Monster Energy Interview: King of the Hammers Open UTV Champion Casey Currie

Published On:: 2023-02-21

Currie has been coming to the Hammers for 12 years and hadn’t walked away with a title – until this past week, winning the Open UTV class

Baja 1000 victory? Check. Famed Dakar Rally victory? Check. Traxxas TORC Series title? Check. King of the Hammers? … Check!

Monster Energy’s Casey Currie just checked off another impressive championship in his highly decorated racing career – one of the tougher test of his driving ability and race equipment he’s ever lined up for.

For 17 years they’ve come to California Johnson Valley to run what’s considered the ultimate test of stock and modified off-road equipment at the ULTRA4 Progressive King of the Hammers, powered by Optima Batteries. And for 11 of those 17 years Currie had chased titles – and come up empty handed. That was until this past week when he and his co-driver Sean Berriman took the top spot in the Open UTV class.

We grabbed the fast moving Currie for a quick hitting interview, had him hit on the key points of what it took to end an 11-year drought to reign victorious at the Hammers.


Casey, this is big time. You’ve stood atop some of the premier race podiums all over North America and overseas, but had yet to win the Hammers. Gotta be feeling it right now!

We’ve been going to KOH for 12 years and this is the first time I won! Finished a couple of times, but could never put it together to get the victory.


Your co-driver in the Polaris RZR Pro R, Sean Berriman, said that you “know this place like no one else.” Talk about how experience lent itself to last weekend’s UTV Open win in the Rock Race.

We go out to pre run and practice a bunch over the year. We try and drive as much as we can. We love it out there. My Uncle is a huge help with knowing the area as he is as passionate as I am.


Last year you “flipped it in qualifying… didn’t get a mile into the race. And that this year you “Just wanted to finish.” Talk about how that “just finish” strategy played out for you guys.

We had a plan to just finish and play it smart. Last year didn’t go to plan as I pushed too hard to early. It all worked out great this year and we really played it smart.


At what point in the race were you on the edge the most in terms of playing it safe – and putting ‘er on the edge of disaster?

I never really had any crazy close calls. We drove very smart in the rocks and Sean got out and helped winch when we needed. We played it safe when we thought things might get tough.


Is it true that you didn’t suffer a flat tire(s) all day? How key was that in terms of securing your victory?

Ya, our Nittos (tire sponsor) really held up well. Having no flats shows how tough the tires are and not stopping to fix a flat really helps with time.


You also made mention through your YouTube page that a feature on your Fox Shocks was very helpful, where you just had to “hit a button.” Suspension is so key in rock crawling and rock racing. Talk about that Fox Shocks feature and how a bolt-on part to your Polaris RZR assisted you in victory.

Casey Currie: Fox makes an amazing shock and with the new electronics you can do so much with the options. Having a rock mode to help in the rocks and desert mode to help with the fast stuff makes it very nice for all terrain.


Back to the no welds/bolt-on avenue you took with the RZR, discuss how available a ride like your KOH-winner is to the general public. Granted, the average guy has nowhere near your race experience and racing acumen. But, in reality, could someone fork over the $$$ and “Run what Casey brung” at next year’s Hammers? And, if so, how much is that gonna cost?

Yes, my car had all bolt on upgrades. You can get away with just a cage, tires and wheels and seat belts to race. You could get away with less than $5k in upgrades to make it through KOH. The new Polaris Pro Rs are amazing machines.


We’d mentioned some of your bigger victories earlier – Baja, Dakar, TORC overall. How important was this Hammers win for you?

Tis win was big. It’s always nice to start off the year with a “W” My team works really hard and the wins really show what we are capable of. It does take an army of friends family and a solid team to make the effort we do. I can’t thank everyone enough.


Watching from afar there seems to be a pretty solid Monster Energy presence at “Hammertown” in Johnson Valley. Talk about the vibe there with Monster Energy amongst what amount to the epicenter of the world’s off-road community for a couple weeks.

Monster Energy is a huge supporter for the off road community. We love the support they show for racers and fans. They help make the experience awesome!


Excellent. Finally, what’s your plans for this upcoming off-road season? You punching the clock, busy as ever?

Yeah, we’ll be competing with the Ultra4, NORRA, SCORE and BITD series. Wide open!

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