All the gnarly action from the King of the Hammers

From motorcycles to UTVs to four-wheel drive super-rigs, the King of the Hammers is one week of desert and rock racing that will blow your mind.


Emme Hall

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1 of 33 Kathy Durrett

The week of racing in Johnson Valley, California starts off with the King of the Motos race.

2 of 33 King of the Hammers

The moto race is held over multiple stages, all featuring a land-rush start.

3 of 33 Nicole Dreon

This year was made that much harder by the first ever night stage.

4 of 33 Nicole Dreon

Each of the 107 moto racers exemplify badassery as they make their way over the roughest terrain California has to offer.

5 of 33 Nicole Dreon

Only the strong survive. This year Colton Haaker took the King of the Motos crown.

6 of 33 Kathy Durrett

After the motos had their fun, the UTVs take their chance. Here a vehicle finds itself ass over teakettle in a section of rocks known as Backdoor.

7 of 33 Kathy Durrett

Co-drivers must get out and direct drivers through some of the roughest sections, even winching the UTVs over obstacles.

8 of 33 Nicole Dreon

A bevy of co-drivers working in Backdoor. Finally Shannon Campbell, in his first ever UTV race, takes the first place trophy.

9 of 33 Chad Jones

Thursday brings the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge. Stock-ish vehicles and limited yet still modified rigs all take their chances in the Hammers

10 of 33 Chad Jones

In total 133 racers took the green flag, traversing not only rocks but also the open desert.

11 of 33 Hammerking Productions

The winner of the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge is Brad Lovell, adding another trophy to his already full cabinet. This is his third win.

12 of 33 Rockit West

The final race of the week is the big one: The King of the Hammers.

13 of 33 Emme Hall/Roadshow

120 racers start two at a time, all hoping to complete the 181 miles of rocks, silt, sand and boulders.

14 of 33 Rockit West

Speaking of sand... it gets soft out there.

15 of 33 Nicole Dreon

Bailey Campbell, who became the first woman to finish in the top five in 2016, had some mechanical issues that put her down to 26th.

16 of 33 Emme Hall/Roadshow

Crowd favorite Tom Wayes also had some mechanical problems. Many thought it was his year to win, but he finished 22nd.

17 of 33 Hammerking Productions

Some folks crashed in the infield.

18 of 33 Rockit West

Fan favorite JP Gomez took a respectable 5th place. I wonder how long he drove on that flat.

19 of 33 Nicole Dreon

Last year's winner Erik Miller hoped for a repeat in his freshly built rig but ended up in 4th place.

20 of 33 Rockit West

Third place Jason Scherer showing the world how it's done.

21 of 33 Hammerking Productions

Wayland Campbell, who came in 2nd despite crossing the finish line first, getting it done.

22 of 33 Nicole Dreon

Wayland Campbell in the #3 rig overtook Jason Scherer in a section known as Chocolate Thunder and held him at bay for the rest of the race.

23 of 33 Chad Jones

Shannon Campbell took the crown for the 2017 King of the Hammers race. And yes, he's the same guy that won the UTV race earlier in the week.

24 of 33 Nicole Dreon

Shannon Campbell crosses the finish line for his third King of the Hammers title. He's the only racer to win three times.

25 of 33 Emme Hall/Roadshow

Shannon finished on a front passenger flat.

26 of 33 Emme Hall/Roadshow

And was missing his driver's side front tire all together.

27 of 33 Nicole Dreon

Shannon completed the 181-mile race in six hours, 46 minutes and four seconds, beating his son Wayland by a mere 28 seconds.

28 of 33 Emme Hall/Roadshow

Though 120 racers competed, only 50 crossed the finish line in the 14-hour time limit. Click through to see some close-ups of the rigs.

29 of 33 Emme Hall/Roadshow

Miller suspension

30 of 33 Emme Hall/Roadshow
31 of 33 Emme Hall/Roadshow
32 of 33 Emme Hall/Roadshow
33 of 33 EmmeHall/Roadshow

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