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John Stewart

BFGoodrich Tires Remains King of the Hammers Official Tire

The last two years have brought home the scepter for BFGoodrich Tires, with Kings Jason Scherer and Shannon Campbell taking the wins.  “The King of the Hammers race is the perfect next level of proving ground for us.  We are proven in rocks.  We are proven in desert.  Now combine the two, and climb rocks after having to maintain high speed through the desert.  It's exciting to watch this race, and to know that BFGoodrich tires succeed time and time again and prove that success by dominating the podium,” said Roberts Kukainis, BFGoodrich Tires motorsports manager.

This year, BFGoodrich Tires again has a star studded line up.  Rob MacCachren will add one more discipline of racing to his extremely impressive career with a starting spot in the King of the Hammers.  Driving a BlueTorch Fab car, MacCachren will be joined by legends of the sport and past rockcrawling champions Larry McRae, Jon Bundrant and Jon Nelson building a very impressive and aggressive team that is bound for success.

The starting line will be BFGoodrich Tires lined with both Buzz Bronsema and Rich Mooneyham running the BFGoodrich Baja T/AKRT.  BFGoodrich Tires has many other team drivers on the starting grid including Greg Adler, Tracy Jordan, two time 2nd place finisher Casey Currie, John Reynolds, Dean Bulloch and Tom Wayes.

BFGoodrich Tires has successfully developed a new tire that took the existing desert tire with modifications to account for the rocks.  The BFGoodrich Baja T/AKRT tire is the perfect tire to go precisely through the rocks and across the desert at high speeds that handles high pressure and is puncture resistant.  This year BFGoodrich Tires is introducing another tire to their King of the Hammers specific line up, the BFGoodrich Baja TAKR tire which is a 42x13.50R20 tire.  Yes, two major size changes in the tire height and the rim.  BFGoodrich Tires team driver and Ultra4 Vegas to Reno champion Kevin Sacalas will be the only driver running these tires on Friday February 12, 2010.

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John Stewart

4 Wheel Parts Last Chance Qualifier Order and Course

By Wednesday afternoon the 42nd and final driver will be Tim Emick, who some argue will have the best opportunity after watching the 41 drivers before him complete the course. “I think this is the first time I am happy to go last,” said Tim Emick, whose brother Dustin Emick will be co-driving.  “Only time will tell if we are really lucky though, it all depends on what the tracks are like after the 41 people before me.”

The Last Chance Qualifier has a lot of names that are familiar with King of the Hammers. Ian McGlynn, Cottin Rodd and Larry Gipson all raced in the 2009 Griffin King of the Hammers main race last year and are still trying to qualify for this years race.  There is also a group of seven that competed in last years LCQ who are trying their luck again including Brandon Johnson, Troy Bailey, James Andrus, Brandon Davis, Loren Healey, Jose Ponce and Josh Patt.

There are 33 names on the 4 Wheel Parts Last Chance Qualifier list that have never competed in the event before.  Trophy Truck driver Curt Leduc and NHRA Pro Sportsman Drag Racer Les Figueroa are included among them.  Les comments, “This is a huge challenge not knowing what to expect, it’s the most homework I have ever done for a race, it’s a lot different than going really fast, and trying to stay straight!  Luckily, we will be going in the first day and if we do well that will give us an extra day to prepare for Friday’s race and be successful.”

There is quite a bit of strategy that will go into the qualifying process.  Drivers will not only want to be in the qualifying group, but will be conscious of what position within the 21 they end up.  As part of the Main Race starting draw, the LCQ starting positions were determined as well.  For example, the Last Chance Qualifier that finishes in the 8th place, will take the 3rd position on the Main Race starting grid.  Whereas, the driver that gets a better time in the LCQ and finishes 4th has a Main Race starting position of 94th!  David Smiley who will race on day two said, “we will watch for times and try to position us the best as possible, although we know there are still a lot of drivers behind us that could throw it off.  We will watch on Tuesday and change and firm up our strategy depending on what we see during Day 1 Qualifying.”

The course this year is a grueling 6 miles.  It starts by zig zagging up and around Means Butte and then increases speed through some fast desert to the Back Door obstacle that was the center of attention last year.  Once the driver clears Back Door, they have a stretch of fast yet large whoops to handle and then go down Trap Door.  As Back Door is a vertical climb, Trap Door is a vertical fall.  Competitors will finish off the course with a very fast and fun desert section that has some serious potential for overdriving.  As a spectator, it is good that there are two days of qualifying so you can move to different locations to see all the action.  See the entire course rolled out at http://vimeo.com/9059027

Every spot in the Griffin King of the Hammers has been earned, but those that qualify through this final process could be called Knights of Armor.  They are attempting to race two of the most challenging races back to back with only a day in between.

A section by section presentation of the 4 Wheel Parts Last Chance Qualifier can be watched at: http://vimeo.com/9059027

 

 

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John Stewart

2010 Griffin King of the Hammers starting line-up announced

None of the former Kings are at the front of the pack.  2009 winner Jason Scherer will start 38th, the Original 2007 winner John Reynolds will start in 45th, and 2008’s King Shannon Campbell is towards the back of the pack in the 72nd position.  Regardless of their starting position, they have all proven that they are a force to be reckoned with.  Two time 2nd place finisher Casey Currie will start in the 56th position to attempt to break the barrier and finally be crowned the King.

