Home News and Events Moses Ludel’s 4WD Mechanix Magazine – Latest Off-Road Racing News

Moses Ludel’s 4WD Mechanix Magazine – Latest Off-Road Racing News

by Moses Ludel
Off-Road Racing News Highlights:


Innovative rear axle, powertrain and chassis come together at Bradley Falin’s race shop. This is the first Duramax V-8 powered Ultra4 to take on the challenges of desert racing and rock crawling competition. View the HD video for details! 

Lonely finish line near Fernley, Nevada, a checkered flag waiting for the next desert racer

By nightfall, terrain changes hue. Tired eyes peer through silt dust and a gathering darkness for the elusive finish line near Fernley, Nevada…Welcome to the 2012 VORRA USA 500 Race!

Damien Michelin teams with Rod Hall to bring home another victory in the Full Metal Class!

     See the HD video coverage of the 2012 VORRA USA 500 Race at Northern Nevada. Special features include extensive HD video coverage of the pit action at Check Point One! 

HD Video Coverage of the 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers Race Event Week!

Hammertown, February 3rd to 11th4WD Mechanix Magazine covered the entire 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers event week and races at Johnson Valley. HD video from Hammertown and the desert races is now available! Coverage includes the inaugural 2012 Every Man’s Challenge, racer profile interviews and the latest technology…

Shannon Campbell on contingency day at the 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers Race week!

  Interviews with Shannon Campbell, the Team Robby Bobby and Brad Falin round out a week of extensive off-road racing action. Hammertown became a “city” by race day, and 4WD Mechanix Magazine was there to capture the HD video action!

Brad Falin at the wheel of Duramax diesel-powered buggy in contingency row, Hammertown 2012!


Griffin Radiator and Griffin Thermal Products

Griffin Radiator Continues Title Sponsorship of Griffin King of the Hammers Race!

(Piedmont, SC)—Griffin Radiator returned to the Johnson Valley lakebed as sponsor of the 6th Annual Griffin King of the Hammers Race. The 2012 event took place on February 10th and attracted many well-known competitors and sponsors—including multi-race winner Shannon Campbell, this year’s winner Erik Miller, Robby Gordon and other notables!

Shannon Campbell in a contemplative moment before the start of the 2011 Stampede Ultra4 Race near Reno...

  “Griffin King of the Hammers is truly a one-of-a-kind race,” says company VP Tom Beebe, “What better way to test and market our products than to have an off-road race in one of the world’s toughest, most demanding environments!”

  Griffin King of the Hammers, founded by Dave Cole and the ‘OG 13’ (Original 13) as a small competition for bragging rights, focuses on the “Hammer Trails” of Johnson Valley, California. Through the support of Griffin Radiator and several co-sponsors, the event has grown to a week-long spectacle of racing, a vender show, and off-roading for the entire family. An inaugural Everyman’s Challenge, UTV race and first-time moto competition added to this year’s features.

Stampede Ultra4 Race qualifier for the Griffin King of the Hammers...

  Griffin King of the Hammers (KOH) now boasts 150-plus competitors, more than 20,000 on-site spectators, live online video streaming plus national television coverage. 

  “The race will once again start at Means Dry Lakebed in Johnson Valley, California,” Beebe notes. “We’re proud to continue our support of such a great tradition.”

  Note: Griffin Thermal Products, founded in 1981, is headquartered at Piedmont, SC. Griffin proudly supplies American-made cooling products around the globe…Griffin Thermal Products is a family-owned and operated business…4WD Mechanix© Magazine welcomes Griffin Radiator to our website pages! 

Bradley’s Race Works Enters a Duramax Diesel-Powered Ultra4 Race Car at the 2012 Griffin KOH!

Duramax diesel is a first for off-road/rockcrawling Ultra4 competition. 

  Brad Falin’s race team tackled the ‘2012 King of the Hammers’ Ultra4 Race with a fresh approach. Based at Fernley, Nevada, the team brought desert racing, rock crawling and off-road racing technology to the next level—running a Duramax diesel V-8 in the new #457 Ultra4 buggy!

Profile of Duramax V-8 with 4L80E transmission and Atlas transfer case

Duramax V-8 with electronic injection is advanced diesel technology.

  After years of work with Rod Hall’s Baja racing program and success with his own VORRA championship car, Brad Falin values Humvee stamina. A master diesel tech and heavy equipment specialist, Falin has broken ground with his latest creation, an innovative 116″ wheelbase, diesel-powered 4WD buggy.

  Falin qualified for the ‘2012 King of the Hammers Race’ at Glen Helen in October. He wheeled with navigator Miles Kelley at the 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers.

     Brad Falin’s desert racing prowess met the rock crawling challenges at KOH. The car made a respectable, first time out effort. Despite a technical DNF, the diesel-powered Ultra4 Class race buggy met all expectations. Bradley’s Race Works looks forward to the fast paced schedule ahead!

Advance Adapters' Atlas transfer case is an Ultra4 favorite!

