Author: Shaun Ochsner Photos: Shaun Ochsner
Tuesday was the first day of qualifying for the King of The Hammers. 40 drivers took to the start line on the 4-wheel parts qualifying course. In keeping with the Hammers tradition some of the top names in rockcrawling qualified during "Power Hour." There are a record 162 entries. 125 are pre-qualified for the race and all they needed was a good qualifying time to determine their starting position for Friday. Another 13 were entered into last chance qualifier spots to try to make it into the big show. 6 were successful and will race on Friday. A record 156 cars will race this year's King Of Hammer's course!
Big names like 4-wheel parts president Greg Adler who had some bad luck early in his qualifying round. Adler reportedly broke a drive shaft on the rock waterfall. "We'll get it fixed, we have some work to do on Friday to get up there," said Adler.
Photo: Kathy Durrett
The story spotlight of the week has shifted over to Nick Nelson. Nelson's story to compete in the qualifying session began 48 hours earlier. Nelson was on the lake bed on Monday afternoon doing a high speed photo and video shoot for sponsor Nitto Tires. As the helicopter was chasing him down the lake bed, Nelson grenaded his driveshaft spewing oil everywhere. The team wasted no time scrambling to get the car fixed in time for the 2nd session of qualifying on Wednesday afternoon. All the hard work paid off putting Nelson on the pole with a time of 2:55.78 unseating day 1 leader Tom Wayes who had a time of 2:58.91.
Kevin Sacalas from Big Ugly Racing also had bad luck flipping his car end over end right after his qualifying run. Word from the Big Ugly camp is the vehicle is unrepairable in time for race day. Sacalas has had offers from the incredible Hammers community to drive other vehicles for the race, although at this time it is unknown what his race day plans are.
Short course driver Casey Currie competes every year in the Hammers. Currie will start 44th after getting a 17th qualifying position during Tuesday's round. Currie will drive a Savvy Off Road JKR.
2012 King Erik Miller had a good qualifying run. At the end of Tuesday he was sitting in 2nd for a starting position. By Wednesday he had only dropped one spot to start 3rd.
Wayland Campbell is also no stranger to King of The Hammers. The son of the legendary Shannon Campbell, Wayland will compete against his dad for the King title. Wayland will start 23rd while Shannon will start 5th. With only 4 cars in front of him, Shannon has historically taken the race lead early and stayed out front in clean air.
The team of Jason Scherer and Lance Clifford were up for qualifying in round 2. Clifford has spent the last few Hammers races co-driving for Robby Gordon. Scherer's strategy was to run the qualifying course with no co-driver. Clifford spent the "Power Hour" session up on the hill next to the rock waterfall with a radio feeding information on other drivers back to Scherer and the rest of team via radio. Scherer is starting 16th for Friday's race.
Meantime in the UTV race, the father and son team of Mitchie Guthrie Sr. and Mitch Guthrie Jr. won for the 5th year in a row. They held the lead early and never looked back. John Duckworth took the win in the sportsman class beating out Cody Currie.
Thursday's action includes the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge. We will continue to host the LIVE feed from Hammertown right here on dirtsportsnation.com
King of The Hammers Starting Order: 1. Nick Nelson 2:55.78 2. Tom Wayes 2:58.91 3. Erik Miller 2:58.97 4. Marcos Gomez 3:00:13 5. Shannon Campbell 3:00.56 6. Gary Faravanti Jr 3:01.47 7. Gary Faravanti Sr 3:09.72 8. Derek West 3:10.18 9. Loren Healy 3:11.19 10. Chicky Barton 3:11.75 11. JT Stephens 3:12.47 12. Rob Kirby 3:13.37 13. Mark Underwood 3:14.41 14. Randy Slawson 3:16.12 15. Jake Hallenbeck 3:17.13 16. Jason Scherer 3:17.44 17. Ben Napier 3:18.78 18. Jeff Russell 3:20.47 19. Kevin Sacalas 3:20.72 20. JP Gomez 3:20.84
Complete results click here