Pictures and Recap of 2010 Pit Bull Tires King of the Hammers UTV Race

| February 22, 2010 | 1 Comment

Year two of the King of the Hammers UTV race saw 2 fold increase in entrants over the initial race in 2009.  Some repeats were back in the fold, but there was a big change in equipment from 2009 to 2010.  Where the first race hosted a small group of mainly stock vehicles, 2010 had a bit of everything, from a stock Arctic Cat to a full tube chassis Kawasaki Teryx and everything in between.

Because of the terrible weather the previous day, the organizers pushed the starting time back a bit for the course and the staging area to dry.  Record rains have left parts of the 50+ mile racecourse under water in what was supposed to be a DRY lakebed!

After getting a good look at all of the entrants, I jumped in a stock Kawasaki Teryx and bombed over to race mile 6 to watch the high speed action as the racers exited the first 5 miles of “whoops” and headed into a very flat, fast section in a wet lakebed.  Our first sighting of the racers was hard to believe.  Tiny dots crossing a high saddle in the desert and dripping into the flats.  They looked like they were going 100 mph!

Racers 1919 and 555, Brandon Schueler and Mitch Guthrie were battling and swapping paint as they flew past in their Polariz RZRs.

Closely following them was 1965, Jon Crowley in his full tube chassis Teryx.  As the racers passed, you could really tell the difference in the modified rigs in their top speed as well as how they handled the rough stuff.  1909 Pierre Perret was knocking on Crowley’s door as they passed in a nice Kawasaki matching.

The racers continued to file past, one by one as the first 5 miles had spread them out somewhat.

The stock Arctic Cat was moving out fast with all 1000cc’s piloted by Dean Bulloch’s son, #44 Nick Bulloch.

#20 Grant Hedblom was driving one of only two Yamaha Rhinos.  This seemed odd since Rhinos have been such a dominant UTV for so many years.

#11 Mike Knosp was blindingly fast as he tore by in his highly modified RZR.

Rick Lee Danmonth was the only racer to attempt King of the Hammers in a 2WD Redline buggy.  He was really making good time when he passed.  I looked forward to seeing how he handled the sand hill at race mile 19.

Starting dead-last, #4 Casey Currie flew by having already passed racer #1664 Nolan Remlinger in his Yamaha Rhino.

After the field of 11 racers sped past, we jumped in our Teryx and cut course to race mile 19 where the racers had to climb a rock studded sand hill.  The racers had two options, take the short cut that was strewn with large boulders or take the long route that was steeper, but had smaller rocks.

After a small wait, we were greeted with the distinctive sound of a Polaris RZR bouncing off the canyon walls.   The first racer in sight was none other than the 2009 King himself, Mitch Guthrie.  Mitch was driving his mostly stock RZR-S, hard.  Having prerun the course, he drove straight to the long route to hit the steep sand hill.  Although he had made the hill 5 times during practice, he bogged down and was stuck on one of the larger rocks.  Mitch’s strategy to not run with a co-driver to save weight had just caught up with him.  He had to jump out and winch his RZR-S by himself costing him valuable minutes.

Although Mitch was well out in front, his getting stuck allowed racer #11Kyle Knosp from Indiana to catch up.  #11 caught the inside line and powered up and over the large rocks and loose sand without having to pull a winch cable.

The 1919 Jagged-X team chose the same line and nearly made it clean but managed to snag the last rock and they came to an abrupt stop.  I remember seeing this same team in this exact spot in their matching rock buggy during the King of the Hammers main race in 2009.

Making great time in the flats, the Redline buggy was peeling out like none other trying to make it with just 2WD.  Gravity and loose sand took their toll and left them plugging the shortcut when Currie and Perret showed up swapping paint to get first shot on the other line.

Cassie and Pierre both took numerous shots at the hill looping back down to get more momentum.  Finally Pierre got the drop on Currie and made a full push for the summit.  Just before Perrett blocked the line and got stuck, Currie shot past him and bounced over the rock that Guthrie had gotten hung up on.

With 5 teams past, the crowd waited at the sand hill for 15 more minutes before we drifted off to other parts of the racecourse.  I decided to run my pictures to Charlene before I went back to the course only to hear the announcement that Mitch Guthrie was pulling across the finish line!  He finished nearly on hour faster than I was expecting.  Close behind him was #11 in second place, then #1919 in third.  All three riding Polaris RZR-S’s.  Fourth place went  to Casey Currie in his Kawasaki Teryx and fifth place was rounded out by Pierre Perreron in his Teryx.

It was a great 58 mile race.  I doubt anyone will show up in 2011 with a 2WD rig and I am sure some teams will reconsider the extra 200# of a co-driver.  I personally hope the course designers toss in more rocks so that the race will last a bit longer as well as keep it a separate type of race than any other desert side-by-side race.

Check out my full gallery of pictures at http://www.rockmidgetphotography.com/Pirate-4×4/KOH-2010

Until next year!

1          Mitch Guthrie #555

2          Kyle Knosp #11

3          Brandon Schueler #1919

4          Casey Currie #2

5          Pierre Perret #1909

6          Nolan Remlinger #1664

7          Nick Bulloch #44

8          Jon Crowley #1965

DNF    Nicholas Casler #1940

DNF    Grant Hedblom #20

DNF    Mike Cook #1912

DNF    Rick Len Damouth #911


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