Nicole Johnson Takes 2nd at W.E. Rock's Put Up or Shut Up Shootout, Qualifying for 2010 King Of the Hammers

Nicole Johnson of Johnson Motorsports rounded out the 2009 rockcrawling season with a 2nd place finish at the 8th Annual W.E.ROCK Put Up or Shut Up Shootout (PUSU) over the weekend in Tucson, AZ. As a qualifier event for the 2010 King of the Hammers (KOH) ultimate desert race, PUSU offered one of five potential spots in the highly-anticipated Southern California race put on by HammerKing Productions.

Organizing the oldest continuous rock crawling competition in America, W.E.ROCK continued its tradition of hardcore "run what ya brung" competition where all vehicles compete together on the same courses with no class designations. This year’s format included high-speed dirt sections and multiple bonus options in the rocks, forcing strategy and risk-calculating from all the teams, many of which were specifically vying for a position at KOH. The top five teams not already qualified for the February race would earn their spot among 100 racers from around the world.

But it almost didn’t happen for Johnson Motorsports.

On the way to Tucson, husband and spotter Frank Johnson received a phone call about a work-related emergency, forcing Frank to return to Las Vegas for the weekend. “As owners of a small construction company running a race team, we have to wear many hats and work hard to be successful with all of our obligations,” commented Nicole.

Continuing on the road without Frank, Nicole quickly scrambled for a replacement spotter and was lucky enough to team up with George Poston out of Phoenix, AZ. George, as many within the sport remember, spotted for champion rockcrawler Bruce “BZ” Zeller prior to the team’s retirement in 2007. Within two hours notice, George headed to Tucson, and helped save the weekend for Johnson Motorsports.

Today back in Las Vegas, the husband and wife team have already begun the race preparations and necessary modifications to their rock buggy, as Johnson Motorsports will have marked its third consecutive year racing King of the Hammers in February.