King of the Hammers 2016

Another banner year in the Johnson Valley for the 2016 King of the Hammers.  Taking the top 7 finishers and 15 of the top 20 continues the Tire Ball dominance in the toughest off-road race in the USA.  Congratulations to Erik Miller, 2x King.  


GNCC Racing Season 2015

GNCC 2015 Racing Season

Crestwood, Kentucky – November 2, 2015

Amsoil GNCC Racing presented by Maxxis 2015 season came to an end with the “Iron Man” this past weekend in Crawfordsville IN.  Carry Jo Combs Russell and her GNCC staff must share our pride in the continued success of the series and the substantial growth in the program.  The Tire Ball® Company (TBDC LLC) affiliation with GNCC goes back over a decade and the 2015 season became another banner year for the Tire Ball® product.

            Tire Ball® Athletes swept the podiums at “Iron Man” for the ATV 4x4 Pro Class, ATV XC1 Pro Class and the UTV XC1 Pro Class.  As in the previous decade, podium sweeps continue to be a common occurrence throughout the 2015 season.  Tire Balls® sponsored ATV XC1 Pro Walker Fowler also achieved the 2015 GNCC Championship which included 7 wins of the 13 round series.  Tire Balls® sponsored UTV XC1 Pro Kyle Chaney sealed his 2015 Championship with a solid 4th place finish at “Iron Man” and 3 wins for the season.  ATV 4x4 Pro Class champion Bryan Buckhannon secured the 2015 Championship riding Tire Balls® and had dominated the class throughout the 13 round series.  Tire Balls® has been winning global championships for over a decade.  What’s holding you up?

            We are announcing for 2016 a new partnership with Jay Gobel and Casey Greek from Impact Solutions for racing representation for the Tire Ball® Eastern US racing.            


Chris Haines Celebrates 15 Years of Baja Victories - TireBalls Partnership for over a decade.

Chris Haines Celebrates 15 Years of Baja Victory
 2014 Marks Landmark year for Chris Haines Motorcycle Adventure Company

A very happy Chris Haines pictured with SCORE owners, Roger & Elise Norman takes the checkered flag in La Paz aboard the Team Guatemala-BREMEN Honda. Photo by GETSOMEPHOTO


Lake Elsinore, CA - December 30, 2014 - It has once again been a year to remember, especially for those who joined the Chris Haines Motorcycle Adventure Company for a ride of a lifetime in 2014. But for Haines himself, it has also been a landmark year. The 2014 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 marked an incredible 15th time Chris Haines and his team have celebrated victory, and the second consecutive year that they have made their way onto the overall podium in the world-class race.  

Ryan Dudek hands-off the 349x Honda to Chris Haines for the final leg of the Baja 1000. Photo: Team Guatemala-BREMEN



Team Guatemala - BREMEN celebrate their victory in La Paz. Photo: BREMEN/Chris Haines

 Rider of record Francisco Arredondo teamed up with Haines, along with Cycle World editor Ryan Dudek, Shane Esposito, Jay Rabjohn and Chris Brown to take on the 1275-mile course at the 46th annual SCORE Baja 1000. The team piloted the Jimmy Holley-prepped Honda CRF450X to victory in Class 30, and also finished third overall in the motorcycle division, nearly three hours ahead of the next bike.

The Jimmy Holley prepared No. 349x Team Guatemala - BREMEN Honda 450x. Photo: BREMEN/Chris Haines

Coming into the 2014 race, Haines had already decided to make this Baja 1000 his last. To punctuate his incredible win streak at the notorious event, Haines' teammates made sure he had the honor of riding the last stretch and bringing the Team Guatemala/Bremen-Arredondo Racing CRF450X into La Paz.

"After competing in the Baja 1000 for 33-years it was time for me to hang up my helmet," said Haines. "And what better way to go out than up on the podium with my teammates one last time? I was fortunate to be a part of the Arredondo-Bremen team who provided me with this chance to finish on top thanks to their tremendous efforts. I'm honored to have raced with this great group of guys. It sure has been an amazing run."

Francisco Arredondo lets the potent 349x Team Guatemala - BREMEN Honda 450x do what it was built to do. Photo by GETSOMEPHOTO

Together with Arredondo, Dudek and Esposito, the Chris Haines team also piloted the Team Guatemala, Bremen-Arredondo Racing Honda CRF450X to victory in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, earning first place in Class 30, and another spot on the overall motorcycle podium. 

Talent, power and speed are what it takes to reach the podium in the Baja 1000. Photo: Team Guatemala-BREMEN

Chris Haines Motorcycle Adventures also celebrated a memorable year with some amazing adventure rides through the rugged and picturesque deserts of Southern California, Nevada and of course, Baja. Haines continues to host riders, racers and celebrities on his world-famous adventure tours; the Off-Road Motorsports Hall Of Famer has given tours to celebrities such as Kid Rock, Jesse James, Lyle Lovett and Lance Armstrong.

Team Gigglepin 4x4 & TireBalls - King of the Glen, Scotland

Jim Marsden and team Gigglepin 4x4 won the first ever Ultra4 Europe King of the Glen held in Scotland by almost 3 1/2 hours in his newly rebuilt Defender based challenge truck, and TireBalls.  Using his trusted Maxxis/TireBalls combination allowed him to have the needed confidence to improve the tires performance and the trust in the event of a flat the necessary support to finish the race without letting off the throttle.  


