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King of the Hammers, or KOH as it has come to be called, is the toughest 1-day race as it mixes hardcore offroad rock crawling with high speed desert racing and navigation through some of the harshest terrains. What started more than a decade ago by Dave Cole and some friends to race for bragging rights has evolved into the pinnacle event on the Ultra 4 Racing series drawing in more than a hundred thousand people to the Johnson Valley, CA to watch the action. Year after year the race expands and becomes more challenging, more classes get added and the week-long festivities in Hammertown take over the desert landscape. From more grassroots full-bodied Jeeps and UTVs to full blown, factory backed tube chassis racers, Ultra 4 has an assortment of race classes to compete at race events across the country throughout the year.
For years JKS parts have been getting put to the test on several Jeeps out competing in 4600, aka the stock class. This has provided valuable feedback on extreme use of our products to further improve product design to meet the demands. From control arms and track bars to coil springs to the ACOS Pros, its been exciting to watch our products out in competition.
A few years back we teamed up Shaun Rajski, owner of Michiana Auto Pros, a JKS dealer and offroad racing enthusiast. Shaun has a never lift mentality when it comes to racing, he pushes the envelope for himself and his car, charging on the rocks and never afraid to launch it. He competes in the 4800-class of Ultra 4, aka the "Legends" class which is one of the fastest growing classes. Rules are fairly wide open in this class to allow full tube chassis, any size front-mounted engine, solid axles, 2-seater side-by-side configuration with a single shock at each corner and a max 37" DOT tires. Shaun placed well with a 7th place finish at KOH 2021 and respectable finishes at several other races. As with many racers he had his fair share of setbacks from steering and transfer case to a rollover at the Crandon race that damaged the roll cage.
For 2022, JKS is back as title sponsor of the #866 team and Shaun is building a new car to compete in 4800-class. Over the last couple months plans have been coming together as the new custom tube chassis designed by Chris Rose, a FOX Factory engineer, that was laser cut to spec by Goatbuilt Mfg for Shaun and his team to assemble and burn the welds in. At the heart of this rig will be a 427ci LS3, Reid Racing TH400 transmission and Hero t-case sending power to a 10" Gearworks front and 10" Trailgear rear axles, Branik 40-spline 300M shafts and links, full hydro steering, FOX 3.0 IBP coilovers at each corner along with FOX 2.5 IFP bump stops, 37" Mickey Thompson Baja Boss M/Ts on KMC beadlocks and more. With 8 weeks to build, test and make it across country for the 2022 King of the Hammers Shaun and his team have their work cut out for them. Stay tuned for updates on the JKS Facebook and Instagram pages leading up to the race.