How did everybody get started?

JrSyko

Jerry Maguire
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I just wondering how everybody got started in off-road racing and who gave them their first ride? I got hooked after coincidently going to Punta Cabras on a surf trip with my dad on the same weekend as the Baja 500. Went to every race after that and then found out through a friend that Dave Sykes needed help for the Baja 2000. After helping out for a couple years he offered me a ride at Laughlin. Thanks Dave! What about you guys?

See ya in the dirt!
 

Curtis Guise

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about 6 or 7 years ago a friend took me to a LaRana race in barstow. Not long after I got a Toyota and started building it as a prerunner. I got so into it I decided to start racing it instead of just building a prerunner. Over about 4 or 5 years of building and improving the truck it went from a 7s to 7 open in MDR and VORRA. I haven't raced in about 2 years because it started costing to much for me. Also not long after going to my first race I started going to races with all my friends and we started Team Locos Mocos for all the Baja races we went to. (FREE pit service for anyone that we can help, for those that don't know about us)

My first and only ride so far in a nice full size truck has been with Mark Newhan. I still can't believe how fast that thing is.

Curtis
 

Jimmy8

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Well, racing has been in my blood. My great Grandpa was a champion horse racer. My grandpa is one of the most succesful boat racers in history. Numerous world records and national championships, and is in the boat racing hall of fame, and part of the APBA honor squadron. Through boat racing my grandpa got to know a lot of people that got into off road racing and had switched from boats. Because of that Bill Stroppe took my dad under his wing, and showed him the ropes. He built my dads second truck, co rode with him for a few years, and supplied pit support. My dad raced for 28 years, just recently retiring. That led to me racing.

Trophy Truck #15
www.jimmybeaver.com
 

Jack

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I started taking my Jeep to T&J's about 10 years ago, and when they were fixing it, I just hung out in the shop (no ride back to Hawthorne) and after a few times they invited me to a race to go to a pit (I like being in the midle of nowere, so another guy and I were sent to the furthest pit, were we sat all day with bad radio comunication (we could talk and hear the car for about a mile near us). So after that I desided there was somthing I could do here to help, and got all the antennas up to snuff, then went to a few more races, when I acualy had to work on the truck, I felt bad not being fumiliur with the ins and outs of the truck so I started showing up on Monday and Wednesday nights to prep the truck. I then had Cancer and in between Chemo I had time that I was not working so I would spend all week at the shop were I started doing all the suspension and electrical work. The rest is history.
 

firedog

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After I moved from California to Colorado I met Jason Hutter who took me to my first race, the 1996 Baja 1000. What a great road trip from Colorado all the way to Baja. I watched the race and was instantly hooked. On the way home I told Jason "we are going to do this", Jason replied "do what?" I said "off-road racing, I don't care if we race class 11, we are going to do it!" After 2 years of working on our Toyota we did our first race, the BORE Jackpot 200 and had a blast. We have been continually working on improving our class 7s Toyota as time and money come available. I've had a blast and wouldn't change a thing. See you in the desert.
Paul
 

BIG_FAT_LOSER

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My father is responsible for my need for dirt. He started racing motorcycles in the dez in the glory days, 1966 ish on a right hand shift Husqvarna. I came along in 1969.
My first ride was on the tank of his bike at about 4 yrs old. First "real" car ride was by Malcom smith around the same time.

Been hooked ever since. weather its on two or four wheels.

<font color=yellow>United Jump Truck Society<font color=yellow>
U.J.T.S. President.
 

Catawampus

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I used to work every summer at my Grandparents ranch in Newberry Spring, 23 miles east of Barstow. In 1973 I picked up the local paper and read about the Fireworks 250. I parked right at the beginning of the pits, and did not know what to expect. I watched the big boys fly by beaten-up, broke down, missing tires, fenders, or rims. Fell in love with the sport, and dreamed of racing some day. Started to build a 1600 car back in 1978, but did not have a clue what I was doing, and ended up selling it for scrap.
Last year after watching a MDR race in Barstow, I finally decided to give it a try. Bought a good nine car - and have been broke ever since. But, having the time of my life.

See ya at Lucerne Valley!

Kim
 

1992f150

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alittle offtopic but what would be the cheapest class to race for those of us who havent started yet?

Azusa: shame of the foothills
 

Kritter

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9 and 11 are pretty budget freindly. I have seen 9 cars for $4500 with spares. Never seen an 11 car for sale but imagine they are on the low scale too.

