Off Road

Unlimited Off-Road Racing Triple Crown Championship introduced for 2023

2 Mins read
Credit: Hammerking Productions/Martelli Brothers

King of the Hammers and the Mint 400 are two of the most prestigious off-road races in the United States, while the latter’s sister event California 300 is the newest addition to the scene having just hosted its inaugural edition. In 2023, the organisers of the three races will bring them together under a single championship system called the Unlimited Off-Road Racing Triple Crown Championship.

Hammerking Productions, led by CEO Dave Cole, oversees KOH while brothers Matt and Josh Martelli run the Mint 400 and California 300. The parties previously worked together in 2018 for a triple crown that consisted of KOH, the Mint 400, and the Crandon World Championship Off-Road Races.

“When we added desert classes out here initially, it was to give these Unlimited Trucks a fresh event and course to shine on, in front of our massive online audience and race fans,” said Cole. “That had already grown to include quite a few more desert classes. Then when we sat down with the Martellis recently, it became clear that what we both wanted was to propel the entire sport forward – and there’s no denying that if you come and compete at these three events you’ll get more exposure, and earn more prestige than with any other series next year. If you’ve ever wanted to compete at KOH, now’s your chance. If the Mint has been on your bucket list, next year is the year, and by all accounts, the California 300 was brutal. Anyone who can tame these three races next year deserves special recognition.”

Located in Johnson Valley, California, King of the Hammers is already a points-paying round for Ultra4 USA, serving as the season opener. Hammerking Productions formerly owned Ultra4 USA before selling the series to MidAmerica Outdoors, though the company still owns Ultra4’s international championships in Europe and Australia. Ultra4 Europe recently announced a partnership with RBI Sport to become a class at the latter’s rally raids in 2023 and 2024.

The Mint 400 in Las Vegas was formerly on the Best In The Desert schedule but is currently not part of any series. The Martelli Brothers introduced the California 300 in Barstow, and the first race took place in October.

As part of the new deal, Hammerking and the Martellis will field a joint points system and prizes. KOH’s rock-crawling classes are eligible for the Mint 400 and California 300, while traditional desert vehicles will take part in KOH.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be teaming up with Dave and the KOH family once again,” commented Matt Martelli. “Their addition of desert classes to King of the Hammers these past few years has been great for the sport of off-road racing and they are driving excitement for the entire off-road industry. We want to do the same for their racers and allow everyone racing in this new points series to benefit from the amount of coverage both of our groups bring to the table. It’s no secret that King of the Hammers, the Mint, and now the California 300 are the three toughest races in America. If you can tame all three, in one year, then you will be a champion among champions.”

KOH, scheduled for 2–11 February, will also see Great American Shortcourse open its 2023 season. The 2023 Mint 400 is planned for 8–12 March while the California 300 is set to take place on 4–8 October.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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