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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.

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As the sun painted the clouds with red and orange over Hammertown, the 11th annual Nitto King of the Hammers powered by Optima Batteries came to life with the low rumble of V8 engines. Race cars had to be staged by 6:30 a.m. for an 8:00 a.m. start. Pit crews scattered to one of three remote pits along race course as the cars lined up in staging areas. Drivers chatted and joked about the adventure that was about to commence as their navigators ensured the race course and notes were on their navigation systems.

Johnson-Valley-Hammers-3-1-13Editor’s Note: The BlueRibbon Coalition is helping the Marine Corps spread the word about the closure of Johnson Valley during the month of August this year for military training. See more on the details below.

The Johnson Valley Shared Use Area will be temporarily closed to the public August 1-30, 2017, while the Marine Corps conducts military training to support a large-scale exercise.

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Nitto Tire U.S.A., a leading manufacturer of off-road and street performance tires, is excited to announce that Team Nitto drivers Shannon Campbell, Wayland Campbell, and Jason Scherer have swept the 2017 King of the Hammers podium while 2016 champion Erik Miller finished just behind in fourth place. This victory makes Shannon Campbell the first three-time winner of the prestigious race and is the first time a tire manufacturer has swept the podium in the race’s 10-year history.

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Shannon Campbell earned his third King of the Hammers victory over his son by a mere 28 seconds.

After earning the win ahead of son Wayland at Wednesday’s Can-Am UTV King of the Hammers, Shannon Campbell again bested his son by just edging him out on corrected time to be the first racer to earn three King of the Hammers victories.

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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.

Toyota Tacoma KOH
While we’d take nothing away from the event itself, you could argue that most of the excitement of King of the Hammers takes place in the days leading up to the main race when thousands of people descend on Johnson Valley to prep and wheel prior to one of the toughest off-road races in the world.  This guy is putting his Toyota Tacoma through its paces, much to the crowds delight.

MORE: 2017 King of the Hammers Coverage

Larry McRae returns to KOH after beating throat cancer last year! Photo: Valerie Douglas

Larry McRae returns to KOH after beating throat cancer last year! Photo: Valerie Douglas

Jason Scherer bested another previous King of the Hammers winner Erik Miller for the fastest qualifying time for the 2017 King of the Hammers, but it won’t matter for more than bragging rights because both racers will start side by side Friday morning.

Macy Higgins saves it after almost rolling off the hill during qualifying and cut a tire, but managed to finish. Photo: Valerie Douglas

Macy Higgins saves it after almost rolling off the hill during qualifying. He cut a tire but still managed to finish. Photo: Valerie Douglas

Erik Miller posted the fastest time yesterday during qualifying for the 2017 Nitto King of the Hammers Powered by Optima Batteries. Aside from 4400 qualifying, Ultra4 also had qualifying runs for 4500 and 4800.

Erik Miller had the fastest time of the day and is currently on the Pole for Friday’s main race. Photo: Valerie Douglas

Erik Miller had the fastest time of the day and is currently on the Pole for Friday’s main race. Photo: Valerie Douglas

Racers battled the qualifying course on Tuesday for this week’s 2017 Nitto King of the Hammers Powered by Optima Batteries. Some familiar faces were at the top of the qualifying runs for the premier 4400 class, with two-time KOH Champion and 2016 winner Erik Miller taking top honors with a time of 1 minute, 40.2 seconds.