King of the Hammers (KOH) is one of the largest motorsport events of the year. An estimated 50,000 fans attend the race, transforming Johnson Valley desert into a small city dubbed “Hammertown.” The week-long event started with a UTV race on a Sunday and will include a T1 Invitational race on Thursday and the Ultra 4 race on Friday.
KMC had a great start to the event with a win from KMC Powersports Athlete Mitch Guthrie Jr., his second consecutive win. Guthrie Jr. is no stranger to rock racing, his dad, Mitch Guthrie Sr., is a six-time King of the Hammers champion. KMC Athletes grabbed four of the top ten spots this year with desert racers Bryce Menzies, Casey Currie and Dustin Jones. Making it even more impressive, the first time Menzies got behind the wheel of a Polaris RZR in the rocks was two days before the event.
The Every Man Challenge race was on Wednesday and features three classes, they are Stock (4600), Modified (4500) and Legend (4800). KMC driver Jimmy Jack was able to grab the modified 4500 win.
One of the most talked about events of the week was the inaugural T1 Invitational race. T1s, better known as Trophy Trucks in the SCORE International series, will compete for a $100,000 first place purse, sponsored by Monster Energy and Toyo Tires. KMC Athletes were awarded six of the thirty invitations to participate. Bryce Menzies, Apdaly Lopez, Andy McMillin, Justin Matney, Robby Gordon and Josh Daniel all competed on Thursday. KMC grabbed the first four spots in the prologue with Bryce Menzies sitting on the pole followed by Apdaly Lopez, Andy McMillin and Josh Daniel. Unfortunately, the race being really rocky and hard on the vehicles lived up to the hype taking out two thirds of the field during the race. Apdaly Lopez was able to hang on for third place after having issues with his GPS and getting off course.
KOH’s grand finale was Friday’s Ultra 4 race, the event that put King of the Hammers on the map. These racers are not only crawling over huge rock gardens but covering several hundred miles of fast open desert. The cars have to be built to do both tasks and do them well if there is any chance at a win. KMC was represented by Casey Currie, Loren Healy, Mel Wade, Jordan Pellegrino and Derek West. This was not our year to grab the win but the guys will be back next year stronger and hungrier than ever.