Images via Ernesto Araiza
After years of solid performances but never quite cracking the top step of the podium, Gomez Brothers Racing finally has its long-awaited first Ultra4 King of the Hammers victory. When the dust settled on Saturday’s premier race, it was Raul Gomez, last year’s third place finisher, who conquered three laps and 227 miles of the most grueling desert and rock terrain imaginable—and cracking the seven-hour mark in the 14-hour time-limited race to do it, no less.
To do it, Gomez had to withstand challenges from a pair of former Race of Kings winners in Jason Scherer and Josh Blyler. Scherer, the first three-time winner in KOH history, was just 15 minutes shy of breaking a tie with Randy Slawson for the most wins of all time, while 2020 winner Blyler finished just under 35 minutes behind Gomez for the victory. Marcos Gomez, who led that 2020 race until the closing miles, and two-time winner Erik Miller completed the top five.
The naturally diverse KOH entry list always includes vehicles of all types in the premier race, including some that have already competed in Johnson Valley earlier in the week. Many of Thursday’s top UTV finishers were on the Saturday entry list in their same vehicles, and Cody Miller set an event record for the highest UTV finish with an eighth place overall, surpassing Kyle Chaney’s 11th place run last year.
Every Man Challenge
Friday’s Every Man Challenge race is even more unpredictable in terms of an entry list, with the Modified, Stock, and Legends classes all going to battle together each year and the EV division joining the ranks for the first time in 2022. After winning the Modified class title over three of the past four years, but only one overall victory in that time, Dan Fresh made the switch to Legends on Friday and put on a clinic, defeating event newcomer Toby Stacy by more than half an hour.
Chayse Caprara was third, while Cameron Steele completed a 1-2-3-4 sweep for Legends vehicles in fourth. Fifth place, however, went to a Stock division racer, as Vaughn Gittin Jr. charged from the 98th spot on the grid to take a class victory of more than 20 minutes over Brad Lovell. That left the Modified class win to John Mathews, who took his first career KOH win by nearly 20 minutes over Joe Gatlin.
Click here for full results from the 2022 King of the Hammers, and check out Ernesto Araiza’s full galleries from both Friday’s Every Man Challenge and Saturday’s Race of Kings below!