COLORADO SPRINGS, CO FEBRUARY 15, 2012 – JT Taylor set forth on his 6th King of the Hammers adventure last week in the same car that he has driven for 5 of those years. After a high speed tumble during pre-running, the team thrashed to get the car back on all four in time for qualifying. JT started Fridays race in 68th and finished his race 18.5 miles from the finish line with a blown transfer case. “When we were 40 miles from the finish line I thought I would get to finish this race, but I got shot in the foot again,” said JT Taylor after recovering the rig. “But the time spent on the lakebed with friends, who I only get to see a couple times a year, makes it worth the trip nonetheless.”
The sparking Torchmate / TubeShark Car came to the desert ready to race. With new King Shocks next to the Goodyear Tires, it was all about pre-running, qualifying and finishing. But during a Wednesday tuning session, the cards didn’t add up and the car tumbled multiple times creating quite a bit of damage. The JT Customs Garage became over actively busy for the next few hours. “There were so many people that came in to help including the whole crew from Jimmy’s 4×4, the Lovell’s, Clay Gilstrap, guys from Ruffstuff / Lincoln and we were even having new tabs cut on the Torchmate CNC tables,” said JT Taylor. In four hours the car was fixed and JT and co-driver Doug Nagy were suited and headed up to qualifying. “We arrived at the start line with 2 minutes to spare to our starting time. We didn’t even have time to look at the obstacle, just got some tips from some of the other racers that had been up there watching. We cleared the Gate Keeper on Chocolate Thunder and had a clean run from there. We didn’t try to do a speed record, just wanted to put a time on the board,” recalled a relieved JT.
On Friday, the green flag dropped for JT’s 6th King of the Hammers race. Starting middle of the pack in 68th gave them a good position to work through the group passing competitors in the rocks, and cruising through the desert. “Doug did a great job. We just ran our own race and had a ball,” said JT. Doug followed up with, “JT is my new driving hero for his rock driving skills.”
Coming through the main pit, the hub bolts were coming loose. “We pulled into the Goodyear Tires pit and the whole team got on it and got us back out. That kind of support is priceless in a race like this,” commented JT. In 141 miles they had no flats.
Early in the race the transfer case was making noise, which they are attributing to an effect of the roll on Wednesday. When they reached the bottom of Elvis they had their first bout with it not wanting to go back into high range. After limping it along, and even having to be limited to 17mph through some of the desert sections, the 2A pit crew advised that it wouldn’t last much longer. Sure enough, 100 yards outside pit 2A, the Torchmate Car came to its final resting place, 18.5 miles from the finish line of the 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers.
The next time JT Taylor will be behind the wheel of the Torchmate / TubeShark car will be at the Dirt Riot race during Moab Easter Jeep Safari on Saturday at AreaBFE.
About JT Taylor: JT Taylor is the epitome of “been there, done that”. A retired First Sergeant who returned from the Iraq conflict with a Bronze Star, Taylor uses the skills that he honed as a soldier to manage multiple racing teams needs. His strategic and mechanical capabilities have served him Crew Chief positions with Brad Lovell, Speed Technologies, Shannon Campbell, Dirt Sports and Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series SuperLite #16 race teams. He was the Crew Chief for Speed Technologies 2008 Class 1 Baja 1000 win, 2009 Baja 500 Torchmate Racing finish, and co-drove and was crew for the 2009 Baja 1000 and the 2010 and 2011 NORRA 1000 win. It would be foolish to think that Taylor is only handy with a wrench, he is just as comfortable behind the wheel. JT Taylor is one of the original thirteen competitors of King of the Hammers who has raced every year, winning the 2011 Torchmate Stampede and placing 2nd at the Ultra4 Grand Prix. Taylor consistently held a top ten position in XORRA for five years and is the two-year reigning champion of the XORRA Germany Series. He is the 3 time Colorado Hill Climb Association Ultra4 Champion and made history as the first Ultra4 competitor to run Pikes Peak, where he won the Exhibition class in 2010 and was 2nd in the Pikes Peak Open Class in 2011. JT Taylor is the person you want on your team.
Marketing Partners: Torchmate, Tube Shark, Goodyear, Raceline Wheels,Warn Winches, CTM Axles, Howe Power Steering, Winchline.com, Shirt Force, Power Tank