Stock and Stock Modified Vehicles Take on the Infamous Hammers
February 5, 2012 (Johnson Valley, CA) – The Smittybilt Every Man Challenge (EMC) ended in an impressive and inspiring victory today as John Currie won overall in a stock class Jeep Wrangler. While the Griffin King of the Hammers (KOH) demands not only incredible driving prowess but cutting-edge technology, Currie demonstrated the EMC is truly a driver’s race. Recognizing the grass roots appeal of off-road racing, this year promoter Dave Cole created the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge for two classes – Stock and Stock Modified – to allow enthusiasts a chance to test their skills and vehicles against the famed Hammers terrain.
Unlike the unlimited, anything-goes nature of Griffin King of the Hammers, the rules for the Stock and Stock Modified classes in the EMC are quite restrictive. Stock Modified vehicles are limited to mechanical steering, two 2.5-inch diameter shocks per corner, and no larger than 37-inch DOT approved tires. Compare this with the fully fabricated race cars for KOH that regularly utilize 3.5-inch bypass shocks, full hydraulic steering, and 40-inch tall race-specific rubber. The Stock class is even more restrictive, requiring factory engines and transmissions, full frames and bodies, and DOT-approved tires no larger than 35-inches tall in addition to mechanical steering and a single 2.5-inch shock per wheel.
“The spirit of the Stock Class is to allow OEM and aftermarket vendors the opportunity to showcase their products while providing a venue for teams to compete in a true drivers class in vehicles that closely relate to street driven versions,” Cole explained. The 77-mile course through Johnson Valley OHV Area contained all of the elements of King of the Hammers, and surprisingly even much of the same terrain tackled by the unlimited cars. The Smittybilt Every Man Challenge required teams to navigate as quickly as possible through not only uneven desert terrain but also the notorious boulder strewn trails known simply as “The Hammers.” Currie completed the course in under four hours, besting many teams with more expensive vehicles and more horsepower.
By winning the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge, John Currie earned a place in the main event at the Griffin King of the Hammers on Friday. The situation puts Currie in an awkward position, even though he has already demonstrated he will not be intimidated with his David and Goliath effort at the EMC. Currie is slated to co-drive for his nephew in King of the Hammers, Monster Energy athlete and noted short course racer Casey Currie. Now he must decide if he will be sitting in the passenger seat or the driver seat on race day.
John Currie’s Jeep was similar to what you would see on 4WD trails all around the country, with full sheet metal and 35-inch Falken tires. While the Jeep is ordinary, Currie is anything but “Every Man”. The owner of a successful axle business, John Currie is an off-road veteran. He came in second place in the very first rock crawling competition over a decade ago and is the namesake for the ubiquitous “Johnny Joint” suspension component. As the winner of the inaugural Smittybilt Every Man Challenge, there is now one more thing that John Currie is known for.
1 4688 John Currie – Stock – 2:44:51
2 4581 Larry McRae – Modified – 3:00:22
3 4515 Mitch Funk – Modified – 3:08:09
4 4558 Brandon Heyes – Modified – 3:16:35
5 4588 Mike Johnson – Modified – 3:16:51
6 4577 George Evans – Modified – 3:35:11
7 4535 Kevin Sacalas – Modified – 3:51:07
8 4538 DJ Harmon – Modified – 3:59:02
9 4646 Ferris McCollum – Stock – 4:31:10
10 4612 Ben Varozza – Stock – 4:34:22
11 4669 Shawn Passmore – Stock – 4:38:31
12 4531 Shawn Rants – Modified – 4:57:29
13 4678 Jason Kaminsky – Stock – 5:15:28
14 4569 Jason McAtee – Modified – 5:19:31
15 488 Josiah Begay – Stock – 5:47:22
16 4621 Bret Scheiding – Stock – 6:23:19
17 4680 Cody Addington – Stock – 6:23:56
18 890 Jonathan Terhune – Modified – 6:28:41
19 4555 Stephen Caproni – Modified – 6:29:12
20 4699 Chris Marquart – Stock – 6:35:19
21 4674 Matthew Rager – Stock – 7:03:45
22 4580 Jordan Townsend – Modified – 7:19:30
23 4623 John Williams – Stock – 8:12:50
4509 Jeremy Eaton – Modified – DNF
4511 Alan Johnson – Modified – DNF
4514 George Kane – Modified – DNF
4502 Barry Cherneske – Modified – DNF
4505 Jeff Rector – Modified – DNF
4692 Scott Hartman – Stock – DNF
4677 Roger King – Stock DNF
4611 Chris Schutt – Stock – DNF
4643 Richard Gauthier – Stock – DNF
4648 Brian Behrend – Stock – DNF
4664 Richard Williams – Stock – DNF
4644 Thomas Yash – Stock – DNF
4602 Ryan Kennelly – Stock – DQ
Sponsors of the event include: Griffin Thermal Products, 4Wheel Parts, Smittybilt, Pitbull Tires, Miller Welders, Lucas Oil, Trail Gear, Falken Tire, Nitto, Bestop, Dynomax Performance Exhaust, GenRight Off Road, King Off-Road Racing Shocks, PSC Motorsports, Warn, ATX Series Wheels, Rugged Race Radios and Spidertrax.