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The Voice Of Off-Road Motorsports

MARCH 2021


























TECH> 62 CHANGING FLUIDS IN YOUR DIFFERENTIALS Publisher John Simanovich Contributing Photography DirtSports Inc. Shaun Ochsner Rally Zone Editor-In-Chief Dave Arnold Will Embree Shaun Ochsner Kawasaki Associate Editor Can-Am La-Chelle Halliday Sales and Management Ford The Redline Projects Dave Arnold High Rev Photo Contributing Editors Nicole Dreon Chris James Justin Coffey Steve Hanson Printed at: Sutherland Printing Dave Arnold FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA DIRTSPORTSWORLD







ing of the Hammers may have just been the event to set an example on how to operate during the pandemic. The event was held in California, the most restrictive state in the nation, in San Bernardino County, the most restricted county in the state. The Hammers to provide a negative COVID test. Testing attracts thousands of people. While attendance was held on-site and masks were required at numbers may have been down and of course all times. No matter your political position it was missing those who travel from places or personal beliefs, promoter Dave Cole such as Australia and Europe, there were still overcame major hurdles to make the event a fair amount of people who showed up to the happen and we give him an unlimited amount event. of kudos. No other off-road event has gone So how did this event go on uninterrupted at through great lengths to put on an event of time when major theme parks are still closed, this magnitude. The world was watching this huge annual concerts have been canceled and event. It received a fair amount of media sports venues cannot have fans? Everyone attention, both positive and negative. Shaun Ochsner Editor-In-Chief DirtSportsWorld who entered Hammertown was required


NEWS Extreme E Confirms Jenson Button as Team Owner and Driver

Formula One Champion Jenson Button has been announced as an Extreme E Team owner and driver. Button has tried his hand at several different motorsports disciplines in the last three years. His father, John Button was a leading rally cross driver in the 70’s and 80’s. Button has always had a passion for offroad racing. Button raced the 2019 Baja 1000. “JBXE has been a long time coming and I’m both delighted and proud to announce its formation and entry into the inaugural Extreme E Championship. I caught the off-road bug a few years back which led to me entering my own team in a few races including the Mint 400 and even the Baja 1000 and I absolutely loved it” said Button The Extreme E series kicks off in Saudi Arabia in April.

Meyers Manx Founder Bruce Meyers Passes Away Meyers Manx creator Bruce Meyers has died at the age of 94. Meyers created the Meyers-Manx dune buggy which became highly popular in the 1960’s. It was known as a California beach icon and was highly celebrated in pop culture. Meyers originally created the iconic body in his Newport Beach garage. It was a fiberglass body designed to fit on an old Volkswagen. The Manx raced in the very first NORRA Mexican 1000 in 1969. The Meyers-Manx was also used in several Hollywood productions. Bruce Meyers was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1978. Meyers sold his company last year to Troutsdale Ventures, which plans to carry on Meyers Manx legacy of fun, freedom and expression that Bruce and Winnie originally created. DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM | 5


Toyota offers factory lift kit for the Tacoma Toyota TRD is offering a factory lift-kit as a dealer installed option for the 2020 and newer Tacoma. The kit lifts the truck 2-inches in the front and 1-inch in the rear. The kit has been designed and tested by TRD engineers. Bilstein shocks are part of the factory lift kit package. The shocks are bigger than the standard Tacoma shock. The lift kit gives the truck a taller stance and improves ground clearance along with the approach and departure angles. The kit is also backed by Toyota’s factory warranty.

Oceano Dunes Enters Phase 2 Reopening Green sticker vehicles are now allowed at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation area and Pismo State Beach. California State Parks has announced the popular beach area is entering Phase 2 of the reopening plan. Phase one allowed street legal vehicles only in the dunes such as Jeeps and trucks. Phase two opens up the dunes to green sticker OHV vehicles such as quads, UTV’s and motorcycles. Day use hours continue to be limited to 7am to 8pm. Onethousand permits for both street legal and OHV vehicles will be issued. One hundred campsites will also be available at the Oceano Dunes. Rental concessions will remain closed. California State Parks closed the dunes in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic to comply with stay-at-home orders. 6 | DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM

Newly Formed Great American Shortcourse Series Plans Four West Coast Races

A new short course series is picking up where the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series left off. The Great American Shortcourse Series is planning four races this year that will include two events this spring and two in the fall. The series is formed with two promoters coming together. Ultra4 Racing promoter Dave Cole is partnering with Lee Perfect who has held race director positions with the now defunct Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and its regional series. Perfect has also

held positions with Championship Off Road Racing (CORR). The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series abruptly closed its doors last November leaving racers and teams without short course racing on the west coast. The Great American Shortcourse Series will feature truck, buggy, kart and UTV classes.



Kawasaki’s New Teryx KRX 1000 eS


he 2021 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 eS is the ultimate sport side-by-side. This vehicle was designed to tackle some of the most challenging trails out there. The build starts with DNA of the Teryx KRX-1000. Added features to this ultimate sport sideby-side include the Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS). The vehicle is equipped with Fox 2.5 Live Valve internal bypass shocks. One of the key features of Kawasaki’s KEC’s is the system settings are dialed to deliver a comfortable ride across a wide range of riding situations. Riders can select dashboard switches to toggle between

three suspension modes on the fly. The KECS system takes input from the Bosch Electronic Control System, fuel injection ECU and steering angle sensor. It then adjusts damping control for the ultimate ride and comfort. The interior got an upgraded seven-inch high grade TFT color instrumentation. Positioned above the steering wheel, drivers can easily glance at needed information on the digital gauges. The display features backlighting and can be adjusted as needed. 8 | DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM

An LCD screen displays vehicle suspension information and vehicle temperature information. It can be connected to a smart phone to receive messages and supports camera accessory options.


