According to Ultra4Racing.com, the number of attendees has increased dramatically since it's original race in 2007.For the racers, the dream of being able to compete and win is the very foundation of hard work paying off.
"Oh, it's a huge deal, says George Evans, third place winner of the race. "This is a big race. They took us over a lot of heavy canyons and it is tight. They took us over a lot of tough desert."
Out of the nearly 160 Sandcrawlers participating in the race, only 32 will cross the finish line.
The racers only have 100 feet of track width to work between. No Matter how intense the 160-mile race is, no track compares to Chocolate Thunder's dangerously stalling rock path.
"Ah, Chocolate Thunder gave us trouble," said Evans. "But we made it. Chocolate Thunder is the most unnerving part of the race, and you really don't want to do bad in Chocolate Thunder with all the people watching."
With several racers moving up the steep hill at the same time, it is extremely difficult to get to the top, let alone moving ahead, a few feet.
The King of the Hammers is the most difficult off-road race in the world, with plenty of action and fascinating settings to give any of us a spine-chilling look at the extreme drive of the human spirit.The background volunteers had to stick to a painstakingly tight schedule. The work there would need to wake up early in the morning, at around 3:30am, and then wake up and then stay all day until nightfall to guide the incoming vehicles.
The main issue with finding keeping these guys in line was to stay awake, and to not get run over when they crossed the finish line. Greg Roberts was working at the finish line, and said that his work was tenatious, but it is a tradition that he has been holding up for the race's entire existence.
"I've been coming here for all seven years," he said. "It really is a family affair. Me and my son Jerm here all come to see the right kind of fierce American competition. We have our own car in the shop too, which we love working on." The King of the Hammers is located in Johnson Valley, and was founded by Jeff Knoll and Dave Cole in 2007. The sandcrawlers are capable of reaching speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, with each vehicle containing custom fabric designed by the drivers, and of course being able to compete with 4-wheel drive.
The competitors start side by side, but each vehicle starts every 30 seconds.Each team must pass through seven checkpoints throughout the race, including Chocolate Thunder.
Loren Healy was the 2014 winner for the King of the Hammers, making it in 12 minutes ahead of the rest of the racers. As with all winners, or Kings, Healy will be invited back to next year's race.
The racers do not have any maintenance pits or driveways to turn off on during the race, which means that any repairs must be done by volunteers or by the team's maintenance crew on the race line. There is also a last chance qualifier on the race, which means that 35-50 teams are competing to compete. The King of the Hammers has inspired it's own racing league, called Ultra 4 class, with seven races throughout the year being featured.
The King of the Hammers is also featuring its own documentary series featuring the past seven years racing.