The 2009 Griffin King of the Hammers created enough buzz in the offroad racing community to entice some of the top Trophy Truck drivers to come out and test their hand at rock crawling.  Roger Norman, who will be driving with JT Taylor will start in 30th position, BJ Baldwin lines up 44th , Rick D Johnson in 70th and in the back of the pack is 4 Wheel Parts Greg Adler in 86th and the legend Rob MacCachren in 87th with Rock Crawling champion Larry McRae assisting from the passenger seat.  Also taking the green flag are two motorcycle X Games winners Chris Ridgway starting in 21st and Brian Deegan in the 93rd position.

Last year the 2009 Griffin King of the Hammers was featured in 8 International magazines covering 6 countries.  King of the Hammers is honored to again host International Drivers coming from four countries this year.  Ralf Kuller from Germany will start in 12th, Ben Napier from Australia who qualified through BITD Vegas to Reno will line up 23rd, Chris Pook from Canada is in 74th and Naozumi Tsuda coming all the way from Japan will push his way through traffic from the 89th position.

There are only two female drivers of record including Nicole Johnson starting in the 11th position and Kim Sears mid pack in 65th.  There is a new statistic to hit the King of the Hammers record book this year, the youngest driver will start 90th.  18 year old Levi Shirley will have to work his way through the pack of the drivers that have decades of experience including his Dad Brian Shirley starting in 39th.

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John Stewart

Rick D. Johnson to Take the Wheel as an Owner and Racer

Team 71 Racing has experienced success over the last two years under the ownership of Myrl Akerman and he credits a large part of that success to the continued support of sponsors and team members.  Team 71 Racing is strongly supported by off-road powerhouses such as General Tire along with Lucas Oil, The Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series, Soltek Lighting, King Shocks, Hostyle Racing, K & N, Ford Racing, Compdoor.com, RC10.com, SLIME, Pfaff Engines, Mastercraft Safety, Four Wheeler Magazine, DirtSports Magazine, Motion Tire, North American Off Road, F&L Fuel, Light Racing, and Totally Off Road Radio.

When asked why he is choosing to “pass the torch” of ownership, Akerman replied, "It’s time to move on.  It’s been a great ride, but it’s time.  I have opportunities on the table both inside and outside the off-road racing community that I need to explore.  It would be unfair to the success of Team 71 Racing to try and balance ownership responsibilities with my own professional endeavors.  My dedication and passion for the team remains strong and I intend to support Team 71 Racing through marketing and general business consultation.  Rick D. Johnson is truly one of the last ironmen in the sport and deserves every opportunity to continue to pursue his dream in off-road racing.  He truly bleeds dirt and has backed this team in a very unselfish manner as a driver and a financial business partner over the last two years.  He will be a great driver/owner."

Akerman also went on to say that in his 18 years of racing it was truly a pleasure to participate in events with Best In The Desert, SCORE, SNORE and NORRA.  He looks forward to the challenges ahead.

You can catch up with The Team 71 Racing/General Tire team at the Bluewater Resort and Casino Parker "425" race in Parker, AZ on February 5th - 7th, 2010.  Visit www.BITD.com for more information and details regarding the first Best in the Desert race of the 2010 season!

 

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John Stewart

Team General Tire Takes SCORE Second

Marc Burnett Takes Second Place in SCORE Class 6 Championship

FORT MILL, SC - (December 9, 2009) - Team General Tire driver Marc Burnett of Chula Vista, CA, finished the 2009 SCORE Desert Racing season in second place in Class 6.   Burnett finished the five-race SCORE season with 240 overall points.

"The 2009 season saw some of the toughest, most challenging courses ever, and for Marc to finish second in a class of very talented drivers is quite an achievement," said Travis Roffler, director of marketing, General Tire.  "His accomplishments really underscore everything we've been working toward for the past two seasons.  Our General Grabber competition tire is now, solidly, the tire to beat.  We congratulate Marc, and all of the Team General Tire competitors, for a stellar 2009 season!"

Burnett earned his points with a decisive Class 6 win in the SCORE San Felipe 250 in March.  He also took third in class in the marquee SCORE Tecate Baja 1000 last month. 

"We had some ups and downs, but in the long-run this really was a great season," Burnett said.  "We want to thank General Tire and all of our sponsors, for helping get us here.  We're looking forward to a WIN in 2010!"

For more than 90 years General Tire has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs. General Tire is a proud supporter of Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing, Chili Bowl, Pro-Pulling, Late- Model Dirt Series, Drag Boat Series, Boost Mobile FreestyleMx.com Tour, Spec Tire of Trophylite and Pro Truck.  Team GT supports off-road and short course teams including BJ Baldwin, Carl Renezeder, Rick D. Johnson, Jerry Zaiden/Jason Campbell, Jason/Rich Voss, Scott Steinberger, Ed "Clyde" Stout, Ted Hunnicutt, Marc Burnett, Kent Kroeker, Mickey Childress, Carey Hart, Josh Merrell, Robby Woods and Sean Geiser. 

General Tire is part of Continental Tire North America, Inc.  As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes towards enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication.

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