2018 King of the Hammers: Only the Strong Survived
February 8 would be the day that the Smittybilt Every Man Challengers took their turn on the course. For the first time, the G2 Axle and Gear 4800 Legends and Rubicon Express 4500 Modified classes would start together. In two-by-two formation, pairs would launch in 30-second intervals starting at 8am. However, Bailey Cole, Dave’s son, would not make the start line due to a transmission oil leak. He still got the car going as best he could and would run as support for other drivers who needed help through the day but would not finish.
‘We had the raw speed in the desert. We were trying to save it all the time in the rocks, and that’s tricky. …We didn’t have to stop for anything but fuel. It was flawless.’ — Jason Scherer
Rick Lavezzo would end up rolling over when he took the second turn too tightly. The 4800 Class rig hit the rut on the inside of the turn and rolled onto its roof. His day wasn’t done immediately but he would end up not finishing the race as he wouldn’t continue to his second lap. Another driver who had a bad start to the day was Vaughn Gittin, Jr. Near race mile 12, the car either hit a rock or took a compression wrong and rolled his 4800 Monster Energy Brocky. While he was OK, his co-driver was complaining of back pains and taken to the hospital for observation. Gittin had planned to get it to the start line of the King of the Hammers, but the damage was too extensive.