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Here's my story - what's yours?

Oscar Fazz

Well-Known Member
Great Story! I got a taste for car racing in 2013 got the opportunity when i was invited to race with Madison Racing 1600 car in the BITD Parker 425 and the Balls out 250 and i have to say by having that opportunity and invitation to race with that Team it changed my perspective. I normally race in the MX Pro 40 class and its like day and night! Very cool opportunity and because i brought the car in for a second place at one of the races the owner has invited me to do more driving for the upcoming year and with a big grin on my face i responded " ABSOLUTELY!" I still will be racing the SCORE series with MX Team but i diffently will continue to race the 1600 class and hopefully one day with much hard work this will evolve to something bigger....
 

Sal.LV93

Member
This is awesome. Thank you JrSyko for starting this thread. Its exactly what i needed too. To hear that it is possible to come from a normal family with not a lot of wealth to back such an amazing goal. I posted in here about a month ago too asking if there were any self made teams or racers too so its great seeing this here. I was down after i flipped my truck out in the desert before i caged it and thought it was all over then. But i pulled myself up was thankful i crawled out unscathed and was even more thankful i was still able to use a wrench. After a few months the trucks back up on the road and not seeing crazy dirt till fully caged. I dont have a story yet but you can guarentee i will soon. Thanks again these stories help a lot when i think theres no way itll happen.
 

burninfuel

Well-Known Member
I hope this continues on just like Pretty welds. For years to come.
It all starts with a dream, so go for it.
Merry Christmas to all
 

ML Racer

Well-Known Member
My story started when I was working for Briggs Electric (40 years now) where we would host the Chapala Dusters meetings at our shop (BTW, they were a pit organization back in the day) My second vehicle was a 1972 Land Cruiser, so off roading started for me around 1973. I also used to race desert on my 1971 SL 350 Honda (A real tank by today’s standards) By 1977, I was a pit captain and running a pit near Puertecitos for the Baja 1000 for guys like Jon Kennedy and Mickey Thompson. Pitting for these guys was fun, but I really wanted to be in a race car! A couple years later, my brother Tom and his buddy Dave Harshbarger would buy a Class 2 Chenoweth and for the next few years, we ran the Mint 400, the Parker 400 and the Baja 1000. I got to drive on the B1K runs and had the time of my life. After they had enough of late nights working on the car, Dave took the car and retired it to his place down in Santa Maria, Mexico. In 1989, I bought a brand new, state of the art, Sand Cars Unlimited with a full 6 inches of travel and a powerful 2275cc VW power plant where I played at Glamis, Dumont Dunes and the beaches (North & South of) San Felipe for the next 15 years. Around 2005, my friend Dale Lenk said he was having his long time friend Jerry Penhall build him a Class 1 car and asked if I would be interested in driving with him……….are you f***ing kidding me! So, Missing Lenk Motorsports was established with its first race, the 2006 Caliente 250! We won that race and would win our second race, the Snore Midnight Race that same year. Dale’s ultimate goal of winning the Baja 1000 would have the team racing Score the following year. Our first full season of racing in 2007, would find us finishing every race that year, earning us the Toyota Milestone Award and 6th place in Class. We’ve finished 6 of the last 7 B1K’s with a 6th place this past November. At 58, I have been very blessed with a couple of opportunities to race Baja, Parker, the Mint, Laughlin, Primm & the Frontier 500. Thank you Tom, Dave & Dale for these opportunities to fulfill my dreams that started back in the 70”s


BTW, Merry Christmas everyone!!
 

possemotorsport

Well-Known Member
Great advise

Lessons learned.....
1. Choose partners with more scrutiny than you choose your spouse.
2. The race car is the cheap part of racing. (Prep and racing is where the money goes.)
3. Work hard and never give up.
4. Have fun no matter what you are doing.
 

