The off-roading community started 2021 off with a bang, bringing back one of the most anticipated annual races, The 2021 King of The Hammers. This year’s King of the Hammers was different than any other year due to the precautions taken by organizers to maintain the health and safety of racers and spectators. These precautions allowed the 10 days of dirt pounding off-road action to take place.
The prime-time event of weekend one was the Saturday night, class 11 stock bug shootout. Starting at 7 pm, well after sunset, meant drivers needed to be very familiar with their cars and the course. Team Rider Blake Wilkey is no novice in the world of stock bug racing, He and Co-Driver Kevin Butts have piloted the Slug Shark to 4 victories out of his last five races. So, when 15 Classic slug bugs left the line together and battled the short course through the early moonlight, Blake made a quick jump to the front of the pack and fought for first place throughout the race.
Blake was chasing fellow bug enthusiast Bryan Crofts, who had less and 10 miles on his bug before the race began. Early on both Crofts and Wilkey had some issues staying on course and after a gnarly jump over a berm, both drivers were found their driving line. Ultimately Blake’s seat time and experience in his bug prevailed, taking first place and the grand prize of $10,000.
Along with winning the class 11 shootout Saturday. Blake took on the Pit Crew Challenge Wednesday night and was a Co-Driver to the Hall Brothers in the 4400 main event on Saturday.
The Pit Crew Challenge put teams head-to-head in a fun spirited competition to see who can complete a simulated pitstop the fastest. Blake assisted Jacob Versey's Team in the UTV class. Team Versey took first in their heat and Blake felt prepared to take on the class 11 round.
The Pit Crew Challenge organizers saved the best for last. When the class 11's rolled to the line it was Team Wilkey in the Slug Shark Vs. Team Sutton in the EMPI Bug. Wilkey and Sutton are longtime friends and because Baha Jerky put $500 Cash on the line, they decided to adjust the rules. Instead of just doing the pit crew challenge, the winner would be decided by the team that started their bug first. Team Wilkey was off to a great start, and seconds ahead of Sutton, but in the end the team Sutton took the win due to an electrical issue in Wilkey's bug.
Wilkey and the slug shark have built a momentum that has them positioned to take more podiums and championship titles this year and they have no intention of slowing down! Blake and the Slug Shark have been an integral part of the Pedal Commander Team and we couldn’t be more excited for the 2021 racing season!