Video - 2013 King of the Hammers Recap
John Currie Wins Smittybilt Every Man Challenge
John Currie earned his second victory at the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge at the 2013 King of the Hammers. Currie’s vehicle wasn’t the first to cross the finish line, but his was the first rig with proper equipment to do so. English racer Jim Marsden passed him to cross the finish line first, but Marsden was disqualified after the race for having equipment not allowed in the class.
Currie ran a solid race leading well into the second lap, but a tricky sand hill climb opened a window for Marsden to pass him and take the lead.
“We were going to win it hands out,” Currie said after the race. “We were almost counting our money already, and we got to the sand slide over there and that thing ate us up. The first lap through we just crawled through it no problem at all. [The second lap] we got in there and just hit some rocks, spun the tires and just buried it. [Co-driver] Gerald [Lee] jumped out, got a winch position, [we] got through it and then buried it again.”
Currie hopped out to help his co-driver, but after getting moving again the team caught the winch line in the spool and they had to cut it. Currie finally made it up the hill and continued to the finish.
“We thought [Marsden] had passed us but we weren’t sure, so we jumped in and headed for the finish line as fast as we could,” Currie said. “We realized when we were coming over the hill that they were just finishing. They beat us; there’s no doubt they beat us.”
Although he competes in off-road races across the pond, this was Marsden’s first time in America, not simply his first competition here. His unique Discovery Land Rover race vehicle proved to do well in the California desert, but the hydraulic steering and sticky tires (not street-legal DOT tires as required), got him DQed from the race. But Marsden handled it well and took it all in stride.
“We’ve got to hand it to the guys that really did win it, and that’s John Currie,” Marsden said on stage. The team did race in the King of the Hammers race the next day in the same vehicle but were unable to complete the race.
Currie praised the team for their effort in the race.
“I have to tell you, I have the greatest respect for these guys, because when they tell you they’ve raced the King of the Valleys, you don’t know how that compares to the King of the Hammers … but these guys kicked some serious butt today,” Currie said. “That car has about a 100-inch wheelbase, and to run they speeds they are running, whether it had sticky tires or hydraulic steering that might not be legal, but they kicked some serious butt. Now I’m afraid they are going to come back next year and show us what they really can do. I have the greatest respect for you guys and have a whole new respect for what you guys do there in England as far as off-road racing.”
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After Marsden was disqualified, that moved Brandon Heyes up into second place with a time of 6:16:58, just over 38 minutes behind Currie’s time of 5:38:39. Mike Johnson finished in third place with a time of 6:17:52. Jesse Haines was the next car to cross with a time of 8:12:22. The only stock racer to finish the race was Matthew Peterson with a time of 8:18:22, finishing just before the cut-off time for the Every Man Challenge.
1. John Currie 5:38:39
2. Brandon Heyes 6:16:58
3. Mike Johnson 6:17:52
4. Jesse Haines 8:12:22
5. Matthew Peterson 8:18:22*
*Pro Comp Stock Winner