Kris
"I was thinking the exact same thing about you..."
 

martininsocal

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lets see- I got started when I was about 4 or 5. My dad had a fibergalss buggy that we took to Pismo and other dirt happenings. It was up in Norcal, so the desert was a bit of a drive, but Coalinga (New Idriah) and Pismo were pretty regular stops for drags and obstacle courses. As I got older, My dad got more involved with his business and trips became about once a year. The buggy began to hibernate in the front yard. When I was about 12 or 13, I really wanted to start driving something(old honda xr75's and ATC 90's weren't satisfying enough) so my dad said if I got the buggy running, I could have it. About a week later, Me and my friends were trying not to get caught by teh cops as we made our way to our favorite offroad spot! About this time, I satrted hanging out at a small Offroad shop in Santa Cruz ust to be near buggies. They let me start out just cleaning up stuff, etc...and doing some minor work on the class 5 car at the shop. I would go to teh races with them and help pit or whatever they wanted me to do. Thats how I got started, and havebeen into it ever since. Thanks to Paul from ORB Engineering and Hot VW's magazine, teh 2 things that got me hooked on this sport while being about 500 miles away from the races.

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

pjc

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Good thread!

I started riding dirtbikes at age 12. Did a little D37 racing in my teens then goofed off 'till the early nineties when I started pitting for Team Honda in Baja. 'Went to Hawaii for about 8 years where I started off-road.com to keep a connection to Baja and Desert Racing. I came back for the 96, 97 and 98 1k races and then moved back in 99. I was extremely fortunate to ride with PCIScott a lot in 2001 to include the class win at the 1k. My goals for the future are centered around getting my kids involved and to work with the BLM to keep the sport from being continuously threatened.

PJCinLV
 

erikh

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I started riding dirt bikes around my parents house in Maryland when I was about 7. My first bike was an RM50 then I moved up to a CR80 when I got a little older. My older brother crashed hard on my CR crushing his C3 vertebrae so I stopped riding. When I moved to CA a few years ago I became friends with Tim Jones who helps chase for PCI. I tagged along with him to the Primm 300 in 2000 and have been trying to figure out a way to get into a race ever since. The closest I've come was a ride to the semi last Friday night with Jimmy. Nice 2 minute ride that's only fueled the fire.

I'm just glad to be a part of the team and help out holding fire extinguishers, pulling the dead man on the tower, sweeping the trailer, whatever.

erik
 

Kritter

Krittro Campbell
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My dad had raced bikes in the 70s and when I was born in 79 I was dropped right into it. I was at Glamis for Thanksgiving 3 weeks after I was born and have only missed 2 since. I got my first bikes (ATC 70 and CR 60) at age 3 for my birthday and would go out to Bell Mountain and some local spots, as well as Glamis and Pismo with my dad and his buddies. I couldnt ride the 60 till I was 5 or so and I think my dad bought it to screw around with his buddies on. My dad had also been heavily into a 4WD club that helped out at desert races when they didnt have their own runs. So with going to the desert so often to either ride, watch racing, go 4 wheelin, or help out I kinda had no choice. I was really into desert racing and D37 up to about 13 but my dad was getting burned out and got out of the scene which screwed me over pretty much. I still rode, but no more racing. Then about a year or more ago I hooked up with <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.dmsrace.com>www.dmsrace.com</A> and have been with them since. I got my first ride in Tonopah and it was awesome. Desert racing is lik eno other sport and I think it is the greatest motorsprot there is! I plan on building a race truck in about 5 years...after I pay off my school debt and buy a house.

Kris
"I was thinking the exact same thing about you..."
 

PLS

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Living in Hemet when I was younger, late 70's early 80's, off-roading was one of the few ways to have fun. Spent a lot of time running around Seven Hills, the Rock Quarry, and up Bee Canyon. Attended first races at Riverside Raceway. My current partner and former roommate was always building Volkswagons in the garage, and decided to start racing them a number of years ago in the LaRana series. I started out chasing and pitting, started co-riding, and finally moved up to driving about six years ago. We can't afford to race as often as we would like, but still do it as often as possible!
Pete S.- BOYD RACING
 

Bryan_D

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I started early also. I came home from the hospital in a caged cherokee in 1979. My dad was into jeeps my whole life and was in a jeep club here in Phoenix called Arizona Rough Riders. My first car seat was a Beard seat, had it made for me when they were here locally back in the day, I was bolted between the cross bars of the cage and went wheeling at 2 wks, crapped myself crazy and smashed it into my seat. In the late 80's my dads friend from the club, John Dyke was racing class 4 (a jeep honcho) and I went to a Score Lucerne race as well as the Mint 400. I got to meet Rod Hall, Roger Mears, Ivan, and a bunch more of the now living legends. I got a cherokee in 1996 and was looking for glass fenders last year, when I found JeepSpeed and I have been reborn ever since.
 

Donahoe

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I dont remember..... Its all a blurr...

NEVER LIFT!!!!!
 

