The Squealing Tire

Tire Talk from the Experts at Discount Tire Company.

The Squealing Tire - Tire Talk from the Experts at Discount Tire Company.

2014 Ultra4 Racing Griffin King of the Hammers Photos

King of the hammers starting line

The Griffin King of the Hammers race is considered, by many, as the toughest one day off road race in the country and in 2014 it stood up to that expectation.  Like a flash flood, nearly 40,000 fans filled Johnson Valley in Southern California and with them came Hammer Town.  As race teams began pre-running and qualifying, the brutal course started twisting, snapping and tearing vehicles apart.  By race day many teams had already put in long hours repairing and reinforcing their vehicles to better their chances of finishing.  After the green flag flew, one by one, teams started falling out of the race and once the dust had settled only a fraction of those who started had finished.

Among the competition was the Discount Tire Off Road Evolution Race Team.   This year the team competed in 3 different races including the 2014 King of the Hammers UTV race for the first time.   With their hands full the team certainly had their work cut out for them.   One race at a time, they battled the competition and they battled against the course.  During each race they had wins and loses against the course but in the end, despite their best efforts, they were unable to get a finish.

All wasn’t lost as a lot was learned and team spirit is high for this year’s race season.  The team is already hard at work preparing for their next battle at the next Ultra 4 West races and better results are on the horizon.

Photos from the 2014 Griffin King of the Hammers:

Johnson Valley OHV area, home of King of the Hammers DPP_006 DPP_022 DPP_003 DPP_002 DPP_013 DPP_014 DPP_019 DPP_035DPP_047 DPP_091 DPP_096 DPP_014 DPP_100 DPP_101 DPP_111 DPP_146 DPP_214 DPP_223 DPP_227 DPP_236 DPP_237 DPP_238 DPP_240 DPP_249 DPP_256 DPP_261 DPP_271 DPP_274 DPP_285 DPP_293 DPP_310 DPP_314 DPP_327 DPP_347 DPP_372 DPP_375 DPP_380 DPP_389 DPP_394 DPP_396 DPP_406 DPP_417 DPP_439 DPP_443 DPP_452 DPP_460 DPP_470 DPP_479 DPP_482 DPP_531 DPP_533 DPP_542 DPP_558 DPP_570 DPP_564 DPP_256  DPP_058 DPP_059 DPP_064 DPP_065 DPP_077 DPP_087 DPP_091 (2) DPP_094 (2) DPP_708
DPP_685 DPP_673 DPP_651 Discount Tire Main Pit at King of the Hammers 2014 DPP_647 DPP_642 DPP_637 Discount Tire  Off Road Evolution Evo1 Racing the 2014 King of the Hammers DPP_631 DPP_612 DPP_602 DPP_597 DPP_590 DPP_564 DPP_559 Discount Tire Off Road Evolution EvoTJ racing the 2014 Smittybilt Everyman Challenge DPP_530 Sky on Fire at the 2014 King of the Hammers DPP_483 DPP_480 DPP_478 DPP_460 DPP_447 DPP_402 DPP_397 DPP_382 DPP_370 DPP_363 DPP_342 DPP_336 DPP_312 DPP_279 DPP_270 DPP_259 DPP_234 DPP_220 DPP_203 DPP_184 DPP_182 DPP_171 DPP_157 DPP_100 DPP_093 DPP_092 DPP_090-X2 DPP_072 DPP_054 DPP_050 DPP_045 DPP_039 DPP_030 DPP_016 DPP_007

When racing it is always good to remember a golden rule. Never drive faster than your guardian angle can fly.

Ultra4 Glen Helen 2013 Results: A “HOT” Experience

Ultra4 Glen Helen Discount Tire Off Road Evolution Race Team2013 Ultra4 Racing 4 Wheel Parts Glen Helen Grand Prix Discount Tire Off Road Evolution, Nitto Tire, Dynatrac, ATX Wheels Race Team Results

“A HOT Ultra4 Experience”

May 24-25th Ultra4 Glen Helen 2013 – Congratulations to Nick Nelson #4404 for his win in the Ultra4 Glen Helen Grand Prix.  Nick was followed by 2nd place Wayland Campbell #3 and 3rd place Driver Loren Healy #67.

Southern California is known for its blue skies and “hot” summer days and it was definitely a hot experience for the Discount Tire Off Road Evolution Race Team during this past weekend Ultra4 4 Wheel Parts Glen Helen Race.   Here’s a recap of how the races unfolded from driver Mel Wade.

Friday, May 24th – Practice and Qualifying

(Mel Wade)  “EVO 1 was running great.  We got to dial in the suspension for the track.  No leaks, no smoke and we set a decent qualifying start time(25th position) for the 1st prelim Race.

EVO TJ was fast Fast FAST!.. We qualified 10 seconds ahead of everyone in our Stock Class and 1 second ahead of the leader of the Stock Mod Class above us.

