Spotlight on Jon Cagliero

Family is a word you will hear tossed around the Ultra4 Community, because the racers tend to feel they are all one big family of dysfunctional race siblings, and it is easy to see if you walk the pits. The infancy of any great grassroots racing history can be traced to a lot of passionate people with one thing in common, speed. Jon Cagliero surrounds himself with his family when he goes racing, and that tends to be  common thread with the KOH racers as they prepare for the upcoming 2012 King of the Hammers, so as we get ready for the biggest family day of the year this holiday season we leave you for the holiday weekend with a look at Jon Cagliero. After qualifying in 2010 and losing a battle with the second lap of the race, Cagliero will line up for the 2012 KOH race after qualifying with a 12th place finish at the brutal Torchmate Ultra4 Stampede race in Reno.


How long have you been competing in Ultra 4 Racing? One year, 2011 KOH was our first experience.  Then we were able to race In Utah at the American Rock Sports Challenge, and in Reno at the Torchmate Stampede.

How long have you been racing? 34 years of racing dirtbikes, this is our first encounter racing on 4 wheels.

Tell us about your past experiences in the King of the Hammers and where you have finished? In November of 2010 we bought a recreational Jimmy’s rig.  We worked on it like crazy to modify it for KOH in February 2011.  We entered the LCQ, and qualified 14th place.  We were thrilled to make it to the KOH.  Unfortunately we broke an axle at back door on the 2nd lap and we DNF.  Overall I think it placed us about 60th.  We had a blast trying though!

What’s the attraction to racing of King of the Hammers for you? It looked like it was fun and challenging, a totally different type of racing.  We’ve never raced a car before this only motorcycles.  The transition from 2 to 4 wheels has been complete fun.  The other guys racing really make this a phenomenal event to participate in.  The camaraderie between drivers is really cool.

What’s your favorite part of the King of the Hammers? You can bring anything you think can work and even the little guy has got as good a shot as the big teams if you do it right.

How do you physically and mentally prepare for this type of racing? I do a lot of trail motorcycle riding which I think helps me when I drive the car in the Ultra 4 Racing,  Pre-running the course helps a and a lot of car prep.

Teamwork is a big part of KOH, Tell us about your team for the King of the Hammers? My team is great it consists of about 20 of my good friends and family that support and help me any way they can.  Without them I could not compete.

How much does strategy play a part in KOH? Big

What will it take to win the King of the Hammers in 2012? A well prepped car, a great team, smart driving, a good co-driver and a little, no make that a lot of luck.

How much does a car vs. a drivers ability play into winning the King of the Hammers? 50/50

If you had the opportunity to participate in any race in the world, what would it be and why? For now KOH, because I am having fun.

If you had an unlimited budget what would you build to compete in the King of the Hammers? Cone axles, LS3, bigger and better everywhere!

Do you have any advice to give someone who is aspiring to race the King of the Hammers? It’s a lot of work and money but it’s great fun.

Can you tell us about the sponsors and people that have made it possible for you to do this? My business Cagliero Ranches, my wife and kids, my brother, Phil and his family, Blackjack Power Swivels, Atlas, BFG, Locked up  4×4, Rod end supply, Radflo, and all my great friends.

The Facts

Driver name: Jon Cagliero

Co-Driver Name: My brother, Phil Cagliero

Team Name Car # Cagliero Racing car 27

Age: 46

Hometown: Paso Robles, CA

Chassis Builder: Jimmy’s 4×4

Engine: LS1  Transmission: Turbo 350  T-case: Atlas

Axles F/R: Currie  Lockers F/R: ARB front , Spool rear

Seats: twisted stitch

Shocks: Radflo Tires: BFG  Wheels: Evans Walker

About the Author

Jeff Knoll is the former Event Director for the King of the Hammers event. He has raced various classes in SCORE, BITD, MORE, and MDR. Following the California 200, Knoll travelled to Washington, DC to meet with BLM officials regarding the Special Recreation Permit policies of the BLM. Knoll serves on the BLM’s Desert Advisory Sub-Committee regarding Special Recreation Permits. Knoll also drafted language for Nevada’s Senate Bill 156 in 2011 regarding action sports safety.

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