Spotlight on Loren Healy

Pictures provided by Loren Healy

28 seconds can change the life of an off-road racer. For good or bad, the 2010 King of the Hammers came down to 28 seconds. The closest race with a hand full of finishers coming across the line within minutes it took some time for the timing crew to figure out who actually won the race. Because the KOH race is televised and not knowing the final out come the confusion at the finish line required three separate bottles of champagne to be sprayed onto the crowds who had flocked around the finishers. When Brad Lovell came in a 4th bottle was expended and the waiting game began. Rick Mooneyham, Derrek West, Brad Lovell, and Loren Healy all waited patiently as the directors focused attention on a medical emergency that broke out as the first cars came across the finish line. After a double check with the timing crew, and verification of completing all the required check points Loren Healy came out on top beating Brad Lovell by only 28 seconds. Brad Lovell had just finished up a nearly perfect season winning championships in both Crawling, and Rock racing series, and a win at KOH would have been the icing on the cake.

Healy who was not well known in racing circles came into the 2010 KOH race with a  basic car, a dream, and some talent learned from recreational wheeling in the 4 corners area of New Mexico. No-one really even knew who he was, but the rookie changed all that proving that anyone with the desire could beat the best in Rocksports at the biggest event in the country. Healy has remained a contender at every Ultra4 race since, and the sponsors have been beating down his door. In 2011 Healy stole the show and made for one of the most exciting sequences KOH films have ever seen when he jumped his race car over another race car attempting to pass in the blinding dust. This year Healy returns with the Jimmy’s 4×4 team to chase the golden scepter a prize that he would like to see sitting at his home  on his mantel again there is no doubt.

How long have you been competing in Ultra 4 Racing?

3 years

How long have you been racing?

3 years

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

2009 we took a trail rig out and ran the LCQ, took second in the LCQ but only made it 20 miles in the main before catching the buggy on fire and breaking the output shaft in the transmission. 2010 I took out a second mortgage on my house to fund a bare bones budget build that could compete with the big boys, got lucky and won KOH. 2011 I tried to jump over another racer and broke my car before the first check point.

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

The opportunity for the little guy to run with the big boys.

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

The relationships you build, there is no other form of racing where your competition will give you the shirt of their back to help you keep racing.

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

Nothing special

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

We have an awesome group of guys that have grown up together called the 667 rockers, with out them none of this would be possible.

 How much does strategy play a part in KOH?

Second you leave the line your strategy goes out the window, you have to be able to adjust on the fly.

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

Be patient and a lot of luck.

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

You can’t buy talent but there is a lot of good drivers with great cars now and they are going to get harder to beat.

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

Baja 1000 has alwayss been my dream, I will make it some day.

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

The car Jimmy’s 4×4 is building for me right now with a much bigger budget.

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

Get in while you still can.

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

Huge thanks to ATX wheels, Nitto tires, Jimmy’s 4×4, Spidertrax, King Shocks, PSC steering, Turnkey Engine Supply, Magnum Ink, and my family for supporting my addiction.

The facts Loren Healy 4428

Driver name:  Loren Healy                                                    Co-Driver Name: Rodney Woodey

Team Name: Healy Racing                                              Car #4428

Age: 30                                                                Hometown: Farmington, NM

Chassis Builder: Jimmy’s 4×4                                 Engine: Turnkey Engine supply LS3

Transmission:  Jimmy’s 400                                                  T-case: Stak 4×4

Axles F/R: Spider 9’s                                               Lockers F/R: Spools

Seats: Twisted Stitch                                                               Shocks: King’s

Tires: Nitto                                                       Wheels: Fordged ATX


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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