By Jon Crowley
Cody Miller made history on Friday as he became the first UTV to ever finish a 4400 unlimited King of the Hammers race!
As I described in the article below, the challenge of even completing this brutal course was huge.
The Nitto King of the Hammers is just part of a week of racing in Johnson Valley in front of tens of thousands of spectators and millions of online viewers watching unparalleled life coverage from the desert.
The marquee event of the week, the Nitto King of the Hammers covered 77 miles in the desert before running 66 miles in the same rocks used for the Can-Am UTV King of the Hammers Presented by HCR and the 4WP Every Man Challenge. The unlimited 4400 class is required to run an additional lap in the rocks though, along with even harder trails with ominous names such as Full of Hate and Hell to Pay.
The 212-mile course included punishing desert terrain and some of the most challenging rock crawling trails in the world (aka The Hammers), KOH has a reputation as the toughest one day off-road race in the world, pushing man and machine to their breaking point, and beyond. Attrition was as high as ever, with only 44 of the 97 competitors reaching the finish line within the 14-hour time limit.
I was unable to stay for Friday’s main 4400 unlimited race, but thanks to Ultra4 Racing’s live show, I didn’t miss much of the action! Here are some pieces from Cody’s day:
Cody Miller and co-dog Chad Hughes crossed the finish line in the Nitto King of the Hammers Powered by OPTIMA Batteries unlimited race in 15th place! While a 15th doesn’t sound that spectacular, a UTV has never completed the 4400 race, and he was competing in this unlimited class against vehicles with over 800 Horsepower and 40+ inch tires!
More details from the 2020 Can-Am King of the Hammers UTV race:
Can-Am swept the podium at the annual Can-Am UTV King of the Hammers Presented by HCR today, with KOH newcomer Hunter Miller besting Midwest short course racer Kyle Chaney and KOH veteran Phil Blurton to round out the podium. Hunter’s brother Cody was the fast qualifier for Sunday’s race, putting the two side by side at the starting line.
To challenge this talented roster, Hammerking promoter Dave Cole used the same course for 2020 Can-Am UTV King of the Hammers Race Presented by HCR as the first two laps as Friday’s Nitto King of the Hammers Powered by Optima Batteries (which runs an additional lap through the most challenging rock canyons). Just five years ago, only five UTVs finish the race. In 2020, 33 out of 131 vehicles finished the race within the eight-hour time limit.