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Spotlight on Jason Pickett

Dark horse is a term used to describe a little-known person or thing that emerges to prominence, especially in a competition of some sort or a contestant that seems unlikely to succeed. In Ultra4 racing Jason Pickett wears that badge with honor. If you search for Jason Pickett on the web you won’t find pages of youtube video’s, magazine articles or threads hailing him as the hero offroaders want to become. If you are racing against him and you don’t consider him a threat, you are simply put; a fool.Jason Pickett hails from a region where a liberal dose of skinny pedal morphed technical rock crawling into a no holds barred moshpit of Rock racing in the XRRA series. His car was built by the Carnage crew garage and Aaron Dusenbery who has no problem slugging it out on the web or a race course. Dusenbery, the 2008 Western Division XRRA Champion has been working in the shop since he was knee high to  grasshopper, and his artistry shows through in the simply yet effective design of the 4444 Ultra4 car. The team seems less interested in the politics, glamor, and drama, and stays focused on the things that put the team in the position to win when the chips hit the table. Its no wonder that when the stars of Ultra4 racing started falling by the way side at the Ultra4 Grand Prix, it was Jason Pickett who was there to push the winner and made a solid showing finishing just short of the win. Perhaps, the Dark horse will come from nowhere and win the 2012 King of the hammers? But how is it a team that is this consistent can be considered unlikely to win? I guess we will find out soon.

 

How long have you been competing in Ultra 4 Racing?
We started in 2009 and have been hooked ever since.

How long have you been racing?
We started racing XRRA in 2006.

Tell us about your past experiences in the King of the Hammers and where you have finished?

2009 ran the LCQ made it to the main race and finished in 15th. New car for 2010 that was brought to the lakebed untested and we finished 10th.

What’s the attraction to racing of King of the Hammers for you?
It’s a huge challenge where we get to not only stretch the cars legs and go fast through the desert but also get to do some rock crawling all in the same race.

What’s your favorite part of the King of the Hammers?
I think there are 2 favorites for me. First it’s gotta be pulling up to the start line for the green flag. It’s where the butterflies finally go away and where all the hours of hard work get put to use. Second would have to be seeing that checkered flag waving you in knowing you just finished the toughest one day off road race.

How do you physically and mentally prepare for this type of racing?
I just focus on what we need to do and not worry about what anyone else is doing.

Teamwork is a big part of KOH, Tell us about your team for the King of the Hammers?
My family has always supported me and my racing, without them I’m not sure it would happen. I also have a great group of friends that not only help work on the car in the shop but that are willing to take time off to come to CA and help pit for me.

How much does strategy play a part in KOH?
You have to have a plan in place but also have to be ready to improvise. It’s racing, it hardly goes how you plan it to.

What will it take to win the King of the Hammers in 2012?
Good strategy, a well prepped car, focused driver and co-driver, and I think a little racing luck.

How much does a car vs. a drivers ability play into winning the King of the Hammers?
A good driver can accomplish a lot but I think to win KOH you still need the right equipment for the task.

If you had the opportunity to participate in any race in the world, what would it be and why?
Probably the Baja 1000. Some day I hope to experience it in some way but to actually drive in it and say you had a part in getting a car to the finish line would be the ultimate.

If you had an unlimited budget what would you build to compete in the King of the Hammers?
I’d build a copy of the car I have now but run IFS.

Do you have any advice to give someone who is aspiring to race the King of the Hammers?
Build a strong car and chase your dreams.

Can you tell us about the sponsors and people that have made it possible for you to do this?
Gotta thank Carnage Crew Garage, Consafo Ranch, Yukon gear and axle, King Shocks, Spidertrax, Lundstedt Performance, Custom Design Painting.

The facts Jason Pickett #4444

Driver name: Jason Pickett                                 Co-Driver Name: Doyle Dake
Team Name: Terminal Velocity Racing              Car # 4444
Age:34                                                                Hometown: Fort Collins Colorado
Chassis Builder: Carnage Crew Garage                Engine: Stroked LS6
Transmission: 4L60E                                                    T-case: Atlas2
Axles F/R: Spidertrax Spider 9′s                                 Lockers F/R: ARB
Seats: Mastercraft                                               Shocks: King Shocks
Tires: BFG Krawler                                            Wheels: Raceline

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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