Fast Eddy

Well-Known Member
The short version of my story is 1977 was my first local off road adventure here in the Midwest. It was a short course racing series here in the KC area. That led to me wanting to go more long distance races and build a desert car so 1979 it was a Funco SSII. 79 is the year I got married at the ripe old age of 21. One of the highlights of that time period of my racing life was the Mint 400. 89 class 1's started that day. Me and my brother pulled off a 10th place. Coming from KC and having 1 pit, the start, finish area. Just like most of the stories here money was hard to come by and need to start a family prevailed. I took up competitive BBQ cooking as a hobby in 86 and really got serious about it in 1990. in the mid to late 90's I became one of the top tier cooks in the world and doing it on my own design of cookers. I started selling my cookers in 98 and developed a business relationship with the oldest smoker MFG in the US. I now have a business that is allowing me to go back and do some things that I had to shelve as a kid. in 2009 me and a buddy of mine we use to race with from KC teamed up and bought a 2 seat 1600 car. Then a single seat 1600 car and now I'm restoring Larry Ragland's Woodstuff Chapparal to go run the NORRA 1000. I followed offroad racing after I quit and Larry was a name when I was racing back then. Were definitely having tons of fun playing around in this very competitive class when time allows. It only took 26yrs to come back to a sport that never went away in my head and heart. There maybe bumps in the road but never give up. No matter what you do if your not giving it 100% you'll never get to do what really makes you happy.
 

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Fourstroker

Well-Known Member
The short version of my story is 1977 was my first local off road adventure here in the Midwest. It was a short course racing series here in the KC area. That led to me wanting to go more long distance races and build a desert car so 1979 it was a Funco SSII. 79 is the year I got married at the ripe old age of 21. One of the highlights of that time period of my racing life was the Mint 400. 89 class 1's started that day. Me and my brother pulled off a 10th place. Coming from KC and having 1 pit, the start, finish area. Just like most of the stories here money was hard to come by and need to start a family prevailed. I took up competitive BBQ cooking as a hobby in 86 and really got serious about it in 1990. in the mid to late 90's I became one of the top tier cooks in the world and doing it on my own design of cookers. I started selling my cookers in 98 and developed a business relationship with the oldest smoker MFG in the US. I now have a business that is allowing me to go back and do some things that I had to shelve as a kid. in 2009 me and a buddy of mine we use to race with from KC teamed up and bought a 2 seat 1600 car. Then a single seat 1600 car and now I'm restoring Larry Ragland's Woodstuff Chapparal to go run the NORRA 1000. I followed offroad racing after I quit and Larry was a name when I was racing back then. Were definitely having tons of fun playing around in this very competitive class when time allows. It only took 26yrs to come back to a sport that never went away in my head and heart. There maybe bumps in the road but never give up. No matter what you do if your not giving it 100% you'll never get to do what really makes you happy.
Great story Ed and good meeting you a couple of years ago at the Mint
 

Jessaca

Well-Known Member
I guess I am a bit different here, as my family had no racing back ground.

I started out street racing in my teens. Whatever I was driving, 240z, VW, etc.. I was causing havoc in. Lol
I got a chance to race a powder puff race in a mini stock car at a local dirt oval. I was hooked. That was 20 yrs ago. I raced for quite a few years on a few of the local dirt ovals. I had great luck with my mini stock car. Some wins, a couple top 3 points finishes. I moved up to IMCA modifieds. I still love the sound of those cars.
Ended up starting a family, so my racing career kind of died. My husband and some of his buddies decided to race the Baja 1k. Nothing like trying to bite off the biggest chunk. Lol
Well, he ran his first race in 2007. I tracked from home, listening to the weatherman live feed. All I could think of was, what a bunch of crazy ass people. Lol
Well, the next year I chased for him. Then he asked me to drive. I have been set up to drive each year since, unless at home being pregnant. :)

It has been such a great experience and yet, some of the most depressing at the same time. Haha. You have probably seen me taking our monster (size not sponsor) blazer down contingency. I love that truck. We won't quit until we at least finish a 1000 in her. :D


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ML Racer

Well-Known Member
My story started when I was working for Briggs Electric (40 years now) where we would host the Chapala Dusters meetings at our shop (BTW, they were a pit organization back in the day) My second vehicle was a 1972 Land Cruiser, so off roading started for me around 1973. I also used to race desert on my 1971 SL 350 Honda (A real tank by today’s standards) By 1977, I was a pit captain and running a pit near Puertecitos for the Baja 1000 for guys like Jon Kennedy and Mickey Thompson. Pitting for these guys was fun, but I really wanted to be in a race car! A couple years later, my brother Tom and his buddy Dave Harshbarger would buy a Class 2 Chenoweth and for the next few years, we ran the Mint 400, the Parker 400 and the Baja 1000. I got to drive on the B1K runs and had the time of my life. After they had enough of late nights working on the car, Dave took the car and retired it to his place down in Santa Maria, Mexico. In 1989, I bought a brand new, state of the art, Sand Cars Unlimited with a full 6 inches of travel and a powerful 2275cc VW power plant where I played at Glamis, Dumont Dunes and the beaches (North & South of) San Felipe for the next 15 years. Around 2005, my friend Dale Lenk said he was having his long time friend Jerry Penhall build him a Class 1 car and asked if I would be interested in driving with him……….are you f***ing kidding me! So, Missing Lenk Motorsports was established with its first race, the 2006 Caliente 250! We won that race and would win our second race, the Snore Midnight Race that same year. Dale’s ultimate goal of winning the Baja 1000 would have the team racing Score the following year. Our first full season of racing in 2007, would find us finishing every race that year, earning us the Toyota Milestone Award and 6th place in Class. We’ve finished 6 of the last 7 B1K’s with a 6th place this past November. At 58, I have been very blessed with a couple of opportunities to race Baja, Parker, the Mint, Laughlin, Primm & the Frontier 500. Thank you Tom, Dave & Dale for these opportunities to fulfill my dreams that started back in the 70”s


