Video: Jordan Pellegrino’s Trials At 2019 King Of The Hammers

Up-and-coming racer Jordan Pellegrino takes every opportunity to learn. That’s the impression we get from watching his latest vlog. It was all about his trials and tribulations at the 2019 King Of The Hammers, condensing a stressful and exhilarating 168 hours into 25 minutes. It lets us see the highs and lows, and it’s worth checking out.

Once the team got into Johnson Valley, it was all business, and maybe a little pleasure. Jordan got his prerunner Wrangler out in the rocks, where rain affected the traction and made things sketchy. He gets a sense for what to expect when race day comes. Meanwhile, his crew takes a fine-tooth comb to his fully-independent-suspension race vehicle, which is a rare sight to see in rockcrawling motorsports.

Jordan is barely in his 20s, but he is on track to win big.

Three days later, and it was time for qualifying. “We had a super-clean run,” he says. “After finishing our run, we were sitting in fourth, and after Power Hour, we got bumped back to ninth, so we’re going to be starting ninth off the line on Friday.”

Heading into race day, Jordan took his prerunner Wrangler out for some more prerunning. The vehicle was going through its final check-up, too. On the day of the race, we catch a peek at our fearless freelancer, Stanley Harper, interviewing Jordan (psst… you can read Stanley’s Top 5 Vehicles of KOH here, featuring more info about his race rig). Jordan is an early riser during events like these; he told us, “Race morning is a busy morning for me. I get up at 4:45am race morning to make sure each crew member is 100-percent ready for the day.”

On race day, Jordan was doing everything right and staying in the competition.

But Jordan’s good fortune ran out. He made it about two thirds of the way through, only to have his rear differential lose a seal and start leaking fluid. It didn’t take long before it seized up and stranded Jordan and his co-driver.

We reached out to Jordan to find out more about the malfunction. “It’s still unknown why the diff seal came out, but we’re taking extra steps and continuing to test and tune the prototype differential,” he said. “Everything got so hot running without oil, it’s hard to really know what caused it.”

Unfortunately, the 4x4 reached the limits of its performance toward the end of the race, robbing Jordan of finishing. But he will be back. "We’ll spend the next month testing and tuning," he said.

Whatever the reason behind its failure, Jordan hasn’t lost confidence in the vehicle. “We’ll spend the next month testing and tuning,” he told us. “The next Ultra4 race will probably be Ridgecrest in September.”

Thanks to his and his crew’s tenacity, the rig will be back for more action soon. Sponsors like Mickey Thompson Tires, ARP, FK Rod Ends, EATON, and more will be there to have his back. What was your favorite scene from the vlog? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
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