2024 King of the Hammers Rookie Program Presented by Gravel Kings


Welcome to the 2024 King of the Hammers Rookie Program Presented by Gravel Kings!
The program that seized the off-road industry's attention last year is back, but BIGGER, BETTER, LONGER, with MORE opportunities, engagement with athletes, former rookies, staff, AND we’re including a DESERT program! If you’ve never been Driver of Record during King of the Hammers before and you’re racing any Ultra4 or Desert class, this is YOUR time! The road to Hammers is here 2024 Rookies! We’ll also be at Visions this week for the Ultra4 USA race June 14-16 to tell you more about it, so watch for us there and check us out on social media while we talk with Rookies from last year about their experiences live!


What is a King of the Hammers Rookie?
A competitor that has never driven a vehicle during a King of the Hammers event. KOH driver. Newbie, newb, beginner, novice, freshman, apprentice. Ultra4 Regional Series driver of record accepted as KOH rookie.

If you have been the driver of record at any King of the Hammers competition, you are not eligible. If you have been the driver of record at an Ultra4, Ultra4 Europe, or Ultra4 USA race, you are eligible for the Rookie Program.


Are You Racing KOH 2024 and Want to Be Part of the Rookie Program? Here are the next steps:

  • Read all the information here, it is important. 
  • If you are prepared to be part of the 2024 Rookie Program, fill out the application and you’ll hear from us with more information.
  • To remain in the program, individuals must participate in five Zoom or in-person meetings. If the requirements are not met, they will be removed from the program (remember, the program is to teach and help guide you to the Hammers, we want you to be successful. For that to happen, you need to show up).
  • If you will be a rookie for King of the Hammers 2024 and would like to be part of the Rookie Program,  clicking here to tell us about yourself!

Deadline for Program Participation:

All members must be registered for the Rookie Program (this is separate from race registration) no later than October 6, 2023. The Rookie Program is geared toward education, guidance, mentorship with accomplished competitors, and direct access to KOH staff for support along the road to KOH. This is accomplished by having rookies in the program to take advantage of all the program has to offer.


2024 King of the Hammers Rookie Program Schedule

  1. Forging Hammers 1 – Rookie Driving
    Johnson Valley, CA | July 21-23
  2. Forging Hammers 2 – Rookie Driving
    Johnson Valley, CA | August 4-6
  3. Off-Road Expo Pomona - Sponsors and Competitor Talks
    Pomona, CA | September 29 – October 1
  4. Road to Hammers – Education, Camaraderie and Trails | All Rookie Weekend
    Johnson Valley, CA | October 20-22
  5. Forging Hammers 3 – Rookie Driving
    Johnson Valley, CA | October 23-24
  6. Performance Racing Industry Network Show - Sponsors and Competitor Talks
    Indianapolis, IN | December 7-9
  • Zoom Sessions will be held in addition to the in-person opportunities, including but not limited to:  Ready, Set, Pit!, Evenings with Athletes, Hear it from the Sponsors, and Learn the Basics from Staff. 

    Forging Hammers events are by RSVP only. Additional event details to follow.

New Highlights for 2024, Just to Name a Few!

  • The Rookie Refuge at Hammers - a centralized location for rookies to stay when arriving on the lakebed near each other! 
  • Multiple opportunities to learn from partners and athletes in different geographical locations.
  • Weekends designed to focus on learning the trails, desert and allowing valuable seat-time. 
  • The acclaimed Rookie Weekend in Johnson Valley bringing everyone together expanded - more information and details competitors need! Hear from past rookies, industry professionals, and legendary competitors from Ultra4 and Desert!
  • If you’re competing in Ultra4 USA Nationals, join the Road to Hammers weekend with your vehicle and we’ll have professionals available to assist tuning, set-up and get you to Havasu!

