Cypress, Calif. (January 8, 2015) – On December 22, 2014, Nitto Tire U.S.A. signed an agreement with Hammerking Productions (Ultra4) to be title sponsor of the 2015 Nitto King of the Hammers (KOH) race. Nitto Tire was previously the race’s presenting sponsor.
The King of the Hammers race is recognized as America’s toughest one-day event in off-road racing and covers 200+ miles on a course that combines triple-digit-speed desert sections with technical boulder climbs that often require winching. The 2015 running – the ninth annual King of the Hammers — will be the first one with Nitto Tire as the title sponsor.
“Nitto has had a great relationship with Hammerking Productions, Ultra4 and its flagship race, King of the Hammers (KOH), for the past five years,” said, Chris Corbett, Nitto Tire U.S.A.’s Events & Motorsports Manager. “When Nitto came out to race KOH for the first time, we knew some great challenges would lay ahead for the Grappler line. After listening, learning, and then developing some of the best products in off-road, we’ve had some dominant wins with some of the most talented drivers in the sport. Out of these repeated wins we learned of shared goals with Dave Cole (owner of KOH) and his growth vision within future KOH races. So when presented with the long-term opportunity to retain the title sponsorship, we jumped at the chance to support a race for which Nitto feels has great current and future potential for all involved.”
Previous title sponsor Griffin Radiators endorsed the move. “Over the past several years, Griffin Radiator as well as the Beebe family have enjoyed every moment that King of the Hammers (KOH) has afforded us,” said marketing director Steve Beebe. “We took a leap of faith on a start-up event but, more importantly, we invested in great people. It is because of those great people that KOH has grown to the incredible success that it is today. Moving forward, the event’s potential is higher than ever, and that is why we are pleased to welcome long-time supporter Nitto Tire as the new title sponsor. Griffin will continue to provide support to both the event as a whole and to individual race teams. We are very excited about the continued growth of KOH and to see what new levels of success can be reached with the support of KOH family member Nitto Tire.”
Dave Cole, president of Hammerking Productions/Ultra4 Racing, added: “Nitto Tire is one of our most valued partners. They quickly stepped up when this sponsorship opportunity arose. Nitto’s increased participation will help make the 2015 Nitto King of the Hammers the biggest and best yet: for fans, racers, spectators and off-road enthusiasts in general.”
The Nitto King of the Hammers race for the unlimited Ultra4 vehicles takes place on February 6, 2015, in Johnson Valley, California. “Hammertown” on Means Dry Lake will open on January 30 to kick off a full week of ultimate desert & rock action. Competition begins with the King of the Motos race on February 1-2. The carnage-fest East/West Shootout on February 2 pits Southeastern Rock Racing Series (SRRS) drivers against Ultra4 racers in an obstacle course challenge.
Competition continues on February 4 with the Polaris KOH UTV race. Street-based 4x4s hit the course on February 5 for the Smittybilt Everyman Challenge. The action peaks on Friday February 6 with the main event: The Nitto Tire King of the Hammers race. Competitors will spend all day (and part of the night for the non-front-runners) on the approximately 225-mile course. Some sections are conducive to triple-digit speeds while the rock obstacles can knock competitors out of the race in slow-motion rollovers and broken parts. The “King” will be officially crowned on Saturday morning, followed by new-for-2015 “KOH The Experience” enthusiast trail rides.
Nitto-powered social media for the event will be live before the KOH East/West Shootout driver drawing on January 8, 2015. and #LiveAtKOH will provide social interaction and updates before, during and after King of the Hammers 2015.