Kawasaki also added a sport roof, aggressive front bumper and specially designed graphics to this beast. MSRP on the Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 eS is $24,399.



The 2021 Can-Am Commander


an -Am has completely redesigned its Commander line-up for 2021. Whether cruising trails, dirt roads or working on the ranch, the Can-Am is the vehicle for work and play. The vehicles are built for longer rides. The 2021 Commander line-up features multiple trim levels to fit the rider’s needs. The Commander can accommodate configurations of two or four passengers. The vehicles are powered by Rotax 1000R engines that can deliver 100 horse-power. The suspension has been improved and with the new re-design, the vehicles are quieter. The passenger area has also been enhanced for comfortability. “The 2021 Can-Am Commander is our most versatile side-by-side vehicle, period,” said Julie Tourville, Director, Global Marketing,


Can-Am Off-Road and Marine Group at BRP. “It is smooth and incredibly fun to drive, yet rugged and very capable. The lineup, built from the rider down, is truly the best of offroad living – designed for an awesome rider experience regardless of use.”

The 2021 Can-Am Commander comes in five trim levels that include DPS, XT, XT-P, Max DPS and MAX-XT. There are over 150 accessories available for the Commander line-up. Most of the accessories use Can-Am’s proprietary quick on and off LinQ technology. For those who use the vehicle as a work-horse, the 2021 Commander can tow up 2,000 pounds. The segment’s largest cargo box can load 600 pounds of cargo.


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Email to: Dirtsports@dirtsportsworld.com DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM | 13


Lake Adler | Age: 11 | 570 & Mod Kart


Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and any obstacles that you may have to deal with that makes you, you. A: I’m a 5th grader that likes to go fast; karts, UTVs, snowmobiles, skiing or anything else. I like to make people laugh! I like iRacing, Forza and other video games. I also like going to the lake (like my name) to wake-board. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother. My dad is Greg Adler, a famous off-road racer. My Mom, Stacy, is the boss of our family. I have to work harder in school to keep up but I have a lot of friends that help me. Q: What is it about Off-Road that brings you the most joy? A: I love off-road racing because I get to go fast, jump and win trophies. I also like cruising the pits at night with my race buddies! Q: What are your favorite tracks and your ultimate goal for 2021? A: My favorite track is Glen Helen because the track changes a lot. My goal is to win every race of the season in JR2. I’m going to do some desert racing this year in my 570. Also I hope to race my new Mod Kart if I get enough practice. Q: What are you going to change tomorrow to make yourself better than today? A: Work harder in school! Q: How does your school work help you in sports? A: Math helps me compare my lap times on the track. Also it teaches me that working hard leads to success. Q: Where do you see yourself in five years? A: I want to race the Baja 1000 and also move into a NASCAR series like street stocks. ADLER SHOUT-OUTS: Off Road Warehouse (ORW), my family and friends that cheer me on. Also my race buddies (Martin Bros & all J2 racers) 14 | DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM

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VAUGHN GITTIN-IT: Professional driver Vaughn Gittin Jr competes in his Ultra-4 race Bronco during the King of the Hammers main event.

DIRT SWEEPER: Adam Householder sweeps up the dirt on the King of the Hammers T1 Course in Johnson Valley.




RACE ON THE PLANET Randy Slawson joins the three-time king club at the 2021 King of the Hammers. STORY: SHAUN OCHSNER PHOTOS: SHAUN OCHSNER & DAVE ARNOLD



ourteen years ago, a group of guys racing for a case of beer and bragging rights started what would be become one of the toughest races on the planet. The King of the Hammers. Back then the builds were simple rock buggies that could navigate the best of the hammer trails in Johnson Valley. Every year since then, the rock buggy evolves into a fully built capable machine with high end parts costing in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is what competition looks like at the highest level. People from all over the world descend on Johnson Valley for a chance at winning the coveted King of the Hammers race. Still, in fourteen years, only seven guys have claimed the crown. Several of them, multiple times. 2020 saw a new winner. Josh Blyler. Just one year later, the Kings club remains a club for the elite.

Slawson founded Bomber Fabrication. He began building, maintaining and repairing off-road vehicles. Slawson races the same Bomber chassis he sells to his customers.

Randy Slawson won the King of the Hammers for third time in his career. Slawson actually co-drove with JR Reynolds who won the very first King of the Hammers event¬ in 2007. In 2009,

“My year begins and ends in February. It’s not in January, like everybody else’s,” Slawson explained. “This is the only thing that I live eat, breathe sleep, dream - King of the Hammers.” -Randy Slawson



Slawson qualified in the 29th position. At these races it’s not always about who starts out front. This year, promoter Dave Cole set up one of the toughest Hammers races in history. As Cole put it, “too many people finished last year’s race.” The Hammer trails are punishing on vehicles. The attrition rate is insane. Less than 50% of the field usually finishes the race before the clock runs out. Ultra-4 racers had to complete a new trail called “Kings Graveyard” on their third lap. According to Cole, Kings Graveyard is by far the hardest, longest and steepest trail at an Ultra4 event. The Kings Graveyard would live up to its name, eating vehicles left and right. Some wouldn’t even be recoverable until the next day. Racers had a 14-hour time limit to complete the $65,000 payout is minimal given the the 190-mile course. While the physical battle amount of support needed and preparation that is always in the rocks, racers struggle with goes into racing the Hammers. vehicle selection. The long standing debate is between IFS (independent front suspension) vs. straight axle. Slawson’s Bomber buggy is a straight axle which helps continue the argument that straight axle vehicles have the advantage at the Hammers. Slawson only races one event a year. That is King of the Hammers. He spends months prepping and pre-running for the Hammers. For the outsider, DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM | 21


