King of the Hammers; Journal by Charlene Bower
What an amazing week. Yes, it starts off where I was trying to write a re-cap every night, but you know how that goes…out the window when your main goal is to have fun. So instead I took the video from the day and made a video journal. There are still a couple more that I need to put the finishing touches on, but they should be up soon.
The pictures are all on Facebook. If you have a Facebook account you can “LIKE” the Bower Motorsports Media page and please TAG away. You are encourage to tag, right click save and if you would like high resolution images of anything let me know. If you are not a part of Facebook yet, you can still see all the pictures with no problems.
People have asked what they can do for me: Help me spread the Bower Motorsports Media Facebook page around, Keep the Watermark on the pictures, and if you see a value in what is out there, my paypal account is Charlene@BowerMedia.com. I’m not expecting anything, just giving the options.
I would like to give Special Thanks to my team that helped get all the pictures and videos through out the week. Ben Bower on Video, Brent Bower on Camera, Shana Whitford on Camera, Carol Flores on Charlene and Deanna MOM Bower on Awesome Meals. It took the whole team, along with the support of our friends, to make this happen!
Thank you for reading and watching! ~ Charlene
Friday February 4, 2011 PICTURES ON FACEBOOK
It has been a long road for many to reach the epic race of the year, King of the Hammers.
A lot of things have stayed the same, a lot of things have changed. Good or bad? It all depends on how you look at it. The one thing that hasn’t waivered is the King of the Hammers is one of the biggest offroad events. And one that I truly enjoy!
Today is Friday and in exactly one week, the race course will be HOT, the spectators will be standing by, the pit crews will have all hands on deck and the racers will be in the race of their dreams.
But today it looks a little different. The white tents are up and HammerTown has a silent feel to it at 10am when I came onto the lakebed the first time. The team that has already been working for a week was still out banging stakes into the ground.
I brought out the flatbed loaded with two Yamaha Rhinos and a Polaris Ranger, transportation for the Griffin Radiators team and myself thanks to Inland ATV’s. I did a quick unload, and marked my spot for the rest of the week (ARB Road at the top of the hill) and headed back out but not before stopping to say hi to Greg Mulkey from Raceline Wheels and Dave Cole from King of the Hammers.
Then it was back down the hill to get my trailer, my home for the week. Filled with Griffin Radiators loot including the stickers that drivers can run for the chance to get an additional $5000 from Griffin if they win the race!
The evening hours were filled with friends. Chicken and Potatoes thanks to Greg at Raceline, good fireside stories with Danny Grimes, Mustard Dog Eric Anderson, Tony from Genright. I started to wander around and found Mike and Raelynn from Hendrix Motorsports, Dustin Webster and Jason Scherer. I then wandered into a camp and met two northern California LCQ drivers Alex Hardaway who will take the course 3rd and Brian McCarthy who will be 37th or 3rd on the second day trying to get into the main race.
A long day as a grunt and a truck driver now leaves us to being within the week of the event. Time to get to work…
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Saturday February 5, 2011 PICTURES ON FACEBOOK
As the lakebed fills, some also go back home, and some haven’t even finished their rigs to leave home yet. I made my home in the lakebed. Getting in so late last night, I opted to wait until this morning to finish up my jobs of creating a house out of my trailer. Done! House and office is set up!
We went to the Johnson Valley Community Center for breakfast. A $5 breakfast that was amazing! Pancakes, Sausage, Eggs! Yummy! We also got to meet the people that live in Johnson Valley, including Betty Munson who is the editor of the Johnson Valley Journal that covers all the areas news and is very active in the process of keeping the land open for public use and not letting the military take it for operations. In talking with her and the others in the room I learned that Johnson Valley has about 300 full time residents and is approximately a 10 mile by 10 mile area. They don’t have any businesses, so the closest towns are the same ones we are using, Yucca Valley and Lucerne Valley. They love the desert and are great people to sit and chat with.
A lot of the media came in today, including from Bower Motorsports Media my Mom who holds the extremely important roll of chief cook and my Dad who will be helping take videos that we will have up after the event. Crawl Magazine and Heavy Metal Concepts are also parked up by us, Pirate4x4 got their stage arranged in the Griffin Tent and Chad Brock Photography came in as well.
At dinner I made a few very important phone calls, the first was to JT Taylor who was still at Torchmate’s shop running a four man crew trying to get the car finished. “It is so cool looking! It is really going to be an amazing car!” They still hadn’t even fired it…yet. The second call was to Kevin Yoder who was out in his barn and said he was going to make it a short night only working until 1am was the goal. “I will make it for raceday! It is badass, my favorite car so far!” Yoder isn’t planning on being on the lakebed until Wednesday night. We also gave Kevin Sacalas a quick phone call who had broken his manual transmission earlier in the day and had already headed home to start on the repair. His hands were greasy, he was under the rig, and he had his phone on silent, so we got the word later that everything was under control and parts would be to the shop by Tuesday.