Our qualifying time led me to spend most of Friday night with Dave Cole, the owner of Ultra4 Racing, and the lead Ultra 4 Tech Official for a second inspection of the TJ.  Apparently, a number of our competitors were upset with our times and my suspension design.  After multiple inspections and discussions about Stock Class Ultra 4 Rules, and our suspension engineering inside of these rules, they authorized us to be able to race the EVO Built TJ in the main event.  Since we qualified first we were still going to be able to start first… “

Saturday May 25th, 9:00am -Ultra4 Prelim EVO 1 Qualifier

(Mel Wade) “My Copilot was Brian Hogue.  Our start position was 25th and we started working our way up the pack.  The goal was to do our best and qualify for the mail event.  We would need a top 18 finish to qualify.  The JK was working great, temps were all good, around 35 minutes in and on lap 5 the temps spiked up to 260 with a nice white puff of smoke.  We tried to chance our driving style and ran a couple more laps but the temp kept coming up.  We decided to pull into the pit once the temp went up to 280 to save the engine.  At that point we had moved up to the 21st position.  IN the pit we inspected Evo1.  The cooling fan had failed.  It got so hot that the fan melted into the fan shroud taking us out of the race.  We were all disappointed but we were still in the hunt for a win in the TJ so I decided to focus on the next race.”

Saturday May 25th 11:00am – Stock/Mod and Baja Cup UTV Race – EVO TJ Race Time

(Mel Wade) “Little Mel was my copilot.  We started 1st in the Stock Class with 6 Stock Mod Rigs in front of us. They let us go in 10 seconds intervals.

We pulled quick off the line and started to gain on the Stock Mods.  All temps were great and we managed to work our way through the pack up to 3rd over all and 1st in class with a 36 second lead time over 2nd place.

We led for 45 min until, unfortunately, the TJ’s temp also started to spike.  It climbed to about 250 when a puff of white electrical smelling smoke let out… Not again…Yes, the TJ cooling fan had now failed.. not losing my position, I stayed on it the rest of that lap with the temp increasing.

By the time we made it to the pit the temp was pegged well over 300 and when we pulled into the pit the motor lock up.  When we pulled into the pits we were still 36 seconds in front of the 2nd place Stock Class Rig and only 10 seconds behind the leader of the Stock Modified Class.  Unfortunately, our day had ended and our lead and potential podium finish had vanished. 

What did we learn and why should we be proud of this weekend?

(Mel Wade) “Well, I’m now looking for a new brand of cooling fan and I know which ones are NOT going back on any of my rigs, that is for sure.  It will be an easy fix for the JK, EVO1 but the engine in the TJ will be need to be rebuilt and for the next race.

The Off Road Evolution/Discount Tire/Nitto/Dynatrac/ATX race team should hold our heads high and be proud of our Ultra4 Glen Helen 2013 Experience.  We had a great showing and we got the attention of EVERYONE with our fast full size production Jeep JK.  We passed tube buggies and our JK still has a legal license plate hanging off the back.  The lightning quick STOCK EVO TJ certainly made a great showing as well as it flew faster than stock and stock mod classes.

I think even more than that, I am proud that every member of our team helped us to be as organized and professional as anyone could wish for.  From the set up of the pit to the work that was done on the vehicles, the pit crew, track spotters, time keepers and cooks all made this weekend a success.  We all pulled together and even though we were unable to stand on the podium, WE set the example of a WINNING TEAM!

EVO! and the EVO TJ both compete on Nitto Trail Grappler Tires.  For more information about Ultra4 Glen Helen 2013 Race please visit 

Video: Long Road to the Hammers

Video of the Discount Tire Off Road Evolution Ultra 4 Race team as they race in the 2013 King of the Hammers. “There really is no tougher race on the face of the planet than the King of the Hammers. At about 180 miles in length and traversing 20 of the hardest trails in Johnson Valley, the 2013 race was by far the most brutal one to date. In the Every Man Challenge Stock Class, only 1 of 26 rig crossed the finish line and only 5 or 33 made it across in the Modified Class. In the main event which required a run up Backdoor, Sunbonnet Pass, Spooners and Outer Limits, only 27 out of the 127 rigs managed to complete the race.”

Discount Tire Off Road Evolution Race Team Competes in the 2013 Griffin King of the Hammers Race Weekend

Interview with Mel Wade and Jim MaGean of the Discount Tire Off Road Evolution race team after competing in the 2013 King of the Hammers race. “With the toughest off road race for 2013 already in the books many race teams are still, literally, picking up their pieces. After wading through a sea of competitor’s parts and broken down buggies we were able to meet up with driver Mel Wade and co-driver Jim McGean of the Discount Tire Off Road Evolution Race Team to hear about their first hand racing experience at the Griffin King of the Hammers (KOH).”

Discount Tire Signs Title Sponsorship Deal with Off Road Evolution for 2013 Season

Discount Tire, America’s largest tire and wheel retailer, announces its title sponsorship with Off Road Evolution for the 2013 desert racing season. With the support of Discount Tire, Off Road Evolution will campaign two rigs – its EVO 1 JK and EVO TJ – at the 2013 King of the Hammers Main Event (Feb. 8), Smittybilt Everyman Challenge Race (Feb. 7) as well as in the Ultra4 Glen Helen and Ultra4 Vegas to Reno events.