The new Ultra4 car, under construction at Fernley, Nevada, neared its finished form (seen here) in early January. By February 3rd, the team headed south to Johnson Valley and a week of final preparation, extreme desert racing and rock crawling challenges.

Front end has independent suspension and Hummer overtones. 

 Falin’s extensive experience with Hummer-based Baja race cars is evident at every angle of the chassis and powertrain layout. See the fabricated suspension (below) with Hummer reduction units.

Custom aluminum suspension arms

Tubing chassis is all custom built by

Humvee orientation is inboard brakes, which provide stopping power at the front end. Wilwood components bolster the braking.

Short front driveline with rear engine layout

Short front driveline reflects the rear-engine, frontward facing transmission and transfer case. Brad Falin’s gasoline-powered VORRA winner was also Hummer influenced.

4WD Mechanix© Magazine Covers the 2012 ‘Griffin King of the Hammers’ Week of Action—in HD Video!

XR350R gets ready for a week of racing coverage in HD video!

Moses Ludel’s vintage Honda XR350R four-valve thumper—prepped and ready for the HD video challenges, bottomless sand washes and rugged track access routes. 4WD Mechanix© Magazine joined the KOH throngs for the full week!

     The 2012 ‘Griffin King of the Hammers’ week promised plenty of competition at Johnson Valley, CA. Moses Ludel covered the action—close-up in HD video, often accessed with the venerable XR350R!

Our schedule:

1) Drive south from Fernley, Nevada, set up camp on February 3rd, late afternoon.

2) Action coverage began with the new ‘Everyman’s Challenge’ on Sunday, February 5th. This was the ‘grass roots’ race!

3) Continued coverage through the week with the Last Chance Qualifiers (LCQ) and interviews with racers and sponsors from the racing community.

4) February 10th—all-out action and coverage as the 2012 ‘Griffin King of the Hammers Race’ took place on Friday.

5) Late Friday—packed up the toy hauler, headed north and prepped for a hefty round of video editing and uploading!

     In addition to HD video coverage, we gathered with many of our racing friends, met the magazine’s fans and supported our advertisers. There were scores of aftermarket manufacturers and vendors present!

     The ‘KOH’ week was highly productive. See the wide range of HD video and photo coverage from the event!     

     For more details on the 2012 ‘Griffin King of the Hammers’ race results, visit the Ultra4 Racing website at:


MasterPull to Sponsor ‘Team 4405’ at the 2012 ‘King of the Hammers’ 

Announcement: December 19th, 2011—MasterPull will partner with Team 4405 for the 2012 King of the Hammers competition. The ‘Master-Pull 4405 Team’ will compete to support “Race for Access”.

     Master-Pull, a leader in synthetic ropes and recovery equipment, has partnered with Travis Carpenter’s ‘4405 Land-Use Team’ for the 2012 King of the Hammers. The 2012 King of the Hammers will be the third running of the race for Travis Carpenter. Carpenter qualified during the 2011 Ultra4 series.

     The team’s mission is “racing for access”. The MasterPull partnership will include the “4405 Master-Pull Race-A-Thon”, which will once again be held by the team at the King of the Hammers race. In 2012, the 4405 Master-Pull Race-A-Thon will focus on saving Johnson Valley and the Hammers trail system.

     According to driver Travis Carpenter, “I am very excited to be racing under the Master-Pull banner. This is not a just sponsorship where we will only be running Master-Pull stickers on the 4405, this is a true partnership. We will actually be working with Master-Pull to help insure that public lands remain open to the public. In addition to the 4405 Master-Pull Race-A-Thon, we also have another combined project that will be unveiled by the end of the year.”

     Alex Riedo of Master-Pull adds, “In that the proper use of recovery equipment on the trail is essential in minimizing resource damage, the partnership with Travis Carpenter’s 4405 Land-Use Team is a fitting match for Master-Pull. Responsible off-roading is more than just picking up trash on public lands. Reducing your impact on a trail by winching out instead of throttling out can help keep trails open and reduce the maintenance costs by public land managers.”

     Master-Pull develops and supplies recovery equipment for use in a wide range of applications, from recreational off-road to heavy duty military and industrial use. These products include synthetic winch lines, kinetic tow ropes and recovery kits.

Campbell Enterprises Builds the Dynomax Prolite Truck!

Dynomax Prolite truck under construction at Campbell Enterprises' shop

December 9, 2011—Campbell Enterprises has been busily constructing the ‘Prolite’ truck at the Campbell Enterprises shop… 

     Shannon Campbell started this project November 14th, targeting completion for the last LOORRS race Dec. 10th-11th. Tammy Campbell has been posting pictures of the project’s progress at the “Campbell Racing” Facebook Wall—click here!

Dynomax Prolite race truck nearing completion at Campbell Enterprises

     Tammy Campbell adds, “The 2012 season is going to be an exciting one with short course action in the Dynomax Prolite and plenty of rocksports action from the Monster Energy Team as they travel from the East Coast to the West Coast for the ‘Ultra4’ series. In June, Shannon and his Monster Energy crew will travel to Hollister, CA for the 20 year reunion of the ‘Four-Wheeler Magazine Top Truck Challenge’. Shannon won the TTC in 1996. Enjoy!”

