2018 ULTRA4 Season Commences and Champions Celebrated in Reno
October 24th, 2018 – (Reno, NV) – More than 130 teams from across the country took to the track in front of a sold-out crowd for the 5th annual 4 Wheel Parts Nitto Nationals race held at Wild West Motorsports Park in Sparks, NV. 53 ULTRA4 4400 class drivers were narrowed down through multiple prelims and a last chance qualifier to a field of 28 in the main event. As the dust settled in the rock-racing amphitheater, it was JP Gomez, who took the checkered for his 2nd ULTRA4 race win in a row, followed by Nick Nelson in a spectacular 2nd place finish that had him crossing the finish line in reverse, and 3rd place went to Mike Bergman for his first podium in ULTRA4.
In the Rubicon Express Modified 4500 class, professional drift champion and ULTRA4 racer Vaughn Gittin, Jr. stood atop the podium for his 2nd Nationals race appearance in a row, 2nd place was awarded to Nitto National Champion Matt Howell and rounding out the podium in 3rd was Kevin Stearns. For the Pro Comp Stock 4600 class it was Baby Jeep Racing’s Dawson Allington first across the line, followed closely by newcomer Sean Gill in 2nd and veteran 4600 driver Sean McNamara earned third place. Relative newcomer Jeremy Jones worked his way to the front and maintained the lead in the G2 4800 Legends class, Canadian ULTRA4 driver Eric Brinker battled Jones to the finish for 2nd place with less than two seconds between them, and regular podium finisher, Cade Rodd claimed 3rd which also awarded him 3rd in the Nitto National Championship. For the Can-Am 4900 UTV class, James Cantrell traveled cross the country to take home the checkered, followed by National Champion Jacob Versey in 2nd and 3rd place went to Travis Zollinger who also was 3rd in National Championship points.
Two-time King of The Hammers winner from Maryland, Erik Miller won his first ever Nitto National Championship in Reno by finishing 11th in the main in Reno and claiming multiple podiums throughout the season to secure the top spot in the series. Miller was also declared the 4 Wheel Parts Eastern Series Champion this year. In the Lasernut Western Series, the Championship went to Wayland Campbell, the 2017 Nitto National Champion.
4500 Rubicon Express Modified Class Champions
For the 2nd year in a row, Matt Howell, was announced the Nitto National Championship in the 4500 class, along with 2nd in the 4 Wheel Parts Eastern and 2nd in the Lasernut Western Series Championships. Howell and Jimmy Jack battled it out for podiums across the country at every regional race this season, with Jimmy Jack earning top honors in the Lasernut Western Series. And in the Eastern Series Championship, it was Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in his modified Bronco that claimed the Championship with a perfect season in the Eastern regional races.
Both the Nitto National and Lasernut Western Championship went to Dawson Allington of Baby Jeep Racing in his inaugural season with ULTRA4 Racing in the 4600 class. In the 4 Wheel Parts Eastern Series, Albert Contreras from Compton, CA with Team Jeep Thrillz was declared the Champion traveling as far away as Shamokin, PA with his modified Jeep to compete in every regional race this season.4800 G2 Legends Class Champions
With a perfect season at all the Eastern regional races, Casey Gilbert won both the Nitto National Championship and the 4 Wheel Parts Eastern Championship for the 4800 G2 Legends Class. The Lasernut Western Regional Championship went to veteran ULTRA4 driver Brad Lovell.
In one of our fastest growing classes, the 4900 Can-AM UTV class had separate Champions in each series. Jacob Versey was declared the Nitto National Champion in his first season racing ULTRA4, he also claimed 3rd place in the western series. Travis Zollinger was the Lasernut Western Champion and ULTRA4 rookie Patrick Murray earned his first Championship with ULTRA4 as the 4 Wheel Parts Eastern Series UTV Champion.
Additional ULTRA4 Honors
At the annual banquet, several additional honors are given out each year and they are as follows:
2018 Fab School Manufacturer’s Cup: Campbell Enterprises
The Cup is a new award for 2018 and was awarded to the chassis manufacturer with the most podium wins throughout the season. Click here for more information on The Fab School Manufacturer’s Cup
This award is voted on by all participating drivers in the current season and the winner of this award is someone the other drivers truly enjoy racing against and participating with throughout the season.2018 ULTRA4 Rookie of The Year: Rusty Blyler
In Rusty’s first season with ULTRA4 he LCQed his way into KOH and finished in the top 20 in his first ever King of The Hammers, and he went on to finish 4th in the 4 Wheel Parts Eastern Regional Series.
2018 ULTRA4 Partner of the Year: PCI Radios
PCI has been with ULTRA4 as our communications partner for a number of years. They travelled to all of our Western Series races to support drivers and staff and helped us make the transition to a new race frequency this season.
2018 Ted Feg Media Professional of The Year: Ryan Del Ponte
Ted Feg was a staple media professional at all ULTRA4 Races taking candid photos of the people as well as capturing the essence of ULTRA4. Every year we honor the media professional who has done the most to tell the world about ULTRA4 racing and this year that was Ryan Del Ponte.