King of the Hammers is arguably the toughest one-day offroad race in the world. After chasing the quest to finish for 2 years, Justin Hall of RockHard Racing joined the elite group of finishers for the 2016 race.
Justin arrived on Means Dry Lake in the middle of Johnson Valley early Saturday morning, where he would register and do a shock adjustment with Alltech Motorsports. Sunday would be another dead day just with the signs of horrible weather and not being able to pre run because of the King of the Motos Race. The motor in the car had a very out dated tune, so a quick stop over to Wayne with 150Tunes would fix that. Justin spent a lot of time tuning and prepping the car, this year had to be one of the most prepared years, the car was 110% ready.
Monday would be the team's pre running day, Justin and CoDriver/Father Mark would opt to only pre run the first 61miles (the first lap) because they both have a huge Rock Crawling background and could traverse through the crazy rock canyons that make up the KOH course with ease. The pre run went extremely well and the car would receive another final prep and then sit until Thursdays Every Man Challenge race.
Wednesday, Justin's pit crew ran the Main Pit for a UTV team Car 1991, Evan Engelhardt, who would also crossed the finish line in 8th. After Evan finished Justin had a final pit meeting with everyone to determine who was going where. Justin had just around 30 pit crew members.
Race day, Justin and Mark left line in the 30th spot; by the time they finished the first lap (61 miles) they were in the top 15. Everything was going smoothly and they were making short work of all the rock trails. About 4 miles away from Sunbonnet, the passenger lower link fell out of the car, pulling apart the driveshaft as well. After some creative winching, they were able to get things together to limp the car through 3 of the harder rock trails and into Pit 2B where Justin's amazing Pit Crew was ready to weld things back together. After through Pit 2B, Justin took it easy on the car and brought it across the finish line!
110 teams would leave the starting line Thursday morning and only 37 would cross the finish line between the Modified, Stock, and Legends class. Justin and his Father, Mark, finished 24th overall and 9th in the Modified class where only 16 total Mod Class cars finished.
Justin had an amazing array of pit crew members all from different parts of the country as well as a few from Canada. A huge Thank You goes out to everyone who came out and helped in the pits, RockHard Racing would not have crossed the finish line with out all of them.
Justin would also like to thank all his Marketing Partners for supporting his race efforts: RuffStuff Specialties, JM Rigging, Nitro Gear and Axle, Dynomax Exhaust, ARB, Raceline Wheels, FabWorx Offroad, R&B Co., TK1 Racing, South Bay Driveline, Sonoma County Crawlers Offroad LEDs, Savvy Offroad, and Gearworks.
Be sure to keep an eye out for Justin and the RockHard Racing team at the Ultra 4 Stampede at Prairie City OHV in April.
All Photo credit/Rights goes to Ryan Del Ponte with The Redline Projects.