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John Stewart

East Coast Ultra4 Race Challenges Drivers

Each time there appeared to be a clear leader at Saturday’s race; the brutal course would claim another casualty. After the first lap, it looked as though Ultra4 Series leader, Shannon Campbell was going to claim his 3rd victory in as many races.  However, in one of the most spectacular moments of the day, Campbell, on his 2nd ascent up the slippery rock slope known as Talisman, encountered the stopped 4454 car driven by JT Stephens and attempted to bypass the car by using its wheels for traction and ended up rolling backwards down the hill and onto his roof, killing the car’s battery.

Going into the final lap of the day, only 3 minutes separated Ultra4 veterans, Levi Shirley and Lucas Murphy, with Shirley in the lead.  Both Shirley and Murphy made their way through the Talisman quickly and appeared to be on track for a 1st and 2nd place finish.  As both drivers came into the home stretch, Shirley suffered an engine problem, and Murphy was forced to address a spindle issue, leaving Torchmate Racing’s Rusty Bray wide open to claim the checkered flag.  This was Bray’s 1st Ultra4 win, and with his ability to endure such a difficult course, it won’t be his last.

Each of the 2011 Ultra4 Series races are also qualifiers for the 2012 King of the Hammers race being held next February in Johnson Valley, CA.  The only driver in the top 10 already qualified for King of the Hammers was Aussie Ben Napier, which left a minimum of 9 qualifying spots available. Because the course proved so brutal, Hammerking’s executive director, Dave Cole awarded King of The Hammers spots to all drivers who successfully completed this challenging race. Below is a list of the 12 drivers now qualified for the 2012 King of the Hammers.  Among those that qualified was Ultra4 newcomer, Bill Baird who claimed a 5th place finish in his first ever Ultra4 race. Congratulations go out to all the drivers.

For those wishing to learn more about Ultra4 Racing or King of the Hammers, be sure to check out Ultra4 racing’s web site: www.ultra4racing.com and become a fan of the Ultra4  facebook page: www.facebook.com/Ultra4racing.  The next Ultra4 Series race will be held July 16th at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.

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John Stewart

General Tire tears up the desert at the 43rd annual Tecate Baja 1000

For the first time in Baja history, a TrophyLite truck won first place in Class 7-2.  Jim Riley, Rick L. Johnson and Matt Dowland took the leading position in the TrophyLite, driving the entire race on General Tire AT2 tires. Stealing first place in the Stock Engine Truck class, Mike McCarthy, Robbie McCarthy, and Greg Crowther charged the finish line in their Ford V-6 Eco Boost F-150 on General Tire Grabber tires.

In the Pro Truck class, the top finishers were Rob Reinertson, Rob Clouser and Bob Neth in their Ford F-150; taking home second was Nils Castillo, Joe Custer and Gene Haas in their Chevy Silverado; and third place went to Troy Vest, Geno Lecitra, Alan Levinson and Doug Poole also driving a Chevy Silverado. The General Grabber is the spec tire of the Pro Truck class.

“This was an exciting Baja 1000,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing, General Tire.  “It’s a thrilling experience to come out and see Team GT have such a strong presence  at this event and watch our Grabber competition tire take the abuse of the Baja 1000 course.  We’re impressed with the team’s performance this year and can’t wait for the 2011 off-road racing season.”

The Grabber competition tire is designed with a tough, three-ply Duragen™-reinforced body construction to stand up to the rigors of off-road conditions, the Grabber also features a newly-developed competition-specific tread compound. In addition, the Grabber name and General Tire logo are prominently featured on the sidewall in red and white letters.  The Grabber competition tires are designed in size 37x12.50R17 for class 8 and trophy truck/trick truck and 35x12.50R17 for class 1, 6, 7, 7 S, stock mini and Protruck.

General Tire also has a complete line of Grabber tires for the passenger and light truck market, including the new Grabber DOT-approved off-road tire (available now); the Grabber HTS, which delivers the perfect synergy of comfort, durability and performance; the Grabber UHP, which sets a whole new standard in performance and ride quality for SUVs, light trucks and crossover vehicles; and Grabber AT2, designed for aggressive all-terrain traction in all weather conditions.

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.

