Chandler, AZ (2/11/2018) – Weller Racing’s Kyle Anderson drove his Yamaha YXZ 1000R to a ninth-place finish in the King of the Hammers UTV race in Johnson Valley, CA. Teammate Jason Weller was running in the top 10 when mechanical issues forced him out early.
The King of the Hammers is known as one of the most difficult off-road races of the year and it delivered. With one of the roughest courses in recent memory, the combined rock crawl/desert race took its toll as only 12 of the 118 entries finished.
Anderson had difficulties in qualifying so he was on the “hammer” early in the desert section. After passing most of the field on the first lap, he passed several other cars in the rock crawl sections.
“It was a long day, we had some hang ups, but we brought it home,” said Anderson. “Once we found out about Jason, that passed us the ball so we took it and ran with it. We knew because of our starting position that in the desert section we had to start pushing so we wouldn’t get bottle necked. We passed 30 cars on the first lap. We started picking our way through traffic on the second lap. Overall, it went pretty smoothly.”
The reliability of his Yamaha showed as Anderson had a radiator issue that sent engine temperatures to nearly 250 degrees. In addition, the car’s standard transmission allowed him to use engine braking to get to the finish when a cracked brake line put his braking system out of order.
“That manual transmission was a godsend because it allowed me to finish the race,” said Anderson. “The resilience of this Yamaha is amazing. We had some high engine temperatures and the engine just held up great. It was like nothing even happened. I was blown away that this machine held together after all of the hammering we put it through.”
Both teams ran 32-inch Maxxis Liberty Tires. Despite the punishing course, the tires held up great and were the perfect choice for the race.
“The Maxxis Tires are unreal,” said Anderson. “They have phenomenal tires. You lay the car on its side and you’re driving it up on the wheel. There are sharp pointy rocks everywhere. The tires held up through all of that.”
Though mechanical issues and long repairs slowed Weller early in the race, he was determined to finish. Weller had made it to eighth when the team had hub issues, and though he finished after time expired, he finished.
“It took us over an hour to get back going,” said Weller. “We limped it to our pit and we were good from there. By that time, we knew we were going to time out, so we made it through Outer Limits when they called the race. We pushed through and got to the finish line.”
It marked the third year in a row that a Weller car finished in the top 10. With a well-prepared crew, and an experienced teammate, Weller was happy with the team’s results.
“We were broken down and those guys did great,” said Weller. “Just to be top 10, every year we’ve done it. I was excited for them.”
Jason Weller and his Weller Racing Team plan to be back at next year’s King of the Hammers.
2018 Weller Racing Sponsors:
Yamaha Motor USA, Dragonfire Racing, Full Throttle Battery,Demon Powersports, Maxxis Tires, Axia Alloys, PAC Racing Springs, Raceline Wheels, Factory UTV, SPARCO USA, Lucas Oil Racing TV, Lucas Oil Racing Products, AIM Sports, Tubeworks, Action Sports Canopies, Lazer Star Lights, AZ Drive Shaft, XTC, Powersports, Weller Racing, LLC