BTW, Merry Christmas everyone!!
Thought I'd throw in a couple of pic's from back in the day!!
 

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Fourstroker

Well-Known Member
Thought I'd throw in a couple of pic's from back in the day!!
Cool Photos. My Dad drove the same Chenowth chassis for German Auto for a number of years
 

newdad

Well-Known Member
I grew up being a race fan of all sorts. Started to like Baja racing probably around 1990. My dad & I would go to Mex to go bird hunting. Sometimes the hunting was scarce, so we would go trailing in his Landcruiser or later, his Jeep Cherokee. A lot of times we would end up on parts of an old course. That got me interested. Started planning trips south around the Mexico races. We would go camping on the coast near Erindera and have a great time.
I finally got involved with a new 7s team in 94. I actually saw an ad in Dusty Times from a team looking for some chase/pit help. I still get teased to this day that I was the only one to give them a call. I didn't know anyone on the team, just wanted to get involved. In fact it took me a race or two to realize the drivers dad was a big deal with off road racing and in particular, SCORE. Turns out the driver was a young driver by the name of Scott Steinberger and of course his dad was The Weatherman. It's been 20 years and I still help out with PCI whenever I can. After I showed them I was serious about helping out, I was offered a ride in the right side of the 7s truck in the 96 Baja 1000. Had the time of my life. Split the right side duties with Dave Wachter. Scott and Larry Plank(R.I.P.) won the 7s championship that year. PCI moved to Protruck the following year with Todd Clement and for 3 years after. Was able to ride in at least one race a year, every year PCI had the truck. We won the Baja 2000 in that truck; another great memory. Then PCI bought the Herbst TT. Again, I was able to ride a few races. Bottom line is, as long as you show dedication, don't **
¡Ay, caramba!****
¡Ay, caramba!****
¡Ay, caramba!****
¡Ay, caramba!****
¡Ay, caramba!** too much and help out as much as you can, you will get a chance to ride and possibly drive. You will meet some amazing people. Some of my best friends are guys that I didn't know before getting involved with this sport. 20 years later there is still a core group of us that whenever Scott decides or gets the chance to race, he calls us up and, if we can, we help him out any way we can. We joke around that this sport is an addiction. You might come home from a race, tired, hung over, beat up, your truck is beat up, swearing you are going to take a break, but you end up going to the next one because, when it was all over, you had such a great time.
I started when I was 23 years old, now I am 43 and even though I am raising a family and funds tend to go elsewhere, I try to always go to at least 1 or 2 races a year. Whether it being with the PCI group or another team. It is just something I have to do. I have never had the funds to get a car of my own, but I sure do have a lot of great(and a few not so great/more like "why did I do that") memories being a part of a race team(s) and a lot of great friends that I wouldn't give up for the world.
 

Waylon805

Well-Known Member
Here is my story.......

I don't actually have a story yet and I've never actually been to a race ever, and probably only seen in total like 5 "desert" vehicles, but it is actually all I think about and plan on racing one day.. Until then I will continue to spend hours and hours after school at a fab shop trying to learn all of the tricks, still been offering my help to people but it's pretty surprising how much people flake. :confused:

I shall report back with a real story sometime later, hopefully it'll be a really cool one. :cool:
 

Rick 1634

Well-Known Member
My story.

I grew up in Parker AZ. around off road racing , watching my grandfather, father and uncle compete in
races, looking forward to the day when I would have the opportunity to race an off road car. Started my off roading career young on three wheelers, atv's, motorcycles, miniature rail buggies and a few hundred trips to Glamis sand dunes. As a teenager I began co-riding with my father Jim Madison, in a class 5 unlimited baja bug along with family friend Mick Newton in his class 6 "Snortin Nortins" Chevrolet Nova.

