Discount Tire Off Road Evolution Race Team Competes in First Ultra4 Griffin King of the Hammers Race Weekend

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America’s largest tire and wheel retailer, announced that the Discount Tire Off Road Evolution Race Team competed in its first Ultra4 Griffin King of the Hammers (KOH) event, one of the toughest off road races of 2013.

Discount Tire, America’s largest tire and wheel retailer, announced that the Discount Tire Off Road Evolution Race Team competed in its first Ultra4 Griffin King of the Hammers (KOH) event, one of the toughest off road races of 2013.

Driver Mel Wade and co-driver Jim McGean piloted the Discount Tire Off Road Evolution EVO1 JK through the King of the Hammers desert race in Southern California on Feb. 8.

With an upgraded EVO1 outfitted with a Hemi engine, the Off Road Evolution team was able to maintain high speeds especially on rough, whooped-out sections of the 200-mile course. Wade and McGean passed cars that were lighter and equally powered thanks to the EVO1’s new motor and off-the-shelf Double-Throwdown suspension. The big torque was easily put to the ground by the new Dynatrac ProRock80 in the rear and ProRock60 in the front. Equipped with 40-inch Nitto Tires, the EVO1 easily handled the sharp rocks and provided outstanding traction throughout the course.

Prior to the KOH race, the EVO1 team rebuilt its 727 automatic transmission due to a mechanical failure. The entire Discount Tire Off Road Evolution Race Team came together and focused on the rebuild.

“Our crew in Fullerton pulled some serious overtime to make sure nothing was left to chance and all final prep was completed before the race on Friday,” said Wade. “I could not have been more proud of our team. They were on top of it. At about 11 p.m. on Thursday night, I took the EVO1 out for a final shakedown run. It ran perfectly.”

The improvements to the EVO1 for 2013 competition allowed the Off Road Evolution team to get off to a great start in its first KOH race for Discount Tire. The power difference from last year’s vehicle to this year was night and day. Relocating the engine nine inches toward the rear of the car also made for an ideal 50/50 front to rear weight distribution. These changes and the King Shocks allowed the team to carry the front wheels airborne over the most severe whooped-out sections of the course. It also helped EVO1’s ability to encounter large boulders at higher speeds without losing momentum.

“We left the line with great power and headed out to the open desert. With the combination of our new 450 HP motor, EVO Suspension and Nitto Tires, we passed a number of cars in the nastiest of whoops,” said Wade.

The EVO1’s Mastercraft Safety Pit Crew set up a terrific radio communication network, which allowed constant and direct communication for the Off Road Evolution team’s status at all points on the 200-mile course.

On the way to Main Pit, the EVO1 suffered a catastrophic failure that took the team out of the race. A loose winch line that fell through a hole in the floorboard wrapped around the vehicle’s driveline and resulted in damaged fuel pumps, fuel lines and electrical. The ARB airlines and rear brake lines were disabled as well.

After a long week of racing in the desert of Southern California, the Discount Tire Off Road Evolution Race team competed in the Smittybilt Everyman Challenge and Griffin King of the Hammers race. Despite not finishing the race the team is optimistic for the rest of the season.

“We have some new perspective on our vehicle for the next race,” said Wade. “Our goal is to have as much seat time in the vehicle before the next Ultra4 Race in Glen Helen this May.”

About Off Road Evolution
Off Road Evolution is a full-service 4x4 shop offering everything from basic parts installation to full custom builds. It was founded in 2003 by Mel and Lisa Wade and quickly grew to become one of the most revered builders of 4x4 vehicles in the nation and beyond. Off Road Evolution has been known in the industry for showcasing off the shelf products on factory base vehicles in the most demanding terrain and events.

About Discount Tire/America’s Tire
Discount Tire/America’s Tire, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is America’s largest tire and wheel retailer. The company does business under the trade name Discount Tire in most of the U.S. and America’s Tire in Oregon, and parts of Washington and California. The company currently operates more than 850 stores across the country. In 2010, the company marked its 50th year serving customers as their trusted tire retailer in local markets across the U.S. Discount Tire/America’s Tire also sponsors NASCAR Nationwide Series and Monster Energy AMA Supercross. For more information about Discount Tire/America's Tire visit discounttire.com or americastire.com.

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Joseph Valdez
The Lavidge Company
(480) 998-2600
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Kendra States
The Lavidge Company
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