A year after taking a podium finish in spite of being run over by his own vehicle while out on course, Kyle Chaney completed the ultimate redemption arc on Thursday when he won the 2021 Can-Am UTV King of the Hammers. Just five days after topping the UTV division in the B2 vs. B3 Grudge Match as part of the Toyo Tires Desert Invitational, Chaney conquered two laps of the brutal Johnson Valley course in just 3:47:54.885.
“We had some times out there where I didn’t know if we were gonna come out of it,” Chaney said on the podium. “I gotta thank my crew, all my guys here—you know it takes a big crew to race this much and a lot of late nights. Right after the 4400 qualifying, they tore this whole thing apart and had it back together by morning.”
It was Chaney’s first win in the UTV race after losing a radiator with the race lead in his first try and finishing second last year. Cody Miller was second on Saturday, while Phil Blurton completed the podium with his second straight third place finish to sweep the top three spots for Can-Am. Both drivers raved from the podium about the unique nature of the race, from the combined team efforts behind them to the diversity of terrain.
“King of the Hammers is just a great team event,” said Miller. “You know, a lot of the races that we run are just the driver versus the driver. Out here it’s the team versus the team. All the way from the pits to the passenger seat. It’s a major group effort. And it just brings everyone together and it’s such a good family environment. You know, it’s what it brings for the whole family is just awesome. It makes everyone feel like they’re involved.”
“There’s nothing like (this race),” added Blurton. “You know, about every two weeks we’re racing somewhere different, and this race is just so unique. You’re in the desert doing 102 miles an hour, then you’re in the rocks doing three miles an hour, and next thing you know you’re out of the car on winching and it’s stuck on the rocks. It’s a lot of fun.”
More than 100 entries attempted Thursday’s race. Chaney and Miller were the only two racers to complete the event in under four hours, while 13 teams finished in under five. Defending race winner Hunter Miller had been in contention for the win before flipping his vehicle, and wasn’t scored as one of the 46 racers to finish the event.
The full list of finishers in Thursday’s Can-Am UTV King of the Hammers was as follows:
King of the Hammers continues today with the 4WP Every Man Challenge, beginning at 8AM. Brad Lovell won last year’s event by under half a minute over Seth Van Dyke, and will start 15th in today’s race; David Hartman was the top qualifier and will start first.