4WP Every Man Challenge, the punishing 121-mile course consisted of whooped out roads and high-speed lakebeds on the first lap, and some of the hardest rock crawling canyons in the world on the second lap, with only 37 out of the 115 vehicles that took the green flag crossing the finish line within the eleven-hour time limit. Chayse Caprara Takes the Victory at 4WP Every Man Challenge.
The 2021 4WP Every Man Challenge (EMC) featured the most challenging course in the event’s nine-year history; more difficult than the main King of the Hammers race of just a few short years ago. As a result, bottleneck was the word of the day, with traffic jams at The Notches, Outer Limits, and Jackhammer allowing the front runners to walk away from the field of 115 vehicles across three classes. Second generation racer Chayse Caprara got out front early and made the most of it, taking the overall win this year and the Branik Motorsports 4800 Class victory in his very first appearance in the EMC race. The nineteen-year-old is a second-generation racer who started competing at King of the Hammers in the UTV class three years ago before moving up in class in a Bomber buggy. “Try to keep it smooth, break nothing, and go as fast as I can,” Caprara revealed when asked about his strategy for the day. “We got the lead right after pit one going out. I never assumed we were going to win because anything can happen out here.”
Chayse Caprara won the 4WP Every Man Challenge overall and the Branik Motorsports 4800 Legends Class
Caprara was chased by a pair of past EMC winners: Brad Lovell and Casey Gilbert. Four-time EMC winner Lovell finished eleven minutes behind Caprara in his trusty Ford Ranger buggy. “Hats off to the winners, who were just a little bit faster today,” Lovell expressed at the finish line. “I really like the EMC race, because it gives us a place that we can race and be competitive in an older car like this.” Two-time EMC winner Gilbert finished nineteen minutes behind Caprara in his Miller Motorsports Jeep. “It's the challenge,” Gilbert explained when asked what has kept him coming back for the past eight years. “And it's never the same, you're always working through problems. I have a good time, you know, just trying to figure out how to overcome a situation that you get put into.”
In spite of the difficulty of the course, 115 drivers signed up in three classes: Legends (4800), Modified (4500), and Stock (4600). Even with different vehicle specifications, the Legends and Modified vehicles are closely matched in capabilities and battle each year for the overall win. Legends vehicles must use a single shock per corner, have a front mounted engine, and two seats. Modified vehicles are allowed two shocks per corner but must retain mechanical steering rather than the full hydraulic steering that is common in the Legends Class. Both classes compete on 37-inch DOT approved tires. The Stock Class is the most restrictive at all, allowing for minimal modifications beyond the addition of safety equipment and running through the daunting course on only 35-inch-tall DOT approved tires.
Dan Fresh won the Yukon Gear and Axle 4500 Modified Class
In the Yukon Gear and Axle 4500 Class, Dan Fresh added yet another trophy to his crowded mantle, besting second-place Duane Garretson by an hour and a half. His second of three races he is competing in at King of the Hammers, Fresh repeated his performance from last year in a Savvy-built Early Bronco. A disappointing qualifying run had Fresh starting in the 71st position on race day, but he passed 66 competitors to finish fifth overall on corrected time. Arkansas’ Duane Garretson finished second in class in his Jimmy’s 4x4 Ford Bronco. Garretson has won the Ultra4 Eastern Series title in 4500 twice in the past and has a long history in competitive rockcrawling, an advantage on this year’s particularly challenging course. Justin Foxworthy rounded out the podium in the 4500 Class, borrowing veteran racer Jimmy Jack’s Jeep that has been on the podium in the EMC race the past two years. Foxworthy had previously raced in the 4400 class in 2013 and 2014, and demonstrated that his driving skills are as sharp as ever despite the hiatus.
