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Erik Miller crowned the 2012 King of the Hammers!

The King of the Hammers was bigger than ever this year. The weeklong event brought hundreds of competitors and thousands of spectators to Johnson Valley. Hammer Town had a population larger than near by “real” cities. All of this came together for one thing – to see who would be crowned King of the Hammers!

Erik Miller from Cumberland MD would be the first to cross the finish line covering 2 laps of the 76 mile course in just 6hrs 3min 51sec and under 13 minutes faster than “EZ” Rick Mooneyham in second. “It really helped to qualify well,” Said Miller at the finish. “That was our plan from the start, to break the top ten and get some clean air. I’m happy that Dave moved to a qualifier for starting position, I believe it’s a more fair way to give the faster guys a real run for the win. The car was near flawless all day, no flats but right there towards the end we were dicing with EZ Rick and we lost power steering. My co-dog get out and fixes it and I take off without him. I chased Rick’s dust trail and caught him on the dry lake. So from there we took chances, coming down resolution I lost all power steering and had to drive it in like. Then the car wouldn’t idle and only run wide open, but that probably worked in our favor.”

It was fast and dusty!” Said 2nd place Rick Mooneyham. “We had all kinds of problems, mostly flats. I wasn’t use to driving the car fast and hit rocks and broke wheels. We did most of our testing just to see if everything worked and no time getting use to going fast. A few g-outs caught us off guard and it’s hard to stop these cars. I basically just ran out of talent when going fast and made a few mistakes. Next year I’ll be more prepared.”

Taking the third spot on the podium was last years king, Shannon Campbell. “I got lost down there in the first turn this morning,” said Campbell. “I saw a few arrows and followed them and ended up going in circles; then I saw Robby (Gordon) followed me and few others. By the time I got back on the track it was so dusty I beat up my car trying to stay on pace, broke a bunch of junk, got flats, lost a brake line, it was a hard day. I could’ve slowed down a little and saved it some, but it sure is fun going fast! We’re here and we had a good time and that’s all that matters. Erik did a good job, congrats to him and his team.”

Part of the King of the Hammers event was to raise awareness to the issue of Johnson Valley OHV area being taken over for military use. King of the Hammers raised over $30K to help come to a compromise that both the military and OHV enthusiast can live with and share the area for years to come.

Traditionally, the Griffin King of the Hammers has been limited to a field of 100 racers twenty of whom gain entry into the race by competing in a Last Chance Qualifying race that happens in the days prior to the King of the Hammers. More than 70 drivers competed for one of the 20 remaining spots. After the completion of the qualifying rounds Hammerking Founder, Dave Cole, stunned the audience by announcing that all 70 drivers could compete in the main event and that proceeds from the additional drivers would go directly towards the fight to keep the Johnson Valley OHV area open. The future of Johnson Valley has been uncertain since the US Marine Corps made a proposal to expand the 29 Palms Marine Base into most of the area known to OHV enthusiasts as “The Hammers.” The 188,000-acre OHV area is the largest in the country and comprises half of the public lands used for OHV recreation throughout the entire state of California. “The correlation between land use and these racers we are including could not be more appropriate,” Cole commented. “These are honest, hardworking people who come to Johnson Valley throughout the year not only to race, but for recreation as well.

Words and photos by Art Eugenio

 

49 Official Finishers of the 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers

1 Erik Miller 4421 Cumberland MD 6:03:51
2 Rick Mooneyham 554 Lake Havasu City AZ 6:16:48
3 Shannon Campbell 5 Gilbert AZ 6:33:40
4 Derek West 4420 Springfield MO 7:20:24
5 Loren Healy 4428 Farmington NM 7:22:05
6 Brad Lovell 232 Colorado Springs CO 7:26:23
7 Brian Shirley 18 Dodge City KS 7:31:53
8 Rusty Bray 4498 Richmond KY 7:31:54
9 Mike Klensin 4431 Tucson AZ 7:40:58
10 Casey Currie 2 Anaheim CA 8:16:04
11 Ben Dinkins 4403 Annopolis MO 8:24:49
12 Jon Cagliero 27 Paso Robles CA 8:27:17
13 Brandon Watson 4488 Carbondale CO 8:32:54
14 Jeff Russell 4427 Shadow Hills CA 8:39:10
15 Ivan VanOrtwick 4466 Whittier CA 8:41:08
16 Ben Napier 4461 Sydney AUS 8:42:00
17 John Webb 4468 Concord CA 8:50:28
18 Levi Shirley 81 Dodge City KS 9:03:20
19 Jason Scherer 76 Danville CA 9:05:36
20 Alan Woodson 86 Charlottesville VA 9:20:43
21 Jason Blanton 966 Kirkland WA 9:27:33
22 Jeremy Dickenson 4419 Cedar Park TX 9:34:49
23 Harold Fijman 777 San Ramon CA 9:38:50
24 Alex Hardaway 4481 Santa Rosa CA 9:40:59
25 Nick Finch 2228 Dean Park NSW 2761 Australia 9:46:51
26 Lucas Murphy 816 Easton MA 9:47:20
27 Ritchie Keller 202 Elkland MO 9:47:24
28 Cottin Rodd 4407 Cortez CO 9:47:48
29 Scott Ward 4438 Lake Havasu City AZ 9:57:40
30 John James 28 Fresno CA 10:17:58
31 Jason Shipman 4414 Farmington MO 10:22:00
32 Hunter Sparrow 72 Arvada CO 10:23:20
33 Mat Noualy 328 Mt Albert ONT, CA 10:32:45
34 Chris Garrison 4494 Rancho Cordova CA 10:45:50
35 Dave Bovich 50 Shasta Lake CA 10:51:37
36 Les Figueroa 4478 Henderson NV 10:59:24
37 Fabio Manno 100 Rome Italy 11:21:07
38 Doug Evans 4457 Hayfork CA 11:24:58
39 Larry Anderson 742 Dixon CA 11:52:39
40 Matt Peterson 212 Colorado Springs CO 11:54:41
41 Robb Kaufman 22 RockyView County CAN 12:05:47
42 Paul Garner 4409 Queen Creek AZ 12:21:57
43 Bart Dixon 26 San Diego CA 12:57:47
44 Curtis Warner 4410 Armstrong BC 12:59:05
45 Brandon Heyes 4558 Rancho Cucamonga CA 13:02:45
46 Jesse Haines 4499 Sparks NV 13:05:48
47 Warren Thomas 257 Morro Bay CA 13:19:25
48 Tom Wayes 321 San Jose CA 13:33:45
49 Stan Haynes 4408 Ft. Wayne IN 13:38:55

Comments

One comment on “Erik Miller crowned the 2012 King of the Hammers!
  1. Tony P says:

    Ya Curtis from B.C. Thats a hell of a big deal to finish this race and get your name on this page with time on it! Super stoked for ya dude! Keep on given er, were cheering for ya in kamloops.

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