While the desert can be cruel, it proved to be a welcoming landscape this weekend for BFGoodrich® Tires and its racing teams. Teams running the company’s high performance off road tires claimed four of the top five spots including the overall title for the fifth time in the past six years at the grueling Griffin King of the Hammers competition in Johnson Valley, Calif.
All four of these finishers competed on BFGoodrich Baja T/A KRT-B tires, specially designed for rock racing and the punishing desert terrain found at the King of the Hammers. Of the 27 finishers of the 2013 Griffin King of the Hammers, 15 ran on BFGoodrich Tires.
Randy Slawson of Colton, California was the first to cross the finish line after pacing the field in the 165-mile race over desert and rocks. Slawson finished in a time of 7:28:10, more than 20 minutes ahead of the second place finisher, Shannon Campbell, a two-time winner of the King of the Hammers.
Slawson, with co-driver and brother Chris, started ninth on the day after recording the second best qualifying time earlier in the week for all last chance qualifiers. Despite changing weather conditions that included sun, high winds and the threat of rain and snow, Slawson described his day as routine.
“We pretty much didn’t get out of the car all day,” said an elated Slawson. “It was a really a flawless run and we had a blast. It’s the best tire I have ever run. There were areas where others were just spinning and we had total traction.”
The Slawson entry, running on BFGoodrich 39 inch tires, only experienced one slight adjustment as he had one tire maintain a slow leak but the tire held its form to enable for an easy change.
“With the one flat it was such a slow leak it took ten minutes for us to notice,” added Slawson. “I am sure we did something to it to cause that. The tires were amazing.”
Chicky Barton charged down the final hill to finish in third, just behind Campbell in a time of 8:23:50. Barton reached the final podium spot after starting 24th and ran the entire race on the same set of BFGoodrich tires he started with.
“Both me and my dad have run BFGoodrich from day one,” said Barton after the day of work on the course. “The climbing on these tires was phenomenal and overall performed great all day.”
Last year’s winner, Erik Miller, finished fourth after starting 16th, also running on BFGoodrich tires and not experiencing a single issue.
BFGoodrich Tires also participated in a robust contingency program for 2013. Under the program Slawson received $7,500 as the overall winner.
The success in California came on the heels of similar results at the first Best in the Desert race of the season the Parker 425 where BFGoodrich drivers claimed eight total class wins in Parker, Ariz. Jason Voss, running on BFGoodrich 39 inch BAJA T/AKR tires for the first time, claimed the overall win for the unlimited truck and buggy class categories driving his class 1400 Trick Truck.
Gary Weyhrich, also on BFGoodrich tires, placed second with a time of 7:10:21.
“This was the first race in 17 races that neither I nor my co-rider did not have to get out of the truck. We had no flat tires and no mechanical issues. The changes we made in our race program were what we needed to be on top. BFGoodrich tires played a big part in this finish and we are very happy with these tires,” said Richie Voss, Jason’s father.