The 13th annual King of the Hammers week kicks off with what should prove to be one of the most exciting races of the weekend: the annual UTV race. Coming off of its longest and most high-attrition running year in 2018, more than 100 of the world’s top UTV racers of all racing backgrounds will look to conquer a challenging mix of high-speed desert racing and extreme rock crawling starting at 8AM PT on Sunday.
All of the legendary regulars who take on this event every year, including almost all of 2018’s top finishers, will be back for another go-round. Mitch Guthrie Jr. scored his first-ever KOH UTV win in his own entry last year, ahead of Branden Sims—now a three-time runner-up in the event—and Mitch Guthrie Sr., who has won the race six times. All three will be back in 2019, as will nine of last year’s top 10 finishers.
The entry list includes a number of desert racing’s top UTV competitors, from two-time defending Best in the Desert champion Phil Blurton to multiple SCORE International championship winner Marc Burnett and Casey Currie, who added top rookie honors in the 2019 Dakar Rally to his incredibly diverse resume just last month. Short course racing also contributes some of the top racers to the event, with former TORC champion Kyle Chaney, defending Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series P1000 UTV champion Brock Heger, and the father and son duo of Johnny and CJ Greaves.
And that’s not even getting started on Bryce Menzies. The longtime Trophy Truck and short course front-runner and Guinness World Record holder will compete in a racing event with a Polaris RZR for the first time. It’ll be part of a double-duty weekend for Menzies, who will also compete in KOH’s inaugural Trophy Truck race on Thursday.
They’ll all be greeted by one of the most intense and challenging races imaginable for a UTV. Despite having eight hours to complete a 134-mile course, only 12 racers finished last year. CJ Greaves led the first 89 miles of the event before rolling on Sledgehammer, opening the door for Guthrie Jr. to take the lead for the rest of the way.
Tune in right here for King of the Hammers coverage starting on Sunday at 8AM, and stay tuned through the rest of the week for more KOH coverage including the Trophy Truck race and signature Ultra4 event!