Eighty-seven vehicles started the race. There were only 37 finishers. JP Gomez was the first vehicle off the line followed by Jason Scherer. Scherer quickly took over the lead for the first lap in his rock buggy that resembled the new Ford Bronco. Scherer was one of three drivers running a Ford Bronco body. His Bronco teammates included Loren Healy and Vaughn Gittin Jr. Over the next several hours the race leader would change as vehicles got hung up in the punishing rock sections. Cameron Steele’s day looked to be promising. Steele had raced every class and was ready to show the world what he had. Unfortunately, the Hammers had other plans for the ambitious Steele. He quickly became a casualty of Kings Graveyard. Somehow through it all in the middle of the afternoon, Slawson was just miles from the finish line on his way to his third win to secure the crown. Slawson came roaring across the finish line. Everyone held LEFT: JP Gomez finished the King of the Hammers in second place.


their breath for several minutes. Slawson needed to wait before anyone came across the finish line to determine he was a winner. It wasn’t long before JP Gomez came in excited to pass the checkered flag and beat his brother Raul Gomez. Slawson was finally awarded the official win. After the usual check presentation on the podium Slawson was handed the keys to a brand new 2021 Ford Bronco. Slawson’s third win not only cements his title as an extremely talented driver, it helps him sell more Bomber chassis. Customers want to buy a proven winning race vehicle and Slawson’s straight axle bomber may just be part of the secret sauce needed to fully get it and win the King of the Hammers.

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KEYS TO THE CROWN Unlocking the Hammers


Story By: LaChelle Halliday Photos By: Shau n Ochsner, Dave Arnold, High Rev Photo, Redline Projects, Nicole Dreon


inning the King of the Hammers isn’t for the faint of heart, or a weak mentality. The Hammers is a race beyond comparison as it stands as its own beast, ready to devour the next car who assumes they can conquer the legend. In the fourteen years of its existence, only seven individuals have championed the vigorous trails. Multiple times they have won but only those seven. Within the offroad community, it’s been questioned if there are cheat codes to the Hammers race, a key that unlocks a reasonably straight path to the finish line. Dave Cole has yet to unveil such mysteries.


One of those seven, Shannon Campbell, is a threetime champion, leading the pack of 4400 class cars through the trails and pathways designated as the years course. For many years Shannon has battled through challenges headstrong running into the battlegrounds, but recently he has slowed down his approach. Rather than charging the bull head on, he now has a steadier mindset to keep his car in one piece throughout the race as he steadies himself where necessary. Not only is Shannon competing against the other racers, but he is also racing against his children who’ve shown as top contenders pushing their father to the limits. This family rivalry tends to get heated during the race but when one Campbell needs assistance, they all pitch in to help one another. Often you can hear Shannon troubleshooting from the driver’s seat in his own vehicle over the radios. Shannon, competing in KOH in its entire existence, has made drastic changes since the beginning to the cars that he builds to tackle the challenges that one may face on course. One thing he has continuously improved outside of small adjustments from previous years, is the ease to work on each car without tearing it fully apart. With creating a chassis arrangement that is simpler to work on, that ensures more time to continue racing and having fun.


Shannon Campbell’s Keys to the Hammers: 1. Never give up 2. Take care of your car 3. Finish


From Waylon Campbell’s perspective, rather than a slow and steadied pace, he prefers a versatile approach knowing when to push and when to let off. Learning mainly from his father, Waylon has yet to win a crown but was recently close until his father beat him on corrected time. Although the inner family tension can get tense while racing there isn’t an issue with strapping parts to the car to deliver to another family member on course. Battling with his father, sister Bailey and now his future brother-in-law Bryan Crofts, the Campbell family is heavily competitive against one another on course but still celebrate each win together.

Waylon Campbell’s Keys to the Hammers: 1. Attrition 2. Take care of your stuff 3. Know when to push and let off



Between brothers JP and Raul Gomez, the trash talking never ceases from the lines in tech, over radios during the race and even on the podium. Another multi family member team with three brothers and a nephew all racing in the prestigious 4400 class. The Gomez clan spent the last year researching and updating their racing program not basing the changes solely off one style of racing, rather gaining insight from different sanctions including street, F1, and other off road entities. This allowed for added blocks of time allocated for fine tuning, testing, pre-running the course and shaking down each vehicle prior to the main event comparative to last year’s jump in and drive model. Even with all of the trash talking the Gomez family openly has, each member of their family is a key player in their overall success. They have a plan to help one another out by having the right people in the right places, with the right people putting on the right parts.


JP & Raul Gomez’ Keys to the Hammers: 1. Don’t roll 2. Smooth & consistent 3. Fast pace running at 70-80%


Nearly six months ago, Kevin and Brittany Williams didn’t own an Ultra4 car, nor had they raced at King of the Hammers. The Williams’ decided to jump in headfirst and chose the hardest race, the longest race, and ultimately the race that could kill them. Originally as newlyweds, they purchased a Jeep JL upon its release and began to record their off-roading adventures on rigorous trails while exploring their new home of Colorado. This however launched the couple into becoming YouTube influencers, which has gathered exponential amounts of attention as the quirky couple showcase their unbelievable talents in racing. Stemming from drifting, no one expected the couple to race off-road, but the duo showed promise as Bilstein Shocks brought them on for a full factory sponsorship early last year. The couple has an abundance of patience with one another and fluid communication that helps them navigate challenging trails and courses which showed helpful as the couple crossed the finish line in 24th place. Unless Brittany’s passenger door is dented inwards.. we know what happened Kevin!

