Spotlight on Alex Hardaway

Alex Hardaway is one of the new faces on the Ultra4 series tour, and will be running the 2012 King of the Hammers after qualifying at the Best in the Desert Silver State 300. In 2011 Alex showed up in the desert of Southern California after working as a crew member with big plans to qualify for the Main event in the Last Chance Qualifier. His dream would have to wait, missing out on the golden ticket to advance, and he would suit up as the second Alternate in case of a last minute drop by a qualified team. Alex went back to the drawing board and finished in the top ten at he Silver State 300. Alex also runs the local short course Rock racing series, and has participated in the Ultra4 series in 2011.

How long have you been competing in Ultra 4 Racing?

Since February 2011

How long have you been racing?  

Since February 2001

Tell us about your past experiences in the King of the Hammers and where
you have finished?

LCQ 2011 is my only experience and I finished as 2nd alternate.
Although I didn’t get to race in the big show, I definitely learned about
the competition world and what it takes to be successful.

What’s the attraction to racing of King of the Hammers for you?
Because it incorporates every aspect of off-roading which in turn creates
one of the most challenging events in existence; and it falls into the
life style I’ve lived of rock crawling and desert off-roading throughout
my entire life.

What’s your favorite part of the King of the Hammers?
Having been on a pit crew for the 2 years prior to becoming a competitor
and I’d have to say it’s the people involved.  We are all like a family
that has a lot of fun together.  As for the race itself I’m not sure yet,
ask me again February 11th 2012 after the race!

How do you physically and mentally prepare for this type of racing?
Hanging out with Tony Pelligrino and gaining as much seat time as

Teamwork is a big part of KOH, Tell us about your team for the King of the
My parents have been one of the key components of developing Hardaway
racing thus far and I’m hoping to gain more teammates as valuable as they
are for the upcoming season.  It will be my co-drivers first time
competing in KOH as well as myself and we’re just hoping to have fun and
finish the race.

How much does strategy play a part in KOH?
It all depends on if you have the right strategy, I definitely have one
and am hoping it produces good results.

What will it take to win the King of the Hammers in 2012?
It’ll take a well built and durable car, and a team with the right mindset.

How much does a car vs. a drivers ability play into winning the King of
the Hammers?
I’d say its 99% driver and 100% a good car.

If you had the opportunity to participate in any race in the world, what
would it be and why?
The DaKar, because it’s the DaKar in Africa!

Who is your racing idol and why?
I guess I’d have to say Mario Andretti being the cool guy Indie car
driver, who I remember from my childhood.

If you had an unlimited budget what would you build to compete in the King
of the Hammers?
I would build a car with all of the best drive train and suspension
components available in the current market, including anything in the top
secret rich guy world that I’m currently unaware of for my severe lack of
funds! It would have the lowest center of gravity and the highest ground
clearance possible.  And it would go REALLY fast everywhere!  I mean we
are dreaming, right?

Do you have any advice to give someone who is aspiring to race the King of
the Hammers?
Expect the unexpected, anything can happen at any time, and it probably
will if you’re trying to be a KOH competitor.

Can you tell us about the sponsors and people that have made it possible
for you to do this?
Efficiency Delivery has made significant monetary contributions and has
given me the leniency with my work schedule to allow time to build and
maintain the race car and participate in events.  FabWorx and DC customs
have provided their shop time, material and knowledge throughout the build
of the car.  Along with Performance Drivetrain with the differential and
transmission components.  Advanced Auto Glass has also been helpful making
ends meet.

The Facts Alex Hardaway, Hardway racing #4481

Co-Driver Name:  Dustin Chernoh
Age:  32         Hometown: Santa Rosa
Chassis Builder: Alex Hardaway      Engine: LS III
Transmission: TH400         T-case: Altlas II 3.0
Axles F/R:  Spider 9/Super 14    Lockers F/R: Spool/Spool
Seats: Beard                                      Shocks:  Fox
Tires:  Goodyear MTR 42”       Wheels:  FST AluminumBeadlocks

About the Author

Jeff Knoll is the former Event Director for the King of the Hammers event. He has raced various classes in SCORE, BITD, MORE, and MDR. Following the California 200, Knoll travelled to Washington, DC to meet with BLM officials regarding the Special Recreation Permit policies of the BLM. Knoll serves on the BLM’s Desert Advisory Sub-Committee regarding Special Recreation Permits. Knoll also drafted language for Nevada’s Senate Bill 156 in 2011 regarding action sports safety.

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