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K&N-Sponsored Guthrie Racing Dominates the Grueling UTV King of the Hammers

Mitch Guthrie Jr. racing in the King of the Hammers desert race in California

Guthrie Jr. handled the boulders with skill and finesse (photo: UTV Action)

The King of the Hammers combines desert racing and rock crawling, making it one of the most challenging UTV races in the world. The annual race held at Means Dry Lake in Johnson Valley, California has a way of humbling the most battle-tested of racers. However, the K&N-sponsored Guthrie Racing Team claimed full ownership of the course in the 2018 running of the event.

If there were a Mt. Rushmore of faces carved into the King of the Hammers boulders, Mitch Guthrie Sr. would certainly be there. The elder Guthrie is a legend in the sport with six Hammers victories, several of which included his son as a co-driver. Based on what we witnessed in this year’s race, Mitch Jr. is also on his way to legend status.

The younger Guthrie namesake is now carrying on the legacy of topping the race podium. The 2018 running of the King of the Hammers marked the first time Junior raced the course without his father in the adjacent seat. Clearly, Mitch Jr. has been paying careful attention to the lesions learned sitting side-by-side with his mentor.

Mitch Guthrie Jr. racing in the King of the Hammers desert race in California

Guthrie Racing trusts K&N filters to keep their Polaris RZR Turbos clean (photo: J. Zindroski)

Racing in separate Polaris RZR Turbos, the Guthries were fast and efficient on the 80-mile desert racing portion of the course and surgical on the rock sections. Guthrie Jr. qualified 5th for the race, but charged to the lead in the Sledgehammer section and held that position for the remainder of the race. The win was a dream realized for the Guthrie protégé.

“I don’t know what to say. It’s been a long road getting here riding with my dad a lot and we had a few wins, but I really wanted to do it by myself,” Mitch Jr. said. “I was nervous going in. It’s my first time really getting in the rocks. We made it through, and it was a clean race.”

Guthrie Sr. showed that he still has what it takes in the brutal King of the Hammers by pounding to an impressive 3rd place in the race. The stranglehold that the Guthrie clan has on the Hammers podium is only rivaled by Polaris. The RZR side-by-side has dominated the competition for a full decade with 10 straight wins.

Mitch Guthrie Jr. winning the King of the Hammers desert race in California

Guthrie racing is making a habit of claiming the checkered flag at King of the Hammers

The Guthrie / Polaris string of wins in the King of the Hammers is even more impressive when you consider that only about 10% of race entrants finished the competition. A mere 12 of the 118 UTVs that started the competition crossed the finish line. The Guthries raced past and around a boneyard of broken UTVs on their way to the podium.

K&N is proud to be the intake and filtration manufacturer that Guthrie Racing trusts to keep their RZRs clean and powerful in brutal conditions like those found in the King of the Hammers. K&N will be there as Guthrie Racing moves to the Mint 400 which is next on their desert racing schedule.

To find the K&N intake and filters for your Polaris RZR, use our convenient and easy-to-navigate online application search tool.

UTV King of the Hammers Race Winners:

Mitch Guthrie Jr. wins the  King of the Hammers desert race

Mitch Guthrie Jr. proved he is ready to stand on his own with his King of the Hammers victory

2018- Mitch Guthrie Jr.

2017- Shannon Campbell

2016- Blake Van De Loo

2015- Mitch Guthrie Sr.

2014- Mitch Guthrie Sr.

2013- Mitch Guthrie Sr.

2012- Mitch Guthrie Sr.

2011- Brandon Schueler

2010- Mitch Guthrie Sr.

2009- Mitch Guthrie Sr.

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