Team Nitto Rules The Top 5 At King Of The Hammers
Nitto Tire U.S.A., a leading manufacturer of off-road and street performance tires, is proud to announce that Team Nitto driver Erik Miller has won the 2016 King of the Hammer race.
Miller took home the win alongside Nitto teammates Jason Scherer, Shannon Campbell, and Bailey Campbell at Friday’s race where the team’s Nitto Trail Grappler tires provided them with the reliability and durability they needed to achieve victory.
The annual King of the Hammers off-road race held in Johnson Valley, California is one of the most prestigious and difficult off-road races in the world, requiring drivers to tackle large rock obstacles and race at high speeds across the open desert. This year, Team Nitto drivers Erik Miller, Jason Scherer, Shannon Campbell, and Bailey Campbell dominated the massive course thanks to their Trail Grappler tires which went the full length of the race without a single flat or puncture. Miller took home the top spot (and his 2nd KOH win) while Jason Scherer came in second, with Shannon Campbell and Bailey Campbell rounding out the top five.
“Nitto Tire couldn’t be prouder of our amazing team of Ultra4 drivers,” said Chris Corbett, Nitto Tire U.S.A.’s Events and Motorsports Manager. “Erik Miller is now one of only four racers to have won King of the Hammers more than once, something he now shares with teammates Loren Healy and Shannon Campbell, and Bailey Campbell is the first ever female racer to finish in the Top 5 of the race’s premier event. It was also great to see that our Trail Grappler tires once again provided our drivers with the grip, control, and durability they needed to be the dominant force of the race.”
This year’s race lived up to its grueling reputation as two-time King of the Hammers champion and fan favorite Loren Healy suffered an engine failure in his new straight axle car before the race and then experienced issues with his accessory belt on his backup car that eventually lead to his early retirement from the race. Meanwhile, Erik Miller had moved into the lead over top qualifier Jason Scherer while the Campbell family raced neck and neck behind him. After Wayland Campbell broke down in the middle of a tight obstacle, Bailey and Shannon Campbell were able to get their buggies through as the rest of the field backed up behind Wayland. There was nothing that could slow down Erik Miller as he continued his near flawless run, eventually finishing 25 minutes ahead of teammate Scherer. Shannon Campbell and Bailey Campbell held off the rest of the field, crossing the finish line in fourth and fifth, respectively – making Bailey the first woman to earn a Top 5 finish in the race.
Team Nitto driver and World Champion drifter Vaughn Gittin, Jr. also made his King of the Hammers debut this year piloting the No. 4703 Monster Energy Nitto Tire Legends Class buggy. Thanks to coaching from King of the Hammers veteran and fellow Team Nitto driver Loren Healy, Vaughn was able to finish in the Top 10 in the very competitive Legends class and 14th overall in a field of over 100 entries. Vaughn competed on proven Nitto’s Trail Grappler M/T tire – the same tire available to enthusiasts at their local tire store.
Fans of the King of the Hammers race are also in for a special treat as the final two episodes of Nitto’s latest video series, “Journey to the Hammers,” will be debuting soon on Nitto’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/NittoChannel). In this three-part documentary video series, Nitto takes fans behind the scenes with KOH champions Loren Healy, Shannon Campbell, and Erik Miller to show them what it takes to win the toughest off-road race in the U.S.