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.

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.

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

Day 1 King of the Hammers Qualifying Results, Highlights

Cypress, Calif.
– There are few things that mean more to an athlete than to be honored and immortalized by the sport they love. In the world of off-road racing, this means being inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame (ORMHOF) alongside such greats as Parnelli Jones, Steve Mcqueen, and James Garner. Today Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., a leading manufacturer of off-road and street performance tires, is proud to announce that Team Nitto driver Shannon Campbell has been chosen to be inducted into this prestigious group and has the distinction of being the first-ever rocksports competitor to be inducted into it.

Off-Road-Expo-Logo-10-2-12POMONA, Calif. — The 2013 Lucas Oil Off-Road Expo powered by General Tire is arguably the biggest show of the year for the off-road industry, and now a very exclusive group of attendees will be able to enjoy a one-of-a-kind VIP experience. Family Events, in partnership with the Off Road Business Association (ORBA), will offer a limited number of VIP Experience Packages to be sold to enthusiasts who want to enjoy special privileges including a “Lunch with the Legends”, VIP parking and more.

“Our goal was to create a fundraising campaign a little different than the normal ‘please donate’ routine,” said ORBA Public Relations Director Jeff Knoll. “The board came up with a great idea, the VIP Experience Package that will include a private lunch with some of the biggest names in the sport including Brian Deegan, Casey Currie, Ivan Stewart, Shannon Campbell, Johnny Greaves, and more.

ORBA-Off-Road-Expo-9-18-13The Off Road Expo is arguably the biggest show of the year for the Off Road Industry, and now a very exclusive group of attendees will be able to enjoy a VIP experience, Family Events in partnership with the Off Road Business Association (ORBA) will offer an limited number of VIP Packages to be sold to enthusiasts who want to enjoy special privileges. “Our goal was to create a fundraising campaign a little different than the normal “please donate” routine,” said Jeff Knoll Public Relations Director of ORBA. “I think our board came up with a great idea.”

Mooneyham-ultra4-off-road-7-18-13TOOELE, UT: Driver “EZ” Rick Mooneyham is no stranger to the ULTRA4 podium.  Over the years, he’s been one of the most consistent top three finishers at the Griffin King of The Hammers Presented by Nitto Tire. However, despite all of his podium finishes, a first place trophy had proved elusive to Mooneyham; that is until last weekend’s American Rocksports Challenge held at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, UT where Mooneyham crushed the competition and claimed first place finishing nearly 45 seconds ahead of Shannon Campbell. The American Rocksports Challenge is thethird and final race in the Trail-Gear Western Regional ULTRA4 Series.

Campbell-Thumb-Ultra-4-Off-Road-7-3-12ATTICA, IN: More than 30 teams competed in the 2nd Annual ULTRA4 race held at Badlands Off-Road Park last Saturday as part of the Ultimate Motorsport Championship in Attica, IN. While the course layout was similar to last year, the dry and dusty conditions of 2012 were replaced with heavy rain and extensive mud.  Thousands of fans braved the wet and mucky conditions for a chance to see some of their favorite ULTRA4 drivers compete in a course that featured a newly created off road amphitheater and a technical rock quarry made even more punishing due to the slick conditions.

Several west coast teams made the trek to Indiana including;  Shannon Campbell, Jesse Haines, Troy Stone, and Nitto Tire drivers Nick Nelson and Loren Healy.  Shannon Campbell, the only two-time King of The Hammers and this year’s 2nd place KOH finisher, laid down a blistering 45 second qualifying time, beating out 2012 King, Erik Miller by 5 seconds.  One second behind Miller was this year’s 3rd place KOH finisher, Chicky Barton.

Ultra-4-Nelson-5-31-13SAN BERNARDINO, CA: Last weekend’s 4 Wheel Parts Glen Helen Grand Prix marked the third annual ULTRA4 race held at Glen Helen Raceway and the second annual win for 2012 Nitto Tire National Champion, Nick Nelson.  It was the largest regional ULTRA4 race to date with 80 cars registering, 66 of which competed in the unlimited 4-wheel drive class known as ULTRA4.

Over the course of two days, drivers competed in a series of qualifying and preliminary races on a 3 mile course filled with hill climbs and tight turns which also featured the Lucas Oil short course at Glen Helen. Ultimately, 66 drivers were narrowed down to the top 40 cars for Saturday’s main event. Many drivers were not only looking for a win but also hoping to earn a coveted qualifying spot in the 2014 Griffin King of The Hammers Presented by Nitto Tire. Only 13 of the 66 drivers registered for the event were already qualified for next year’s race KOH.

Jason-Scherer-Stampede-5-23-13DANVILLE, CA – Jason Scherer is antsy and excited to race this weekends Ultra4 4 Wheel Parts Glen Helen Grand Prix race coming off the NorCal Stampede Win.  “I am excited to go to Glen Helen and represent Rubicon Express in the backyard of 4 Wheel Parts Corporate headquarters, both have been a great support of the team this season!” said Jason Scherer, driver of the Rubicon Express #76 car.  “I have been out testing twice since the Stampede and I have got some things figured out finally, let’s just say that.”

Fishmouth Fabworks has spent a lot of time prepping the car after the Stampede with Brian Farris setting up new differentials for this race.  Fox Shox built custom shocks for the IFS car and Pac Racing Springs complimented the setup with new springs.  Scherer will be trying some new parts from PSC to develop even better steering for the Ultra4 series.  “We are grooving up the Nitto Tires and are going to be trying out some new Tireballs that are designed for short course this weekend, we are the guinea pigs but I’m confident that they will be solid,” said Jason Scherer.  “The whole team has really come together over the last few weeks including my brother Casey Scherer, Greg Hussey, John Webb, Ben Ratto, Ole Stortroen, Chad & Brett Lujan among others.  The fun part was having racers that aren’t prepping their cars for this race come over and help.  They knew that ‘this bolt needed to be locktited’ and ‘that needs to be marked’.  It was really awesome and appreciated, I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Ultra-4-Raush-Creek-4-16-13Rausch Creek, PA:  Last weekend’s WIDIA Rausch Creek Qualifier proved to be one of the coldest, wettest races in ULTRA4 history. Heavy rains on Friday produced thick fog and low-visibility conditions, prompting race organizer, Dave Cole to move qualifying to Saturday morning just two hours before the main race.  2010 Rausch Creek Champion, Derek West qualified 4th for the main race behind two former Kings of the Hammers, Shannon Campbell and Erik Miller, as well as 2012’s Rausch Creek winner, Bill Baird. By the second lap, West had worked his way past all three competitors to claim the lead and never looked back.

After just three hours and eighteen minutes, Derek West in his Nitto Tire ULTRA4 car had completed all five grueling laps and claimed the checkered flag beating 2012 King of The Hammers, Erik Miller by less than two minutes. Saturday’s win makes Derek West the only two-time ULTRA4 WIDIA Rausch Creek Champion. Saturday’s win makes West the current leader in the 4WD Hardware Eastern Regional ULTRA4 Series.