Details To Know:

  • Rookie Program Participants must be registered no later than October 6, 2023 to be eligible for the program. This is separate from race registration.
  • Rookies must participate in five Zoom or in-person meetings. If the requirements are not met, they will be removed from the program.
  • Only officially registered rookies of the program are allowed to run red car numbers. 
  • All race entries must meet safety and tech requirements for their respective class. 2024 Rookies will run red letters with a white outline on the appropriate class color background per the rulebook. (See Rulebook).
  • Participants will sign all liability and responsibility waivers. USAC Competition license must be purchased before participation.
  • Race entry and all associated fees are the responsibility of the participant.
  • Must never have previously raced a King of the Hammers race in the past.
  • Rules subject to change without notice.
  • Rookie 2024 class begins June 2024 and ends at the completion of King of the Hammers 2024.
  • Hammerking Productions reserves the right to change, cancel or modify the contest at any time.
  • Participation in the Rookie Program is voluntary and participants may withdraw from the program at any time. 
  • This contest is not affiliated with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other third parties.
  • Hereby agrees that photographs, video and audio productions and telecasts may be made of the undersigned either alone or together with others, during the race event or at such times or places as Hammerking Productions and/or affiliate shall designate. The applicants/winner agrees that all rights in such photographs, video and audio productions and telecasts including but not limited to rights of sale, reproduction, use and distribution, shall belong to Hammerking Productions, or affiliates which may make whatever use of such photographs, video productions and telecasts as it or they may desire. The applicants grant Hammerking Productions or its affiliates and assign the non-exclusive right to use the applicants name or likeness for any and all commercial benefit and purpose, without limitation in perpetuity, throughout the universe, in all media, whether known or unknown.
  • By submitting a video or photographs, the contestant is allowing Hammerking Productions the right to use the content in any promotional use, the applicant understanding they will receive no compensation for the outside the stated prize package.
  • The contestant is agreeing that upon winning, they will be allowing Hammerking Productions to use their image, likeness, photographs, and video with no monetary compensation now or in the future.
  • Contest administrator: Courtney@KingoftheHammers.com on behalf of HKP.
Burke Rookie Shot

Congratulations to our Inaugural 2023 King of the Hammers Rookie Program Finishers and Award Recipients:

Watch the season unfold on our YouTube, as Quest to the Crown chronicles the story of the 2023 King of the Hammers Rookie Program here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZYAvHjC-c1yj-F2QjAFpxwLkwHOCvv2H

Can-Am UTV Hammers Championship Official Race Finishers
Robert Parker – Highest Rookie Finisher 4900 Overall (9th) and Highest Rookie Finisher Pro-Mod
Ben Cahill – Highest Rookie Finisher 4900 Pro Stock Turbo
Jake Godfrey
Payton Isbell
Michael Adams

4WP Every Man Challenge Official Race Finishers
Troy Digby – Highest Rookie Finisher 4500 and 2nd place overall 4500 Class
Jay Schwab – Highest Rookie Finisher 4800 and 11th place overall EMC
Peter Doolan 3rd place overall 4500 Class
Jeff Watson

Nitto Race of Kings Official Race Finisher
Aaron Smith – Highest Rookie Finisher 4400

Nitto Race of Kings Qualifying Course Rookie Finishers
John Webster
Brent Moffett
Christian Basse
Aaron Smith
William McGibbon
BJ Carter
Mike Spindler
Randy Burke

Go Getter Awards (Voted by Peers)
4400 - Brent Moffett
EMC - Russell Raven
4900 - Martin Duffy

Rookie of the Year
As the Rookie Program developed through the year, sportsmanship, willingness to help others, participation in the Rookie group and overall attitudes were shown from many. Rookie of the Year for this initial program was not just performance on the track, but the overall person. Keeping the program goals of camaraderie and forging achievements in mind, when discussing awarding Rookie of the Year one name was reoccurring among competitors, staff, production, and fans. Building his car from the ground up into a racecar, helping others for years before putting work into his own, humbled upon presentation, Hammerking Productions is proud to award the Inaugural 2023 King of the Hammers Rookie of the Year to Randy Burke.


Are you ready to be part of this wild ride and have what it takes to be part of the King of the Hammers Rookie Program Presented by Gravel Kings? If so,  clicking here to tell us about yourself!