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MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. – The Johnson Valley Shared Use Area will be temporarily closed to the public August 14-21, 2016 while the Marine Corps conducts convoy operations and resupply missions to support a large-scale exercise.

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Cypress, Calif.
– Nitto Tire U.S.A. is excited to announce that Team Nitto driver Bailey Campbell has become the first female diver to ever complete the King of the Hammers race, and she did so with a Top 5 finish on February 5th, 2016 in Johnson Valley, California.

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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.

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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.

Erik Miller is unofficially the 2016 Nitto King of the Hammers winner.

Erik Miller is unofficially the 2016 Nitto King of the Hammers winner.

After coming so close in recent years, 2012 race winner Erik Miller set a blistering pace today en route to his second victory at the 2016 Nitto King of the Hammers. With his win here today in Johnson Valley, Miller now joins elite company, as only Shannon Campbell, Loren Healy and last year’s winner Randy Slawson have earned two wins at KOH.

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

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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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.