Casey Currie also hit a mysterious rock that ruined his day. “We had a great first lap,” said Currie, “no real issues starting in 7th. We didn’t run into anything until the 2nd lap.” It was then when the problem began to snowball as, first, a front swaybar link broke. Usually that isn’t a big deal until the other one breaks and it becomes and unwanted line lock. “On Fissure Mountain,” said Currie, “I noticed that the brake pedal was acting up and eventually it got to the point that it was sticking. My co-driver got out and found that the swaybar ends pinched the brake lines off. So, every time I pushed the brake, it would send pressure into the line but never release.” This locked the front brakes down on Currie and they had to make a trail repair. This got them going again until they arrived at Sledgehammer when a lower control arm got bent on the chassis side and its heim joint began to contact the front driveshaft. They made a jury rig repair on the feature to make it back to the next remote pit to replace the shaft and make a proper repair to the lower control arm. They were able to finish out the day in 14th.
For Wayland and Shannon, however, most of the day went as smoothly as the Hammers would allow them. For most of the day, they stuck close to each other in 2nd and 3rd place, with Wayland only falling back once while in the pits for a winch replacement. “I went into the pits because I busted my winch in half. The rope was swinging and cables were laying everywhere. I pulled in and Jason Scherer (another competitor) took off past me because he didn’t stop for fuel or anything.” Wayland eventually pulled past him and Shannon physically, but Wayland was behind his father in adjusted time. He needed to make up more than 30 seconds to pull ahead of Shannon.
It just wasn’t meant to be, though, as Shannon pulled in with basically one tire still inflated but just behind his son by only 28 seconds. Shannon Campbell pulled off the first-ever "three-peat" and became the 2017 King of the Hammers. While that’s something to take hold of for most drivers, Shannon’s a bit more of a family man, “It was fun,” said Shannon, “It was probably the best time I had racing in my whole life. Wayland and I were just going at it, tearing our stuff up, and neither one of us was giving up. I guess it was better for the crowd than it was for us, but I had a blast.” The most important part? “What meant the most to me was that he didn’t give up. That’s what I had been trying to teach him forever; don’t give an inch, make the other guys work for it and that’s exactly what he did.”
While it’s easy to look at a Monster Energy driver and think they live the good life where they don’t have to work for their wins or rigs, it’s quite the opposite. Each one of these drivers had to put work into their finishing spot. From Bailey making her repairs on the knuckle, to Casey hopping out with his co-driver to get the brakes unlocked, to even Wayland and Shannon fighting it out until the very end, these drivers worked and drove hard. Possibly harder than they needed to. However, that’s what the Hammers is about – taking on the toughest one-day race and finishing in the end. Finishing first is a sweet reward, though, and now Shannon Campbell has three crowns to his name. What will the 2018 King of the Hammers bring? Who knows, but this story is going to be a hard one to top. Though, we thought that about last year, too.