Kevin & Brittany Williams Keys to the Hammers: 1. Attrition 2. Keep moving forward 3. Race your own race


king of the hammers desert challenge


Bryce Menzies wins back to back Unlimited T1 Desert victories.

I STORY BY: SHAUN OCHSNER PHOTOS: Shaun Ochsner & Dave arnold

t all began last year when the Unlimited Desert trucks were invited to be part of “Hammers Week” at the King of the Hammers. They were given a fun, fast desert course to run on. Bryce Menzies won the event with no issues. This year, promoter Dave Cole decided to step things up and invite more classes of desert vehicles. The party got started a whole week early with two full days of desert racing.


ABOVE: Kyle Chaney finished the UTV class in a Can-Am Maverick X3.

Buggy vs. UTV Grudge Match The weekend of desert racing events kicked off with a buggy vs UTV “Grudge Match.” The race, made up of mostly Class 10 cars, faced off against a stacked field of UTV’s. The UTV class has long-bragged about beating desert buggies and we have seen some of the fastest drivers racing ahead of the buggy classes at other desert events. King of the Hammers is all about bragging rights and this race was no exception. The vehicles were put on a 306-mile course to see what they could do. Out of 39 starters in the B2 buggy class, only seven would finish before their eighthour cut off time. The UTV’s could have had


a significant advantage in some of the siltier terrain with their 4-wheel drive capabilities, but the recent rains helped the buggies right through. Wheeler Morgan in his single seatbuggy took home the victory along with a $60,000 paycheck. Forty-five minutes later, the first UTV crossed the finish line. It was Kyle Chaney driving a Can-Am Maverick X3. While Chaney said he had hoped to win the overall, he did settle for a $10,000 paycheck and still got a class victory. BELOW: Wheeler Morgan cruises to a grudge match victory in his single seat Raceco-USA buggy.


Bugs Fly in the Night Class 11 bugs are one of the most exciting classes to watch. Their builds are simple and relatively cheap to run. Put them in front of spectators on a short course track and run them at night and you have quite a show. Sixteen bugs showed up to run 25 laps of the showdown event. Racing was tight and competitive. Cisco Bio, in his bright pink Class 11 bug lead

passing Bio. Just off a jump, Bio regained the lead from Wilkey. The back and forth would last a couple laps before Wilkey pulled away. Bio would eventually pull into the

pits with a mechanical issue. Blake Wilkey went on take the victory, winning $20,000 in prize money. Bryan Crofts finished second and Ryan Rodriguez finished third.

BELOW: Blake Wilkey celebrates after winning the Class 11 shootout.



All-Out Desert Fun Other classes racing the Desert Challenge included Class 1 buggies (B1) and 6100 trucks (T2). Cody Parkhouse qualified first in the B1 class but on race-day faced mechanical issues early on. Ray Griffith took the lead and won the victory. Casey Currie finished second in the same vehicle he raced later in the week in the main King of the Hammers event. The only damage Currie had to repair was a broken


sway bar. Driving a new racer engineering buggy, Adam Lunn and RJ Anderson split driving duties. They would finish third in the B1 class. The T2 trucks finished ahead of the B2 class. Dustin Grabowski had an early lead to take the victory. Pierce Herbst and Brad Lovell finished behind Grabowski. Many of the racers reported a fast, fun and rough desert course. Rough is exactly what Johnson Valley is known for.


Menzies Doubles Down Bryce Menzies cruised to an easy victory in the T1 Desert Challenge race. King of the Hammers is all about four-wheel drive vehicles and Menzies proved his truck had what it takes to win in the desert. Having a four-wheel drive truck can have its advantages in desert racing. In sandy and silty sections, the truck has no problem powering through. Menzies won the first T1 Desert Invitational in 2020. His payday then was $100,000. This year he took home just over half of that. Cameron Steele, who raced almost every class at the King of the Hammers, finished second, 14 seconds ahead of Kyle Jergensen. Steele almost didn’t make it the podium, but his truck held together. Steele lost oil pressure during the last 20 miles of the race. Steele’s never give up attitude kept him going.

It was insane out there this year! This course was so rough, it threw everything at us and to come away with a back-to-back win is unbelievable.” -Bryce Menzies

ABOVE: Cameron Steele finished the T1 Desert race in second. DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM | 35


KING OF THE HAMMERS: A RACE FOR EVERYONE Story: Shaun Ochsner Photos: Redline Projects, High Rev Photo, Nicole Dreon


hen King of the Hammers started in 2007, no driver had a custom vehicle that was built specifically for the Hammer trails in Johnson Valley. As the popularity of the race grew, so did the rock buggy. Some had a straight-axle while others had an independent front suspension. As the rock buggy continued to evolve, the price tag went up. To compete with the elite, one had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. Winning King of the Hammers instantly became unreachable to many. A stock Jeep was just not going cut it to be competitive. The Everyman Challenge Class was created to allow stock Jeeps and four-wheel drive vehicles the chance to compete in the King of the Hammers. Those vehicles have their


very own race-day. As the event grew, the week would get longer. Motorcycles and UTV’s were also introduced into the King of the Hammers, each with their own race day. These vehicles conquer some of the very same Hammer trails as the big name 4400 class teams. The King of the Hammers is designed to be challenging and push the limits of your vehicle.


