Hammertown Gallery Part 2: Morning and Start of King of the Hammers

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Cold, tired, and lots of waiting: that is a slightly accurate statement on the lead up to the start of the 2016 Nitto Tire King of the Hammers powered by Optima Batteries. However, once you get to that start line and hear the roar of the first trucks leaving the line, you quickly forget that small bit of misery. You find yourself watching these guys and girls launch, dig into the first turn, and launch the first jump before heading up into the punishment of the Hammers.

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For some drivers, it’s an intense moment. It may be their first ever KOH, or even their tenth, but they still feel the immense weight of a race driver getting ready for the hardest one-day race in the world. No matter how many times you do this, you are never fully prepared for what Johnson Valley is getting ready to throw at you.

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For some drivers, they casually play it off, but they still know that this race is more than just a crawl or a desert race. Not many drivers end up finishing this race for various reasons. Even veterans will fail to finish. First race or tenth, the Hammers do not care.

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Once you get to the starting line, you finally realize, “I’m at the King of the Hammers and I’m prepared as I humanly can be, and it still might not be enough.” However, you just stare down the starter, grin, bear it, and hit the throttle when it flies.

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It’s hardly ever a clean start, too. Since you are paired up, the driver who gets ahead gets the clearer view in that first turn. The driver behind will get a face full of dirt.

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Then you have the first jump of the day, not even 100 yards into the race. Some drivers blast over it, getting some intense airtime.

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Others just do the best they can. No sense breaking or wrecking the truck before the first trail. This is just the start of the King of the Hammers and you have three laps of insanity ahead. You shouldn’t bork it on the first mile.

KOH Morning Gallery

KOH Start Gallery

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