Spotlight on Chris Garrison

What can I do to help, are words you will hear often from the mouth of Chris Garrison. The ultra4 driver with the Samurai based Ultra4 car is often seen lending a hand with tech inspection when he is not participating in the race. He will gladly chase desert racers when his time keeps from a full commitment of strapping in and driving. Its a personality feature that develops a pattern when you start lining up Ultra4 race drivers.  Chris Garrison, and Darin Floyd Make up the Hooligan Rock Crew Tom hill racing ultra4 team.  Their race car might not seem cutting edge when compared to other teams, but after learning the ropes, a new car is in the sights of the team sponsored by a store specializing in high powered fire arms, and it will be great to see what Chris can do with a state of the art Ulra4 car. One thing is for certain, when they are not racing, they will be lending a hand and helping who ever needs.

How long have you been competing in Ultra 4 Racing?

2010 LCQ was my first Ultra 4 Race

How long have you been racing?

 I started mountain bike racing when I was 13, then boarder cross racing… now this.

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

Our first year (Feb 2010) we converted my trail-rig to a wannabe KOH car and somehow managed to finish the LCQ in a high enough spot to qualify for the main race.  We broke at rm:16 in crowbar.  We’ve competed in the first Stampede, it was an awesome race but we simply ran out of time.  Next, we ran LCQ 2011 and I managed to roll my way down Trap Door and not finish.  We ended up pitting for Randy and Ben that year.  After KOH, we ran in the Silver State 300 and finished…  this was the first race we had finished.  We didn’t turn a wrench all day but couldn’t go over 55mph as I had a “rock crawler” hydraulic steering valve.  After SS300, I co-drove for Jesse Haines at the American Rock Sports Challenge in UT.  We raced neck and neck with the fastest guys all day long… I’ve never actually been able to go fast in my Samurai so riding with Jesse was awakening.

What’s the attraction to racing of King of the Hammers for you?

It’s the most challenging sport, which I have yet to finish; each year I want it more and more.  The best way to describe it… my 7 and 10-year-old nephews think I’m a professional racecar driver.

 What’s your favorite part of the King of the Hammers?

My favorite part of KOH is being challenged more and more at each event while being able to hang out with some of the coolest people on Earth.

How do you physically and mentally prepare for this type of racing?

During the SS300 I actually got nauseous while driving and wanted to puke then pass out.  After the race I realized what had happened.  Race meetings and getting the rig ready the entire day before limited the amount of food and water that I was able to consume.  Finally arriving to the starting line the night before, I was too busy to eat dinner.  The next morning, I was too nervous to eat breakfast…during the race I couldn’t reach my hydration pack behind me.   I was a mess.  I learned my lesson.  Now I drink Pedialyte the day before the race, eat a huge spaghetti dinner the night before and continue to drink Pedialyte during race day along with eating squishy high calorie foods.  To mentally prepare, I just ignore my nerves until those last 15 seconds before the flag drops… then it’s on.

Teamwork is a big part of KOH, Tell us about your team for the King of the Hammers?

Darin Floyd is my Co-driver/chief mechanic/complaint department.  If it weren’t for him, I would not be able to take the green flag.  Tom Hill, my father in law, has always been a huge supporter since we started this debacle back in the early months of 2009.  His experience and energy is key in keeping us going.  As for who will actually show up on race day… who knows but I hope the rest of the Hooligan Rock Crew shows including Dane Bathurst, Mark Bouvia, Shane Schrader, Johnny Petrilla, and Troy Adams.  The one person that I still keep trying to impress is my wife Lauren… With out her love and support, I’d be playing with my RC Rock Crawler dodging tennis balls.

How much does strategy play a part in KOH?

For me so far… not much as I’ve yet to land a competitive finish.  This year hopefully it will be different, as we’ll be running a new car that should be competitive.

What will it take to win the King of the Hammers in 2012?

Finishing in front of everybody else… that is the only one thing this a factual response to this question.

How much does a car vs. a drivers ability play into winning the King of the Hammers?

A good driver and a good car can go a long way but a bad driver and a good car aren’t going to get far and a good driver with a bad car aren’t going to work either.  You’ve got to achieve the right mix.

If you had the opportunity to participate in any race in the world, what would it be and why?

Easy question….King of the Hammers 2012

Who is your racing idol and why?

I don’t have one but I respect every single person that takes the green flag at any Ultra 4 race as I know what it takes to get there.

If you had an unlimited budget what would you build to compete in the King of the Hammers?

We’re having Randy Slawson build us a Bomber for this year but a car recently hit him causing the loss of two of his toes.  Hopefully he will be ready to get to work soon as KOH feels closer everyday.  Maybe someday… a Randy Slawson JR Reynolds joint venture… that would be pretty sweet.

 Do you have any advise to give someone who is aspiring to race the King of the Hammers?

Just commit and go forward.  Always be moving forward.  Don’t count the receipts and don’t forget what is really important… my wife and daughter. 

Can you tell us about the sponsors and people that have made it possible for you to do this?

This year we’re having a new car built and my father in law, Tom Hill, is making this possible.  After Tom, our partner for the Ultra 4 2012 series is TDS Guns ( out of Rocklin, CA.  They really are “The Friendliest Gun Store” that can help anybody with AR15 style rifles, pistols, shotguns, and shooting supply.  This year they will be launching, which will be offering bulk ammo deals that can’t be beat.


The Facts Chris Garrison #4494Tom Hill racing/ Hooligan Rock


C o-Driver Name: Darin Floyd

Age:    28          Hometown:  Post Falls, ID

 Chassis Builder:   Randy Slawson       Engine:  Turnkey Engine Supply LS1

Transmission:   4l60e                                                 T-case: Atlas 4 Speed

Axles F/R:     F: Spidertrax 9” R: Ruffstuff 14 Bolt     Lockers F/R: Spool/ARB

 Seats:  PRP of course…                                                             Shocks:  King

Tires:     TBD                                                  Wheels:  Raceline 17”

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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