King of the Hammers...this is the year I was going to take a break and let the freelancers do it for us. As time went on, right up until about a month ago, I vowed to take the time off.
But I kept hearing about cool new builds, guys returning to their cars after absences and new teams getting their feet wet. How was I going to stay away?
I wasn't and I'm losing $50 to Chris Plaisance at SpiderWebShade because I couldn't stay away. He knows a sucker bet when he makes one and hopefully I can convince him to at least buy me a Grand Slam breakfast while I'm down there.
I'll be bringing the LandCRAWLer, the new CRAWL Mag and Trent Fab creation that replaces the CRAWLmerica race car. I've wanted a straight up trail rig for a while and this will do the trick. We're going to do the photo shoot while we're there and then wheel the best rocks in the Western US. Look for the bright red FJ40 buggy and take a look.
I'm also looking forward to seeing some new cars that have been talked about a lot for the past few months. Jason Blanton and Vaughn Gitten are both running new machines that are going to turn heads.
Larry McRae returns to the 4415 "Crispy" Poison Spyder JK after a few seasons off for medical recovery from cancer. He's a pretty humble guy but I hope he knows that we really admire what he's about, what he's been through and the sheer tenacity of this comeback. Overcoming his cancer battle was one thing; coming back to arguably the only full size Jeep in the 4400 class is a whole 'nother level of warfare. I'll be watching and rooting for the Crispy JK.
My buddy John Mathews sold his Jeep and bought a race car and will compete in the EMC with a 4500 class car for the first time. He and several others helped Larry Nickell and I in our first attempt at the 4500 class in 2013. These guys have also run a pretty solid desert racing team in a Toyota FJ Cruiser that Toyota finally wanted back. Something about a 17 digit VIN with nothing but zeros. The marketing department can get away with all kinds of stuff for a short period of time. Once that rig went back I was certain John would be looking for a replacement. He found one in Jordan Townsend's car and this one has a solid history. Best part, he owns it. This is the beginning of something good.
I'm excited for them as they race prep the car, race prep themselves and work out the details of doing the toughest one day race. Yukon Gear & Axle is a sponsor and they got their front line pit space due to a great relationship with Yukon. We'll be near them in the Yukon pits so come by and say howdy. Which makes my final point.
Finally, I'm excited about seeing people. I've said it before that KOH is like a high school reunion with all the people you liked in school. There are few things quite like being out on the lake bed with 50,000 others that are there for the same reason. The shootout promises to be a shitshow of the first order. The qualifying is always fun. The crazy guys racing motorcycles make me cringe at the thought of that much pain. It's going to be a great week. Come by and say hi and tell me how it's going for you. We've got stickers!
See you on the lakebed.