(MAIN) Nick Tyree giving it the gun in what is, essentially, a self-financed shot at Pro 2. (BELOW) Sheldon Creed is a 14-year-old kid with a clear-cut game plan: to race as a pro.
he says. “That’s my goal. Rally cars to NASCAR, Pro 2 or Pro 4 in
short course o; road…pretty much anything with four wheels.”
He’s shown that by adding sprint cars to his o;-road schedule
– sometimes on the same weekend – and is doing well, winning
heat races and making the podium in the mains. He says the
sprint car has taught him a lot about car control.
He’ll race anything, but he states he really likes the people and
atmosphere in o;-road racing, not to mention the adrenaline
rush. So it’s likely you’re going to see this kid in a Pro 2 or Pro 4 in
the not too distant future. And since he seems to only be getting
faster, he’ll probably be at the front.
THE YOUNG GUN: SHELDON CREED
Sheldon Creed’s had quite the varied racing
career so far. BMX, motocross, midgets,
short course o; road and sprint cars.
And he’s still only 14.
Creed is a rising star in the Lucas Oil O;
Road Racing Series, and his goal is to be a
professional racing driver. If a recent
weekend at Speedworld O; Road Park in
Surprise, Ariz., is any example, the 2009
Junior 1 and Modified Kart champ from
Alpine, Calif., has a good chance at making
it. Running his first pro weekend in Super
Lite, he practiced and qualified fast, then
made it onto the podium in his second race.
“I was hoping for top five, but top three
is even better,” he says.
With the help of his family – his
grandfather’s AM Ortega Construction
business was emblazoned on the side of his
Super Lite at Surprise – Creed has tackled
anything he can that involves going fast.
“I want to be paid to race professionally,”
THE PRIVATEER: NICK TYREE
The traditional route to the top of racing, whether its road racing,
stock cars or o; road, is to start small. Begin with something
slower and work your way up. That’s not the way Nick Tyree did it
when he decided he wanted to go short course o;-road racing after
trying karting and motocross in his early years. Nope, he jumped
right into the deep end, head first, and bought a Pro 2 truck.
“I didn’t know what I was getting into,” he says, with only the
slightest hint of a grin. “My buddy bought one, so I looked around,
found some used trucks for sale and ended up with Todd LeDuc’s
truck. We kind of did it on our own, then I introduced myself to
Todd and we hit it o;. Now he helps me, spots for me, we go testing
together. We’re getting there. Now we just need to finish races.”
Tyree’s Pro 2 isn’t sagging under the weight of sponsor logos.
The dominant graphic is his own winged “T.” He’s doing it on his
own coin and, “seeing what happens.” So far, it’s been tough, with
a best finish of seventh after 12 rounds. Next step would be to
partner with an existing, experienced team if he can.
But for the remainder of 2011, he’s going to keep plugging away.
He’s learned a lot in the last two seasons, watched a lot of video
to hone his craft. He’s also trying to make sure that silly little
problems don’t leave him on the sidelines before the checker falls.
The 2011 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series brings wild racing to
the West through December. For all race dates and the latest
television schedule, just check out lucasoiloffroad.com.
WATCH IT, EXPERIENCE IT
“The first time I saw
short course off road
in person, I fell in
love,” says former
quad racer Corry
Weller of Chandler,
Ariz. And since her
husband, Jason, runs
Weller Racing, it only
made sense to be a
part of it. Weller Racing sells
aftermarket performance parts for
Utility Terrain Vehicles so, naturally,
they started in the stock class.
“Jason thought putting me in the
car would be good for marketing,”
explains Weller. Which is especially true
when she’s kicking everybody’s butts
in SR1 UTV (BELOW), as is very often
the case. Weller had the points lead,
with one win and nine podiums, as the
series hit the home stretch after
Round 12 in Surprise, Ariz.
“It’s consistency,” she says of this
season’s success. “That word’s kind of
boring. Exciting racing often means
wrecks, but for a championship, it
sucks. We worked really hard – last year
we had some stupid DNFs; little things
that got overlooked and blew our
championship out of the water. I also
worked on not trying to win the race in
the first turn. Patience is good.”
That’s a good lesson to have learned
before making a switch to Pro 2, a
program the Wellers are working on for
2012. In Pro 2 she’ll definitely be a
unique fixture. While the karts feature
many female racers, and a few are in
Limited Buggies, Weller has achieved
more success than most. That puts her
in the position of role model, whether
she thinks about it or not.
“It’s weird, because I see people I
look up to, but you don’t look the other
way and see the people looking up to
you,” she says. “I see the girls who
come up to me to sign posters and I’m
starting to get it that they think it’s
awesome, the fact that a girl’s doing
pretty well in this. I love that.”
70 DECEMBER 2011 RACER.com