King of the Hammers starting on Wednesday evening. We’ll be displaying a host of new products and showing off our Jeep Wrangler JK and Bushwacker’s 2015 Ford F-150. Be sure to stop by check out our rigs, and of course, the host of product available from Rampage and Bushwacker.
The desert is calling, and we hope to see you at the 2016 King of the Hammers race!