This 2019 King of the Hammers Livestream Is the Best Place to See Off-Road Action All Week

Screenshot: King of The Hammers - ULTRA4 Racing (YouTube)

The 2019 Nitto King of the Hammers Powered by Optima is a big deal in the off-road world and a week of festivities leading up to a main event are happening right now. Despite taking place in the California desert, this race has some of the best live motorsports coverage online and you can tune in here.

As I write this on Tuesday Feb. 5, 2019, a round of qualifying laps for the King Of The Hammers (which the sponsors really want you to refer to as the 2019 Nitto King of the Hammers Powered by Optima) has just concluded. But you will be able to stream action from the race course in Johnson Valley, Calif. all week!

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And here’s main event coverage for Friday:

Motorbikes, UTVs, nighttime rock bouncing... it’s a pretty full schedule out there for the next few days. You can find the whole “Hammerweek” calendar on Ultra4’s website, and I’ll paste it at the end of this blog post for your convenience.

Regular fans probably already know this, but for everyone else, the main attraction we’re talking about here is Ultra4 racing. I used to describe Ultra4 cars to people as “Jeeps on steroids.” At this point they’ve evolved even further, but the basic concept is the same: huge engines, huge tires and four-wheel drive. The King Of The Hammers race itself is a combination of highly technical rock crawling and hauling ass over big swaths of open desert.

Now, today’s qualifying event isn’t as riveting as the main race itself, at least for people who aren’t dedicated fans of the sport, but I’m sharing this particular broadcast because it’s a great way to get familiar with the vehicles, drivers and techniques involved in this kind of racing. Ultra4 is extremely spectator friendly and easy to get excited about once you know what’s going on, and the commentators here seem to be doing a good job of explaining what’s happening.

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If you miss anything or are tuning in late, you can always just scrub back on the YouTube stream and watch it whenever you want.

If you’d like to get a taste of what Ultra4 is all about from the comfort of your computer, why not pop this live stream on while you’re procrastinating whatever you’re supposed to be doing? Then you can be good and ready for the big show, which starts early Friday morning. That’s 8 a.m. Pacific time, Feb. 8 2019 to be exact.

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Here’s the weeks whole schedule copied straight from the Ultra4 website. Sorry if you missed the first couple days, but the big action is still coming up.

Friday February 1, 2019

  • 8:00 AM Pre-Running Opens – Must be Registered
  • 9:00 AM Tech Opens - All new cars need to be teched by close of tech on Monday

Saturday February 2, 2019

  • Pre Running Full Course
  • 10:00 AM Mandatory Can AM UTV Drivers Meeting
  • 11:00 AM – 4:00PM Can AM UTV Qualifying on short course

Sunday February 3, 2019

  • 8:00 AM – Can Am UTV Race Presented by HCR Starts
  • 4:00 PM – Can Am UTV Race Presented by HCR Ends
  • 6:00 PM Event Kickoff/Party
  • 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM Amsoil After Dark Live Show

Monday February 4, 2019

  • Pre Running Day
  • 9AM Qualifying Driver Meeting for 4WP EMC
  • 10 AM – 4 PM – 4500/4800 Qualifying on short course
  • 12:00 PM Vendor Show opens
  • 4:30 PM Mandatory Drivers meeting for 4400 Qualifying
  • 5:00 PM Mandatory Drivers meeting for Shootout
  • 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Holley EFi Shootout Presented by KMC, King Shocks & ASC

Tuesday February 5, 2019 

  • Pre Running Day
  • 8:00 AM Start of 4400 Qualifying on short course
  • 12:00 - 6:00 PM 4WP EMC Tech and Contingency
  • 12:00 - 8:00 PM Vendor Hours in Hammertown
  • 3:45 PM Awards Ceremony for Shootout Participants before Power Hour
  • 5:00 PM Close of Qualifying
  • 5:30 PM Pit Crew Challenge Sponsored by Pro Eagle, Buggy Whips, Raceline, and Boxo Tools
  • 7:00 PM Mandatory drivers meeting for all EMC racers
  • 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM Amsoil After Dark Live Show

Wednesday February 6, 2019

  • 8:00 AM Start of 4WP EMC Race
  • 12:00 - 2:00 PM Toyo Desert Invitational Race Tech and Contingency
  • 12:00 - 8:00 PM Vendor Hours in Hammertown
  • 6:00 PM End of 4WP EMC Race
  • 7:00 PM Mandatory Drivers meeting for Toyo Desert Invitational
  • 8:00 PM Volunteer Meeting
  • 8:00 PM King Shocks Party
  • 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM Amsoil After Dark Live Show

Thursday February 7, 2019

  • 8:00 AM Prologue Toyo Desert Invitational Presented by Monster Energy
  • 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Toyo Desert Invitational Presented by Monster Energy
  • 12:00 - 7:00 PM KOH Tech and Contingency in Hammertown
  • 12:00 - 8:00 PM Vendor Hours in Hammertown
  • 6:00 PM Volunteer Dinner
  • 7:00 PM Mandatory Drivers meeting for King of the Hammers Race
  • 7:00 PM Rigid Poker Run
  • 8:00 PM Volunteer Staffing meeting
  • 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM Amsoil After Dark Live Show

Friday February 8, 2019

  • 6:00 AM Driver Line Up Nitto King of the Hammers Powered by Optima Batteries Race
  • 8:00 AM Start of the Nitto King of the Hammers Powered by Optima Batteries Race
  • 10:00 PM Close of the King of the Hammers Race

Saturday February 9, 2019 

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Andrew P. Collins

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL