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FINAL UPDATE: 2015 King of The Hammers Results


Wreckers Or Checkers

2015-King-of-The-Hammers-Live-Update-Ultra4-RandySlawson-unofficial-winner Despite covering 215 miles of the most treacherous terrain on earth, the 2015 Nitto King of the Hammers came down to the final minutes before Randy Slawson was declared the unofficial winner.  Slawson had a lackluster qualifying run, breaking an axle shaft and putting him 44th off the line.  Despite these setbacks, Slawson picked off competitors one after another on race day to be the first physical finisher. In the final miles of the race, Slawson managed to get past Erik Miller, who experienced a heartbreaking steering failure in the final miles of the race to see victory slip away for the second year in a row. Miller had qualified second and ran up front all day long, overcoming traffic and mechanical issues in the process. 2015-King-of-The-Hammers-Live-Update-Ultra4-KWP_3072 2015-King-of-The-Hammers-Live-Update-Ultra4-erik-miller-finish2 Miller had previously won the 2012 King of The Hammers, and Slawson won the following year. Slawson joins an exclusive club with Shannon Campbell and Loren Healy as the only two-time KOH winners. Healy’s day ended early after he rolled his car in the desert multiple times, damaging it beyond repair. 2015-King-of-The-Hammers-Live-Update-Ultra4-DSC_4325 2015-King-of-The-Hammers-Live-Update-Ultra4-KWP_3137 Shannon Campbell’s day was longer, but a transmission failure would eventually put him on the trailer before reaching the checkered flag. Shannon’s son Wayland had better results, after running with his father early in the race Wayland managed to be the fourth car across the finish line. He narrowly missed the podium by finishing behind another up-and-coming young driver, King of Europe champion Levi Shirley. These are two names to remember in the future, as they both have proven that they have what it takes to produce a KOH victory. 2015-King-of-The-Hammers-Live-Update-Ultra4-dd-635 Driving a brand new car that was being completed right up until race day, Derek West managed to finish the race in fifth place, coming in just minutes behind Wayland Campbell. This was West’s fourth top five finish in the last six years, an impressive accomplishment in a race that is notorious for low finish rates.  This year was no different, and Jackhammer became the Waterloo for KOH racers in 2015 early in Lap Two. While the top ten racers successfully ascended the boulder-filled canyon, it was not long before the course was essentially impassible, even to the most capable vehicles on earth. At one point over one-third of the competitors were all found mired in this one canyon. 2015-King-of-The-Hammers-Live-Update-Ultra4-C39A0020 King of The Hammers promotor, Dave Cole, rushed to the scene to coordinate helping vehicles through the trail, and as the leaders started their last lap Cole made the decision to bypass Jackhammer on Lap Three. “It didn’t make sense to have Slawson and Miller wait at the back of the line while we winched vehicles to the top of Jack,” Cole commented after the race. “At that point you essentially turn a 215 mile race into a 40 mile drag race.” 2015-King-of-The-Hammers-Live-Update-Ultra4-dd-743 A treacherous trail found only on the third lap was christened “Spooner Canyon” when two four-wheelers had to huddle together and spend the night in the canyon after breaking down.  We expect more than one race team to follow suit tonight. With a cutoff time of 14 hours, the teams stuck in Jackhammer on their second lap had to work together to reach the finish line, battling the clock rather than each other. As of 10pm only 17 cars had passed through the finish, making 2015 Nitto King of The Hammers presented by 4 Wheel Parts quite possibly the toughest race yet – with just 13% of the 130 starters finishing in the allotted time. Some drivers, such as Bailey Campbell, are still out there wheeling - despite the time cutoff, simply finishing the race is a feat in itself. They don’t call this one of the toughest races in the world for no reason. We’ll be following up with even more race commentary, check back in for more Ultra 4 coverage. Congratulations to the first three through the line, Randy Slawson, Erik Miller, and Levi Shirley – as well as all of the competitors and teams that worked so hard to step up to today’s challenge!
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