Trip Reports

2012 King of the Hammers

For most people that migrate to Means Dry Lake in Johnson Valley, CA each winter, it is all about the buggy race on Friday. But now in its’ fourth year, UTVs are making a big statement. The2012 Pit Bull Tires King of The Hammers UTV Race Presented made a move to International Side X Side Association (ISA) rules with five different classes of UTVs: Unlimited 4, Production 1000, Production 850, Production 700, and Beginner/Stock. Chatter on the internet was big and over 30 UTVs had pre-registered for the race with several others known to be racing that would sign up on the lake bed.

This year’s seventy-eight mile course would be a combination of desert trails and rock trails that take competitors around one lap of Johnson Valley. The rough desert along with a couple of the famous Hammer trails were sure to prove the durability of both the driver and machine.

We arrived at Johnson Valley on the Saturday before Thursday’s UTV race so that we would have plenty of time to pre-run the course, shake down the car a few more times, then get tech inspection all handled. This was to be my fourth year running the UTV race, and I had spent the last few months working on myKawasaki Teryx to make sure we were ready. I felt more prepared and relaxed for this year’s race than I have ever been. Unfortunately, while testing the car on Monday afternoon, we blew a head gasket. Just my luck.

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