How to get into this career


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I'd say forget it ,...the futures all about hover board racing ,,,.


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I been asking this same question all my life, Problem is Im getting too old to be a competitive driver :)

But in all seriousness, I personally hung around shops who would let me when I was still in High School,
swept floors, cleaned parts and took stuff apart. Started building my first Baja bug at age 14.

Could not wait until 16 to legally drive it, It was really a piece of crap, but it taught me how to
do and what not to do.

A good start

Jeff Hibbard book How to build a buggy and Baja bug

Without going into my life story, that is what I did for many years, Pitted, Wrenched, learned to weld and fabricate,
I was always handy in wiring, so I spent a couple of years wiring peoples cars.

Around 2004, I bought a class 12 car, and was doing well in the local MORE and MDR races, Economy kinda
put us out of racing, so sold the race car, I still have my 2 seat pre run buggy for hopping around the Dez
were I reside, following is some vid recently took playing around

I will tell ya first hand, its not all only about a race car and entree, Ya really have to keep your
equipment prepped and functioning, I had a dedicated pit club and team of volunteers to
help prep everything, Race car, pre runner, two trailers, moterhome, Tow/retrieve vehicle, tools
and so much stuff in-between. I was on a shoe string budget, Bartered machine work(That is my Biz)
did all my own chassis work, shock and motor work, anything to save a buck.

Every Xtra penny and time went into all of it, and My girlfriend, now wife was there all the way

There is other ways of doing it, like finding a sponsor, I never had good luck trying to team up
with other people, I only really did well when I was in control of the team, but its a lot of
responsibility and dedication I have seen it burn people out quick

Good luck on you quest, this is not how everyone has gotten to their goal, but I
persevered and won a championship with MORE in 2005

have fun, thats what its about!

This is what I do from my front gate
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This is my Honda CRF 230F I dink around on in the wheat fields. Forget about the RC Name think in the beginning cause it is my Channel I started on youtube. The valley walls may not look steep, but they are a 40 degree angle I dominate in second gear. It wasn't as fast as I could go on the road either because it had just snowed and melted so it was a little slick.[video=youtube;jz_mzVsqCGQ]"][/video]

Look into local race opportunities, learn to finish races, and you are on your way!

Mud's a good teacher. ;)


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Jacob- I was just like you 30+ years ago. You can race off road, probably never get paid to do it, but you can race. My plan was this-
*I went to a few races to see what they were all about.
*I found a fab shop that built off road racecars and started sweeping floors and basic shop jobs to learn and get close.
*I learned everything I could about the sport, the vehicles, etc... Read, watched TV(no videos or internet) wore the pages out of books like How to off road your VW and Hotrodding VW engtines.
*I got a rule book to look at classes and see what (if) I could even afford to build a car.
*I stayed in school, got good grades, and got a decent summer job when I got out and saved some money.
*With some college and work on my part, I managed to get into my career as a firefighter 2 days out of high school and was a permanent firefighter working full time by age 23.
*I built a Challenger race car from an old race frame I bought and modified in my own garage with some help from friends that had a VW race shop. It was not the most expensive or even state of the art car, but it was a good car that I learned to drive. It did fairly well for the budget I raced at, and I sis all my own wrenching and a buddy did my paint. I had to buy a built trans, but it wasn't a high dollar race trans. I was racing this car by the time I was 24 years old. I stuck with my plan and saw it through. The beauty of this class of race car is this, they are still relatively cheap to build and run if you learn to do a lot of the work yourself. You can buy one of these cars cheaper than any race SxS and they are faster and stronger too. You can get a car pretty much ready to r ace for less than 5 thousand dollars if you look around and shop. Saving your money and buying a SxS does not get you racing as they are not ready or legal to race as they come from the factory and you will probably spend another 5-10k dollars to make it legal to race. You could have bought and raced a 9 car for a year and had money left over. Go down to the 9 car forum hear on RDC and check it out. I still think this class is where younger drivers who don't have rich parents should look if they have to fund their own racing.

oldman dirt

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class 11 is a lot cheaper than 9, provides a lot of fun, has a place for a buddy to sit and bring in some $$$ and is a good advertising venue for sponsors....