The Everyman Challenge has been running for nine years. The Everyman Challenge is a mix of three classes. Legends (4800), Modified (4500), and Stock (4600). Rules for the Legends class include only one single shock per corner with a front mounted engine and two seats. Modified class vehicles can have an additional shock per corner. Modified vehicles also must keep mechanical steering while the Legends class is allowed full hydraulic steering. Modified and Legends classes can also have up to a 37-inch DOT tire while the Stock class is restricted to a 35-inch DOT tire. One-hundred fifteen competitors started the

race. In past years, some EMC race courses have been more challenging than the main KOH race. Many of the obstacles quickly became jammed up, testing driver skill to find a way around the mess. Chayse Caprara was out front early in the race. This was the nineteen-year old’s first EMC race. Caprara is no stranger to the Hammers. He raced for three years in a UTV. Caprara managed to finish eleven minutes ahead of Brad Lovell. Lovell, a veteran to the Hammer trails, gave it everything he had. Over in the Modified class, Dan Fresh claimed another win with an hour and half lead at the finish line over second



second place Duane Garretson. Fresh passed sixty-six competitors on race-day. Justin Reece won in the stock class in his 1985 four-cylinder Toyota pick-up truck. The King of the Motos event is just as difficult. Some people may think there is an advantage to climbing over rocks on two wheels. Ninetyfive riders started the race. Trystan Hart finished the King of the Motos in second place in 2020. This year he won the overall victory and crown. Colton Haaker, who has two previous KOM wins, finished behind Hart in second. Five-time King of the Moto champion Cody Webb finished third. Webb decided to ABOVE: Dan Fresh cruises to another King of the stop for fuel during the race which cost him Hammers EMC victory in the modified class. valuable positions.

RIGHT: Justin Reece celebrates on the podium after winning the stock class.



The attrition rate of King of the Hammers was just as great in the King of the UTVs. Over one-hundred racers started the event and only forty-six finished. These popular small, nimble four-wheel drive recreational vehicles were put to the test on Johnson Valley’s most punishing Hammer trails. Kyle Chaney got the job done in his Can-Am Maverick X3. Chaney who already won the grudge match during the Desert Challenge, added another check to his bank account. Last year, Chaney’s UTV rolled over on top of him, dislocating his toe. He went on to finish the race in second before seeing medical attention. This year he was back with one goal on his mind¬– win the

event. Chaney completed the brutal 121-mile course in three hours and forty-seven minutes. Cody Miller finished in second. Miller is the brother to 2020 winner Hunter Miller.




Story: Shaun Ochsner Photos: Courtesy of Ford Motor Company


e know the new 2021 Ford Bronco has off-road capabilities that make it stand out against the competitions, but can it race? The answer is yes. Ford is producing a race ready, 4600 class production Bronco that is ready to take on the Hammers! Bronco racing is nothing new to Ford. The first-generation Broncos raced the Baja 1000 in starting in 1969. Rules for the 4600 class at King of the Hammers are simple. The vehicle must have a stock OEM frame, factory engine and transmission along with 35-inch DOT approved tires. Other rules include single 2.5-inch diameter shocks and mechanical steering. 4600 is pretty much a stock class. 4600 vehicles compete in the King of the Hammers Everyman Challenge. Dubbed “Built Wild,” the 4600 production Bronco shows how customers can drive right off the showroom floor, prep their vehicle and enter it in the race. The Built Wild Bronco starts with a specially competition tuned High-Performance



Off-Road Stability Suspension System known as HOSS. The 4600 production Bronco is built on a two-door 2021 Bronco with the Sasquatch package. The Bronco utilizes the 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 along with the Select Shift 10-speed automatic transmission. Other additions to make the Bronco race ready include heavy duty hubs and control arms along with a Howe hydraulic steering rack with cooler. The Bronco also has a factory e-locking differential. The front and rear bumpers are from Ford Performance. Also added is a Warn Zeon winch and Rigid LED off-road lights. The custom roll cage is built by Geiser Brothers.

forward to off-road racing teams coming to this platform and to Ford Performance stepping up to continuously enhance the state of the art in off-road racing for them.”

“Bronco 4600 underscores how ready the all-new Bronco is for competition and how Ford Performance is committed to driving the brand’s success across multiple off-road series,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “We look DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM | 41


Ford has selected an all-star line-up of drivers to help test the 4600 production Bronco. The list includes Loren Healy, Vaughn Gittin Jr, Jason Scherer, Bailey Cole and the Lovell brothers. RIGHT: Vaughn Gittin Jr is one of the drivers Ford selected to help test out the new production and race Broncos.

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Story: Shaun Ochsner Photos: Courtesy of Ford Motor Company


t all started in 2009 when Ford Motor Company introduced the desert racinginspired Ford F-150 Raptor. Three generations later, the Raptor continues to be a popular choice for off-roaders. The third-generation Raptor combines the mechanical capabilities Raptor owners have come to expect with advanced technology. A major new feature on the third-generation Raptor includes a five-link rear suspension with extra-long trailing arms. The design was based off of the way trophy-truck suspension works in desert racing. The five-link rear suspension gives the Raptor increased wheel travel. The extra-long trailing arms maintain better axle position on rough terrain. Technology was also incorporated into the suspension set-up. Engine management 44 | DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM

software controls torque output to the rear wheels for quicker starts, faster acceleration and throttle responsiveness.


Ford also worked with FOX to help design the next generation of Live Valve internal bypass shocks. The shocks come with state-of-theart electronic control technology. One of the coolest features on the new FOX Live Valve shocks is their position-sensitive damping adjustability. The shocks constantly adjust to the terrain you are traveling on. The shocks are also larger. The bodies are 3.1 inches in diameter and are made of an anodized aluminum material. Thanks to an all new

low friction shock fluid and electronically controlled base valve, they resist heat buildup and react faster to terrain changes. The Raptor has suspension height sensors that tell the shocks when to change damping rates independently at each corner 500 times per second. The shocks respond at the same speed as the human brain processes visual information. Once the driver recognizes the terrain change, the Raptors suspension set-up has already responded.


