Coming up with this list was a challenge – there were so many great moments at King of the Hammers this year.
So, without further ado, here’s my official list of Top Moments from King of the Hammers 2014:
1. Seeing Erik Miller–friend to the East Coast bouncers–win the Everyman challenge was, first of all, a highlight! He was in the first big King of the Hammers race Friday for most of the day until his steering orbital went out, and they ended up not finishing the race until around 10 at night. I also loved seeing Jessi Combs, who’s huge in the automotive media industry, host a few shows herself; she won her class in the Everyman challenge, and was the first girl to win anything over the boys at KOH.
2. Seeing three drivers take Screamin’ Blue up Backdoor at the Shootout without breaking, when half of all the drivers broke. Screamin’ Blue is Bobby Tanner’s buggy, and Bobby, Richie Keith and CJ Bynum made great runs in it! I also loved seeing SRRS owner Clyde Bynum’s son CJ, who’s 16 year old and had never even sat in a buggy before, climb up the Back Door in Screamin’ Blue like it was nothing, making experienced drivers look bad. That was an awesome moment; he’s a talented driver.
3. Watching Bree’s first run in the Avenger. It was great to see the reaction people had to a girl driving, and the buggy of course looked great going through the rocks.
4. Big Ugly Buggy yardsailing their buggy during qualifying. What an insane wreck!
5. Luke Wilson winning the fastest time of the east coasters and doing it by going up the right side of Backdoor at the shootout. Luke drives the oversize buggy and those big ‘ole sticky tires sure helped him come through to victory and win the new set of Raceline wheels!
6. Getting to meet a lot of people that I only knew via social media in person. It was awesome to put personalities with these names and faces I’ve talked to and seen online all this time.
7. Watching Team Plowboy take off at the starting line for King of the Hammers. People may have trash talked them all week, but that buggy sure looked good going across that start line. I loved seeing our boys talk on the Jumbotron in front of all those west coasters talking about their experience and our East Coast bouncing.
8. Bobby Tanner rolling Screamin’ Blue over in the sand in the desert during a photo shoot with Crawl, also seeing all these fans from Portugal come out during that photo shoot and begging for a pic with him. It’s so awesome to see how far 4X4 love travels, and our guys are getting it!
9. Camping in the desert with 40,000+ off-road enthusiasts. Usually, we’re at an event for two days and a night. I don’t get the opportunity to mingle like I did at King of the Hammers. Everywhere I looked for a whole week, I was surrounded by people who love the sport like I do.
10. Watching a helicopter race along the desert with a Ultra4 buggy capturing footage! There is really nothing like seeing that live. Those “race cars” (if you will) are going fast, like 100+ mph fast, in the desert, and the helicopter was flying along side them pretty dang low, getting live footage of that.
Yes, Ultra4 is way different, and we have a lot of haters because our style of bouncing may not be as technical, but it takes a whole lot more guts and adrenaline to try to pin it and fly up a mountain! As a group, 4X4Nation spent more time with the East Coast bouncers than we really ever have during King of the Hammers. It was definitely a bonding experience, and we all can’t wait to go back!