Can Am Industry News

Can-Am Racers Finish Hardest-Ever Unlimited 4400 King of the Hammers Race

UTV vs. 4400 at King of the Hammers

By Jon Crowley

King of the Hammers has a reputation as the most difficult one day off-road race in the world, pushing team and machine to their breaking point, and beyond. There are many classes during the weeklong King of the Hammers event and most UTVs race in their class. This year, the UTV King of the Hammers race moved back to Thursday, and Can-Am Swept the podium for the second year in a row.

Second Podium Sweep for Can-Am at King of the Hammers

The 4400 class at Ultra4 Racing King of the Hammers is the top of the heap, unlimited class.  Fully customized buggies with 40+ inch tires, 800+ Horsepower and suspension travel numbers that make you think Trophy Truck. Putting a 200HP Can-Am Maverick X3 head-to-head against these unlimited buggies can be daunting.

King of the Hammers

Shannon Campbell chases down Cody Miller during 2021 King of the Hammers.

Last year Cody Miller took his Can-Am Maverick X3 and tested his skills and the UTV’s backbone and finished 15th.  While that was a great achievement, the course for 2020 was like child’s play compared to what Dave Cole had laid out for 2021. In addition to the UTV course, the 4400 course added a joker to go up Back Door once out of three laps, plus an additional third lap that included going Up SledgeHammer, down King’s Graveyard and up Hell to Pay.  Dave Cole figured only a handful would get through King’s Graveyard.

King of the Hammers

Kyle Chaney airs out his Can-Am Maverick X3 alongside a 4400 competitor

For 2021, three Can-Am racers had signed up for the 4400 race.  Kyle Chaney who had just won the UTV race two days earlier.  Cody Miller who finished 2nd in the UTV race and also in the raced 4400 class last year. Hunter Miller was the winner of the UTV King of the Hammers race in 2020. Hunter and Kyle qualified in the LCQ and Cody had a guaranteed spot from his finish last year. All three qualified well and had very respectable starting positions.

Cody Miller was the fastest UTV qualifier and started on the 6th row next to Levi Shirley.

2021 King of the Hammers

Cody Miller and Live Shirley started in the 6th row at King of the Hammers.

Over 190 miles of unforgiving terrain in Johnson Valley lay ahead of them.

Kyle Chaney was the last Can-Am off the start line in the 11th row.

By Cougar Buttes, Cody Miller had moved up and looked to be on a mission to win the Ford Bronco given out to the winner.

The first loop was primarily desert, but had been torn up by several other races that had used the same course over the week.

By the time Cody Miller had finished lap 1 he was in 7th place physically.

The second lap is where the real rock trails kick in, but Cody Miller, Kyle Chaney and Hunter Miller had just raced these same rock trails two days before.

Cody Miller was still in the top 10 physically by the time he hit Bender Alley, but the rocks inflicted several casualties, and the fast pace Cody Miller was on took its toll and they had to stop to replace a broken part.

2021 King of the Hammers

Kyle Chaney and Scottie Lawrence climb Idle Issues. Photo by Harlen Foley

Kyle Chaney would be the first Can-Am to complete lap 2 with the hardest lap still in front of them.

Chaney had moved up in the field and was somewhere about 5th or 6th physically on course.

Unfortunately, Chaney made a slight mistake and ended up on his side in Outer Limits. This mistake would cost him dearly because there was nothing to anchor to that would help them winch back over.

Luckily for Chaney, Hunter Miller and Chad Hughes were behind him on course and they stopped to assist.

Chaney and Lawrence were still the first Can-Am on course by the time they go through Chocolate Thunder.

Chaney heading up Bender Alley and about ready to go up Sledge Hammer.

Sledge Hammers turned into a bottleneck of cars waiting to squeeze into the waterfall.  This tough trail doesn’t really have alternate lines and even with everyone winching, it backed the line of cars up.

2021 King of the Hammers

Hunter Miller found himself in the same bottleneck on Sledge Hammer

Cody Miller his codog Cody Taylor had made repairs on their Can-Am Maverick X3 and were back at it in Outer Limits.