Donahoe

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No wait its comming back... Ahh yes. My Dad was a Class 4 racer from the early days so I sorta grew up around it, I remember playing with Tonka trucks with Robby Gordon in the sand at the start finish line at Barstow. I stated Racing Mototrcross at the OLD Saddle Back Motocross park when I was 12. I use to go pre-running with Rod Hall before I knew how to drive. That was cool. I helped prep and Fab on my dads race trucks until I was 17 then I built my first truck...a Toyota 74x4. Raced against a bunch of no names like Mike Leslie, Curt Laduc, Dave Ashley, John Swift, and Paul Simon. Then I built a Class 3 Toyota 4runner (that thing was cool but a lemon) and ran that for a few years before I went to work For Walker Evens Racing and moonlighted with Dave Winner as a Driver and crew chief of the Fabtech 7's toyota. After my sentance at Walkers I started Donahoe Racing. Raced class 8 with Steve Kreiger and Trophy truck with Ian Walker. i still drive from time to time in a friends truck or something.. but I have found that the Disco market Pays way better then racing ever has.... So now I'm a sell out... WHOO HOO!!!!! thats it.

NEVER LIFT!!!!!
 

rdc

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WELL THIS SHOULD BE A GOOD THREAD I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE DESERT RACING COMMUNITY ALL OF MY LIFE. MY GRANDFATHER IS ONE OF THE FOUNDING MEMBERS OF S.N.O.R.E. WAS ALSO THE THE PRESIDENT OF S.N.O.R.E. FOR TWO YEARS MY MOM WAS ALSO INVOLVED ALONG WITH MY FATHER. THEY MET CAUSE MY MOM BEAT MY DAD AT THE 71' S.N.O.R.E. 250 AND THEY HAD ME I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AROUND RACING IN 1976 MY GRAND FATHER STARTED HIGH DESERT RACING ASC. ALL THE TIME WORKING WITH FOR S.N.O.R.E. ON THERE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND ALSO THE CHIEF STEWART OF THE MINT 400. MY FIRST RIDE WAS IN THE OLD BURRO RACE CAR MY GRANDFATHER HAD WHILE WE WENT OUT TO MARK THE RACE COURSE . BUT THE BEST RIDE I EVER HAD WAS WITH WALKER EVANS IN 1983 AT GLEN HELEN. I COULD BARLEY SEE OVER THE DASH BUT I STILL REMEMBER IT TO THIS DAY THANKS AGAIN WALKER.
 

partybarge_pilot

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How it all started, It's not my fault the way I am. I have people to blame it on! My dad was into jeeps before I was born. By the time I came around he had an old renualt that he had caged, cut the top off and put a corvair in. Now thats a real baja! My first bike was a briggs & straton mini bike at like 4 or 5. Then the a string of hand Me down bikes from My brother. Race MX at carlsbad for about 4 years at carlsbad. Then at 15 and a half I realized you could get a licence for a street bike or a learners permit for a car. Hard choice. I spent the next few years trying to kill Myself on and off the track on street bikes. About 90' I started working for Dan Ashcraft In his machine shop. After a few critical remarks about the prep on the stadium truck He had at the time I found Myself with a new job...... From there it's all down hill.
 

Waldo

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It's funny that party-barge mentioned "mini-bikes" because that is the same way I started. My dad took me to El Mirage dry lake when I was 5. He rode a 1971 Bultaco 350 Matador (which I own now), with Preston Petty plastics on it for you old timers! Graduated to the CR 80, XR 200 and then to a YZ 250 on my 16 B-Day.

My dad and step mother used to own a motorcycle accessories shop in HB & Anaheim (Sunshine Cycle) so it has been in my blood quite some time. Hooked up with a co-worker and started racing D-37. Stopped racing after a gnarly "life changing" accident. Race vehicles with cages seemed safer so I went to an old LaRana race (1992?) and was trying to build my Toy prerunner the next week. Anyone remember the old bolt on bed stiffeners? Had many bolt on parts that had additional fabwork added to them...pretty ghetto but it was cool then (early '90's). I used to just spectate until I met a guy at a bar who pitted with Scott Sells. Kind of jumped onto the crew and went from there.

Probably one of the more fortunate (off-road expriences not the corporate bullshit) times of my life was when I worked for Off-Road magazine. I got the opportunity to travel and enjoy the racing scene not only from a spectators point of view but also from the inside or media relations as well. It was very fulfilling to meet great racers, such as, Ivan Stewart, Dan Smith (whom I idolized when I was a kid), Malcolm Smith, Curt leDuc, and many others. Also, being able to trek out on the course to get a good photo was a plus!

As many people have mentioned, racing has been in my family for years. My uncle used to drag race boats (IHBA). He drove to two championship in the 90-91 years with a Blown Gas Flatbottom (before the capsules---which is truly nuts). My father raced desert in the early years and then I followed the family ways (CRASHING!). Still love to ride, espescially with my family and camp in BFE to watch the races!

BRAAAAAAAAP!
 
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