Temecula, CA (January 19, 2011) – Who would have known that a 14 year old “kid”, not old enough to legally drive his neighborhood streets, would be claiming his 8th racing title in 5 years, 2 off-road titles in a single season, including the only 2011 Back-to-Back Championship in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series?
Mitchell DeJong knew it could happen. He woke up each day with the aspiration and drive to be the best. From training off the track, coupled with track practice and midnight race-car simulator gaming sessions, his dedication has pushed this TRAXXAS / Red Bull athlete into the history books.
What many don’t know is that even with talent, practice and luck, Mitchell overcame obstacles in 2011 many racers would never expect. Shortly after the 2011 season started, Mitchell’s main sponsor pulled out of short course racing leaving him with a serious dilemma and thoughts that his racing season could already be finished. With only a week until the next race, Mitchell and company pulled together and reached out to what Mitchell knew best, radio controlled cars! TRAXXAS welcomed Mitchell with open arms creating a marriage that every 14 year old R/C car enthusiast dreams of!
As racing was back in action for the reigning champ, things started to shake-up at home, making the track seem like a sanctuary for life appreciation. His life long friend/pet became ill with cancer and passed away shortly thereafter. Although Mitchell knew that this could happen to his good buddy, he wasn’t prepared to hear it once again. Three short weeks later, Mitchell’s mother was diagnosed with early stages of breast cancer. With an aggressive treatment plan, the family did their best to reassure Mitchell that “Mom isn’t going anywhere.” As Shelley, AKA Mom, started treatment each day to rid the cancer, Mitchell continued to battle on the race course, even falling to 3 championship threatening finishes.
Just when most people would have lashed out in anger and frustration, Mitchell never once swayed from being the role model that he aspires to be. By the time Round 15 of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series was before him, MItchell had surmounted more wins and podium finishes than any of his competitors, but still found himself in a tight points battle with his good friend and fellow DeJong SuperKart racer, Mitch Guthrie Jr.
As fate would have it, Mitchell was dealt a shred of good luck on that final Round 15 race, and he stood on the podium in relief as he accepted the 2011 Championship wreath before thousands of off-road fans. The 2011 Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series Back-to-Back Championship will be written in the history books with Mitchell’s name, but only those that follow his story will understand the true triumph of this victory.
For 2012, Mitchell will open a new chapter in his self-written adventure novel, by creating history once again as the youngest Class 1 Unlimited driver to race in the deserts of Nevada. Mitchell will contiue to compete in short course racing and also race against seasoned veterans on the asphalt. Maybe “kid” is now the wrong name, good luck “young man.”
Special thanks to: TRAXXAS, Red Bull, DeJong Off-Road, Fox Racing Shox, DWT, Method Race Wheels, Osiris, Simpson Racing, Ultra Custom Boats, Schampa, Eliminator Motorsports, Streight Edge, Duncan Racng, Zip-Tie Productions, Fast-Aid, and PayDirt Media.
2011 ASCC Champion
4 – 1st Place
2 – 2nd Place
2011 Young Lions Legends
3 – 1st Place
Qualified for 2011 Nationals
2011 Adult Pro Division Legends
2 – Podiums
1 – Top 5
1 – Top 10