Big Ugly, Dsquared and Race Prep Racing have really outdone themselves this year raising a record amount for Land Use.
Johnson Valley California is home to the world famous Nitto King of the Hammers Presented by 4 Wheel Parts race held in February of every year. The course is 215 miles of desert whoops, dry lake beds and the infamous Hammers rock trails. This year, there were 129 racers signed up to try their luck. Of those, only 29 would finish, which illustrates why just finishing is considered a big win. Big Ugly Racing’s Kevin Sacalas and Chris Porter pulled off a 12th place finish completing the three lap course in 12:24:39. That’s just like being in a part-smashing car crash for twelve hours straight.
The finish was even more welcome as Kevin is retiring from Ultra4 Racing after this season. From his humble beginnings in 2009, winning his first race, Vegas to Reno – The Hard Way, a 1000 mile, three day race to today, Kevin has had a great career. If the truth be told, there’s more racing in his future, it’s just not going to be Ultra4.
Other racers will miss Kevin on the course but most likely, they will miss his legendary parties. For the last three years running, Big Ugly has teamed up with Race Prep and Dsquared Racing to put on a fund-raiser for land use. This year, they raised $10,000 for Friends of Johnson Valley, a fantastic accomplishment. If you would like Kevin to continue the fund-raisers, post up on facebook and tell him.
February 5, 2013, Johnson Valley, CA – The iconic King of the Hammers race in Johnson Valley, CA took on new meaning and added opportunity for education and fundraising this year as racers work to keep the area open to public recreation. The Marine Corps has been trying to annex the land for their use since 2007 under the auspice of training space and increased national security. Off-roaders including the race teams involved in King of the Hammers are fighting this move and working tirelessly to keep the 146,000 acres there open to public use. On February 5th DSquared Racing 4441, Big Ugly Racing 4435 and Race Prep Racing 4474 banded together during this year’s race week with a unique and fun idea – let’s sell cups and throw a party and give the money to the cause. Daren Henke of DSquared Racing said, “An event mid week when we are all working so hard to be ready to race just seemed perfect.”
Organization of such an event-within-an-event added an additional level of work and planning to an already hectic racing schedule, but the three long time friendly teams knew the cause was worth their time and effort. “Kevin Sacalas [Big Ugly Racing] really got the ball rolling. It was his idea. But I think we all agreed it was a cool way to have fun for a good cause”, Kristen Carter of Race Prep Racing said. Starting in November the teams chose the commemorative cups, designed their artwork, and publicized the event through social media and word of mouth. Offering an enclosed tent and heaters – respite from the elements of Johnson Valley in the winter – the group sold cups for $20 and danced the night away, raising $5,346.00. The money has been sent to ORBA (Off Road Business Association) where the Save the Hammers funds are housed and managed. In addition to the fundraising, the teams spoke to each person who attended, offering information about the area, the proposal by the Marines, and how attendees could stay engaged and join the fight. “We have all wanted to make a donation to the cause, but instead of just writing a check, we wanted to do something bigger. Every person we can talk to about the issue is another person who can help us win the fight”, says Kevin Sacalas of Big Ugly Racing.
While these teams battle each other on the race course, for land use they are pleased to be united with one objective – Save Johnson Valley. With the success of the event and the fight to Save Johnson Valley far from over, the teams encourage others to get involved and join the cause. Every penny helps.