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John Stewart

4405 Land Use Team awarded Merit Entry into the 2011 Griffin King of the Hammers

Billed as the “Land Use” buggy, its land use outreach program has had the 4405 on near constant display since its inception in 2008. The vehicle has been seen in many magazines, on trails all over the West Coast, in parades, on trail work parties, and at many schools and businesses. It is used as a centerpiece to talk about responsible OHV use and to promote the sport as a whole.

In the 2010 King of the Hammers, the 4405 team held a Race-A-Thon to raise badly needed funds for land use organizations. Despite only completing 98 miles of the race, the team managed to raise nearly $20,000, the majority of which was pledged by members of the Pirate4x4.com website. Additional substantial pledges came from the Tin Benders 4x4 club and 4 Wheel Parts.

Sadly, three months after the 2010 King of the Hammers, the 4405 burned to the ground in a structure fire. There has been an overwhelming positive response to hearing this news. Many companies along with members of Pirate4x4.com have begun donating parts and cash in order to rebuild the vehicle so it can continue its mission. Master fabricator and co-driver Dan Trout of Fishmouth Fabworks has been bending tube and feverishly building the new 4405.

According to Manager/Promoter Kurt Schneider, “Our original plan was to run the 4405 in the entire Ultra4 Grand Slam series in 2010. We wanted to earn our spot outright for the 2011 King of the Hammers. Points-wise, all we would have to do is attend each race and we would have qualified, but with the 4405 burning down, that could not be accomplished.”

For the 2011 Griffin King of the Hammers, the team will once again hold a Race-A-Thon for land use. Driver Travis Carpenter states, “We learned a lot from last year, and with the help of Del Albright, Pirate4x4.com and CRAWL Magazine, the 4405 team is planning on making this Race-A-Thon massive. It is our goal to make this the largest single-day fundraiser for land use ever. We are hoping that companies and OHV enthusiasts help donate to keep our public lands open to the public.”

Billed as the “toughest one day off road race on the planet,” the Griffin King of the Hammers (www.kingofthehammers.com) has quickly become one of the biggest events in off-roading. With a mix of go-fast desert racing and hard-core rock crawling, the endurance race has attracted 100 of the most accomplished drivers in Rock-sports competitions, and literally tens of thousands of spectators.

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John Stewart

General Tire announces title sponsorship and spec tire of the 2011 Jeepspeed Challenge

The Jeepspeed Racing Series is designed to give Jeep enthusiasts the opportunity to take their daily vehicle and race it alongside other die-hard Jeep fans.  Equipped with General tires and a motor from ATK Jeepspeed Engines, the common Jeep driver can have their shot at motorsport victory and race in this exhilarating off-road series.

A number of fitment sizes will be offered by General Tire, including 33/10.50 R15, 33/12.50 R15, 35/12.50 R15 and 285/75 R16.  Travis Roffler, director of marketing, General Tire, also announced that the tire company will sponsor six tires for each of the first 30 teams racing in the 2011 General Tire Jeepspeed Challenge.

"This is a new and exciting series for us at General Tire," said Roffler.  "We're an ideal tire for off-road racing machines like Jeep, so it really makes sense for us to be the official tire of the Jeepspeed Challenge."

The Jeepspeed racing season consists of five Challenge/Cup events with two bonus events, and will run from February to December 2011.

Jeep aficionados interested in putting their vehicle to the ultimate test can register for the General Tire Jeepspeed Challenge by going to www.jeepspeed.com and for more information on the tires check out www.generaltire.com.

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John Stewart

Roger Norman Draws First Position and Plans to Ironman 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000

The drawing for starting position was on Saturday where the computerized system drew Roger Normans name first as the #1 person to leave the line at the 43rd Baja 1000.  “I am so stoked, I can’t believe it.  It is the coolest thing,” exclaimed Roger Norman.  “No stress, no dust, it couldn’t be more perfect.”  This puts them into an excellent starting position to repeat the Norman Motorsports 2008 Baja 1000 win.

Roger Norman’s plan is to Ironman the entire 1050 miles.  “I am planning on pre-running more than I have ever pre run in my life – which is a lot!” laughed Norman. “We will be doing a full non-stop pre-run, from start to finish, as a test to see if I am able to perform at the level required to win.”  If after the test he deems it necessary, he already has someone in mind to co-drive a section in the middle to allow for a break.

For More information on the SCORE Baja 1000: www.SCORE-International.com

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