Spotlight on Tom Wayes

There is no doubt Tom Wayes would be a candidate for a Marlboro Man commercial if they had not fallen from favor. The avid outdoorsman laughs in the face of danger on a regular basis seeking to participate in life rather than spectate. When Wayes is not flying through the deserts of the southwest in his LS7 powered Ultra4 car, he can be found leaping from the safety of a chopper and conquering mountains in the wilds of Alaska as a Lead Guide for SEABA Heliskiing. The charismatic Wayes finds comfort in the very places lesser men might find too daunting to venture and his driving style reflects this personality trait on the trail, in a race, or railing his sled through the frozen landscape.

Like all the racers we interviewed for this series of articles we asked Tom Wayes some of the standard questions about his upcoming effort to tackle the 2012 King of the Hammers

How long have you been competing in Ultra 4 Racing?

5 years in Ultra4

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

I have finished KOH every time I have taken the green flag. The finish I am most proud of was in 2011 I finished 12th.

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

Its endurance off-road racing at its finest. You have to be the best driver in the desert and in the rocks. Its about fitness mentally and physically.

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

Getting to peel out in the biggest one day Off-road race in the world


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

Being a arborist,doing residential tree work. As well as my favorite pastime Helicopter Ski Guiding in Haines AK. for SEABA.

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

A amazing pit crew as well as my wife. Really excited to have Greg in the car with me. We are going to have so much fun.

How much does strategy play a part in KOH?

Plenty, but I’m not sharing with the Paparazzi.

That’s funny Tom, now I am the paparazzi, so what will it take to win the King of the Hammers in 2012?

Having a great day and leaving nothing on the table

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

The lines between the two are getting closer. Alot more people have fast cars;but you still have to drive them.

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

Dakar would be cool, and well as the Baja 1000.

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

I’ll tell you when I see the check that is “unlimited”

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

Know who is starting behind you and watch your mirrors

Can you tell us about the sponsors and people that have made it possible for you to do this?
I have some great Sponsors that really make it possible for me to campaign the 321 car for 2011 and 2012.
Weathertight USA,Polyperformance,Wide Open Design,BFGoodrich,Levrett Transmission,Wfo Concepts,CTM,Reid Racing,Levitation Project and Smith Sport Optics.


The Facts Tom Wayes #321 Team FOH

Co-Driver Name: Greg Hussy
Age: 40  Hometown: Tahoe City Ca
Engine: Mast Motorsports LS 7 427 SS
Transmission: Levrett Transmision TH400
T-case: Atlas 2
Axles F/R: Solid HP 60 front,Reid,CTM
Lockers F/R: Dana 70 ARB,CTM
Seats: PRP
Shocks: 2.5 FOX CO’s,2.5 piggyback bypass’s in the front, 3.0 bypass int he rear
Tires: BFGoodrich KRT’s          Wheels: Procomp

Photos credit: Shana Whitford @ Friese Images

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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