Provisional Winners from the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge at Johnson Valley -

Provisional Winners from the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge at Johnson Valley


There are only three hours to go before it’s shutdown at the time of this writing, but the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge has provisional winners announced! The Every Man Challenge would be every bit of the word as well for all drivers in the sportsman event before the King of the Hammers. Blown tires, broken diff cases, driveshafts, suspension parts; you name it and it was broken or damaged. Did anyone make it without needing to replace something?

Nope. Even the provisional overall winner, John Currie, had to replace a drivebelt. It didn’t stop him from keeping the lead and taking another Every Man Challenge in Modified Class and overall. Second place overall and Legends Class winner, Brad Lovell, would also not escape without issues. His left front tire would go flat and it couldn’t be changed quickly enough. When he did eventually finish, the tire would be completely blown out and the differential case would be cracked and leaking. Third overall and second in Legends class would go to Matthew Messer.

In the highly anticipated Spec Class, the win was awarded at this time to Larry Nickell. However, there is word that he may have missed Chocolate Thunder and could be penalized. Second place goes to Jessi Combs for now, but if Nickell does indeed get penalized, she could be getting the win overall. Ross Stanford would be awarded third at this time in Spec Class.

Finally, the true Every Man class, Stock, would be won by Erik Miller! The 2012 King of the Hammers winner would get the win in Stock class and finish sixth overall. Ben Varozza would take second and Richard Gauthier takes third.

Mod Class Top 3
1 – John Currie, 88, 4:24:28
2 – Mike Johnson, 4588, 6:21:44
3 – George Evans, 4577, 6:39:50

Legends Class Top 3
1 – Brad Lovell, 232, 4:37:10
2 – Matthew Messer, 4860, 4:48:30
3 – Dave Schneider, 4871, 6:07:29

Spec Class Top 3
1 – Larry Nickell, 4702, 5:51:58
2 – Jessi Combs, 4703, 5:59:21
3 – Ross Stanford, 4704, 6:02:54

Stock Class
1 – Erik Miller, 921, 6:02:33
2 – Ben Varozza, 4612, 6:32:00
3 – Richard Gauthier, 4643, 6:42:37

Photos by Jason Zindroski


  1. How the Hell do you miss Chocolate thunder!?
    It’s one of the spots they go through on all editions. I haven’t raced there and I’d be like “shit, I forgot, I have to do it” if I was racing! Also, could you please explain the classes a bit more
    I know “Mod” is all-out and “Spec” must be something like single-brand but what are the “Legends” and what are the “Stocks”. What parts can you modify?

    1. Hey, Diego, here is how all of the classes work out:

      Legends class is limited prep and how many cars in the KOH used to be built. They are front engine, solid front axle, side-by-side type rigs. They also must use DOT, non-treated (aka sauced) 37 inch tires.

      Engine must be front mounted
      2 seats must be side by side
      Shocks: only a single shocke per corner is allowed. Any coil carrier
      apparatus are considered shocks.
      Axles must
      be solid type. No TTB or IFS of any kind allowed.
      Tires must be DOT NON STICKy compound no larger than 37” Diameter
      as factory labeled.
      All safety and tech rules apply

      So, it is open in principal, but it is a traditional style rig. You are even allowed hydraulic ram steering.

      Stock class is also pretty much as it sounds. You suspension can only be what was offered from factory as bought (rear leaf spring, front torison beam, coil front beam, Ford’s Twin Traction Beam, etc). The vehicle must have been offered in 1000 units or more for the region it was offered. You could bring a Toyota HiLux to compete, but it must be built as such and not a Tacoma turned into HiLux nor HiLux exclusive components be installed (like it’s diesel engine). Bodies must remain intact save for what you need to remove for roll cage installation. You even need to retain the interior.

      You have to retain the stock frame, but can reformed for aftermarket bumpers in the rear or you can add material to it to strengthen it. You can make half-doors or just use tubing, but the doors must open. Fiberglass fenders are allowed but must not have more than 2 inches of gap between it and the tire at full compression. The inner fenders must remain front and rear and can not be modified, even for tire clearance. You can trim stock fenders, but it must retain a stock look, too.

      You can use any engine, drivetrain, or axle you want; provided it was offered on the vehicle of choice. No turbos or supercharges unless it came from the factory that way. So, no, you can’t use a 2.0l Turbo Ecotech on your S10. Under/over drives are not permitted unless it came with one. You can also use any steering and modify it, but it must retain a mechanical linkage and full hydro-steering is not allowed unless it was offered from the factory.

      You can use any shock, but only a single shock per wheel that is under 2.65 inches in diameter and has no more than 14 inches of travel. No bypass or position sensitive shocks are allowed and they must bolt to the axle.

      They can be off axis but can’t yield a mechanical advantage. You also can’t have manual controls for the shocks, which I would imagine means you couldn’t have a way to load a wheel as you’re crawling up a rock to gain some traction that’s normally being lost..

      Finally, tires are limited to 35 inches in diameter and must be readily available at any retailer open to the public. Does not have to be DOT but, as an example, the Wildpeak MT tires that Falken used at the main KOH competition wouldn’t be allowed since those were prototype tires that were not available to the public yet. However, you could use Mickey Thompson Baja Claws that are Bias Ply and not road legal since they are available at most public retailers.

  2. KOH is a great race. I love and participate in the Every man Challenge but I think John Currie competing in the EMC is a joke. He does not fit the description. He has, I think, 20 man crew at the race and his jeep cost more than most spectators houses. He is a nice guy, but like I said before, he is above and beyond the class. His jeep also ran in the Unlimited Class! Time for him to step out.

    1. Actually, his crew was no more larger than anyone in the Modified class that was running with Falken Tires. Most of these Modified rigs were up there in cost, so it’s not just his and with Casey taking that same truck and running in the main race, he (Casey) was at a big disadvantage. Did you know that the rig that Brad Lovell drove in Mod also raced in the KOH by Rodger Lovell with Brad co-driving?

      So, to say that he had some sort of advantage over most guys in the Mod class is probably not entirely fair. The parts and modifications on that truck are not only within the rules set forth by Ultra4, but also are parts that are available to the competitor in Mod class as well. Many of those same rigs he beat were well over $200,000 in build cost. His Mod truck wasn’t the only one to compete in the main race. So, again, to say that John had some sort of advantage over most guys in Mod isn’t entirely fair. His experience is what gives him an edge over everything else.

      1. Whoops! Brad’s rig was in Legends class. Sorry for the brainfart moment. Regardless, I still feel the idea that John Currie shouldn’t be racing in Mod is a bit harsh.

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