Much of the year, Means Dry Lake is a lonely, quiet place that either bakes in the summer sun or silently shudders in winter’s windy chill. Then there’s King of the Hammers week, where Means Dry Lake’s population jumps from zero to tens of thousands. Like prospectors swarming a new gold strike, off-roaders flocked to Means to be part of King of the Hammers. For a chilly week in February, Means Dry Lake became Hammertown, USA. Ice skating in the Mojave? The two-lane highway between I-15 and Hammertown crosses a dry lake just west of Lucerne Valley. Recent rains filled in the basin, and temperatures in the teens froze the surface. A rare sight indeed.Ice skating in the Mojave? The two-lane highway between I-15 and Hammertown crosses a dry The chill and the wind meant that enclosed pits were the best way to prep a race rig for the miles ahead.The chill and the wind meant that enclosed pits were the best way to prep a race rig for t King of the Hammers started out as an underground invitation-only trail run. The concept was simple: to see who could run the Hammer Trails the fastest, as well as the open desert sections that separated them (the trails). The winning rig wouldn’t be an old-school creepy-crawly rock buggy, and it definitely wouldn’t be plucked from any traditional desert racing class. Instead, a successful KOH rig needed to combine the two disciplines into a package that was rock-tough and desert-fast. KOH 2011 included a couple of firsts, and a significant second. Perhaps the biggest "first" was the christening of the main pit area as "Hammertown," an RV-and-tent city complete with signed streets. That shows just how big KOH has become. Even with the street signs, it was still easy to get lost in Hammertown, a place so extensive that it grew its own suburbs. The next big "first" was that the winning rig of Shannon Campbell didn’t have a solid front axle. There were A-arms and CV joints leading the way. What’s the big "second?" This is the second time Campbell has worn the KOH crown. After a couple of frustrating years, Campbell put together a run that bested second place by a big fat half-hour. Campbell may be King of the Hammers, but he’s also Hammertown’s first mayor. Nicely done! OR In light of the deadly California 200 accident the BLM had an armada of rangers on site to keep things safe and civil. Remembering the California 200 victims, off-roaders were happy to keep safe distances from the race course. From what we saw, BLM rangers and off-roaders got along quite well at KOH.In light of the deadly California 200 accident the BLM had an armada of rangers on site to What’s a Hammertown without a shopping district? Synergy Suspension was among more than sixty companies who displayed their wares.What’s a Hammertown without a shopping district? Synergy Suspension was among more than si Broadsword Racing’s YJ waits its turn in the tech inspection line. Broadsword’s Adam Arsenault and Scott Siska are both active-duty Marines and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan combat tours. Who’s afraid of a few rocks and hills? Not these guys.Broadsword Racing’s YJ waits its turn in the tech inspection line. Broadsword’s Adam Arsen “I’ll meet you at the corner of Bestop Lane and Genright Street in ten minutes.” Every team got an interview with kilted emcee Tim Lund during tech inspection. This was a chance to thank sponsors, tell a little about the team’s background, and spill the details on the KOH rig. Fourward Momentum’s Sean Rose and Pete Jackson took advantage of the spotlight.Every team got an interview with kilted emcee Tim Lund during tech inspection. This was a The day before the KOH main event there’s a UTV race that’s mostly open desert, but includes a rock trail or two for good measure. Daystar’s Mark Turner and Trent McGee leadfoot their way off of the starting line. Days after KOH, Turner was seriously injured while racing another UTV event. As of press time, we’re not sure how Turner is doing, but we wish him the fullest, speediest recovery possible.The day before the KOH main event there’s a UTV race that’s mostly open desert, but includ 1 | 2 | » | View Full Article By Jay Kopycinski, Kevin Blumer Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!