With the youthful nature of the JR2 Kart class, there will always be fresh faces ready to make a name for themselves on the national level that the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series offers. This season, there are five rookie hopefuls vying for the coveted Rookie-of-the-Year award and each driver feels up to the challenge of capturing it.
Introducing them in order from youngest to oldest, the most junior driver entering JR2 Kart will be nine-year-old Truly Adams. The driver out of California has his sights set on winning races and has a lot of help from his driver development coach father, Troy Adams.
“I got into short course racing through my dad who is the Driver Development Coach for some of the sport’s biggest names like Brian and Hallie Deegan. I have been driving off road trophy karts since I was six years old. I have been racing Go Karts since I was four years old. But I like the jumps in off road racing. In Go Karts, I can’t jump.”
Truly certainly loves talking about catching air and isn’t intimidated by the older drivers in the class.
“My favorite part of driving a JR2 Kart is that it’s faster than my JR1 Kart and I get higher on the jumps. I also get to battle with the older kids up front, which helps me get better.”
With goals like winning races and finishing in the top five at every round, Truly Adams will be one to watch.
At 11-years-old, Olive Hoover is all about improving her driving craft and making sure she is better every time she hits the track. She must be doing something right as Olive is feeling confident and ready to race for wins. Like many young racers, Olive also practices at the Go Kart track to improve her driving skills away from the short course race track.
“Last season, I raced for the first time in the Arizona and California Lucas Oil Regionals. I am super excited this season to race in both the Lucas Oil Nationals and Regionals! I want to get on the podium, start and finish every race, and be safe. I also want to improve each time I am on the track.”
The other 11-year-old rookie entering JR2 Kart is Brodie Martin. Like the other racers entering this class, he’s excited about the increased speed that it brings as well as competing against his fellow drivers and friends.
“I’m looking forward to getting on the podium and racing with my friends. I got into short course racing because my brother raced JR2 and it looked like fun. The best part is battling with my friends and all the other racers. I like the JR2 Kart because it is a lot faster than the JR1 and it’s cool to jump. My goals this year are to win the championship and to get Rookie-of-the-Year.”
Brodie will have some older competition gunning for that coveted award with two 12-year-old rookies ready to line up. Stone Hall has had four wheels in his family for generations with his grandpa, mom, dad, and uncle all having raced stock cars at the El Cajon Speedway. Stone’s dad even tried his hand racing BMX bikes, personal watercraft, and motorcycles. But when it was time for Stone to line up, he was all about the four-wheels.
“When I was six-years-old my dad bought me a JR1 Kart and we went to the desert a lot. The last race of 2015 at Lake Elsinore, we raced the regional series. It was a play truck and I got lapped three times by the leader, but it was still fun.”
Over time Stone honed in on his race craft and is looking to pick up his first win this season.
Last and of course, certainly not least is 12-year-old Irie Bailey. Like Stone, Irie watched her family race and the interest for racing was instilled very early.
“I got into racing by watching my grandfather, dad, and brother race for many years. I grew up around race cars and off road vehicles. I have always had a passion to drive one. I got Rookie-of-the-Year in 2017 in JR1 Kart and I’m looking forward to racing a Kart with more power.”
As a previous Rookie-of-the-Year winner, Irie knows what it takes to stand out. It’s a likely bet that Irie will be stiff competition for the other four drivers going after the honors.
JR2 Kart is going to be fun to watch this season with a solid lineup of rookies bringing fresh enthusiasm and returning drivers relying on class experience. It all starts this May at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.