Randy Slawson Wins The Toughest Griffin King of the Hammers Presented by Nitto Tire in History
February 10, 2013 (Johnson Valley, CA) - Despite chilly temperatures and high winds, over 30,000 people poured into Johnson Valley OHV area last Friday to witness Randy Slawson and his co-driver and brother Mike make history at the Griffin King of the Hammers presented by Nitto Tire. Slawson is no stranger to King of the Hammers, but 2013 marked the first time the talented driver and fabricator has held the coveted scepter in his own hands. The Grand Terrace, California resident has been part of KOH since the beginning, navigating Jeff Reynolds to victory at the inaugural race in 2007. Since that time Slawson has been diligently working towards his own victory behind the wheel of the Bomber Fabrication car he built with his own hands.
Slawson had the ninth fastest qualifying time on Wednesday, battling as a Last Chance Qualifier amongst 62 competitors for one of only a dozen spots in the main race. Slawson has employed this strategy for the past three years; choosing to focus exclusively on the Griffin King of the Hammers instead of running the entire Ultra4 series to pre-qualify for the race through another event. Strategy played a pivotal role in the race beyond qualifying. The 182-mile course covered three laps, with the first lap through fast wide open desert and the final two laps through the notorious Hammer rockcrawling trails.
At the end of 50 miles Slawson was running in the top ten, remaining patient and letting the competition fall to attrition. “There was not a lot of traffic,” Slawson commented at the finish line. “It was windy so the dust wasn’t too bad. We were able to just run our own pace and everything just came together for us.” Slawson chose to run the ten foot vertical rock wall on the Backdoor trail on his second lap to avoid traffic, while other frontrunners mistakenly waited until the last lap.
At the finish line Slawson was followed by two-time King Shannon Campbell and newcomer Chicky Barton in third place, both in single seat cars that required them to navigate through the maze of canyons in Johnson Valley in addition to driving. Only 27 of 129 competitors were able to complete the brutal course, which was universally agreed to be the hardest in King of the Hammer’s history. “The capabilities of Ultra4 vehicles grow by leaps and bounds each year,” promoter Dave Cole explained. “We added longer stretches of desert and more challenging rocks this year in order to test the abilities of these vehicles and drivers.”
Fans cheered on the competitors at various spectator areas and on two Jumbotrons providing live feeds from around the course. The live webcast was watched over 470,000 times by 270,000 unique viewers, allowing fans from across the globe root for their favorite teams.
About Griffin King of the Hammers:
Griffin King of the Hammers presented by Nitto Tire combines the multiple off-road disciplines of desert racing, rockcrawling, and short course into one unlimited class and one event. The race has evolved from twelve teams racing for bragging rights to more than 170 teams competing before tens of thousands of live spectators and hundreds of thousands of online fans. Griffin King of the Hammers is the first event of the Ultra4 series, which takes place throughout the course of the year at locations across the country. The event is owned and managed by Hammerking Productions in Lake Arrowhead, CA. To learn more, log on to www.ultra4racing.com.
Finishing order| Vehicle # | Driver | Start Time | Finish Time | Elapsed Time
1 4448 Randy Slawson 8:02:00 15:30:10 7:28:10
2 5 Shannon Campbell 8:00:00 15:48:41 7:48:41
3 144 Chicky Barton 8:05:30 16:29:20 8:23:50
4 4421 Erik Miller 8:03:30 16:40:22 8:36:52
5 4461 Ben Napier 8:03:30 17:40:42 9:37:12
6 4420 Derek West 8:02:00 18:16:32 10:14:32
7 4138 Craig Ross 8:11:00 18:36:21 10:25:21
8 27 Jon Cagliero 8:07:00 19:01:24 10:54:24
9 966 Jason Blanton 8:08:30 19:36:18 11:27:48
10 4417 Matthew Messer 8:01:30 19:51:38 11:50:08
11 4415 Larry McRae 8:04:00 19:55:27 11:51:27
12 13 JT Taylor 8:19:30 20:20:54 12:01:24
13 18 Brian Shirley 8:05:00 20:09:38 12:04:38
14 26 Clay Gilstrap 8:07:30 20:47:44 12:40:14
15 4434 Kevin Yoder 8:24:00 21:16:42 12:52:42
16 53 Chris Hoyt 8:05:30 21:08:21 13:02:51
17 4445 Hal Deschamp 8:22:00 21:32:27 13:10:27
18 4493 Andrew McLaughlin 8:20:30 21:34:20 13:13:50
19 9901 Brian Caprara 8:15:30 21:34:33 13:19:03
20 2228 Nick Finch 8:13:30 21:34:40 13:21:10
21 76 Jason Scherer 8:00:00 21:33:07 13:33:07
22 100 Fabio Manno 8:23:00 22:14:29 13:51:29
23 3 Wayland Campbell 8:07:30 22:01:42 13:54:12
24 36 Ben Swain 8:18:30 22:26:17 14:07:47
25 4490 Mike Nappi 8:32:00 22:40:24 14:08:24
26 302 Tony Rietdorf 8:09:00 22:27:34 14:18:34
27 55 Eddie Peterson 8:05:00 22:59:18 14:54:18