There are those occasions when everything just comes together perfectly and works out without a hitch. For MagnaFlow Ambassador Casey Currie and the team at Currie Racing this year’s King of the Hammers—which took place last week in Johnson Valley, CA—was decidedly NOT such a fortuitous occasion.
Quite the opposite in fact. As well-prepared as Currie and Co. were, fate had other ideas. Three vehicles went into the week of pre-running, qualifying and racing, yet only one plucky rig survived the merciless gauntlet that is King of the Hammers. However, this isn’t just a tale of trial and tribulations, but also one of tackling a challenge in spite of the odds and driving headlong toward the finish line regardless.
As Currie states in his excellent 10-part vlog series on the race (the first episode of which you can find here), the team brought tons of tires, 600-odd gallons of fuel and three highly prepped vehicles to the event. These included his 4-door Polaris RZR Pro XP for the UTV race, a Jeep Trophy truck for the B1 class event, and a solid-axle jeep buggy for the 4400 Unlimited Ultra 4 race.
A Rough Start
Things were looking up for the first few days in the desert, with good conditions and fairly smooth pre-running. Qualifying for the B1 class race also went quite well, with Currie qualifying 2nd overall. It wasn’t until halfway through the last lap of the race that the first of numerous troubles hit the team, when some wiring or engine related issues knocked Currie out of the race 45 miles from the finish with an unfortunate DNF.
This trend continued the following day during UTV qualifying, where a momentary lapse in judgement led to Currie’s racing RZR tumbling end-over-end down a rocky ridge before landing on its front left corner, utterly obliterating that portion of the suspension and steering systems under the vehicle’s own weight.
Thanks to Currie Racing’s heroic efforts and a new front suspension provided by X-Travel, the RZR was up and running again within a day. Despite having to start at the back due the rolling accident during qualifying, Currie was determined to go all-out and salvage what he could from the race.
Unfortunately, it was not to be, as within only a few miles of the start of the race the front steering and suspension gave out once again. Clearly, the roll a couple days earlier had done more damage than they’d previously thought.
Chance At Redemption
Lastly, there was the 4400 Unlimited race on Saturday. The day began with bracing cold weather, fitting for the slog ahead. Despite a poor qualifying position, Currie and co-driver Oren Anderson were determined to “drive smart” and finish the race no matter what.
Fortunately, that is exactly what they did! After hours contending with brutal rocks and barren desert Currie and Anderson finally emerged from the brisk night triumphant. Currie had pulled off quite a feat, passing some 60-odd vehicles to end up just outside the top 20. Not only had Currie found success for the first time that week, but it was also his first time finishing the race in the past five years.
Casey Currie’s determination to finish the race won the day, and we at MagnaFlow are proud to have such a dogged driver as one of our ambassadors. Congratulations to the entire team at Currie Racing and great job putting it all on the line! We can’t wait to see how you do next year.