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Guthrie Racing's Father and Son Team Win the 2013 King of the Hammers UTV Title

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Guthrie Sr. and his son Mitch took the win at the 2013 King of Hammers in his Polaris RZR XP 900 SxS UTV.
Guthrie Sr. and his son Mitch took the win at the 2013 King of Hammers in his Polaris RZR XP 900 SxS UTV.
Out on the Means Dry Lake located at Johnson Valley, California, Mitch Guthrie and his chip off the old-block son, Mitch Jr., co-piloted the Guthrie Racing Polaris to victory in the 2013 King of the Hammers. Guthrie Sr. backed up his 2012 King of the Hammers UTV triumph and scored his fourth KOH win at what many claim was the gnarliest, vehicle munching course yet. Guthrie Jr., a highly talented young UTV driver in his own right, ran the winch line out to help navigate the seemingly impassable boulder sections when it was required, helping dad to capture yet another WORCS SXS Production 1000 victory.

"This year was a lot more challenging," confirmed Guthrie Sr. "Last year a lot of competitors complained the course was too easy and that there was too much desert and not enough rocks. So this year they made a 115 mile race with 10 rock canyons that are some of the hardest rock canyons in Southern California."
Guthrie's experience rock crawling in the area paid off big time during the race.
Guthrie's experience rock crawling in the area paid off big time during the race.


The King of the Hammers off-road race was founded by Jeff Knoll and Dave Cole in 2007, with the intention of combining the most challenging aspects of desert racing and rock crawling. The vehicles used in the event are known as Ultra 4 vehicles, and some are capable of reaching speeds over 100 mph for the desert sections, but still contain gear ratios of 100-to-1 or lower for rock crawling. The torturous nature of King of the Hammers becomes more obvious after identifying some of the more infamous trails along the course, with names like Wrecking ball, Jackhammer, Chocolate thunder and Aftershock, you get the picture that this is no leisurely Sunday cruise.

"This year there was also a time limit of eight hours and only three UTVs out of 35 finished the course," continues Guthrie. "This year was one of the most rewarding races due to the difficulty; I also could have never won this race without my son Mitch Jr. There was a lot winching up the rocks which takes a lot of running back and forth and being 16-years-old he is in great shape and recovers quickly. We won this race with eight minutes left on the clock, and by only 16 seconds over the course of an eight hour race. It was a good day!"
Many of the 2013 King of the Hammers competitors felt this year's race was the most technically demanding event yet.
Many of the 2013 King of the Hammers competitors felt this year's race was the most technically demanding event yet.


Guthrie Racing had an hour lead on their competition at one point, until a ball joint broke, which they had to fix on the trail, but not before Matt Enochs and his UTV passed them. "With about 10 miles left we retook the lead when they had a flat," Guthrie adds. "This put us first and the UTV behind us driven by Jon Crowley into second. Big thanks go out to K&N for keeping my engine running perfect through eight hours of the worst desert and rocks in Southern California!"

Guthrie credits his familiarity with the Johnson Valley area for much of his ongoing success at the King of the Hammers race. "I know this area very well and have been rock crawling here since 1999 when I used to compete in the unlimited classes. I also won a championship in 2004. I feel this gives me an advantage in the rocks. I am also very comfortable in the fast desert sections. I also know how to setup a UTV for this type of event, to make it strong and last."

After the King of the Hammers event Guthrie Racing continued on to the second round of the WORCS series without touching home base first. "Mitch Jr. won the Production 1000 class so the second round went great, we drove straight from the King of the Hammers the next day, to Primm, Nevada. We practiced Friday and raced Saturday. It was a very rough course and Mitch Jr. had a pretty uneventful day, though he only won by 3.5 seconds."

Is there one overriding goal for Guthrie Racing in 2013? "To have Mitch Jr. win the production 1000 class in WORCS," says dad.

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