Well it’s been a while since we have sent out a team newsletter. There is good reason. We bit off a lot in 2015 between launching a Pro 2 program, building a Bronco to race in the desert, and prepping/crewing a Pro-Light. I needed more time so the newsletters stopped and I put what media time I had into the realm of social media.
This year’s King of the Hammers (KOH) would see almost double the entries, 60 side-by-sides, lining up to try to take “The Hammer” and a brand-new 2016 RZR XP Turbo EPS, which was offered to the Pro Class winner as part of Polaris RZR being the official side-by-side of the race. Three Polaris Factory Racers would line up their Polaris RZRs for the toughest off-road race in the world and when the dust settled, all three would finish in the top five.
Nitto Tire U.S.A. is proud to announce that Team Nitto driver Erik Miller has won the 2016 King of the Hammers race. Miller took home the win alongside Nitto teammates Jason Scherer, Shannon Campbell, and Bailey Campbell at Friday’s race where the team’s Nitto Trail Grappler tires provided them with the reliability and durability they needed to achieve victory.
The King of the Hammers is celebrating its 10th year in 2016, and the event is bigger than ever. The event has grown to become, as some put it, the “Burning Man of Off-Road” because of the uniqueness, and difficulty, of the competition, which has help spawn explosion of rock crawling across the country. Even if those attending the event never plan to race, there are more crawlers roaming around the event than one could imagine – most of which could have won the race five years ago.
After 116 miles of brutal racecourse in Johnson Valley, California, Brad Lovell crossed the finish line first in Hammertown to take the win in the Smittybilt Everyman Challenge today.
As he’s done before in 2013 and last year in 2015, Jason Scherer posted the fastest qualifying time today for the 2016 Nitto King of the Hammers. The 2009 KOH Champion didn’t only post the fastest time today, but his time is the fastest among yesterday’s qualifiers as well.
Scherer will now sit on the pole for Friday’s 2016 Nitto King of the Hammers powered by Optima Batteries, giving him clear air provided he can stay in front of the pack of race cars chasing him through Johnson Valley.
Another King in Loren Healy finished just a few second behind Scherer. Derek West was third fastest, two-time KOH Champion Shannon Campbell fourth and Clay Gilstrap in fifth. Raul and JP Gomez sit in sixth and seventh, respectively. Wayland Campbell, son of Shannon, qualified in either. Levi Shirly posted the ninth fastest time and Andrew McLaughlin, and his awesome roll we posted yesterday, rounds out the top 10.
Top 20 Qualifying for Nitto King of the Hammers
1. Jason Scherer – 1:54:71
2. Loren Healy -1:59:49
3. Derek West – 2:02:07
4. Shannon Campbell – 2:02:85
5. Clay Gilstrap – 2:03:49
6. Raul Gomez – 2:04:16
7. JP Gomez – 2:05:32
8. Wayland Campbell – 2:05:41
9. Levi Shirley – 2:08:19
10. Andrew McLaughlin – 2:10:89
11. Casey Currie – 2:11:38
12. Greg Adler – 2:12:54
13. Pete Antunac – 2:12:96
14. Jeff Russell – 2:13:47
15. Jason T Shipman – 2:14:48
16. Michael Trebino – 2:15:63
17. Ben Swain – 2:16:21
18. Gary Ferravanti Sr. – 2:16:65
19. Brian Caprara – 2:17:63
20. Rob MacCachren – 2:18:72
More 2016 King of the Hammers
Official Results 2016 UTV King of the Hammers
Ultra4 has released the official results for today’s UTV King of the Hammers race. Compared to last year, quite a few more vehicles crossed the finish line and completed the race in time, with 21 racers finishing this year compared to last year’s whopping three.
Blake Van de Loo is still the official winner, and not much changed with the top five. Of the official finishers, only two racers were penalized, and it wasn’t for any deceptive moves. Arctic Cat teammates Sheldon Creed and Robby Gordon were both penalized 135 minutes for, according to Ultra4 officials, “unintentionally short-coursing the course,” or in other words, they missed a chunk of the course.
It actually appears to be nothing more than an honest mistake. Neither Creed or Gordon had GPS units equipped in their vehicles, and while heading toward one of the pits, Creed bypassed a section. Gordon was chasing him down as both were still in contention for the race, but unfortunately they both missed a chunk of the course. Ultra4 officials took the average of five different racers completing the section and deemed it to be 27 minutes, and the penalty by Ultra4 rule is five times that amount to equal 135 minutes.
In the end, Creed and Gordon’s mistake were thought to be unintentional in nature and sound far worse the penalty would indicate. Below are the official results of the finisher’s from today’s race. For more, check out the race recap here.
Official Results – 2016 Polaris UTV King of the Hammers
1. Blake Van de Loo – 4:22:55
2. Branden Sims – 4:55:21
3. Chad Hughes – 5:05:54
4. Dean Bulloch – 5:11:44
5. Mitch Guthrie – 5:14:19
6. Rob MacCachren – 5:21:33
7. Jason Weller – 5:30:52
8. Evan Engelhardy – 5:36:55
9. Erik Miller – 5:37:23
10. Richard Bronsema – 5:43:18
11. Ross Pilgreen – 6:26:54
12. Brian King – 6:29:19
13. Tyler Greeves – 6:34:36
14. Austin Massingill – 7:01:54
15. Anthony Yount – 7:22:44
16. Brent Zimmerman – 7:22:45
17. Wesley Gryner – 7:37:58
18. Sheldon Creed – 7:42:51*
19. Jesse Johnson – 7:47:12
20. Brian Fisher – 7:54:40
21. Robby Gordon – 8:18:59*
*Both Creed and Gordon were assessed 135-minute time penalties for missing part of the course.
With nearly 60 race teams vying for the win in the 2016 Polaris UTV King of the Hammers, it was Blake Van De Loo of Phoenix, Arizona, who came away with the victory, crossing the finish line well ahead of the rest of the field.
Story and Photos by Valerie Douglas
Qualifying Day 1 of the Nitto King of the Hammers Powered by Optima Batteries did not fail to entertain. Throughout the day, 49 drivers tackled last year’s qualifying course run backwards, which was just around 2 miles, with multiple lines available throughout the course that would, or would not, save a driver time. Yes, short cuts on this course were often slower.
Plymouth, Minn. (Feb 2, 2016) – Arctic Cat will enter five Wildcat UTV Teams in the World’s Toughest One Day Race – The King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, Calif. The UTV Class competes on February 3rd before 35,000 fans and nearly 500,000 on-line viewers.
Arctic Cat partner, Robby Gordon, will be bringing his 30 years of off-road racing experience to the King of the Hammers in a 2016 Wildcat X; the same Wildcats raced in Gordon’s popular Stadium Side x Side Series. Gordon has won seven international off-road class championships, two stadium series and three Baja 500s and is expected to be one of the front-runners.