-Tell us about your racing background and how you ended up at the Lucas Oil Regional Series:
Around 2014 I started hanging out with my group of friends who at the time were racing in the Regional series racing Pro-buggy, Limited Buggy and Open V8. Wrenching on the cars and enjoying the view from the stands was a lot of fun. I enjoyed how the regional series was family oriented and racers helped each other out. In 2016, I started building and fabricating trucks to race in the Lucas Oil Regional Off-road racing series. I designed and built a Ford Ranger Mini Stock Class truck that Daniel Ferdon took to 1st place for the 2016 and 2017 season. During this time I built and piloted a sister truck and placed 6th in 2016, and 3rd overall in points for the 2017 and 2018 season and I am currently in 1st place for the 2019 season
-Family seems to play a big role on most regional teams and we see your family at the track with you at every round. How important is your family to your success and what roles do each of them play on race weekends?
Family plays a huge role in the regional series. As many of us are on limited budgets we need the support of parents, spouses, and friends to help make racing even possible. My wife Samantha brings our two kids, Hannah 4 and Wyatt 2 out as much as she can. The kids love playing in the dirt and riding around on their striders. My father David is also a huge part of my crew as he tows the trailer and toybox out to the races every time. My brother Dustin is my main spotter and always pushes me to have a great finish and to try my best. My family and friends are extremely important as we have been “pitting” together as a group for the past 5-6 years. We all race different classes and so we share parts, wrench on each other’s cars and have a great time together.
-What is your advice to someone looking to start out in short course off road racing?
Short Course racing is a lot of fun, fun for the driver, fun for the spotter, fun for the pit crew and fun for the family and friends spectating. I raced desert for years and although it is fun, the fun is often limited to you and your co-driver. Racing desert is very difficult logistically as the race course is often miles out and for safety reasons when the race car comes in to view you are limited to speed limits. Short course is full tilt from the start of the race to the end of the race and the spectators can see all the action first hand! Find a class that fits your budget, convince your friends to come out to a Regional Race and you will have them hooked.
-What is your favorite track and why?
Glen Helen is my favorite track as it is close to home and more friends and family can attend. The recent changes to the course make it technically challenging and still fun. The Victorville track is also fun as the family and friends get to sit in the stands with shade!
-When you're not at the track, what can we find you doing?
In my spare time I work on offroad cars including fabrication, design, and race prep for mod-carts mini- stocks, pro-lites and many others. I also assist Erik Jacobus and JE Racing as they race the Lucas Oil Offroad National series in the #67 Pro 2. My day job is as a High school counselor at Ruben S. Ayala in Chino Hills. I enjoy working with students and enjoy getting them prepared for college.
-How much time/work goes into preparing for each race weekend?
In racing as in life you have to be prepared. I spend around 3 full weekends prepping the Ford Ranger mini-stock. As this is my 4th season of racing the truck is fairly “dialed” and it does not take too much work. However my first year of racing I had to spend a lot of time at junk yards to replace worn out components and rebuild shocks, change fluids etc. But that is part of the fun, wrenching on your own car and preparing it for the race day!
-What/who is your biggest challenge on the track?
My biggest challenge I would have to say is myself. You spend much of your time focusing on your work and your daily routine. Sometimes it is hard for me to have a shift in thinking to that of a race car driver. Racing short course can be physically demanding as well as mentally challenging. Mini Stock trucks are limited to 9 inches of travel in the front and only 11 inches of travel in the rear. So you definitely get bounced around a lot. You definitely have to bring you’re a game to the race because there are 9 other guys out on the track that want to be on the podium just as bad as you do! But I appreciate my fellow racers like Tim Roberts, Jeff Eatman, Rob Orr and Noah Johnson as they have all been a blast to race with as they and their race trucks are equally as fast!
-Any goals for the next few years or beyond?
Racing gets into your blood and once you’re infected you’re done. I have definitely been bit by the racing bug and greatly enjoy the friends and families that I have made over the past few years of racing. I hope to be able to be lucky enough to find the support to continue to race for years to come.
-We know it takes a lot of support to race and you seem to be backed by some great companies. Is there anyone you would like to thank for their support?
Over the years I have been fortunate to be apart of the Icon Shocks team as they have helped me dial in the shocks over the past few years. I also want to thank Bud at Bud’s Tires as he has helped me with my tire package over the past 2 years. I also want to thank Lucas Oil as they were my sponsor for all my fluid needs. And of course, to my wife Samantha, my parents David and Gayle, my Brother Dustin and his wife Erin and to the JE Family, and the Clabaugh Family.