Skyler Howes

Savvy Off Road

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"Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is a progress and working together is success." - Henry Ford savvy off road jeep
The Savvy/Currie Racing Team is building on our successful program. In the three years the team has contested Ultra4 events, we are seven wins at seven events. Three overall wins at the King of the Hammers Everyman Challenge, National Championship, and a NORRA 1000 Unlimited 4x4 Win. We've had a total of nine Podiums in ten competitions we entered. Not many teams can boast those achievement in such a short time.

For 2015, the team is already building a new Unlimited 4400 Class racer. Once again, Currie Enterprises will be leading the way with their stout RockJock Hi Pinion 70 axle assemblies. A crate GM Performance LSX 454 with provide the grunt and the 4L85e Supermatic transmission will apply it. Advanced Adapter's new Race Transfer Case will distribute the power to the axles.

To house all this goodness, Campbell Fabrication has been tasked to build the chassis. Once we assemble the drivetrain it will all be taken down to the Campbell Enterprises shop to be fitted in the new chassis. This should happen the week of June 23rd. Schedule chassis completion is the end of August. Once the roller is completed, it will return to the Savvy/Currie Race shop for completion. We are scheduling our first test dates in October. With Off Road Expo being our first show with all of the new weapons in our arsenal.
savvy off road jeep
Because of this truncated schedule, we will need all partners to commit to this new exciting project by July 1st. This will give us time to meet with everyone of you and address your goals and strategies. All of our existing partners get right of first refusal. Send me an email letting me know you are in so I can start including your company in the media packages. We can work on the details throughout July.

Here are the confirmed Schedule of Events for the 2015 4400, 2014 4500, and 2014 JK Unlimited

- 2014 Off Road Expo
- 2014 SEMA (4400 in Eaton Booth)
- King of the Hammers (4400 and 4500 Class)
- TDS Jeep Safari
- Moab Easter Jeep Safari

NORRA 1000 Recap - 1,300 miles of fun and an Evolution Unlimited 4x4 WIN! John is now 6 for 6! savvy off road jeep
A total of eight Ultra4 rigs started in our class. There were five 4700, two 4400, and our 4500. This is not an easy race for navigators as you have a book each day to guide you through the obstacles. I was calling out waypoints all day. If you get car sick at all, this is not for you as your head will be down following the book and viewing the GPS most of the day.

Our first day to the Bay of LA was uneventful but long at 475 miles. We just took it easy as we knew we had a lot of miles ahead of us. Almost at the end of the first stage Dave Cole, Jim Marsden, Andrew McLaughlin passed us. We saw them coming and let them by. In this race, people let you pass if you are legit. Nerfing is prohibited. A minimum of four hour penalties for contact to both parties. We knew this was going to be a long race with cars designed to do 200 mile races.

On the second day to Loretto (400 miles), Ultra4 cars were rolling or having mechanical issues. Broken axle housings, motors, and transmission. We got home just fine. Making friends pulling cars out and through silt beds as well as one out of a tree. He over shot the corner and landed in a tree. Ultra4 was acknowledged by the Organizer at the Awards Banquet.

The second stage start was on the rev limiter racing up a fast straight road right from the drop of the flag. We pegged 260 degrees and shut it down. The rest of the day we drove by temp gauge. We lost around an hour limping home but somehow we ended up leading our class with Jason Shipman in his Campbell IFS car two hours back as he broke a belt tensioner on the first stage but limped home a couple hours back. The second day was probably the fastest -- long, flat straight aways on dry lake beds and wide roads. A terrible day to be limited to 50-60 miles per hour. We ended up losing 35-40 minutes to Jason but still in the lead.

The third day was a shorter ride, some 280 miles. We fixed the overheating problem and the car ran flawlessly (bad thermostat). In fact, it ran too good! Our day went to hell at mile 64 of 128 on the run into La Paz. We hit a downhill ditch about 30-40 mph and did an endo. Ended up on our side a 100 feet down the road. It was violent, but I was only a little sore with minor strap bruises. With only a bent wheel and body damage, we were able to continue once a Vintage truck came by and pulled us to our wheels. I was able to scramble out of the car but John got tangle up in his belts. He drove the race with a broken thumb which he mangled the day before we left to head to Mexico. We now had less than 45 minutes on Jason Shipman.

