When a racer has a name like Redline, you wonder if he’s hard on the equipment, or a product of a marketing campaign. Jax Redline is neither. Jax is one of the rare breed of drivers that is both fast, and smooth. He is easy on equipment, probably because if he tears something up, it will come out of his allowance. You see, Jax is only 15 years old, and already racing an unlimited class vehicle; a Brenthel Gen 3 Trophy Truck to be exact. He has made a rapid ascension to the top level of offroad racing thanks to a family that is 100% behind his efforts, and a ton of natural ability.
Jax’ Father Shane did whatever he could to ride motorcycles when he was young, and later raced motocross. He loved racing and going fast. Coming from humble beginnings, Shane made many sacrifices to go racing. When Jax came along, he wanted his son to be able to race as he did, so he got creative. Shane opened a motocross track to make enough money so that Jax’ Mom Vanessa could quit her job to stay home with Jax. Now that Shane has become a very successful business owner, racing is much more attainable. He and Jax can go fast together, something that Shane cherishes.
Jax has the same love of speed and adrenaline that Shane has. When he was only 6 years old, Shane got him on a motorcycle. He says they were a little freaked out at the motocross track when they saw Jax on the end of a rope with his Father riding along behind him, but it was only because Jax had a better feel for the throttle than the brakes. As soon as he had better control, Shane let him ride untethered. That same trust level has allowed Jax to make the transition from a motorcycle to UTV’s, a Prolite truck, several other desert cars, and finally to a Trophy Truck. Shane’s only regret is that Jax is already a faster driver than he is, and is only 15 years old.
“I knew Jax was going to be a better driver than me; I just didn’t think it would be so soon,” says Shane. “I tend to be rough on equipment where Jax takes after his mother I guess. She’s the patient one. He’s very fast, but he’s also smart. We borrowed Jonathan Brenthel’s personal Trophy Truck for the last race of the season in the Southern Arizona Desert Racing series (SADR), and when Jonathan got it back, he said they could just wash it off, and it would be ready to go again.”
Jax drove Jonathan’s truck to the win at the Cholla 250 race in Northern Mexico, and secured the overall points championship in the SADR series. At the Cholla 250, he started in the back because he missed qualifying. Jax charged through the pack on the first lap, but had to stop for a flat tire. He then made another charge to the front and won the race overall by 42 minutes. The overall points champion in the SADR series is the racer with the lowest combined elapsed time of the entire season. Jax took that title, beating the second fastest driver’s time by 4 hours.
His race at the Cholla 250 was impressive but it did not get him much fanfare. He made a much bigger impression at the inaugural NORRA 500. NORRA runs a rally format with timed special stages and transfer stages in between. Not only do you need to have speed, but you have to navigate the course successfully and get to the start of each stage on time. It’s much more technical than an all-out speed contest. NORRA had two separate courses that were run on consecutive days. Jax raced in a borrowed truck at NORRA too. On day one, Jax, and his Dad Shane, who is his codriver, got some penalties when they were going too fast through a controlled speed zone. The culprit was the speed limiter settings on the truck. For day 2, Jax relied on his own foot, and came through with zero penalties. After 2 days of racing, Jax took the win in the Evolution Unlimited Truck class beating Zac Langley by 19 seconds. The win was notable by itself, but the overall results were even more impressive. Jax finished 2nd overall behind “Lightning” Larry Ragland. The names of some of the racers Jax beat were equally as impressive; Zac Langley, Gay Smith, Steve Hengeveld, Mike Lund, Scott Steinberger, and Mark Post were all in the top 10 overall. Jax was calm, and collected while racing against several icons of offroad racing.
For 2020 Jax and Shane have set an ambitious goal. They have 27 races penciled in on their calendar. In order to hit so many races Shane has ordered 2 Brenthel Gen 3 Trophy Trucks. They need 2 trucks to do the necessary prep required to race so often. Their plan is to get as much seat time for Jax as possible. Due to SCORE’s policy of not allowing driver’s under 16 years of age to be driver of record, Jax has set a goal to compete in the 2021 Baja 1000 as driver of record, and to go the entire way without relief.
As this is written, Jax has already competed in several events this year. He raced in the naturally aspirated UTV class at the BITD, Parker 250 where he finished 11th. He raced his Trophy Truck at the San Felipe Desert Mayhem 175 where he took the Trophy Truck win. Then he raced his Trophy Truck at the Best in the Desert Parker 425. At the 425 he and his Father Shane learned about racing in the states. After suffering a broken axle, Shane landed the helicopter to see what was up. That’s a big no no with the BLM so Best in the Desert disqualified them after the race. Jax did limp the truck back to the pits, make the repairs and turn it over to Apdaly Lopez for a turn behind the wheel. When Jax got in for the last lap he sheared the wheel studs off and had to limp in again on 3 wheels. This time it was into the finish.
Jax was honored to be invited to the T1 race at King of the Hammers, but he was again disappointed by mechanical failure when he lost the transmission during the prologue. It turned out to be a simple snap ring that broke. Jax’ goal in 2020 was to get seat time. He’s had some great results, but is also getting some of the character building experiences that everyone goes through with a new vehicle. He has not let any of those challenges slow him down. He has some jumps planned, he’s the first skydiver in 63 years to get a waiver to solo jump at his age, and many videos in the pipeline that document some of the crazy things he is doing. Check him out at @JaxRedline or JaxRedline.com