Justin Reece won the Spidertrax Offroad 4600 Stock Class
While Ford plans to campaign three Broncos in the 4600 Class next year, in 2021 the class is still dominated by Justin Reece, who once again was the Spidertrax Stock 4600 Class winner. Despite competing in a “well worn” 1985 Toyota pickup with a four-cylinder engine and leaf springs, Reece was able to outdrive a host of other teams with much larger engines, more modern suspensions, and bigger budgets to finish in nine hours and 37 minutes. “I have competed in KOH twelve times and thist was by far the hardest,” Reece confessed at the finish line. “I think it was just the rocks. I mean, the rocks were insane. The desert loop is what it is. A lot of the sand sections were blown out after the desert race, so the desert section was rougher than usual. But the rocks were insane. And the traffic was terrible.” Jon Schaffer was the only other driver of the 29-car field in the Stock Class to finish within the eleven-hour time limit, crossing the line in ten hours and 35 minutes in his Savvy-built Jeep Wrangler. “We were passing people right and left and then around Race Mile 15 the rear shock just completely exploded,” Schaffer revealed at the finish line. “We had to cut it back to like a third of the speed and nurse it along. Then when we got back to the pit they threw another shock on; not really the right shock but it was better than nothing.”
Kyle and Dahlia Seggelin won the new EV Class
New for this year was the EV Class, which had just one entry from brother and sister team Kyle and Dahlia Seggelin. Starting with Bailey Cole’s proven 4600 Class 4Runner as a platform, Seggelin added the motor and batteries from a Nissan Leaf to repower the 4Runner for the Every Man Challenge. The electric motor of the Leaf produced 107 horsepower and 187 ft-lbs of torque, comparable to the original 22RE engine. The Leaf motor also has an output shaft, allowing it to be mated to the factory Toyota transmission. The team swapped battery packs in Remote Pit 1 and completed the 90-mile desert loop at the EMC race, excited about the proof-of-concept and possibilities in the future. When asked what advice he had for other racers aspiring to compete in the EV Class he said “Go for it! Search the Internet, get in touch with me, get in touch with anybody else. People in electric car forums are awesome folks. It's not as hard as you think. It's nuts and bolts make it happen.”
Top 10 EMC overall results:
1. Chayse Caprara (4800) - 4:27:18.095
2. Brad Lovell (4800) - 4:38:57.824
3. Casey Gilbert (4800) - 4:46:54.765
4. Cameron Steele (4800) - 4:48:55.453
5. Dan Fresh (4500) - 5:19:10.373
6. Levi Shirley (4800) - 5:49:44.216
7. David Hartman (4800) - 6:5:43.895
8. Shaun Rajski (4800) - 6:21:08.253
9. Mike Johnson (4800) -6:30:22.270
10. Cody Young (4800) - 6:33:30.034
1. Dan Fresh - 5:19:10.373
2. Duane Garretson - 6:52:04.273
3. Justin Foxworthy- 6:55:19.453
1. Justin Reece - 9:37:38.296
2. Jon Schaefer - 10:35:41.499
3. Josh Atteberry - 2:48:11.777 - 1 Lap
1. Chayse Caprara - 4:27:18.095
2. Brad Lovell - 4:38:57.824
3. Casey Gilbert - 4:46:54.765
1. Kyle Seggelin - 7:42:09.021
2021 4WP Every Man Challenge Nuggets
Imagine racing King of the Hammers on 37-inch DOT approved tires (or even 35s) and you get an idea of what it takes to do the Every Man Challenge. While the EMC lacks the third lap of the 4400 race, these competitors run the same first two laps, but class restrictions require them to bring a knife to a gunfight. That doesn’t stop them from finding a way to reach the finish line though.
Class & Sponsors:
- Branik Motorsports 4800 Legends Class
- Yukon Gear and Axle 4500 Modified Class
- Spidertrax Offroad 4600 Stock Class
- Electric Vehicle class (new this year)
4WP Every Man Challenge Special Stories
4500 and 4800 cars have mixed starting positions based on qualifying, with the 4600 vehicles starting after the other two classes. 4800 has dominated the past few years in the overall standings, but the 4500 class wants those bragging rights back.
