The most grueling race of the year is done, provisionally. It was another day of keeping your rig together, keeping on the course, and hoping you finish far enough ahead that you take the win. It would also be a race showing the importance of having a co-driver as you drive the course.
The race for first would not be a race to be the first to the line, but the guy who would finish the race in second. Because of a pair of huge mistakes by Tom Wayes, where he missed “Highway 19 and 20” and would also miss “Elvis”, he would cheat himself out of a win. His performance was amazing and his driving was fast as it was impressive, but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome time penalties. To add insult to injury, Tom would finish nearly eight minutes ahead with a blown tire.
The race for second came down to the final mile as Loren Healy would pass Derek West before climbing the final hill. His hard charge would help ensure himself a provisional win. With Derek losing a drive, he would only have 3 wheels to power himself and would be the reason why he would finish provisionally third but potentially in second. Loren Healy, unofficially, would be declared the winner finishing just over 1 minute ahead.
Tony Pellegrino, provisionally, finishes in fourth but could be on the podium, depending on how the penalties against Tom Wayes play out. The old man of the Hammers, Bill Baird, would finish in fifth provisionally and unofficially fourth.
Independent Font Suspension champion, Shannon Campbell, would not complete the King of the Hammers due to an underdrive let go on lap one. Pole Sitter, Nick Nelson, would not finish due to engine issues on Lap 2. Finally Erik Miller would get stuck at “Clawhammer” after gaining second place before “Chocolate Thunder” from Lauren Healy and threw away that potential win.
Again, we are awaiting official results but unofficially Loren Healy is your King of the Hammers.
Words by Justin Banner
Photos by Jason Zindroski