Lucas Murphy and his crew from Massachusetts came in for dinner and entertained us with their 3000 miles and 50 hours of antics that they had been thrashing each other with. I was laughing so hard my cheeks hurt! They had made a stop at the Parker425 to run a TrophyLite Truck, but didn’t get more than 13 miles before being done.
As the sun went down, the fun went up and again I headed over to Greg from Raceline Wheels fire where we found Joel from Bilstein and Chris who will be head-tech inspector for the event. In Lucas’s search for Dave and Jeff, we wound up at the camp fire with Mike and Les from Odd Angle who will LCQ #14, Chris Garrison who will LCQ #65, Stephen Watson who will be co-driving for brother Brandon Watson of Offroad Designs, Rick Mooneyham from Trick Toys with his dad and brother. While we were absorbing the heat, although not very cold, Brad and Roger Lovell rolled onto the lake bed to set up.
I would say it was around midnight when Dave left the front gate after helping direct people where to park in the right part of town. A great day. A lot of people moved in, and I am excited to start talking to them all.
The event kicks off at noon tomorrow! Wow! Its almost Hammertime!
Sunday February 6, 2011 PICTURES ON FACEBOOK
A nice shower is always a plus in the middle of the desert, and this morning it was necessary. A hot shower, (with an amazing new showerhead that I bought that doubles the pressure with half the water) went sideways when I got out and had a text message from Jon Crowley who was ready to go out on a UTV Race Pre-Run. “Sure, I will be there in half an hour!” Great…straight from wind blown potential to helmet hair!
My dad and I jumped into two Rhinos from Inland ATV’s and headed over to Jon’s camp, which also included Reid from Kawasaki, Wally from Side X Side Outfitterz and Kyle and Michelle from Rally on the Rocks in Moab, UT.
We headed out on the UTV Race Course. I felt a little underrated as we had our stock Rhinos and they were in their pimped out Teryx’s, RZR’s and Commanders. But you know what, we may have been slower, and our guts may have gotten more of a work out over the whoops, but we did everything that they did! Well, at least for the first six miles before we split off back to camp.
The Course is going to be awesome. I have heard that mile 1-6 will be the test. If you can hold it together through that section then it is desert until RM15 through Elvis, Martel at RM22 and then at RM28 the real rock sections start at Outer Limits for about 20 miles, at least for the main race. The UTV race on Thursday will only run through Elvis and Aftershock. Mile 1-6 that we did today was tight, rocky and sandy. Patience will be a virtue.
With the official start of the 2011 Griffin King of the Hammers at noon today we headed back to camp to see what registration was all about, and where we could watch the SuperBowl. Who was playing?
Registration was packed with the best racers in the world. The best rock crawlers in the world. The best people in the world. Ok, so maybe that last one is just what I think, but the others we know are for sure. Past King Jason Scherer and reigning King Loren Healey, event sponsors Matt Messer from Trail-Gear, Tony Pellegrino and Kevin Sacalas from Genright, among many that are first time racers and new even to the lakebed.
I wanted to check in with the new team On Track Racing composed of Dean Bulloch, Buzz Bronsema, Barry Beadle and Todd…Todd Stephensen. When I pulled up to their very well organized pit area, they were loading up to go out and start pre-running for the UTV Course, which is also the first few miles of the main course. Barry wasn’t in town yet, but even a little more challenging was his car hadn’t even been fired up yet at Jimmy’s 4×4. Talk about a little nerve racking I would bet. The rest of the teams rigs are ready and accounted for, even the Artic Cat Prowler that they will race on Thursday.
While I was stopped there, Travis Carpenter and Stephanie stopped to say Hi. The Land Use Rig is all ready to go and he is excited to get it tuned in and race. Brad and Roger Lovell were checking out the course map in their pit and then went back to working on the GPS downloads. I also met Brian McCarthy a San Francisco Fireman that is out here competing in LCQ in a rig that he sponsored and built himself over the last couple months.
Of course, at some point, there was a football game I guess. Jason Scherer was kind enough to open up his motorhome to the chaos and it was game on. Tom and Steve from Griffin Radiators got into town today and dropped by as well as Doug from Bigelow Motorsports.
The nights will now be fun filled at the main fire. Dave and Jeff did a welcoming announcement and then it was to mingling at the fire. I looked around at the vendor area that is starting to pack in including Torchmate and BFGoodrich semis that pulled in today. This is certainly the hub and downtown Hammertown.
Another perfect day on the lakebed, a little wheeling and a lot of friends.
Monday February 7, 2011 PICTURES ON FACEBOOK
Tuesday February 8, 2011 PICTURES ON FACEBOOK
Friday February 11, 2011 ***Race Day***
ADDITIONAL King of the Hammers Videos -> MORE TO COME!
PitBull Tires UTV Race
Torchmate / 4 Wheel Parts
Torchmate/Radflo Suspension Tuning
Raceline Wheels Show and Shine
UTV Race Pre-Run
Bigelow Motorsports *Funny*