Besting a field of some of off-road racing’s biggest names, Mitch Guthrie Jr. carried on the family legacy with his second consecutive win in Sunday’s King of the Hammers UTV Race presented by HCR. Guthrie Jr. backed up his top qualifying time by scoring a victory in his Polaris RZR over Ultra4 regular Wayland Campbell and Branden Sims, who earned his fourth career KOH podium in the UTV race.
The 160-mile course was a step up from last year’s 134-mile route; it featured a 91-mile desert loop before heading into the treacherous rock crawling portion, which included both Outer Limits and Spooners. But compared to last year’s event, the 2019 edition of KOH’s prestigious UTV race saw a drastic increase in finishers. 28 UTVs made it to the finish line in the allotted nine hours on Sunday, compared to just 12 last year and only five entries four years ago.
In the desert loop, defending Best in the Desert champion Phil Blurton made his way around Guthrie Jr. and second-place qualifier Kyle Chaney to take the physical lead. But Guthrie Jr.’s rock crawling expertise, honed alongside his father, six-time KOH UTV race winner Mitch Guthrie, proved to make the difference in the overall standings.
In the end, Blurton fell to eighth in the final standings, sandwiched between two of desert racing’s everymen. Trophy Truck and short course star Bryce Menzies finished his first UTV race in seventh place, while Casey Currie, fresh off a near-podium and top rookie honors in January’s Dakar Rally, was ninth.
King of the Hammers attracts such a talented crowd that even the DNFs read like a future Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee list. Jason Weller, Brandon Schueler, Robby Gordon, and Sara Price were among those who didn’t finish the two-lap race on time; Johnny Greaves only completed one lap; Chaney, Mitch Guthrie, Brock Heger, CJ Greaves, Marc Burnett, and Ronnie Anderson were among the big names not to finish a lap.
King of the Hammers week continues with two days of Ultra4 qualifying and the Monday Night Shootout over the next two days. Wednesday features the Every Man Challenge Race, Thursday will see Trophy Trucks compete in a brand new exhibition event, and Friday will see the featured Ultra4 King of the Hammers race. Stay tuned for a brand new Down And Dirty Show Powered By Polaris RZR from King of the Hammers on Tuesday, and click here to live stream King of the Hammers all week long on DownAndDirtyShow.com!