A familiar pair of faces was atop the podium in Hammertown today, as Brad Lovell and brother Roger managed to defend their title with a back-to-back win at the Smittybilt Everyman Challenge at the 2017 King of the Hammers.
Sure, the Lovells are no strangers to Johnson Valley, with Brad having previously secured the toughest of victories with an overall win at the King of the Hammers. The Lovells are no strangers to the podium at the Everyman Challenge either after earning two overall victories at the event, with the most recent being last year. In fact, Brad said the biggest motivation heading into today’s race was trying to live up to his most recent success.
“I can’t tell you enough, after we won last year there was so much pressure coming in,” Brad Lovell said.
But Brad and his co-driving brother Roger cruised to a relatively easy victory in the same car the two have raced out here for the last eight years, with the only major changed being the axle shafts getting swapped out last year. Lovell crossed the finish line with an unofficial time of 4 hours, 35 minutes and 44 seconds, winning the class nearly 12 minutes ahead of second-place finisher Jason Fish.
The margin of victory for Lovell may have been larger if it weren’t for a lost power steering hose in the late stages of the race on Wrecking Ball. The team had to stop and replace the hose and add fluid, which ate into a lead that was nearly 30 minutes through Chocolate Thunder only a mile or so previously.
The third car across the finish line was Jordan Pellegrino, the first Class 4500 vehicle into Hammertown. Pellegrino was actually second in class on corrected time, however, as the fourth race car across to finish was the Toyota of Marty Mann, who edged out Pellegrino on corrected time. Mann’s finish was impressive, especially considering he was the 91st car to leave the starting line.
The fifth car across the line, and third in Class 4800, was Jason Bunch, who finished the race roughly 34 minutes behind second-in-class Fish with an unofficial time of 5 hours, 21 minutes and 26 seconds.
MORE KOH COVERAGE
2017 King of the Hammers Coverage