It’s history at KOH! First EV Vheicle to finish King of the Hammers
In the spirit of the Every Man Challenge, Kyle Seggelin turned his 1986 Toyota 4Runner (formerly Bailey Cole Racing’s) into the first electric vehicle to take on the EV class at King of the Hammers. Powered by the electric motor from a Nissan Leaf, and his sister as co-driver, they drove into the KOH history books and won the EV Class! Coming across the finish line silently, the duo won the hearts and respect of every person watching - showing the spirit of ingenuity, hard work, and passion for racing.
2021 4WP Every Man Challenge Podium Finisher Quotes
Chayse Caprara #1481- 1st Place Overall/ 1st 4800 Class
How did you race go today?
“We started out the race with flat right before to Pit One. One of the pit one guys got that changed out real quick and got us back going. Then we're cruising through the rocks, no issues no incidents at all then we got another flat because we hit rock pretty hard. So we hopped out and changed that and then at the bottom of Jackhammer we got another flat and we had to go all the way to Pit Two on the flat. We got there and changed that out and then kept going and coming down the last rock trail we hit one and going up Devil’s Slide we hit one more rock and got another flat but it was all my fault we hit rocks pretty hard and we had a good day and no winching at all.”
How is this going to help you for racing again tomorrow?
“Hopefully we’ll know more the lines on the rock trails where we can hit in the desert faster. We’ll just see what happens tomorrow.”
When did you start racing here?
“I think I started in 2016 racing, driving for 3 years in a UTV and this is my first time in a 4800 car. I would co drive with my dad in a 4400 car since 2016 as well, but this is my first time racing in the Every Man Challenge and my first podium finish.”
What was your strategy going into today?
“Try to keep it smooth, break nothing, and go as fast as I can. We got the lead right after Pit One going out. I never assumed we were going to win because anything can happen out here.”
Where were you most frustrated?
“Oh, when we got one flat tire, changed it, and they got another and had to go through the rocks with a flat tire.”
How old are you?
At what point did dad say you're driving?
Well, we decided in 2016 that I was going to race a Polaris RZR in the UTV race. And then after that I raced a Can-Am for three years. And then right when COVID hit, we decided to have Randy Slawson build this car, but we didn't get to use it until the Ultra4 Nationals in Oklahoma, back in October.”
Did your dad (Brian Caprara) give you any advice today?
“Keep it smooth and bring it home.
And where are you from?
“We are from Salinas California.”
I see you are wearing boots, Are you a real cowboy?
“I work in the fields, agricultural fields. I used to be a tractor driver. Now I work in the shop, working on ag equipment. These are the boots I wear every single day of the year.”
Brad Lovell #232 2nd Place Overall/2nd 4800 Class
Was it rough out there?
“Yeah, we're doing everything out in the desert loop going this way and that trying to find trails on the side that we wouldn't even be able to see in the T2 when we were running out here, but I was out there trying to seek some smooth lines for us, but everybody else has chewed him up. So, it's pretty rough, but I can't say I'm surprised at how this old rockcrawler does out there in the desert.”
Did you feel prepared for the race today?
“We have spent a lot of time in Cougar Buttes doing Bronco testing. So I have that place pretty well scoped out and saw a line and skirted by some guys there. And you know, everybody eats dust and if you can get out in front of them in the rocks, and you're not eating the dust in the desert.”
How do you feel about your finish today?
“We really wanted a repeat from last year, it would have been our fourth overall win here in EMC and all I can say is we'll be back next year.”
And what did you think of the course?
“It was a tough run out there. I mentally I just kept clicking off the waypoints knowing that ‘Hey, you got one less thing to worry about. You got through the rough, you got through the whoops, you got off Jackhammer and just kept reeling it in hoping the truck didn't break it held together.’ It's weird because you can hear funny noises out there and you're thinking ‘What is it what's going?’ on but held together. We never got out of the truck once, no flats, so we had a good pace. But I think you know, hats off to the winners who were just a little bit faster today. “
How many times have you entered this car in the EMC?
“We've entered this car in all the EMCs, we've entered it in all the King of the Hammers except the OG 13. So, I believe this is the 14th event for it and probably, I don't know, 18th race because for a while we were doing the unlimited class and the EMC class.”