John Rocha and Marty Castro (our full blown race team) were able to get the car back into shape that night. They were our chase and pit crew and proved invaluable. We replaced a shifter cable that would melt and last only one more day. We made it, but it were barely shifting in Cabo.

The final day to Los Cabo was a shorter run (186 miles) and we had zero issues. We ended the day 27 minutes ahead of Jason Shipman, 14th overall, and 1st in the Evolution Unlimited 4x4 Class. What a ride!

John Currie Earns Third Smittybilt Everyman Challenge Win savvy off road jeep
John Currie earned his third Everyman Challenge consecutive win today in Johnson Valley, but in spite of the fact that he ran away from most of the field, it did not come easy. Brad Lovell challenged Currie for most of the race, although Currie said that he wasn't aware of Lovell's presence.

"I didn't really know that the Lovells were as close as they were; I didn't know we were really racing," Currie said at the finish line. "We had actually seen them when we came over the top of Jackhammer. When we looked back we could see a truck coming down, but we thought it was Brandon Heyes or something because they started way up in front."

Lovell, who was racing in the Legends class where racers were limited to one shock per corner and DOT tires, had started quite a ways back in the field but passed dozens of racers and was the second car on the course by race mile 49. Currie was aware of another vehicle's presence behind him but tried to just focus on driving.

savvy off road jeep "You can't race each other out here," Currie said. "You have to race the course first and then race each other; so you can't let it get in your head that I can out-drive the next guy because as soon as you start to do that you start blowing tires off the beads and stuff breaks, so we kind of kept it under control and we had no flats."

Currie said he really only had one problem today at about race mile 97 when a fan belt failed (which he thinks may have just been a stick catching it). Lovell, who managed to cross the finish line second to earn the Legends class win, was in the hunt for the overall but ran into some trouble during the race.

"We had all kinds of problems out there," Lovell said. "We were pushing so hard from the start we came out and we started behind all of the Modifieds, so 40 or 50 cars or so. We kept just picking them off. Coming back in after the first lap, I think we were in second."

savvy off road jeep After working through the pack to challenge Currie for the overall win, Lovell had a tough time getting up one of the tougher climb sections.

"Finally we came through the pit here and started up Wrecking Ball, and I don't know if the sway bar broke, flat tire first or what, but we just came over this berm and it should've been fine and the next thing I know we just flopped it on its side," Lovell said. "So then I was freaking out, and we had to get out and luckily there was this rock that we could winch to. We winched it back up and we just kept running that flat all the way up through Wrecking Ball. We came into Pit 2 and we tried to change the tires, and we had a problem with the wheel fitment, and we actually had to put the flat back on, and we had a flat in the rack, so off we went in the desert again. We got out past the lake bed and the first flat came apart, so we had to pull over, and all we had was a 15/16th wrench; we didn't have our impact wrench with us because we gave it to them at the pit. So we're out there cranking on it [and] we had to bend the wrench to get it in the wheel, and finally we got the wheel off and put the other flat on, and that thing was about 10 feet from coming apart in the end here."

After running on two flats for a good chunk of the race, the team came in to earn the Legends win, finishing roughly 12 minutes behind Currie.

savvy off road jeep "For me, I'm used to running race tires and I think I was pushing it a little too hard for DOT tires so it's a lesson," Lovell said. "We're happy to get the class win. We were coming up on Currie for the overall when we rolled it, and it's just how it goes some days."

Crossing the finish line third and earning second in the Legends class was Matt Messer.

"We had a great day of racing," Messer said. "We just had one little slip-up. We got caught up on one little rock trail and that cost us about ten minutes. We actually had to get out and winch the car off. It was disappointing, I mean, but I really can't complain. We had no flat tires, the car ran phenomenal. We were at race speeds all day, and we didn't really have to check up for anything, so it's just one of those things. It happens."

