KING OF THE HAMMERS UTV RACE

KING OF THE HAMMERS UTV RACE

For decades in the off-road racing world there have been iconic events, such as the Baja 1000, the Mint 400 and the Dakar Rally, and in the last decade an event billed as the toughest one-day race has joined that list—the Can-Am King of the Hammers UTV race presented by Progressive Insurance. This year, however, the King of the Hammers UTV race was not the toughest. Five days before the famous rock race, a desert race was held under the KOH banner in Johnson Valley, California, that pitted UTVs against Class 10 buggies for 311 miles of rough California desert. This event turned out to be much tougher and longer than King of the Hammers, yet still not as tough as a Baja 500 or 1000. Are the organizers getting soft? Have the sponsors stepped in and asked the promoters to make the course easier or faster? We think the problem is that the drivers and equipment are improving faster than the promoters realize.

KING OF THE HAMMERS UTV RACE

KING OF THE HAMMERS UTV RACE

KING OF THE HAMMERS UTV RACE
While Kyle Chaney is new to the rocks, he’s not new to racing and winning. The former GNCC racer turned short-track champion is earning his credentials in the desert, too. He won both in the rock and desert races during the 2021 KOH. Chaney also entered the 4400 Truck class and finished out that day in 11th. You can definitely say that the UTV class has a new king.

This year Kyle Chaney took his Can-Am Maverick X3 to the front of both races and won in commanding fashion. Although Kyle didn’t beat the Class 10s on Saturday, he did out-duel his Can-Am teammate Phil Blurton and took the win by over 15 minutes. Blurton was the only other UTV to finish the desert portion of the 2021 KOH. Five Class 10 cars did finish the seven-hour, 311-mile race faster than the UTV guys and received the $50,000 bonus for doing so.

KING OF THE HAMMERS UTV RACE
Top desert racers showed up at KOH this year, like SCORE champion Matt Burroughs, to compete in the inaugural Toyo Desert Challenge UTV (B2 versus Class 10/B3 race). The rough course favored the Class 10s this time around, but eventual UTV winner Kyle Chaney was only 42 minutes out of the overall win after seven hours of racing.
Three drivers tackled the Hammers in single-seat cars. Anthony Yount was the top finisher in 12th, beating out veterans and all former kings, such as Loren Healy, Shannon Campbell and Mitch Guthrie.
Ronnie Anderson had a good run, finishing in the fourth spot and was the top RZR of the class. During the desert portion of the race, he had his older brother RJ navigating.

In the rock race, half of the nearly 100 starters finished this two-loop (one desert/one rock) race. Chaney did it in under 4 hours, 11 minutes in front of fellow short-course guys Cody Miller and Phil Blurton. The podium was all Can-Am for the second year in a row. Polaris driver Ronnie Anderson wasn’t far behind in fourth, 20 minutes back. Driving the top Yamaha, CJ Greaves finished in 11th just in front of Anthony Yount piloting a single-seat Polaris RZR RS1. Yount was one of three single-seat drivers taking on the race that used to be notorious for requiring drivers to get out and winch. Bailey Cole drove the best-finishing Honda Talon to finish in 17th place. Even that far back in the running, Bailey claims he never had to use his Warn winch. That shows you that the race is getting too easy for the UTV class. Regardless, it’s still a must-race or spectate event. As for it being the toughest one-day race, this year it wasn’t.

The competition is getting so good at KOH, if you have to stop to winch even one time during the race, your chance at winning is slim. Ask Phil Blurton; this one section relegated him to third place on the podium.
Mitch Guthrie Jr. made his way back from racing the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia just time for KOH. Like at Dakar, luck was not on his side and he finished 14th.

KOH TOYO DESERT CHALLENGE RESULTS

1. Kyle Chaney Can-Am X3

2. Phil Blurton Can-Am X3

3. Kaden Wells Polaris RZR XP

4. Travis Zollinger Can-Am X3

5. Dean Wheeler Polaris RZR XP

CAN-AM KING OF THE HAMMERS RESULTS

1. Kyle Chaney Can-Am X3

2. Cody Miller Can-Am X3

3. Phil Blurton Can-Am X3

4. Ronnie Anderson Polaris RZR Pro XP

5. Jay Shaw Can-AM X3

6. Jacob Versey Polaris RZR Pro XP

7. Mitch Guthrie Jr Polaris RZR Pro XP

8. Trey McKinlay Polaris RZR S

9. Jason Scherer Polaris RZR XP

10. Cole Clark Polaris RZR Turbo S

11. CJ Greaves Yamaha YXZ1000R

12. Anthony Yount Polaris RZR RS1

13. Shannon Campbell Polaris RZR XP

14. Mitch Guthrie Polaris RZR Pro XP

15. Loren Healy Polaris RZR XP

See UTV Action’s report on what goes into a King of the Hammers UTV here: https://utvactionmag.com/custom-king-of-the-hammers-rzr-xp-turbo/

You might also like

Comments are closed.