You’ve been a staple in the EMC, why is that important to you?
“Well, I really like the EMC race, because there's no lap traffic here, you're not coming around on rock trails and catching lap traffic. And it kind of bummed us out after a while getting into log jams and the big race. And we've had a long history with this truck. We've won a lot of events. We won three EMCs with it. We've won desert races overall; we've won rock crawling championships. So it's kind of part of our heritage. And I really like the EMC race, because it gives us a place that we can race and be competitive in an older car like this. And it's kind of more of a sprint race, because you're not going around doing that ultra-hard third lap.”
Because you're in such a prominent figure in this event. What is it about every man at home that can relate to?
“Well, you know, I think what everybody needs to remember is no matter how big or flashy or important everybody looks, they all started somewhere. I started with a daily driver Ranger and we tore it down and turned it into a competition rockcrawler in my garage, and then I bought another truck to go drive. So this is the vehicle we built after that. But it started in our garage, it started as a hobby, and it took a $5,000 investment and we've just kind of over the years built it up. And not all motorsports teams start that way. But that's something about the EMC race that we can really relate to, is that it can be for anybody. It's going to be hard your first year and it's going to be hard your second year, but then you're going to get some stuff figured out.”
So just to clarify.
“We’ve had this car in every King Of the Hammers. We debuted it at the first king of the hammers. They had the OG 13 one. We didn't do that one. We did the first official year, and that's where we debuted this car. We came out here and ran around and got some help tuning it and had been racing it ever since.”
Casey Gilbert #618- 3rd Place Overall/3rd 4800
How many times have you competed in the EMC?
“I think we're at eight. I did the Stock Class one year and the Modified Class one year. And then this is the sixt year for this car.”
Why compete in the EMC versus 4400?
“The EMC is a little more budget friendly, but it's just as competitive as 4400 I think anymore. If you don't have a perfect day, you're not going to win this race.”
Why do you come back to King of the Hammers year after year?
“It's the challenge. It's never the same and you're always working through problems. And I have a good time, you know, just trying to figure out how to overcome a situation you know, that you get put into and it's just, it's just fun for us.”
And what was unique about today's race?
“The rocks were a lot tougher this year. I think getting up Bender Alley gave us a ton of trouble. But overall, it was just it was just rough with the desert cars running in front of us. They really beat the course up.
Cameron Steele #16- 4th Place Overall/4th 4800 (Drove the desert lap)
We saw you get out of the car at one point, what happened?
“What happened was I was super dumb and wore my jacket in the car and got so hot I couldn’t really focus on racing so we have to stop and take my jacket off, that’s all I did. I just had to get the blood flowing. I was cooking. I knew we were clear like 5 minutes behind us and the guys in front of us were running so hard and our whole thing was to finish, to get the podium but not get over excited. So I decided to stop and take my jacket off and not worry about it. It’s kinda weird, you don’t really get out of the race car but just chose to jump out, take my jacket off so I could focus on smashing on the way back into town.”
How did it feel up to that point? The vehicle looked flawless. How much harder could you run this in the whoops than the side by side?
“I tried to avoid the whoops in both after the T1 race. I pre ran for this class so the Trent Fabrication car could miss some of the bumps. It has Fox Shocks on it, one per wheel but you don’t want to use them up too much in the first lap because then Bailey gets a pile of junk later on if you smash too much. We were out looking for lines and to be honest, the shocks loved it and we were like, maybe we should have just pounded it through the bumps all the time. The Trent Fab team did a great job for us and we had a lot of fun out there. Cougar Buttes didn’t bite me back, I got to bite it back for a change and I thought we had a clean run through there.”
What are your thoughts about the Every Man Challenge?
“It’s a team effort and a family even; it’s a lot of fun to be able to share it. A lot of times you’re so focused on just one guy winning. Out here at King of the Hammers with four classes it’s taking a lot of effort from the entire team to make it happen.”
