Off Road Racing Features

King of the Hammers 2012

Erik Miller of Miller Motorsports scores the overall win at the 2012 King of the Hammers, finishing his 2 laps in just 6:03:51. It was 2:03pm when Erik crossed the finishline Miller beat out 134 competitors to win the coveted title and $25,000 prize purse.

“There are one thousand opportunities to make mistakes out there,” Erik Miller explained at the finish line, “and we just try to make as few as possible.” The humble Miller was describing the secret to his success at the 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers, where he finished the grueling 165-mile race in six hours and three minutes. “I could not have done this without the help of my friends. We have been in Johnson Valley for the past twelve days getting ready for this race,” the Maryland resident explained. Miller is no stranger to success; he was the 2010 International Endurance Champion and came in fifth at last year’s Griffin King of the Hammers. “I added Fox bypass shocks this year and they really helped me carry speed through the desert,” Miller revealed. He is the first East Coast competitor to win the prestigious title in the event’s six year history.

Finishing second was Rick Mooneyham of Trick Toys Fabrication, thirteen minutes behind Miller. “I just can’t seem to get this monkey off my back.” Mooneyham joked. The Havasu City, Arizona resident placed third in ’08 and ’09 and fourth in ’10, making him one of the most consistent Ultra4 racers of all time. Mooneyham qualified first in the 4Wheel Parts Time Trials, putting him first off the line. He was near the front of the pack for the entire race, but the two-lap format meant the frontrunner had to deal with traffic in the infamous Hammer trails regardless of starting position.

Third place went to last year’s King Shannon Campbell in his single-seat IFS buggy. Campbell overcame issues throughout the day and at one point was as far back as thirtieth, but he never gave up and finished in six hours and thirty three minutes. Like Mooneyham, Campbell drove a vehicle he fabricated himself. “I guess I am going to have to build something new for next year,” Campbell quipped. He is the only driver to have won two King of the Hammers and was the 2011 Ultra4 Series Champion.

1 Erik Miller 4421 Cumberland MD 6:03:51

2 Rick Mooneyham 554 Lake Havasu City AZ 6:16:48

3 Shannon Campbell 5 Gilbert AZ 6:33:40

4 Derek West 4420 Springfield MO 7:20:24

5 Loren Healy 4428 Farmington NM 7:22:05

6 Brad Lovell 232 Colorado Springs CO 7:26:23

7 Brian Shirley 18 Dodge City KS 7:31:53

8 Rusty Bray 4498 Richmond KY 7:31:54

9 Mike Klensin 4431 Tucson AZ 7:40:58

10 Casey Currie 2 Anaheim CA 8:16:04

11 Ben Dinkins 4403 Annopolis MO 8:24:49

12 Jon Cagliero 27 Paso Robles CA 8:27:17

13 Brandon Watson 4488 Carbondale CO 8:32:54

14 Jeff Russell 4427 Shadow Hills CA 8:39:10

15 Ivan VanOrtwick 4466 Whittier CA 8:41:08

16 Ben Napier 4461 Sydney AUS 8:42:00

17 John Webb 4468 Concord CA 8:50:28

18 Levi Shirley 81 Dodge City KS 9:03:20

19 Jason Scherer 76 Danville CA 9:05:36

20 Alan Woodson 86 Charlottesville VA 9:20:43

21 Jason Blanton 966 Kirkland WA 9:27:33

22 Jeremy Dickenson 4419 Cedar Park TX 9:34:49

23 Harold Fijman 777 San Ramon CA 9:38:50

24 Alex Hardaway 4481 Santa Rosa CA 9:40:59

25 Nick Finch 2228 Dean Park NSW 2761 Australia 9:46:51

26 Lucas Murphy 816 Easton MA 9:47:20

27 Ritchie Keller 202 Elkland MO 9:47:24

28 Cottin Rodd 4407 Cortez CO 9:47:48

29 Scott Ward 4438 Lake Havasu City AZ 9:57:40

30 John James 28 Fresno CA 10:17:58

31 Jason Shipman 4414 Farmington MO 10:22:00

32 Hunter Sparrow 72 Arvada CO 10:23:20

33 Mat Noualy 328 Mt Albert ONT, CA 10:32:45

34 Chris Garrison 4494 Rancho Cordova CA 10:45:50

35 Dave Bovich 50 Shasta Lake CA 10:51:37

36 Les Figueroa 4478 Henderson NV 10:59:24

37 Fabio Manno 100 Rome Italy 11:21:07

38 Doug Evans 4457 Hayfork CA 11:24:58

39 Larry Anderson 742 Dixon CA 11:52:39

40 Matt Peterson 212 Colorado Springs CO 11:54:41

41 Robb Kaufman 22 RockyView County CAN 12:05:47

42 Paul Garner 4409 Queen Creek AZ 12:21:57

43 Bart Dixon 26 San Diego CA 12:57:47

44 Curtis Warner 4410 Armstrong BC 12:59:05

45 Brandon Heyes 4558 Rancho Cucamonga CA 13:02:45

46 Jesse Haines 4499 Sparks NV 13:05:48

47 Warren Thomas 257 Morro Bay CA 13:19:25

48 Tom Wayes 321 San Jose CA 13:33:45

49 Stan Haynes 4408 Ft. Wayne IN 13:38:55

Competitors listed finished within the 10 p.m. cutoff.

This was our first year at KOH and it won’t be our last. I used to think rock crawling was boring until I watched this race and now I am hooked.

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