The 10th annual King of the Hammers saw the toughest ever course taken on by the most competitive ever field… and for the 176 miles Eric Miller drove faultlessly while all those behind either faltered or flailed.
Lauren Healy and Jason Scherer made an early break at the head of the pack but after the first loop both ran into problems, Healy with a lost belt that killed the battery and Scherer with an overheating issue the put his car intermittently into limp mode. That left double former winner Shannon Campbell out front but from 90th off the start amazingly Tom Wayes was the in the time-corrected lead… until he had a problem with the rear axle. Almost at the same time Campbell had a similar issue at Backdoor, so after changing an alternator, it was his son Wayland into 2nd.
Scherer though, was on a mission and was back with Wayland by the third time around, despite his problems but Wayland’s chance of the podium came to an end in the one and only time up Sledgehammer with broken transmission. He pulled over to help winch the rest of the field through… and incredibly the next car was his 19-year-old sister Bailey!
Out front though it was a clear win for Miller who dominated the race from the second loop to become the 4th 2-time champion, putting right the last two year’s retirements… and then like a hero, proposed to his girlfriend Leah, who to make a great day perfect, said yes!
Approximately 20 minutes behind was 2009 winner Scherer who was both disappointed to have to do the race with a sick car and happy to get 2nd while behind it was a close battle between Campbell and Raul Gomez. Gomez drove a great race and was ahead of Campbell, both on the road and with a 30 second time advantage, coming into the final handful of miles. He duly took the last step on the podium and so happy was he to get 3rd that he almost binned it on the final jump and came across the line with his rear wheel dragging behind!
1. Erik Miller
2. Jason Scherer
3. Raul Gomez
4. Shannon Campbell
5. Bailey Campbell
6. Jason Shipman