Full House: Emily Miller (far left) addressed the media tonight on the even of the 2016 Nitto King of the Hammers Presented by Optima Batteries. With so many new media signups each year, it’s important to explain the lay of the land and relay important safety information so the Johnson Valley OHV area remains open for many years to come.

Full House: Emily Miller (far left) addressed the media tonight on the even of the 2016 Nitto King of the Hammers Presented by Optima Batteries. With so many new media signups each year, it’s important to explain the lay of the land and relay important safety information so the Johnson Valley OHV area remains open for many years to come.

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.

Thanks to FCA Group and Mopar, we hungry media can get some chow morning, noon and night.

Thanks to FCA Group and Mopar, we hungry media can get some chow morning, noon and night.

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Brad Lovell and co-driver and brother Roger Lovell appear to have won the Smittybilt Everyman Challenge today during the 2016 Nitto King of the Hammers week.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Below is the top 20 qualifiers for Friday’s 2016 Nitto King of the Hammers. Be sure to check back tomorrow for coverage of the Smittybilt Everyman Challenge.

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

Blake Van de Loo Wins the 2016 Polaris UTV King of the Hammers

Day 1 King of the Hammers Qualifying Results, Highlights

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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.

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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.

Blake Van de Loo crossed the finish line first almost two hours quicker than last year's winner.

Blake Van de Loo crossed the finish line first almost two hours quicker than last year’s winner.

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.

Ben Swain qualified in 8th in the first day of KOH qualifying.

Ben Swain qualified in 8th in the first day of KOH qualifying.

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.

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Scott GoForth earned the overall win. Photo: Courtesy of Ultra4 Racing

Story and Photos by Valerie Douglas (unless otherwise noted)

Welcome to the 10th running of Nitto King Of the Hammers Powered by Optima Batteries! By no means have we had amazing weather this week, unless you consider 75 mph winds with occasional rain, sleet and snow amazing weather, but regardless by the thousands people have flocked to Means Dry Lake Bed in Johnson Valley, CA, to watch amazing people with amazing vehicles defy gravity. Last night was no different with the Vision X SRRS vs. Ultra4 Shootout presented by King Shocks.

Carlos Apdaly Lopez crossed the finish physically in the first position, but penalties looked to have cost him the victory.

Carlos Apdaly Lopez crossed the finish physically in the first position, but penalties looked to have cost him the victory. Photo: GETSOMEphoto.com

SCORE addressed the penalties of the overall first Trophy Truck finisher at the 48th Bud Light SCORE Baja 1000 desert race, as Mexico’s Carlos Apdaly Lopez received time penalties from SCORE race officials Saturday morning for two course violations. The penalties cost Lopez the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck race victory.

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Rob MacCachren and Andy McMillin appear to have defended their Baja 1000 victory. Photo: GETSOMEphoto.com

In off-road racing, nothing is official until it’s official, but it appears as though Rob MacCachren and teammate Andy McMillin defended their 2014 SCORE Baja 1000 victory with a win this morning in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

That win, however, may not have been exactly how the team drew it up.

Tavo talking to reporters prior to the start of today's race, which could be an historic race for he and the people of Mexico.

Tavo talking to reporters prior to the start of today’s race, which could be an historic race for he and the people of Mexico.

Story and Photos by Scott Rousseau

Just as they did in 2010, Gustavo Vildosola Jr., Gusavo Vildosola Sr., and the Mexicana Logistics Ford Trophy Truck team have a chance to make SCORE Baja 1000 history.

Back then, the Vildosolas became the first Mexican-based team to win the prestigious SCORE Baja 1000 overall. Now, five years later, they have the chance to become the first Mexican team in history to earn the SCORE Desert World Championship. With a 22-point lead in the Desert World Championship series standings and a second-place start in in the 48th running of the Bud Light SCORE Baja 1000 today, the odds are in their favor, although anything can happen. Vildosola Jr. is well aware of that, and just minutes before the start of the race he said that the team’s goal is to play it conservative in the hope locking down the SCORE series title.