King of the Hammers is hands down one of the toughest races on this planet. Put it this way, only 31 out 105 vehicles finished this years race. The rigs get better and better every year but somehow over half the field still does not finish. If there is any race to have on your bucket list it better be KOH.
As the early Wednesday morning staging took shape, Blake Van Der Loo and his #1919 Jagged X Polaris lined up right beside the reigning king Mitch Guthrie. After a hard fought battle, Guthrie would suffer some technical failures on the last lap before Jackhammer.
With Guthrie scrambling to get his car moving, Branden Sims moved into 2nd place where he would eventually finish the race.
Thursday's Smitty Bilt Every Man Challenge had 112 contenders with 3 different classes ready to start. Method's Brad Lovell would line up all the way back in 30th. After the green flag waved Brad immediately started working his way through the field. His work was cut out for him once he caught the leaders, including front runner Jessi Combs. Jessi had not lost the Every Man Challenge in 3 years and was a force to be reckoned with. After charging into the lakebed and swapping positions Combs lost her high gears and fell back into the dust. Once in the clear, Brad and his brother would go on to build up a 20 minute lead over 2nd place finisher Randy Slawson.
At last, it was time for the big boys. The reason thousands upon thousands of people amass on a dry lakebed in the middle of nowhere. Without much surprise, Jason Scherer took the fastest qualifier. This was his third time taking the pole position and second year in a row. As he took off along side Loren Healy it was on! Race day had officially begun.
With Scherer out in front, Erik Miller would start picking drivers off from his starting position in 27th. After running a calm and conservative race through two laps, Erik took over first place at the start of his third lap. He was so smooth, in fact, that he did not change a single wheel and tire throughout the entire day! Miller would lead all the way to the finish where he would give his podium speech and win the love his life. Yes, Erik dropped on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend. Congrats dude!