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You guys are no fun. This is a prime example of why off-road racing is still considered "elitist"

Despite all of what ppl have said it is becoming more mainstream, more sponsors are getting involved, and companies like ours are working nonstop to try to bring the cost down to help get newcomers into the sport. I started just like you with nothing but a dream. I injured myself too many times and too badly as a professional snowboarder to pursue that path to its full potential. Racing offers a similar opportunity to being a pro-athlete, but is much more sustainable as a career. There actually are sponsor dollars out there if you learn a few things about marketing yourself. Thats where the education comes in. The great thing about offroad is that its still wide open. There are lots of good drivers, but honestly not alot of great drivers imo.

Your biggest asset is your age, you have plenty of time to learn the skills to either make the money to afford to race as a hobby, or do what I did and teach yourself how to build race vehicles. However as mentioned building the car is actually the easy part. Getting a company to sponsor your program and pay you a salary is earned by nothing less then total dedication for 5-10 years. You gotta prove you have what it takes on your own before asking for sponsor dollars. If you hold out and prove you can do it as a privateer it goes a long way. Sponsors in this sport know that financing is what it takes to get a good grassroots driver to the professional level.

If you want to race sooner then later I recommend getting on with a team until you understand what a team is and involves, then form a team of young bucks in your area and work together. NOBODY racing professionally in offroad does it alone. Racing locally is a good start but sponsors tend to finance the teams that get TV exposure. Watch what the big teams do, everything from how they set up a pit to how they market themselves.

Contact me for more info and check out, send an email to Jim, he runs that team. I drove for them while building my own car and they are a great team to work with. They are open to newcomers, they teach you what you need to know, and will get you co-driving in the car after only a few races working pits/chase. I don't know any other teams besides them/myself who are as willing to help new racers. Just remember the whole point is to have fun. Racing is extremely stressful if you let it own your life. Having a backup career and or another source of income is important to your well being.

Ricky Johnson, Twitch, Deegan, McGrath all proof that riding a bike is a good basis for learning what works in the dirt. I raced RC cars from age 12-14 and still fall back on the basic chassis dynamics I learned during that period. If nothing else driving an RC car and wishing you were in it is a strong form of manifestation. I still have my Losi XXT as a reminder of why I do this.


Does your school offer welding classes? I had an ROTC welding class when I was in HS but I never really got into it as much as I thought I would.

Learning these vehicles from the inside out will help you a ton when you finally get into the race scene. From the welds to the engine, the more you know, the more valuable your skillset will be to a team.

Good luck, you have bigger dreams than I did at 15


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I am actually in an Honors English Class so I do know how to write, but I just got done with a 5 mile bike riding coming home from school. Usually I am very tired after school because I wake up at 5:45 AM and fall asleep around 11:00 PM. In about 3 years I could make enough to either get a nice truck or an awesome side x side for racing. Don't know yet, but someday I will get a vehicle to race. All I can do right now is jump my Dirt Bike 41 Feet in a Wheat Field and ride up the 40 Degree angled walls of a little valley by my grandparent's house.

Yep, I drove 120 mph thru Los Angeles 5:00 pm Friday traffic, and stood in the back of a truck doing 70, adjusting a trophy trucks light bar. So I should be the #1 NASCAR driver.


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Stay in School, work hard (perferably at a off-road shop) find and old school 1-2 1600 and go racing (GREAT begginer class) they cost used, about as much as any GOLF CART (UTV,side by sides ,Rhinos,Rangers,etc)!! They are REAL race cars and are relatively inexpensive to maintain and have a lot of do-it-yourself type maintainence (REQUIRED FOR ALL OFF-ROAD RACING). Learn to drive and get a lot of "stick time" (hours of driving)! Many,many,many Top racers started in this class and are TOP racers today. Move on with your dream just make your goals a little more reachable and start off slow. Most importantly have fun! Good Luck!!


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Find a local race team, or relatively local race team (depending on where you live) to hang out with and help. Go to the races with them. Help them prep the race vehicle and pit at the races. Gain some experience. Then as stated before, buy a used race vehicle. Learn to drive it and get alot of seat time.

As others have stated, it takes a huge commitment. I co-drive in my friends truck. I help with the prep, prerunning, and of course the racing. Most of us have regular jobs to pay the bills. During the race season, alot of my so called free time is spent with the race truck.