The 2017 Nitto King of the Hammer endurance UTV, sponsored by Can-Am, started at 8a.m. on Wednesday the 8th of February. 75 UTV teams signed up to compete in 115 miles of what is known as one of the most difficult and challenging racing competitions known in the U.S. Hammer Town, located in Johnson Valley, is the hub of the event where vendors, race teams, pit crews, camps and spectators gather for the week-long schedule of Jeep, truck, UTV and dirt bike racing.
The course consists of deep sand, giant ruts, miles of whoops, G-outs and above all, boulders and rocks. The first lap is a 60-mile desert loop that separates the competition. A quarter of the field is generally broken and out at the end of that first lap.
The second loop holds mountains of boulders and the rock garden that make up the toughest sections of the race. Obstacles that involve the copilots getting out and directing the driver through, oftentimes teams winch up tough sections.
Around 1p.m. race leader Shannon Cambell and his co-pilot came through the finish line with over a 20 minute advantage in his Polaris RZR. His son Wayland Cambell finished in second place and Jon Crowley took the third spot on the podium.
After the podium finishers came through, for the rest of the field the race was all about finishing. This year 37 out of 75 teams finished the race. Two years ago only seven competitors completed the race, which shows how far the technology has come for these machines. Go to www.ultra4racing.com to check out the action from past King of the Hammers and a lot more.