Falken Tires, in partnership with veterans Savvy Off-Road and team driver, Baja 1000 Champion Dan Fresh, won first overall in the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge, as part of the busy week of racing known as King of the Hammers.
Fresh, along with co-driver Mike Kim, raced in the 4500 class, but beat the entire field of 4500, 4600 and 4800 entrants. Out of 127 cars that started the Every Man race, only 12 finished.
“This was an incredible driving performance by Dan and his co-driver Mike,” stated Jonathon Bradford, Falken’s Manager, Motorsports and Events. “This is the first time Dan has raced here in King of the Hammers, and after qualifying fourth, he just took off. There was a six-minute gap between their first place finish and second place. That’s a dominant showing.”
“It was fantastic working with Savvy Off-Road,” Fresh began, “and the team worked with me and showed me how to maneuver the trails. We got such great pit support.
“The WILDPEAK is an amazing tire,” Fresh continued. “We had one flat, which was my fault, when we bounced off a canyon wall, but we drove nearly five miles to the pit stop on the flat, and it held up fine. My discipline is running fast through the desert, so this was a huge learning curve. There are a lot of talented people here, and I’m so proud of my team.”
“Dan is an animal when he starts,” added Kim, the co-driver. “So my job is to keep him calm. We’re so used to racing Baja – this Every Man Challenge was a first for both of us – and so we let the race come to us, like we do in the desert. The WILDPEAKs were awesome; they had so much traction.”
“We’re so excited about this win,” declared Brandon Barberena, Falken Tires’ new Supervisor, Light Truck and Off-Road Events. “It’s a great start to the off-road season; a definite statement to the incredible attributes of our Falken WILDPEAK tires and of the performance of Savvy Off-Road and Dan and Mike. I’d also like to add a congrats to Jordan Townsend, who ended up finishing 20th in Friday’s KOH race with only 29 cars finishing. Jordan qualified 13th in the 4400 Class, and ran solo on the Falken WILDPEAK M/T.”
The February 9th King of the Hammers race, considered by many to be the toughest one-day off-road race in the world, was one of the highlights of the week-long series of races, managed by Ultra4.