Bailey Cole #16- 4th Place Overall/4th 4800 (Drove the desert lap)
You had a flat and lost some time, what happened?
“Yeah, we had liners in the car. So, we were able to make it to the pit. But we did have to check up a little bit and Brad caught us there.”
What are you going to take from today, into racing again at the 4400 race tomorrow?
“We just kind of ran the line we're going to run in the cars tomorrow and it all went smooth in this so hoping to carry that into tomorrow. And Tom still hasn't had to winch this weekend. So hopefully continue we that trend!”
Alright, so now are trails deteriorating, are the rocks getting stacked up to help you or are they getting worse?
“I think it's getting worse. I think the cars are just getting better. And we're getting enough practice out here. But the trails are definitely not getting any easier.”
Justin Reece #4619– 29th Place Overall/1st Place 4600
How did your race go?
“It was a rough day but you know, it just goes to show hard work and determination goes a long way.”
There are so many people here cheering you on!
“They are rowdy and we're just blessed to have so many good folks come out and pitch for us and support us.”
How many King of the Hammers have you competed in?
How hard was this in comparison to the to the others you've done?
“Oh, it was by far the hardest. I think it was just the rocks. I mean, the rocks were insane. The desert loop is what it is. A lot of the sand sections are blown out with the desert race, so the desert section was rougher than usual. And the rocks were insane. And the traffic was terrible.”
What's particularly challenging about the 4600 class?
“Just all the limitations. I mean, with a 35-inch tire we're dealing with holes that are dug up by 40’s and big horsepower. I'm running leaf springs, that's what I have to run because that's what's available in this truck. I'll tell you what's awesome about the 4600 is the brotherhood and friendship in this class. I mean, we always just team up and help each other and it takes a lot to get these trucks across the finish line. So I'm looking forward to seeing some more 4600 cars come across.”
If someone's sitting in their arm chair watching this at home, what does your body feel like now?
“A little bit tingly and I feel a little delirious.”
Jon Schaefer #4688- 35th Place Overall/2nd place 4600
How was your day?
“Yeah, that was probably the hardest race I've ever been in! I don't even know we just kept pushing and pushing and pushing it and the car kept going.”
Did you have any issues?
“The beginning of the race was great. I mean, the desert section we were flying past past 4500 and 4800 cars. Around Race Mile 15 the rear shock just completely exploded. So, it went on to the air bump for a while till we blew through the air bump. We had to cut it back to like a third the speed. And then when we got back to the pit they threw another shock on. Not really the right shock but it something we're able to go a little bit faster but we at least got to the rocks and got through them.”
After that it went smoothly?
“We didn't have any flats but Sergio had to get out and winch several times. Our steering ram keeps slipping and the sway bar kept getting jammed in there. So I didn't know if I could turn left or right sometimes. Sometimes you could sometimes you had to like force it. Sergio had to get out fix it a few times.”
Kyle Seggelin 1st Place Electric vehicles
What were biggest surprises today?
“The biggest surprise was the battery worked exactly the way we hoped it would and the car kept moving. We had some trouble, but we moved all the way to the finish line with minimal issues. I was very surprised. I thought it'd be way worse than that.”
What inspired you to enter KOH in an electric vehicle?
“Me and my friends have been talking about it for a long time. And then the fact that King of the Hammers put on an electric class is what really prompted us to do it.”
What was harder: prepping the car or finishing the race?
“Prepping the car for sure! Because we did a pretty good job, so we had an easy race day. I would say prepping the car, we put the effort in up front so we had a good day today.”
How many hours did you put into prepping the car?
“Four months straight, every day off, and every day after work... except Thanksgiving.”
What encouragement would you give to future people who want to enter electric cars?
“Go for it! Search the internet, get in touch with me, get in touch with anybody else. People in electric car forums (or whatever) are awesome folks and just do it. It's not as hard as you think. It's nuts and bolts make it happen.”
What do you do with Tesla?
“I'm in the manufacturing side of things. They're good cars.”
By following the links below you can be updated on all the races of the 2021 KOH Week