The third-generation Raptor is now available with 35inch or 37-inch factory fitted tires. BFG All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires come standard on the Raptor package. Approach and departure angles were improved on the new Raptor. The vehicle also boasts 25 percent more travel than the first generation. A new Pro Power Onboard system also the Raptor to be used a mobile generator. The Raptor can be ordered with 2.0 kilowatts of exportable output that will power lights, tools and other equipment. Inside, a 12-inch screen displays a whole host of information from terrain management to truck features such as zone lighting, trailer theft alerts and trailer lighting checks. The screen can also be split to control multiple functions at once. Finally, FORD added a new heat extractor and side vents in the hood. The front skid plate is wider offering better coverage of critical parts that tend to get damaged while off-roading. The new Raptor will be assembled at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant. Expected availability at dealerships is planned for this summer.



SKYLER HOWES Journey to Dakar Story By: LaChelle Halliday Photos By: Justin Coffey and Rally Zone


tah is an unbelievable sight to many with its vast open red rock deserts and snowcapped Rockies, that many tend to overlook the overflowing talent stemming from a small conservative state. Nestled into the red rock of St. George, Skyler Howes, an everyday boy next door, continues to show the world his impeccable perseverance and passion to fulfill his dream of racing. Starting off at only 3 years old, Skyler and his family would race one or two races a year throughout his childhood until he was 12, when he began competing in his first full racing season on a 65cc bike. Unfortunately, the following year his father developed cancer, putting a firm hold on his racing dreams. However, Mr. Howes did beat cancer later on. No matter how hard he tried, the dirt had ultimately caught Skyler, intoxicating him with its alluring essence. A few short teenage years later, this 16-year-old obtained his first job at a local swimming pool with hopes of paying for his own dirt bike to begin the racing hunt again. After working tremendously through high school, to graduation, Skyler took on another job working 14-hour days to fund his own racing as an adult. With every setback, Skyler has pushed forward knocking down each wall that attempts to stop his journey forward as he continuously reigns in as a champion.



Skyler from possibly ever riding a motorcycle again. After an emergency double fusion in September, and mandatory recovery time of 12 weeks caused him to only have one full week of actual practice on the bike before flying to Saudi Arabia.

His return to Dakar in 2020 was troublous as he was severely unprepared, but his perseverance and ease of his own expectations paid off as he was able to tackle his adversities and pull off a 9th overall finish. He also would be credited as the only privateer in the top 10 finishers, while also winning the Amateur category and the Super Production classes. Taking a top ten finish would introduce Skyler to a multitude of potential sponsors and factory 2008, Skyler won a 125 Championship. Fast team conversations. Sadly, once returning forward to 2012, he took home a 250 Pro home, the contacts became unresponsive National Championship, topped podiums during leaving him scrambling after losing his main the Baja 500 and 1000 and even competed in financial sponsor for the following year due to the ISDE in Slovakia. However, Baja truly crashing in Dakar himself. captured Skyler as his love of rally raid racing was born in the heart of Mexico. In 2018, he finally had his shot at his first Sonora Rally, and to everyone’s surprise including his own, he won the rally. Winning the Sonora Rally granted him a ticket to the 2019 Dakar in Peru. Unfortunately, succumbing to dislocated shoulder he was forced to retire on stage 6 and return home after his lack of experience and falling ill with the flu had already set him back amongst competitors. Pushing forward Skyler began racking in experience as he won the Morocco Desert Challenge in Africa, and the Best in The Desert Open Pro Championship leading as one of the only riders in history to ride solo at every event, win each race and win the championship. Nothing could deter him from his craving to race until a rally in Greece almost stopped 50 | DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM


Feeling ultimately defeated along with the onset of a worldwide pandemic, most would have succumbed to the inevitable. Skyler refuses to house “quit” in his own personal vocabulary, therefore he began to breakdown the numbers. It wasn’t until September of 2020 when Dakar was confirmed to orchestrate in Saudi Arabia for the 2021 year, but funding was due by December. This only allocated a slim 3 months to gain the $100,000 needed to facilitate one Without an injury but overwhelming stress from entry and accommodations to the legendary fundraising his own way to this vast sandbox beast of a race. halfway around the world, his overall mentality was the exact same as his prior year. He Knowingly, finding one sponsor to facilitate reminded himself realistically he wasn’t heading his journey would be pitting himself against into the race at 100%, however he would ride a wall, he began to spread out the necessary the best he could and to enjoy the time riding funds across a multitude of resources. Making the race he worked gruesomely hard to come to. 50% off sold bags of coffee in New York, BAS Trucks out of Holland, and adding support He was a part of the Bas Dakar KTM team, from Rebellion Time, he initiated the SH on a rented bike that he had no prior training Squad. With donations to the SH Squad, Skyler on but overall felt exponentially comfortable ensured each donor received a package of being back in Saudi Arabia. The first two days t-shirts, stickers, a poster and the donors first of Dakar were smooth sailing for Skyler as he and last name on his bike he would be racing. occupied the top 10 in standings. Day 3 Skyler From fundraising, merchandise, teaching riding was leading the stage as he continued on his lessons, his full-time job at a local machine quest through the desert. He continued trudging shop and gaining sponsorships he would still through stage after stage for 12 consecutive be sitting nearly $40,000 short. In his final days to finally stand a top the podium finish moments, he chose to sell off his motorcycle, securing him into 5th place. Skyler is only and gear that wasn’t needed for Dakar other beginning his historic journey into rally racing than a mountain bike to make the cut off in the while the rest of us on the hunt for our official nick of time. SH Squad gear!