2021 King of the Hammers

Cody Miller and Cody Taylor climbing Sledge Hammer on lap 3

2021 King of the Hammers

Hunter Miller and Chad Hughes making their way to the finish line.

Kyle Chaney, Scottie Lawrence, Hunter Miller and Chad Hughes finished just minutes apart and went up on the finish line stage together.

2021 King of the Hammers

Left to Right: Scottie Lawrence, Chad Hughes, Kyle Chaney and Hunter Miller at the finish.
Photo by Harlen Foley

Attrition in 2021 was as high as ever, with only 35 of 84 competitors reaching the finish line within the 14-hour time limit. Way more than Dave Cole expected.  And among those finishers were Kyle Chaney P11, Hunter Miller P12 and Kyle Chaney P21.

Cody Miller and Cody Taylor would finish and hour or so later and claim 21st place.

While these guys didn’t win, they shocked a lot of the Ultra4 team and fans by finishing a course in their Can-Am Maverick X3’s that looked impossible by anyone that knew the course like me.

Can-Am Rules the 2020 King of the Hammers UTV Race, Completes Podium Sweep in Historic Victory

2021 King of the Hammers Race Results

1 4448    RANDY SLAWSON 29 3/7:1:17.378
2 82    JP GOMEZ 1 3/7:10:18.268 09:00.9
3 83    RAUL GOMEZ 9 3/7:35:34.018 34:16.6
4 13    BAILEY COLE 18 3/8:5:29.389 04:12.0
5 25    VAUGHN GITTIN JR 23 3/8:16:53.935 15:36.5
6 46    RUSTY BLYLER 40 3/8:19:42.700 18:25.3
7 21    ERIK MILLER 20 3/8:29:44.888 28:27.5
8 81    LEVI SHIRLEY 12 3/8:38:39.275 37:21.9
DNF 966    JASON BLANTON 61 3/8:40:01.986 38:44.6
9 35    BAILEY CAMPBELL 33 3/8:41:46.588 40:29.2
10 76    JASON SCHERER 2 3/8:44:16.386 42:59.0
11 191    KYLE CHANEY 21 3/8:48:45.959 47:28.6
12 190    HUNTER MILLER 16 3/8:49:27.320 48:09.9
13 67    LOREN HEALY 7 3/8:51:14.677 49:57.3
14 5    SHANNON CAMPBELL 13 3/9:1:16.178 59:58.8
15 41    JOSH BLYLER 17 3/9:25:43.198 24:25.8
16 27    JON CAGLIERO 30 3/9:29:24.202 28:06.8
17 210    GREG ADLER 31 3/9:36:32.745 35:15.4
18 54    RON PRINDLE 22 3/9:51:38.029 50:20.7
19 4    CHIP MACLAUGHLIN 28 3/9:58:35.001 57:17.6
20 906    TAD DOWKER 38 3/10:14:30.849 13:13.5
21 221    CODY MILLER 11 3/10:31:21.756 30:04.4
22 98    JORDAN PELLEGRINO 14 3/10:39:17.090 37:59.7
23 999    KEVIN WILLIAMS 47 3/11:4:57.166 03:39.8
24 53    JEFF WAGGONER 25 3/11:41:28.856 40:11.5
25 4215    ERIC MIRAMON 44 3/12:7:49.182 06:31.8
26 4468    JOHN WEBB 46 3/12:11:17.247 09:59.9
27 308    JAMES MAHONEY 79 3/12:16:27.056 15:09.7
28 72    HUNTER SPARROW 59 3/12:20:31.410 19:14.0
29 1982    TOM GILPIN 57 3/12:27:56.215 26:38.8
30 4434    KEVIN YODER 50 3/12:28:18.769 27:01.4
31 59    ERIC WICKS 42 3/12:48:56.203 47:38.8
32 4472    DUSTIN ISENHOUR 58 3/12:52:02.764 50:45.4
33 792    KRIS WICKS 64 3/12:57:47.767 56:30.4
34 49    MATT BURKETT 60 3/13:1:11.501 59:54.1
35 24    ZANDY WILEMS 45 3/13:9:56.052 08:38.7

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