PRO EAGLE HEADS BACK TO THE LAKE BED FOR THE 2019 KING OF THE HAMMERS.
Every year around the first week of February in a desolate desert outside of Barstow California tens of thousands of off-road enthusiasts make the journey out to Johnson Valley. For one week of the year this otherwise barren land transforms itself into a temporary city with spectators, racers and vendors from all over the world for what has been called the hardest one day race in America, the Ultra 4 King of the Hammers. This land is some of the harshest most challenging terrain in North America and all year teams prepare themselves for the ultimate challenge.
If the terrain weren't challenge enough the absolute isolation of the event poses an even greater challenge. Cell phone service is limited or non existent, and a small city dubbed "Hammertown" is formed in the middle of nowhere. Teams have to not only prepare for the the race but set up elaborate pits and garages with only what they can bring in.
This desert is harsh and unforgiving and many underestimate the toll it will take on their teams and equipment. Inferior equipment will surely fail... and did. That's why Pro Eagle makes the journey every year to support this great event.
Every year we are proud to be able to head out to the lakebed a full week prior to the event to help the teams get prepared for the big race. As soon as we hit the lakebed teams were looking for us and our jacks to save the day. Some teams forgot jacks all together and most found out theirs just couldn't handle the dirt and mud like Pro Eagle jacks.
Kicking the week into motion was Tuesday's Pit Crew Challenge! Ultra 4, the organizers of King Of the Hammers had asked us in November of last year to host a pit crew competition during race week. To share some of the work involved we asked some of our good friends over at Buggy Whip, Raceline Wheels and Boxo Tools to join in. Each company stepped up in a big way to promote the inaugural event and provide needed tools for the competition itself. Ultra 4 decided to invite the top 3 drivers from each class to participate in the competition and then to have one additional driver in each class voted in by his or her fans. Fans were required to go to any or all of the presenting sponsor websites to cast their vote. After a month of voting there were nearly 1000 votes to add up and figure out who the winners were. The winners were announced the week before the teams would start the migration to Hammertown.
The competition took place on Tuesday evening and was a huge success! It was broadcast LIVE on Ultra 4’s website and streamed to their social media pages as well as ours. It is still available to view on our Facebook page. There were 24 vehicles / teams that did battle against one another. They were required to dump 10 gallons of fuel ( in this case we used water for safety) and then change one tire. Once complete they would hit a button lighting up a Buggy Whip and stopping their time.
Pro Eagle came prepared! Each team competing in the Pit Crew Challenge received a custom Proline wrapped Pro Eagle jack! Everyone was super pumped!
Rob MacCahren and his team once again proved why they are so successful when it comes to races. They dominated the entire competition with a 49 second pit time! We thought this event was important to demonstrate just how crucial the pits, team members and equipment behind the scenes is to winning races. Congratulations to Rob & the #11 T1 team!
King of the Hammers has grown from one race to multiple days of racing with different types of vehicles in each race. UTVs qualified Saturday and raced on Sunday. Then there were qualifying events and races held every day during the rest of the week. From slightly modified Jeeps and Toyotas, limited class 4x4 vehicles, Trophy Trucks and then the big event on Friday with the 4400 class trucks. These are the unlimited class vehicles, the biggest and baddest. Because of the space our jacks take up, there are only a few of the competitors running them on the truck. However 99% of them are using them in the pits. It is the jack of choice for nearly every team and it is evident when walking through the pits. Pro Eagle jacks as far as the eye can see!
Just like with other forms of racing, we work closely with a select few teams / drivers to act as our extended R&D department. Dustin Isenhour is one that we have worked with for a long time. He is great at communicating with us and is one heck of a driver. Dustin was able to help out in our booth for the week meeting fans and talking with other teams about Pro Eagle and how it has made a difference in his program. After 14 grueling hours Dustin finished just 3 minutes after time, and he proudly took that in a race where few even make it to the finish line.
KOH is by far our best event that we do throughout the year. It is the most expensive to do, it was windy every day, it rained for two days solid, it snowed two of the days and there were temperatures well below freezing. You might say, that sounds miserable and you would be correct. However there is no other event where we can test our jacks to the limits of their capabilities and even push past them to find new limits. Being in those conditions for 7-10 days straight gives you a new appreciation for tools that do their job time and time again. Having a product you can count on is of the utmost value and being there to talk with our uses, provide them more jacks for additional crew and even make repairs when needed is all part of what makes us the best jack in the business! We know that very few of you will ever use your jack in these conditions, but if they hold up out there then you can be confident that they will hold up to anything you can put them through.