Shannon Campbell’s 2012 Racing Schedule

February 7-10  ‘King of the Hammers’, Johnson Valley OHV Johnson Valley, CA

March 31/April 1  LOORS Rounds 1 & 2 at the Firebird Raceway, Phoenix, AZ

March 31st to April 8th  Easter Jeep Safari, Moab, Utah

April 21-22  LOORS Rounds 3 & 4 at Lake Elsinore Raceway, Lake Elsinore, CA

May 4-6  Ultra4/Cinco de Baja, Albuquerque, NM  

May 19-20  LOORS Rounds 5 & 6 at Speedworld, Surprise, AZ

June 2-3  Ultra4 at Rausch Creek OHV Park, Pine Grove, PA

June 11-15  Top Truck Challenge at Hollister Hills OHV, Hollister, CA

June 23-24  LOORS Rounds 7 & 8 at Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah

July 14-15  Ultra4/Badlands at Badlands Offroad Park, Attica, Indiana

July 20-22  Ultra4/4Wheel Parts, Glen Helen Raceway, San Bernardino, CA

August 4-5  LOORS Rounds 9 & 10 at Glen Helen Raceway, San Bernardino, CA

August 16-18  Ultra4/Vegas to Reno V2R, Las Vegas, NV

September 1-2 LOORS Rounds 11 & 12 TBA Reno, NV

September 21-23 Ultra4/Amer Rock Sports, Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah

September 22-23 LOORS Rounds 13 & 14  L.V. Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV

October 6-7  Offroad Expo, Pomona Fairplex, Pomona, CA

October 27-28 LOORS Rounds 15 & 16 at Firebird Raceway, Phoenix, AZ

October 30 to Nov 2  SEMA Show, L.V. Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV

November 10-11  Ultra4/Championship, Blackwell, TX

  Note: These dates/times/locations all subject to change

For the latest Shannon Campbell and Campbell Enterprises updates, visit the Campbell Enterprises website at:


VORRA Announces Revised Race Schedule for 2012… Head and Neck Restraints Required in 2013!

December 18, 2011, Sparks, NV—Valley Off Road Racing Association (VORRA) announced a revised 2012 race schedule, following input and voting at the Association’s December 10th member meeting.

  The signature USA 500 desert race has been moved back to July 2012, and members voted to continue with two double-header short course weekends at Prairie City, following the success of this year’s season finale.

align=”left”>  VORRA also announced, following a vote by the membership, that head and neck restraint systems will be mandatory for all race classes in 2013:

  “We’d initially moved the USA 500 to earlier in the year, but following discussions with our casino partners and the Bureau of Land Management, the original July race date worked out best for everyone,” said VORRA Race Director Wes Harbor. “We’ll be making more announcements on the 500 in the coming months, but racers can put it on their 2012 calendars for July 13-15.”

     Teams attending VORRA’s annual rules meeting and awards banquet in South Lake Tahoe also endorsed proposals to consolidate short course racing into two double headers in April and October and to shift the date of the night race to later in September to free up Labor Day weekend for teams to spend with their families.

     “Our first short course double-header earlier this year at Prairie City was a big hit with racers and fans,” Harbor said. “It’s also a recognition that everyone’s racing on tight budgets, and consolidating the short course weekends reduces the amount of vacation time and fuel costs that teams factor into their racing seasons.”

New VORRA 2012 Race Schedule:

April 13-15—Short Course Double Header, Prairie City, CA

May 26-28—Yerington 300 Desert Race,        Yerington, NV

July 13-15—USA 500 Desert Race, Reno/Sparks, NV

Sept. 8-9—Night Vision 250 Desert Race, Fallon, NV

Oct. 26-28—Short Course Double Header,     Prairie City, CA

  Following a lengthy debate on the inherent dangers of off road racing and their desire for personal choice in using different types of safety gear, VORRA racers voted by a large margin to mandate head and neck restraint systems beginning in 2013. The requirement will be for SFI 38.1 certified systems.

     “After multiple severe back injuries in 2011, we had to reduce the chance of injury whenever possible,” Harbor said. “Commonly known as  HANS devices, many professional racing organizations worldwide require them in the wake of well documented deceleration injuries and deaths. It’s only a matter of time until they became mandatory in the off-road racing world. We also recognize the expense of investing in this type of safety equipment and elected to extend the deadline for them to 2013 to give teams time to transition.”

     VORRA has begun contacting equipment distributors to negotiate discounts for racers in advance of 2013. One retailer has already agreed to offer a rebate program to VORRA, and VORRA has pledged $25 donations to Fast-Aid for every 2012 purchase from that retailer.

     “I’m also going to offer entry fee discounts to racers who purchase any approved device in 2012,” Harbor said. “Our focus on fun, competitive and safe racing will live on.”


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