Now I’m a veteran of several different racing disciplines, spending the last seven years running a limited schedule with the "Southern Nevada Off Road Racing Enthusiasts" (SNORE), “Mojave Off Road Racing Enthusiasts” (MORE) and the "Best in the Desert" (BITD) off road racing organizations. I have been fortunate to produce multiple top four finish and a few wins in class 1100/1200 and 1600. Hard work, late nights in the shop and Sunday afternoon test sessions are common in the Madison family. I truly love the sport of Off Road Racing and am blessed to have the support of family as I hit the track
 

Fly'n Ryan

Well-Known Member
This is a great post !!! I definitely fall into the category of racing on hopes and dreams. I give an extreme amount of credit to the first dude who posted. Congrats on your class 10. But most of these post I have read is how most of you "daddies" got you an opportunity. Or how ur family or someone close owned a shop and after years of cutting there grass u got ur chance. Stick to the post brats. Truth is only 20% of males born in the US actually have a chance to make a successful life for them selves. It takes money to make $$$$ and unless ur born with a silver spoon or win the lotto ur prob not gonna go racing anytime soon. Be ready to fork out a min 6 to 7 k per race !!! And U better make at least 15k a month and be excellent with ur money to afford this luxury . Im one of those ppl who have always wanted to race but dont have the resources. 3 years ago I started a biz that would hopefully earn the $$$ to go racing and I haven't got one step closer to my dream. Life is always throwing stuff in front of me that pushes the dream away and forces reality in. I now just play dirt on xbox its way cheaper !! Maybe someone can give me some positive vibes !!!


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LantanaTX

Well-Known Member
I grew up in Redlands, CA where I started off road driving on a Schwinn Stingray. I then built my own mini bike from a frame and an old lawn mower and my own money. Total cost was a little over $20. I moved on to Motorcycles and loved riding the hills around Redlands and Yucaipa. We even built our own motocross track in my grandmothers 8 acre back yard. When I turned 16, I bought a 69 Mustang and started fixing it up for drag racing. Once I started drag racing I never looked back at the dirt. To me the dirt was a way to drive when I was too young to drive on the street. My uncle, Dave Tilton was my crew chief and always had the car prepped to race by each weekend.

During my teens a friend of ours named Dave Simpson was really into racing Baja and tried to get my uncle Dave Tilton and I to go to Baja with him. We never went and it would be many years before I knew what I missed out on. Ironically our family Dentist was Dr. Bud Feldkamp back in the '70's. For the next 30 years I would build some very unique street cars and do some road racing. My uncle would eventually end up prepping two class 1 cars. One was the Yellow and black Larry Jacinto Porter car and the other is Bud Feldkamp's Penhall class 1 car. By this time I was living in Texas and my uncle started convincing me to come out to some races. I ended up helping with final prep and crewing on both teams. Wow! was this fun! Way more fun than anything I have done on the street. In 2011 I was asked to co-drive with Bud Felkamp at the NORRA race. After getting the ride, I was totally hooked! At this past years NORRA race I crewed for Bud and Buddy Feldkamp who were racing the Bel-Ray Bullet. On the third night in La Paz, I threw out the idea of coming back in '14 with a two car team. Bud and his son Buddy liked the idea, so I started a search for a car that my uncle and I could be partners on. I ended up buying two cars needing restoration, a '79 Brandwood Single seat and a Funco SS2. The Funco is currently being built by Dave in the Redlands Feldkamp shop. As long as the funds hold up, I will be finally at age 54 racing my first race at the 2014 NORRA Mexican 1000! I have crewed at BITD, SCRORE and NORRA races a loved them all, but for me NORRA really is the Happiest Race on Earth. I also want to thank our Sponsor, Bud Feldkamp and his Glen Hellen Raceway.