One of the stories of the day was a massive pileup on Jackhammer behind the leaders. Currie and Lovell came through the section about four minutes apart, followed by Cody Addington and British driver Jim Marsden about 28 minutes later. Then came Adam Arsenault and George Evans another 41 minutes back. That is when the fun began.

Evans got high-centered on the trail and needed the winch to get clear. Erik Miller and the 4871 cleaned the section, but after that, the next several competitors ran into trouble, creating a bottleneck. It started when Ross Stanford got stuck before the huge boulder just above the Jackhammer commemorative plaque and blocking the line that most of the competitors were taking, and the traffic jam moved into full force.

Paul Bickerton rolled the dice and chose a left line that was steeper and more perilous than the main line, and other gamblers followed, only to create even more carnage. Jessie Combs hopped out, took a look and then went for the steep left line, nearly endoing in the process but she made it through. After a few more cars passed cleanly, Mike Johnson got high-centered on the main line and lost five minutes trying to winch out. Eric Bothwell also got stuck and had to rely on help from the stock Toyota team of Justin Reece. By then the backmarkers began to pile up and folks got anxious. The ensuing free-for-all saw Richard Gauthier block the entrance to either line passed the boulder, causing Ben Varozza to have to lend winch assistance—twice—to clear the lane, only to get stuck himself just a few feet farther down the section. While all this action was taking place, Casey Gilbert tried to skirt the extreme right edge of the course and managed to get buried up to the chassis, stranding the next four rigs behind him as the team relied on good old-fashioned jack work and winch assistance to break free. In the meantime, others with more experience and/or creativity managed to avoid trouble, while others, such as Shannon Campbell, got hung up multiple times (and later had to stop at the base of the trail to make repairs). The Gilbert team took nearly an hour to get free and get moving again.

In other words, it was just another day at the Hammers.

Photos: Scott Rousseau

savvy off road jeep "If you believe in yourse lf and have dedication and pride - and never quit, you'll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards." By Paul Bryant

Savvy/Currie wins the King of the Hammers Everyman Challenge! Victory is even sweeter the second time as one of the hardest things to do in Motorsports is to repeat.

We started 11th off the line and by race mile 4 we passed all 10 in front of us. Being in clean air all day really made it easier. However, a lot of winching and hard work were required to bring home the win. Spotting and setting winch points as I was running the course was really hard! savvy off road jeep

The 2013 KOH EMC course was brutal to start, with 55 miles of hard desert terrain and then a 60 mile rock loop. We finished the 115 mile course in 5:38 with second place arriving 38 minutes later.

As we prepare for the 2014 KOH Everyman Challenge I want to take this opportunity to let you know we are already building the 2014 Jeep. It will be based on the current Jeep JK platform and will run the modified class. The current Jeep has 100s of 1000s of views and various forum build threads and Facebook followers.

All of your products have been discussed and reviewed by the Savvy/Currie team and we will continue to speak highly of them as you have contributed to our success.

"The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible." Arthur C. Clark savvy off road jeep
Once again I refer to Arthur Clark as we prepare for the 2013 King of the Hammers Every Man Challenge. This year we'll be taking the 2012 winning Jeep LJ, stock class and overall winner, and we are entered in the modified class. Once again, John Currie will be piloting the Savvy/Currie Jeep and Gerald Lee will be co-driving.

At first we just wanted to run the stock Jeep in the modified class to see if we could compete. While pre-running during Thanksgiving we spun a rod bearing on the 6 cylinder stroker motor. So, instead of just fixing the 6, we decided to install a LS3 motor with almost double the horsepower. It would take us six weeks to get it done, and after today's testing of the Jeep, we definitely made the right decision. The Jeep just kicks butt!

Advance Adapters really came through, getting us a new transfer case setup for the TH400 transmission and LS conversion components. Dynomax Performance exhaust system really lets the motor breathe FIRE!

To harness the extra HP, King Performance Shocks has upgraded our shocks to help keep the Walker Evans Racing Beadlocks with Falken Wildpeak tires planted.

The Jeep is a MONSTER! Unbelievably fast and smooth. All of our friends, partners and fans can help root us on as we try to build on the success from last year.

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