Corona, CA (April 13, 2018) – With three Pro class titles (including the last two years in Pro Lite Unlimited) and a win in his first-ever Pro 2 Unlimited race last year, Alpine, California's Jerett Brooks is undoubtedly one of the most talented rising stars in short course off-road racing. This week, we here at the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, had the good fortune to jump on the phone with Brooks and find out a little more about this young man, and within minutes, it had become very apparent why Brooks has met with so much success in such a relatively short career so far.
Q: How did you get started in short course?
A: I started at the local go-kart track. I wanted to race go-karts, and ended up seeing a trophy kart on display. I also knew someone who was racing one. My family didn't have any racing background- I had always played baseball. But I got one and started racing it back in the old CORR days in 2008.
Q: When did you first move into the Pro ranks?
A: We got our first Pro Lite in 2012. Like the trophy kart, we jumped into it kinda unexpectedly, and we bought a truck without really doing any research. We teamed with Doug Mittag that season, and then we had Mittag build us a new truck the next year.
Q: When was your first Pro win?
A: We got our first win, and the championship, in TORC in 2014. After that season was over, we came back and raced the last four races of the Lucas season, and went 4 for 4, which felt pretty good and really showed everyone that I wasn't a fluke. Everyone thought I was cheating, so our truck got torn down every time.
Q: What are some of your significant career achievements so far?
A: Winning a championship back to back in a premier class (Pro Lite Unlimited) in Lucas, and to win my first-ever Pro 2 race.
Q: How did last season go for you?
A: It was a really stressful year because we weren't as dominant in Pro Lite as we were before, so we really had to fight to stay on top. Plus we were racing a Pro 2 also. We were lost all year on setup in Pro 2, plus we have a small crew for two trucks: just four guys, two per truck, so when you wreck both on the same day and then have to spend all night fixing them both… But it was cool to defend the title.
Q: What does your race schedule look like for 2018?
A: Right now we're just gonna race the Pro 2. I wanna try to stay consistent and show our speed. There might also possibly be some SST races in there, and of course any other opportunities that may come up- I wanna race whenever and wherever I can.
Q: What are your goals for 2018?
A: To win races, to get podiums, and to be there at the end and get a championship. Pro 2 is the premiere class, with all the best drivers, and this year it's gonna be a lot more stacked than it has been the last couple of years.
Q: What are your longer term goals for your career?
A: To be like Rob Mac, where you can race desert and short course, and be known as the best; to be able to get into anything and win.
Q: Do you hope to turn racing into a career?
A: Yeah, I feel like it's the hardest thing to do in short course. I'd like to make money at it, and also have something on the side, but with racing always being there.
Q: Who do you look up to in this sport?
A: Rob Mac is the only guy. Ever since day one, that's the guy I'd look up to and watch, saying, "look how smooth he is."
Q: What have you sacrificed to get to where you are?
A: School, for sure. I didn't go to a public middle school, and I was home schooled in high school. I was always racing or working on the truck, so no prom or homecoming.
Q: What's your favorite track?
A: Missouri, just because it's a lot different. There's shaded grandstands, a gravel pit area, and it's a much bigger track than the rest in Lucas. The big jumps are cool. The crossover is cool. There's a high-speed section, but also a tight section- it's just a good mix.
Q: What's your favorite memory from racing?
A: Winning that Pro 2 race, for sure. I didn't even feel comfortable in the truck that weekend, so I kinda shocked myself. Some people probably think that contact was a little dirty, and maybe it was, but I think anybody who was there with even a chance of winning their first Pro 2 race would've done it too.
Q: Who's your best friend in the sport?
A: I'd probably say Sheldon (Creed), and for people who still race, probably Brock Heger.
Q: Why do you like short course?
A: The dirt. The track changes every lap. You get to race super close with other trucks while jumping 10 feet off the ground over a 100-foot double. Having to control 1000 horsepower trucks sliding sideways with guys right next to you, all while chasing the cushion. There's just so many factors, and also just what the trucks can handle. We hand-build these trucks and just go out and push them to the limit- it's amazing we don't break them.
Q: Why should fans root for you?
A: Because I'm young, I wanna win, and I feel like I'm pretty humble. I didn't get anything handed to me; I worked my way to where I am, and I'm dedicated to this sport.
Q: What's your most embarrassing moment in racing?
A: I went two years in a row leading at Glen Helen with two laps to go and threw it away by getting up on the bike both years. That was pretty embarrassing.
Q: If you could race anything else, what would it be?
A: An F1 car. That would be a pretty insane thing to do because it's the premier car on the planet.
Q: What do you do to prepare yourself for competition?
A: Well the whole off season, I'm working out, building muscle. Then once the season starts, it's cardio and running. I've got a full trainer; I've thrown away wins when I got tired or let the heat get to me, so anything I can do to better myself...
Q: Who would you say most helped shape you into the person you are today?
A: Probably my grandparents. They've always helped me in my racing career from day one. They run the company that my whole family works for, and I look to them for so many things about life in general.
About the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series:
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is the evolution of the long-standing support of short course racing by Forrest Lucas and Lucas Oil Products. Steeped in the midwest tradition of short course off-road racing infused with a west coast influence, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing brings intense four wheel door-to-door action to challenging, fan-friendly tracks. Our events can be seen on CBS, CBS Sports Network, MAVTV, and Live all season long on LucasOilRacing.TV. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: This is Short Course! For more information, please visit www.LucasOilOffRoad.com, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter in our Newsletter Signup section of the home page.
Written by Scott Neth for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series