I would like to point out that my uncle mentioned above is actually a year younger than me and we grew up together like brothers in my grandmothers house. I did not grow up with a father and the only thing really given to me was the Schwinn Sting Ray at age 7. My mother never knew I was racing. It probably would have killed her.
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
Bumping this thread because it was a great one that could go on longer. I just came across it searching for something else.
lottssa Good motivation here!!!,great thread' bump', i got hooked going to uncle's ranch , east of Jacumba', Mexico, you can see it today from outer space, he started planting tons of trees 60 + years ago, learned to drive & ride dirt bikes there, then got hooked on baja bugs, spent my first paychecks at orw next to my VFW in kearny mesa, its been Allll down hill ever since( ha ha....
 

rkracing

Well-Known Member
Like many others I got hooked since I as a kid going to the races and watching them on tv. Once I was old enough to make money I began working on a project ranger with help from family and friends until it was built enough to enter in some local off road races. Although not as built as much of the trucks in our class and on a real small budget we were able to finish on the podium a couple of times and even won a championship. We may have not been the fastest truck but you dont need to have the best and most expensive equipment to have fun racing .
 

cynicwanderer

Well-Known Member
This is a great thread...

I grew up in German until I was 12, Formula 1 and Dakar was all the rage. My Dad was an engineer for a diesel engine manufacturer (over the road trucks), so my brother and I were exposed to all things engine/automotive from an early age. moved to US (Indiana), followed Indy 500, but never got into NASCAR or Sprint car racing, which was popular in our neck of the woods. My brother and I rode bikes off and on road, and raced some of the local hare scrambles. My brother eventually became a auto mechanic and I went to school to be a Electrical/Electronics Engineer, got caught up in life (working/married/kids/house/etc...) always dreaming about getting back into racing.

eventually got a divorce, moved to Northern California with a new wife, to find jobs; this was around 2003 and most of the tech. jobs dried up in the midwest. I always had a fondness for Baja and offroad racing. eventually, I got an old dual sport bike and started riding again, exploring the area around me.

about 10 years ago ( I was about 49) I had a friday afternoon discussion at work with another engineer who was in his mid fifties. we talked about passions and what we like to do in our off time and plans after retirement... he was into sailboats and wanted to do some long cruises, maybe even attempt a round the world cruise in his boat. I expressed that I still loved off road racing and really wanted to some day race in a Baja1000. my friend never came back to work. he died with a heart attack that weekend. I swore that even though I didn't have the resources (money or access to anyone who had experience), I was going to get off my ass and pursue my dream.

after this, I started entering local Enduro and hare scramble events with a 20 year old bike. I eventually got good enough that I could finish most Enduros. I really enjoyed this one race in Nevada each year, because it was long and gnarly and in the desert. In 2015 got laid off from the company I worked for, cashed in my 401(k) paid some bills and bough a '07 KTM 525. got a temporary job in Las Vegas (to which I commuted every two weeks) and entered some BITD races, which I really enjoyed.

Finally got another real job back at home in Sacramento and kept racing BITD races and Enduros with my old KTMs (I also have a 2 stroke), hoping that one day I would have enough money/resources to race Baja. besides money, my gating event for attempting a Baja race is finishing a Vegas to Reno. which is actually pretty hard. I did the whole BITD season last year (2019) and got 2nd in my class (Ironman Moto Amateur) at 57 years old ! I also had the opportunity to help chase the winning Class 11 team at the 2019 Baja 1000. Pretty stocked that was a great year, well except for some of the medical fallout from a crash at V2R... this year, the plan was to save some money, get back into shape and only race a few of the BITD events (SS300 and V2R) and to help chase again at Baja 500/1000. so far this year sucks, financially, medically, COVID and racing wise... at this point, I'm ready for a reset. I have been doing crossfit to get into better shape, so that's been good and it looks like they are going to do SS300 and V2R and it looks like some of the Baja races are on.

Some of the lessons learned WRT to off road racing (and other dreams).

1. having little money is not a roadblock to racing. there are many racing events/forms and you don't have to have the latest and greatest race vehicle to get experience and have fun with it.

2. having a spouse/life partner that understands you and your passion is the most valuable thing you can have. remember, however, that they value your understanding of their passions and support to form a great partnership. I.e. just because you don't share the same passion, doesn't mean you can't support each other and be a great team. luckily it only took me two tries to figure that out.

3. while motorcycles are a economical way to get into all sorts of racing, they are dangerous and it takes a lot of physical fitness and practice to be safe on them. racing moto ironman is totally crazy and should be made illegal immediately ;-)

4. get off your ass. it's all on you, sitting around waiting for something to happen doesn't work in real life. do something, go to the gym and get in shape, learn some skills you might need (E.g. fabrication, fixing cars/motorcycles, learn to drive/ride), get involved, volunteer at races, talk to people, etc... don't be scared to fail or ask questions.

5. have a goal/dream. every time you have to make a decision in life, consider your plan and make the choice that brings you a little closer to your dream/goal.
 
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