Brothers Brad & Roger Lovell have become back to back champions of the King of the Hammers EMC race in what was a relatively smooth run with only minor issues. The pair qualified 8th after a huge boulder was dislodged causing a fair amount of struggle on a rocky climb. What was most important, however was that the team was near the front of an enormous 130 car field.
“Our formula is to always run our own race and control what we can, ignore what we can’t,” says driver Brad, “We ran a brisk and consistent pace but not fast enough to cause a lot of errors.” In the first 60 miles of desert the team gained several positions but kept a focus on the front. “Roger kept telling me that we can only go so fast in our car can handle regardless of who we are racing so I pushed hard but made no errors.”
As luck would have it, early leader Bailey Cole fell victim to a broken axle shaft and the Lovells took the lead, albeit unknown to them. “I knew we would be fast once we got to the rocks and everything was going great until we heard we had a 30 minute lead. That type of thing gets to you in a strange way. We slowed to a conservative pre-run pace but in a race like this, drama will find you.”
Bad luck struck on Wrecking Ball when a power steering line burst stopping the team dead in the water. “My heart jumped in my throat when we lost steering. For an instant I thought hope was lost but we found the bad line and replaced it in less than 10 minutes. We throttled up the waterfall and while I knew that we ate into our buffer, we still had a strong lead.” The only unscheduled pit stop was for a topoff of AMSOIL ATH in the steering reservoir before the brothers were making dust in the desert running the last section to the finish.
“I kept thinking something little was going to go wrong and nab the win so we took it real easy. We came into traffic on Resolution right before the finish and a broken car was blocking the drop off Backdoor. I didn’t want to take any chances and those guys were sportsman enough to move the car while in the middle of repairs. It is a bad day when your broken and those guys have my respect.”
Once clear of the rocks the Lovell brothers cruised to a finish and victory with no flats in their first race of the season. “We owe it to a solid team of guys who love racing, a dedicated family, and the support of our sponsors through thick and thin. There is no way we could race without the support of AMOSIL, BFGoodrich Tires, Spidertrax Off-Road, Rugged Radios, and all our other sponsors. We are proud to represent the best brands in off-road.”