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4 Wheel Parts (4WP), the global leader in off-road truck, Jeep®, UTV and aftermarket products, celebrated an outstanding week at the 2019 King of the Hammers festival with emphatic victories in the Ultra4 and UTV championships with sponsored drivers Jason Scherer and Mitch Guthrie, Jr.
Considered the off-road industry’s ultimate desert race, King of the Hammers (also called KOH) draws competitors from around the world to contest the notoriously difficult rock crawling trails known as The Hammers. Participants in the Ultra4 class reach desert speeds in excess of 100 mph, sport gear ratios as low as 100:1 for the technical rock sections and have their endurance tested over 235 grueling miles. Scherer, winner of the 2009 and 2018 KOH, won his third Ultra4 title on Friday.
“To say that we are elated would be an understatement. Jason and Mitch proved they are the best at their craft and we are proud to have been able to support them,” said Joey DiGiovanni, 4WP Director of Creative Marketing & Partnerships. “On behalf of everyone at 4WP, we congratulate them and thank them for representing our company and sport in such a positive way, both on and off the track.”
Scherer and Nick Nelson, the top two qualifiers earlier this week, were the first starters off the line. The pair took off at a sprint through the desert and then through the rocks, both taking an early trip winching through Backdoor, a strategic move that would pay off for Scherer in later laps and hamper Nelson’s chances due to injury and mechanical issues. JP Gomez and Paul Horschel took up the chase in third and fourth but faltered when they attempted Backdoor later in the race. Entering the final lap Scherer was holding a comfortable lead when Erik Miller, two-time winner of KOH, made a strong challenge in his solid-axle rig through the difficult rock sections of Spooners and Outer Limits. Despite Miller’s late charge, Scherer reentered the desert with the advantage and passed the checkered flag in Hammertown with a six-minute victory. Miller and Shannon Campbell, a three-time winner at KOH, finished second and third, respectively.
“I can honestly say this was the hardest KOH race we’ve ever had,” said Scherer. “The 90-mile desert loop at the beginning was torn-up from the T1 trucks [the day before] but we were able to set the pace with the fastest guys on the lakebed, then headed for the rocks.”
“Horschel was ahead of us because he skipped Backdoor and we followed him up Full Of Hate,” added Scherer. “We know that trail well so we made the pass for the physical lead and never looked back the rest of the day.”
Scherer remains one of only six drivers who has worn the KOH crown since the race’s inception 13 years ago, and the only one who has recorded back-to-back victories. Along with his co-driver, Jason Berger, Scherer completed the race in 6:32:29 in an IFS Ultra4 rig. His 4WP teammates also delivered outstanding performances on Friday: Tom Wayes finished fifth in 7:53:36 and Brent Goegebuer came in 19th at 11:17:37. Overall, 29 out of 111 drivers were able to complete the demanding course.
Last Sunday, the UTV King of the Hammers podium was topped by 4WP’s Mitch Guthrie Jr., who took command of the 160-mile race in the rock crawling sections and won by a comfortable 27 minutes. Craig Scanlon ran consistently all day to finish in 15th place overall. Sara Price and Mitch Guthrie Sr. had excellent qualifying runs, finishing 7th and 12th, respectively, out of 100 drivers, but had mechanical issues and did not finish the course.
4WP’s 2019 appearance at Johnson Valley marked an increased presence in athlete sponsorship and race support. In addition to partnering with the UTV and Ultra4 champion drivers, 4WP was the title sponsor of the Every Man Challenge (EMC), won this year by Casey Gilbert in a 4800 buggy.
“We have been working extremely hard at 4WP to not only put together a winning team, but to fill our roster with individuals who reflect the principles we have as a company,” added DiGiovanni. “These athletes embody respect, professionalism and a commitment to excellence and we are off to a heck of a start in 2019.”
ABOUT 4 WHEEL PARTS: 4WP is a powerhouse in the growing $10-plus billion Jeep and truck accessory market. A division of Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP Worldwide, LLC), and acquired by Polaris Industries Inc. in 2016, 4WP sells and installs an extensive line of industry-leading aftermarket parts and accessories for off-road enthusiasts through 94 brick-and-mortar stores in North America and online at https://www.4WP.com. More than 500 aftermarket auto brands are offered through 4WP, including off-road wheels, tires, suspensions, drivetrains, exterior/interior accessories, recovery equipment, lighting, electronics, replacement parts and gear for the outdoor/camping lifestyle.
Information and images: https://bit.ly/4WP_KOH_2019