Future Stars Shine Bright Moto 4 Kids Racing

Story By: John Simanovich Photos By: Will Embree


new Amateur Motocross series has recently emerged in Southern California, Moto 4 Kids Racing. The series has been designed to celebrate the future stars of the sport, the kids, giving youths their own time to shine. Moto 4 Kids stands firm with their come one, come all model by providing a professional feel for the everyday rider, yet still giving more experienced racers a full season of family fun. After stepping away from a motocross series in 2016, John Simanovich, an industry veteran of race operations and sponsorship activation, envisioned a series more focused and inclusive to the youths. John, with his wife Ashley, founded Moto 4 Kids Racing bringing a vision


for success with a dedicated focus on guiding the future stars of motocross. The Moto 4 Kids Racing organization began filling through the gates at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park for their inaugural race. Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park centralized In the Inland Empire, spread out over 300 acres as Southern California’s premiere racing facility. Once serving as the filming location for On Any Sunday, Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park has been widely recognized as the chosen location to host the Lucas Oil Motocross Championship series finale since 2013. This state-of-the-art facility is the prime location for the unique amateur motocross series aimed for the kids.


Trucks, vans and motor-homes alike began lining up outside the gate in the early morning hours around 06:30 AM to kick off the weekend’s events. Racers and their families were able to get the first looks at the freshly designed track that would play host to the season opener. Moto 4 Kids staff began registering riders with all necessary paperwork while distributing t-shirts, transponders and Wienerschnitzel combo meal cards to over 130 participants. Race day brought the excitement and curiosity of what the day would entail. Ultimately, fun was the overall goal for riders and families as the day began to get underway. Once registration lines were diminished, the sound of two-stroke minibikes, and the sweet smell of premix filled the air as kids were ushered to the starting lines. The day was filled with action from all classes, ranging from 50cc through 85cc sized bikes as racers were happy and excited to have a new series focused on kids. From beginners to experienced riders,



Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park gave the ultimate backdrop for many memories that were made throughout the inaugural race on and off of the track. Families voiced their appreciation and their overjoyed anticipation for the upcoming year to be racing in Southern California’s newest racing organization. For more details visit www.Moto4Kids.Racing - @moto4kids.racing



the perfect race car STORY BY: SHAUN OCHSNER PHOTOS: Shaun Ochsner & Courtesy of Lee & Ashton perfect


hen Lee Perfect gets bored, he goes into his garage and works on race vehicles. Lee, who normally can be found managing the now defunct Lucas Oil Regional race series had plenty of time on his hands during the pandemic. With short course racing sidelined, he had an old rusty Chenowth race chassis sitting around. Initially, the idea was to make it run. As he got into restoring it, the vehicle quickly became something he wanted his two kids, Ashton and Brooke to race in the desert. The car has a storied history. Jamie Wells, nephew to legendary PPI motorsports owner Cal Wells, raced it in the 1990’s. Jamie was also an integral part of the Cal Wells PPI motorsports family. Jamie Wells has numerous Baja 500 and Baja 1000 wins on his resume. Chenowth race cars themselves also have a long history. They were THE buggy to race at the time, helping earn their drivers’ multiple championships and wins. The car was built in 1989 and was considered top of the line. It was simple, but fast. Buggies of the Chenowth era were “beam cars.” Built on a tube frame chassis.


They were powered by a Volkswagen Engine. After Jamie Wells was done racing the Chenowth, it sat, rusting away for 8 to 10 years. One of Lee’s friends bought it, made some modifications and raced it for several years. Ironically, Lee helped work on the vehicle. It then sat again for a period of time.


In August, Lee acquired the Chenowth buggy, breathing new life into it. Lee spent four months carefully restoring it. Lee updated some of the parts to make it race ready. Over the year’s shocks, motors and other off-road parts have evolved to make vehicles safer, faster and more reliable. Still with some of the newer parts on the car, its history lives on.


The Perfect Chenowth buggy is powered by a 2016cc Volkswagen Type-1 engine. Lee added King shocks to help the buggy suspension ride smoother. When the buggy was originally built, King shocks didn’t exist. Lee also added CNC 2-piston brakes to the rear and front. The dash was updated to include all of the latest communication and navigation from PCI and Lowrance. Even with today’s off-road parts on the vehicle, it still has that iconic Chenowth look. Ashton and Brooke are barely in their teenage years. They represent a new era of racer, keeping the legendary history of the Chenowth race car alive. The MORE Slash X Duel in the Desert was their first solo race. It was also the first for the newly restored car. The siblings finished in fourth place. Lee will continue to tune on the car to make it better for the next race. Overall, it’s refreshing to see you can still breathe life into a simple but legendary race car that previously has seen victories.

BUILD SHEET Vehicle: 2/1600 Buggy Builder: Chenowth Power Train: 2016cc Type 1 VW Engine Drive Train: 091 Bus Box Transmission Brakes: CNC 2 Piston Rear, Single Piston Front Suspension: Beam Type Front, Torsion Bar Rear with King Shocks Steering: Saco Magnum Rack Exterior: Fiberglass Hood with Aluminum Panels Interior: Aluminum dash with PCI Race Radio, Intercom, and Lowrance GPS








ne of the most overlooked maintenance items on your vehicle are the differentials. Whether you have a two-wheel drive or four-wheel-drive, the differential Is a crucial part of your drive train. Your differential should be maintenanced every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Spending a little now on fluids is a much better alternative to the cost of repairing the differential. It’s also important to remember if you are doing a lot of towing you may want to change it more regularly. If you’re going to do this yourself, please refer to your vehicle owner’s manual to pick the correct gear oil weight for your rear and front differential. It’s also important


to check the quantity that each differential will require.


