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DerekWest #4420 of Jimmy’s Race Team takes 4th at the 2012 King Of the Hammers.

Derek West 2012 King of the HammersFriday February 10th, 2012 off road racer Derek West &co-driver Jason Henne of Jimmy’s Race Team persevered through a165mile endurance race known as “King of the Hammers”. They came allthe way from Springfield, MO for one of the toughest endurance racesin the United States. The event is held every February in JohnsonValley, CA., where competitors from all over the world come for aweek
full of off road activities. All to test their racing skills &vehicle capabilities to become the next “King of the Hammers”.

OnTuesday Feb. 7th qualifying began with Derek & Jasonone of the first up in the Happy Hour Round, which determinesstarting position in the main race. First the team made a fewattempts at the gatekeeper obstacle, once through Derek then bouncedquickly up Chocolate Thunder to make up some time & put the teamin a good position. After the dust settled from two days of teamsqualifying
the #4420 team ended up in the13th startingposition for the main race.

FridayFeb.10th Race Day morning started off great, there wasless chaos than normal with the team calm & ready for the greenflag. This would be Derek’s 4th KOH race. Soon all theteams were lined up & at 8:03 the flag dropped! At first Derekthought the team was having a great time, all while co-driver JasonHenne was really having major GPS issues. He was trying to downplaythe fact that the GPS was not working at all! They quickly decidedthey were going to follow the dust ahead of them.  Derek said“Without pre-running any of the course & the GPS not working,blew our confidence and race strategy right out the window. I thoughtour race was over when we bypassed pit 2A at mile 53. That was wherewe planned to meet our crew to fuel up”. Soon after the realizationof missing their pit the team stopped to make a game plan. Quicklythey decided that going backwards or off course to reach the pit wasnot an option. Derek then recalled another pit a few miles furtherdown the trail, so Jason radioed the pit crew that they were in needof a total GPS change out.  Once they fueled up & changed out theentire GPS unit the team was at it again. After a half a mile out ofthe pit Jason was shocked to find the new GPS was not working either!So they were back to following the cloud of dust left by otherdrivers that had past them
during their pit. Derek luckily found theway to Chocolate Thunder, where he managed to fight his way throughpiles of stuck & broken cars, with extra help from Loren Healy’sco-driver, Rodney Woodey. Then they noticed  that there was no dustto follow! Gatekeeper had been plugged up for so long, there was nowa large gap between racers. So Derek decided to stop & radioNitto & Jimmy’s pit. Thankfully teammate Loren Healy responded &helped direct the #4420 car where to go. They were soon back ontrack! Astonishingly after running
some rock trails the GPS somehowstarted working! A huge breath of fresh air was brought into the team& from there Derek smoothly piloted the car on through the nextlap. They were catching up passing several cars in the desert &rocks, until Jason noticed the trans temp at 290*! They had to stop &let the transmission cool off. Derek said that “By this point wewere well into the race and the amount of traffic seemed really low &I thought we had better save the car if we were gonna make it to thefinish line”. The team had to slow down two more times to let the transmission cool down, but thankfully that was the last hiccups theguys had before making it to the finish line. “After all of our downtime throughout the day I was sure we were coming in around 17thplace, so I was very happy to hear we were the 4th car to cross the finish line”, stated Derek. The Jimmy’s 4×4 car onceagain proving to be a top Ultra 4 vehicle…

I would like to Thank all of our great sponsors that make top of the line products, that get us to the finish line

Jimmy’s4x4, Nitto Tires, Spidertrax Off-Road, ATX Wheels, Slime, RadfloSuspension, FK Rod Ends, Yukon Gear and Axle, PSC Steering, OuversonEngineering, Northstar Battery, Johns 4×4, Advanced MetalFabricators,Branik Motorsports, Alltech Motorsports, RidgedIndustries, Custom Splice, Griffin Radiators & AEM.

Our race crew: Brandon Davis, Mike Pryor, Travis Cook, Ryan Pulley,Travis Brake, Allen O’Neal, Dennis Matthews, Derek  Day, Steve Moore,Ritchie & Kyle Keller.

“I couldn’t do it without you! What a great start to the 2012 season…”

-Derek West –

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