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Nitto again sponsors Griffin King of the Hammers

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Nitto again sponsors Griffin King of the Hammers

High-performance tire manufacturer Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc. announced it is returning as presenting sponsor of the 2014 Griffin King of the Hammers off-road race. The company has also increased its sponsorship of drivers in the event and will back a total of nine entries in 2014, up from six in 2013.

The eighth running of the Griffin King of the Hammers Presented by Nitto Tire is set for Feb. 7, 2014 in California’s rugged Johnson Valley. The challenging 4x4 race will be the culmination of this year’s weeklong event that also features a vendor show, entertainment and spectator areas.

Considered by many as one of the toughest single-day off-road events in the world, the King of the Hammers combines aspects of desert racing and rock crawling, and Nitto says the event pits highly skilled drivers and finely tuned vehicles against the areas sand, hard-packed rock trails, near-vertical rock walls and treacherous ledges.

Less than half of the drivers finishing the race. The event has evolved from an invitation-only, non-spectator event with13 participants to more than 180 teams competing in front of more than 35,000 fans on-site and nearly a half-million online.

At the culmination of the main race ending at 10:00 p.m. PST on Friday, Nitto will award the winning team with the customized King of the Hammers Nitto championship ring.

Nitto Tire says it has made an aggressive commitment to this signature Ultra4 racing event as the presenting sponsor and sponsor of nine racing teams. The roster includes three former King of the Hammers champions: 2012 winner Erik Miller, 2010 winner Loren Healy and 2009 winner Jason Scherer. All Nitto-sponsored drivers will be running the Nitto Trail Grappler, a durable off-road tire that had no flats in last year’s event.

Nitto also welcomes two new drivers to its lineup for the 2014 season including:

  • Erik Miller (Cumberland, MD) - #4421 Miller Motorsports Ultra4 buggy; 2012 King of the Hammers champion; and
  • Ben Napier (Sydney, Australia) - #4461 BN Motorsports Ultra 4 buggy; 5th place finish in 2013 King of the Hammers.

The remaining six drivers have returned to the Nitto Tire team for the 2014 season and include:

  • Loren Healy (Farmington, NM) - #67 Jimmys 4x4 Nitto Tire Ultra4 buggy; 2013 Ultra4 Superlift race winner; 2010 King of the Hammers champion;
  • Rick Mooneyham (Lake Havasu City, AZ) - #554 Nitto Tire Trick Toys Fabrication Ultra4 buggy; 2013 Ultra4 American Rock Sports Challenge race winner;
  • Nick Nelson (Las Vegas, NV) - #4404 Nitto Tire Ultra4 buggy; 2013 Ultra4 Glen Helen Grand Prix race winner and 2012 Ultra4 Series champion;
  • Cottin and Randy Rodd (Cortez, CO) - #4407 Jimmys 4x4 Nitto Tire Ultra 4 buggy;
  • Jason Scherer (Walnut Creek, CA) - #76 Rubicon Express Nitto Tire Ultra4 buggy; 2013 Ultra4 Stampede and Ultra4 National Championship race winner; 2009 King of the Hammers champion;
  • Mel Wade (Long Beach, CA) - #4451 Discount Tire Off-Road Evolution Jeep; 2013 Vegas to Reno desert race winner; and
  • Derek West (Springfield, MO) - #4420 Jimmys 4x4 Nitto Tire Ultra4 buggy; 2013 Ultra4 Rausch Creek race winner.

For more information about Ultra4 racing and the Griffin King of the Hammers event, visit Learn more about Nitto-sponsored drivers at

Complete details on Nitto tires can be found at

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