First always make sure that the vehicle is in park and the motor is not running. You will also want to be sure the wheels are chalked or secured to prevent injury when crawling under your vehicle. Locate the bolts holding on the rear cover and loosen the bolts located on the back cover of the differential. Sometimes the oil starts to leak out to make sure you have a catch basin to hold roughly around 3 quarts that will come out. Sometimes it takes a little persuasion, so a rubber mallet may come in handy to gently Bing the edges of the rear cover to loosen.

There are plenty of brands of gear oil. We chose to use the Maxima 75w-140 full synthetic gear oil with a 4-ounce bottle of friction enhancer. Most differentials will require this. A big thanks to McKenzies for supplying the gear oil and friction modifier. These products can be sourced at your local auto parts store or online.



Once you have done this, your oil should drain out. Don’t be alarmed as you may see some shiny stuff in the oil. That is very common in this case. I was lucky and didn’t see any shiny bits. You always want to

inspect your gears to make sure there are no chips or cracks. The next thing you want to do is the kit a spray cleaner to spray out and clear out all of the oil in any debris inside the housing.

Once you cleaned out the inside housing it’s time to pay attention to any material or RTV that is stuck to the housing or the housing cover and clean it off All debris whether it be RTV sealant or gasket that may have stuck to the surface. We chose to use a soft wire brush on a drill to thoroughly clean the surfaces. Now that you’ve cleaned everything up it’s time to reassemble your differential cover. If you’re going to go with RTV sealant, apply to the differential. If you are going with the gasket then apply that. Sometimes you might want to use a tack spray to hold the gasket in place. Make sure all of the holes line-up before replacing the cover. Install the bolts hand tight first before torquing them down. You should always check the manual for the manufacturer of 64 | DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM


your vehicle on the torque Once this is done you’ll find a rubber plug that can usually easily pulled out with your fingertips. That will be your fill hole and also will tell you when the differential has received enough fluid. The RAM took almost 3 quarts with the friction modifier.

Replace the plug and you should be ready to go. If you went the RTV route, you should check the curing time before you drive the vehicle. That’s one of the reasons we decided to go with the Lube locker. We were able to drive the vehicle immediately upon completion.

After checking everything to make sure there’s no leaks, take it for a short drive and re-inspect. If you’re doing the front differential, it is pretty much the same procedure, but always make sure you check the manufacturers owner’s manual to make sure you are using the correct weight of gear oil in the front differential and the rear. Happy Off-roading! American Tire Depot Manager Jesse Bazan and mechanic James Grimaldo assisted us with this story. DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM | 65


BE A VALIANT FIGHTER! Words: Steve Hanson

2 SAMUEL 23:20 NIV Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. oes your stomach turn every time you hear certain sayings? Maybe you even liked them at one time, but now they are so over used you just want them to go away forever. These are some of mine: “too legit to quit,” “it’s a game changer,” “I’m just going to send it”, or our communities favorite “to win the race, first you have to finish the race!” As much as I hate to do it, I am going to bring back one of my least favorite phrases for this pit-stop; “go big or go home!”


of the Beasts eats Manwich for lunch.

If you have ever been to a few of my chapel services, chances are you have heard me reference warriors such as Benaiah, Jonathan’s battle at Michmash or my favorite, David’s fight against Goliath. I love the imagery of man versus the impossible and therefore forced to rely on God to intervene. You read about these Old Testament warriors and every time their back is against the wall, they lean on God and He always shows up. Never early, but never late!

If you find yourself eye-to-eye staring down a problem, a challenge, or discouragement, you have a decision to make. One that can or will determine your destiny. You can run from it, or like Benaiah, run after it! What is your “lion”, what is your “giant”? What are you going to do with it? Lean on God so you can face your fears, take that leap of faith, and chase down the lion!

The opening scripture refers to “a valiant fighter” named Benaiah. He is obviously a man of courage because he does not run from the lion; he goes into the pit to get it.

In every race victory, there comes a moment when you must quit racing as if the purpose is to arrive safely at the finish line. You have to go after that victory, you have to hate losing more than you like winning. A champion is not afraid to go after his/her dream even if it is destined to fail without divine intervention. “You have to go big or go home” or turn your back on your dreams.

I SAMUEL 17:48 NIV As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. “Courage is being scared to death—and saddling up anyway” --John Wayne

I know a little bit about hunting lions. Basics are, when man runs, lion chases and the King 66 | DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM

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UPCOMING EVENTS MARCH VORRA X-TREME Shortcourse- Glen Helen Raceway, San Bernardino, CA March 19th-20th


Best in The Desert UTV Legends Championship Laughlin, NV March 25th-28th DP4 SXS Racing- Johnson Valley, CA March 27th Dixie Offroad Expo- Moab, UT March 30th-31st

APRIL Great American Shortcourse- (San Bernardino County Fairgrounds) Victorville, CA April 10th-11th Ultra 4 Area BFE Beatdown- Moab, UT April 2nd

VORRA kicks off the 2021 season with a shortcourse event at Glen Helen Raceway. The series is under new ownership. The X-TREME shortcourse event will feature two days of racing with UTV, Buggy and truck classes.

SCORE San Felipe 250- San Felipe, Baja April 14th-18th Ultra 4 Battle in Bluegrass- Rush, KY April 15th-April 17th NORRA MEXICAN 1000 Ensenada, Baja-Los Cabos, Baja Sur April 23rd-30th Best in the Desert Silver State 300- Alamo, NV April 29th-May 2nd

Have an event for our Calendar? Send us an email: dirtsports@dirtsportsworld.com DIRTSPORTSWORLD.COM | 67




DirtSportsWorld Magazine March Issue 3 Vol 2  

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