Jim and TireBalls had dialogue for over a year on what combination of tire size and cell pressures best fit the rugged terrain of the European series that is unique in comparison to the US.  Bog's being the biggest challenge.  We nailed it.  With the first Ultra4 Europe win TireBalls is looking forward to the continued 100% podium presence not only in the US for 2014, but Europe also.


Cheers mate.  

Erik Miller - True Champion

Never Give Up: The Story of a True Champion

0 EM Up Close

Racers are a special breed. The men and women who put their lives on the line to speed down a race track, a street course or an off road course are different than most. Those who race through deserts and rocks are even more unique. There is something very special about these people, and those who win championships separate themselves even further from the pack – figuratively, as well as literally. It’s been said that championships are won in the trenches by those who refuse to quit. Although King of the Hammers may be only one race, this one race is a microcosm of what makes up a racing series championship in Ultra4. With its high-speed desert racing, treacherous rock hopping and low-speed/high-torque sections, King of the Hammers demands car and driver to be ready for everything possible – and a little bit more. There are probably no other single-day events that take more from their competitors and the equipment that they use.

0 Trails

A driver needs to have it all: raw talent, a fast, tough and well-engineered race car and a skilled team to keep him up front. Is that all it takes? Yes. Well… to win a drag race that’s all. King of the Hammers ain’t no drag race, kiddos. Comparing it to one is like comparing apples to Appalachia.

To win King of the Hammers, you also need preparation, strength and conditioning, superhuman desire and willpower, along with the intestinal fortitude of an astronaut. And then you still have to beat more than 150 other tough competitors, the desert and a few rocks that make up sections known collectively as “The Hammers.” King of the Hammers would be a nightmare to most people. To the rest of us, it’s the ultimate dream; the place to prove your worth as a driver, buggy-builder, strategist and/or mechanic.

0 Lead Pic Erik and 4421

Erik Miller proved his mettle in 2012 when he won this race. He proved it even more in 2014 when he lost it. Erik and his team probably put more into winning the King of the Hammers than any other team. By the time they get to the Hammers, they have already logged more miles than most others. They’re also at least a week early. Why? Because, to use a cliché, “losing is not an option” for these guys. Just who are these guys, anyway? Miller Motorsports consists of driver and team leader Erik Miller, along with co-driver Rob Ruggiero and crew members Dominic Balducci, John Balducci, Jacob Burk, Scott Decker, Kevin Ledder, Ryan Early and Michael Baklarz. Based in Maryland, the team members live in numerous states throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and work out of the Miller Motorsports shop located in the woods on a mountain somewhere outside of Cumberland, MD. It’s in this small but expanding shop where Erik builds his race vehicles, including the one that won the 2012 King of the Hammers… as well as the one that triumphantly lost the 2014 King of the Hammers.

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The Miller Motorsports team doesn’t travel across the United States to Johnson Valley, CA in order to finish last – or even second. They are always setting loftier goals for themselves. In 2010, their goal was to finish well. They did. After starting in 58th, Erik and Rob announced their arrival on the ULTRA4 scene with a 5th place finish; more than good enough to qualify them for the next season’s race. They went on to win the 2010 ULTRA4 International Endurance Championship.

The 2011 King of the Hammers race foreshadowed what Erik and Rob would encounter in 2014. They came to the race expecting all of their hard work, planning and experience to bring them the podium finish that a blown tire kept them from achieving on their rookie–season run. In 2011 their problems began with another flat tire, this time the rock that caused the tire to flatten also broke the steering ram clamp. Eventually they made it to the remote pit, where they were able to weld the ram to the axle housing and change the tire. More damage followed, this time to the steering. The subsequent repairs cost the team much more than a podium finish. The additional two hours of repairs caused them to drop to a respectable but disappointing 14th and the planning for the 2012 race began. It should be noted here that they never quit. Long after the winning teams crossed the line, and the podium filled, Erik and Rob kept on digging to get that 14th place finish.

The event went more smoothly in 2012 and Erik Miller took the coveted championship, becoming the youngest, as well as the only east coast driver to do so. And although the team was disappointed not to take a win, or even a podium in 2013, 4th place at the toughest one-day race on the map is still a pretty decent day.

0 921 by HMC

At the onset of the 2014 season, Miller Motorsports switched tire sponsors to Nitto Tire. Erik wanted to do more than just win the King of the Hammers for his new sponsor (and those who continued to support him). He wanted to win both the Everyman Challenge (the support race run the day before the ULTRA4 race which he also competed in) as well as conquering the KoH championship as he did two years earlier.

Sound impossible? To most people: yes. But guess what? He damn near did it. After winning the EMC on Thursday, he came back the next morning and, from his third-position starting spot had gained the lead over Nitto teammate Loren Healy by the third and final lap. But that was the easy part. This isn’t any ordinary race; it’s King of the Hammers and the third lap of this race is the very brutal lap of attrition .


By now, you’re probably wondering what Erik Miller did in the 2014 King of the Hammers race that made his story even more amazing than that of Loren Healy, who overcame multiple mechanical issues, including a busted radiator, to win the race? Well, we’re not going to tell you.

0 Erik and Doggies 1

We’re going to let Erik Miller tell you. We thought that this story was so amazing that we sent a film crew to his shop in those woods on that hill somewhere outside of Cumberland, MD to hear him tell the story that only he could properly tell. See for yourself why people like Erik Miller are unique in all the world and remember, he could have asked to be towed home at any time and nobody would have thought any less of him….

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