I definitely needed those two suitcases I packed for King of the Hammers, race fans.
Off the lakebed and finally ridding my wardrobe of the dust collected over the past week, I am still reliving all the action from #TeamAMSOIL during King of the Hammers (KOH) week. (I could also still be under the influence of that dust cloud that hung above our heads for five days).
Twenty-eight seconds. That’s all that separated Brad Lovell from Every Man Challenge (EMC) winner Loren Healy back in 2010.
Brad and brother Roger set out in their 2008 Ford Ranger this year hoping to capture that elusive EMC win. This year marked the 15th time competing in King of the Hammers for the Lovell brothers, who had landed in Hammertown Thursday to begin pre-running the course.
Qualifying 15th (for their 15th year, coincidence?) the Lovell brothers started 14th off the line. Charging through the 143-mile two-lap course of high-speed flats, massive rocks and deep whoops, the Lovells climbed to third in lap one.
In the final lap they took the lead and raced toward the finish, crossing the line a mere 29 seconds before second-place finisher Seth Van Dyke. Another Team AMSOIL member, Levi Shirley, finished just behind in third.
“Ten years ago we lost the race by 28 seconds,” said Lovell. “Today we won by 29 seconds. I’ve been chasing those few seconds for a long time.”Brad Lovell
“This is my 15th King of the Hammers with my brother in the same car, and this year we pushed it harder than ever.”
The Lovells were passed only once (by fellow Team AMSOIL racer Levi Shirley) throughout the entire race and never once had to get out of the vehicle, making their win seem all too easy (which we clearly know it was not).
Man on a mission
Bryce Menzies was clearly on a mission at the T1 Desert Invitational during KOH week, his first race since the Baja 1000.
First in qualifying, Menzies and co-driver Oren Anderson were first off the line in his newly built Mason Motorsports T1 Truck.
Charging through the 300-mile course of rock and desert, Menzies led for the majority of the race only to lose it for a brief moment to Andy McMillin. He flew through the remainder of the three-lap course, having no problem crossing the finish line in first both physically and in corrected time.
“Man, that course was tough and just so rocky,” said Menzies from the podium. “After the first lap, I just wanted to play it smart. The last section was like a cliche – I kept hearing all these noises. But it was all good.”
Up next for both Lovell and Menzies is the Mint 400. Lovell will be competing in his spec 6100 truck while Menzies will drive his Unlimited Trick Truck.
We’ll see you at the races!