STI DRIVERS NAIL KING
OF THE HAMMERS 2013
The King of the Hammers is, in a word, Unique
(with a capital U). There are very few if any
off-road races that require the use of a winch
(even before getting stuck), the mutual
cooperation of your competitors to help each
other get around the course, or a finishing rate
of just 11 percent. After seven editions it’s
earned a dubious reputation as being the most
brutal desert events in the world.
Third in Production
1000, Dave Eulberg and passenger Wyatt
Casper tackle the terrain on new 30-inch
STI Roctane XD tires and HD Beadlock
Hower and McCollough make good use of
their winch. King of the Hammers is not
for the faint of heart.
Sometimes getting around slower entries
is more challenging than the terrain.
Auburn Extreme’s Hower and McCollough
wait for an opening.
Auburn Extreme’s Eulberg and Casper gets
some friendly rock crawling advice. This
northern California dealership’s teams
rely heavily on their STI tires and
wheels, with great success.
Side-by-side UTVs have been a part of the
program for five years, and in 2013 would face
the most hideous King of the Hammers race ever.
Trailmaster Dave Cole put together a 115-mile
course through the Johnson Valley OHV Area in
Southern California’s Mojave Desert that would
make the Marquis de Sade flinch.
would require a ton of tenacity on the part of
the drivers and maximum capability and
durability on the part of the cars. All-around
tire and wheel performance and reliability would
be critical to success.
Having all of
the above were two Polaris RZRs backed by Auburn
Extreme Powersports. Claiming victory and a
$1000 payout in the Production 1000 class was
Ken Hower and co-driver Scott McCollough, who
put their faith in STI Black Diamond XTR tires
and STI HD Beadlock wheels. Grabbing third in
class was Dave Eulberg, ably assisted by Wyatt
Casper. This entry chose STI’s brand new 30-inch
Roctane XD rubber, also mounted on STI HD
Beadlock wheels. Despite the uber-challenging
terrain, neither of these teams suffered any
tire or wheel issues whatsoever.
According to class winner and the fourth overall
UTV driver Ken Hower, “Having seen the success
Dave had with his STI Black Diamond tires last
year, I knew for the 2013 race there was only
one tire that I wanted to run on my car. I knew
the Black Diamond tires would dominate in the
sand out in the desert, but I was unfamiliar
with their rock crawling capability. So last
summer I took my RZR several times on the world
famous Rubicon Trail to see how the Black
Diamonds behaved on rocks. I was completely sold
on their durability and grip, and knew I had
made the right choice. Once the race started,
the tires hooked up as expected in the desert.
We set a pace intended to survive and get us to
the rocks, where I knew my skillset and the STI
HD Beadlocks and Black Diamonds would excel. Our
results exceeded our expectations for a
first-year entry, but it has given us the drive
to go for the overall title next year. STI tires
will be our only option for the 2014 King Of The
Hammers UTV race.”
Third place Dave
Eulberg reported: “This is Auburn Extreme
Powersports’ second year running King of the
Hammers and second year with an STI sponsorship.
We thought we knew after last year what to
expect, so we stepped up our game with a new
big-bore motor, new Turner axles, and the latest
and greatest from STI — 30x14 Roctane tires and
14-inch HD Beadlock wheels. We drew a terrible
starting position, putting us at 31 out of 35.
And being started behind the slower Every Man
Challenge (EMC) class by an hour made the race
most of the course and determining what insanity
would be expected of us, we teamed up with other
drivers along the way to help make it through as
far as possible. After a blistering pace through
the desert we got too far ahead of the other
drivers and were forced to wait, knowing that
the rocks were next and would be the most
challenging for the car. After easily driving up
Aftershock and Hwy 20/19 heading into Pit #2
without winching or even a flat tire, we knew we
were in a good position to be in first or second
in our class.
“After flying down
Jackhammer, then into the gnarly Chocolate
Thunder rock climb, we began running into the
EMC cluster, ultimately costing us the time
needed to finish the rest of the course. Trying
to help out another racer cost us our
second-place finish. We never winched, never
broke and never even had a flat tire. We just
flat ran out of time. We did end up third
according to the IRC tracker position but next
year our goal is to go for the overall title!
STI will be our only option for the 2014 King of
the Hammers UTV Race.”
Photos courtesy of Auburn
Extreme Powersports, UTVUnderground.com, and
Bower Motorsports Media.