It might be the most junior class in all of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, but RZR 170 possesses some of the tightest and most competitive action in all of short course off road. This new division is where the future stars of the sport begin their journey to stardom, where equally prepared RZR 170 UTVs provide an even playing field for these aspiring young drivers to showcase their talents.
Entering its second season in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, it’s anyone’s guess as to who might emerge at the forefront of the division for the 2020 season. While reigning champion George Llamosas returns to defend his title, a collection of youngsters are eager to hit the track and chase victory, in hopes of becoming the newest champion in short course off road.
A double digit car count awaits the start of RZR 170, which means there’s plenty of excitement on deck once these youngsters take to the track for the first time at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in May. The class will also feature a newcomer as the series heads to Arizona, with this first year racer seeking to become the first ever Rookie-of-the-Year for RZR 170.
Six-year-old Samuel Gibbs, from Murrieta, California, will start the season as the youngest driver in the class. While that seems like a significant challenge for someone his age, Gibbs has the privilege of coming from an off road racing family, and should find his way to the front in no time behind the wheel of his #115 machine.
“My cousin, Trey D. Gibbs, and my uncle, Trey, got me into racing and they’ve helped me a lot. Every time I get on the track I get a little bit better, so I’m looking forward to my first season of nationals.”
The newest racer in the Gibbs family has been able to gain valuable experience racing his RZR 170 in the desert, and he also got a handful of races under his belt during the 2019 season. That invaluable seat time, and the chance to familiarize himself with the RZR 170, all bodes well for Gibb’s pursuit of capturing Rookie of the Year honors. It also helps that Gibbs enjoys the thrill of short course off road.
“My favorite thing about driving my RZR 170 is sending it into a jump, but trying not to break the casing [laughs]. I can’t wait to race against everyone else in the class this season.”
With his family’s racing pedigree providing a rock solid foundation to work from, Gibbs is hoping that influence carries him to success in his first full season of competition. He’s going to be met with a stiff challenge from one of the deepest fields in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, but the elements are there for Gibbs to make his presence felt.
Ready to steal the rookie thunder from Gibbs are Kash Hart and Declan Shield. Both racers hail from Arizona and have shown promise in their respective regional races. Hart, from Peoria, placed third overall in the regional rounds, while Shields, from Phoenix, qualified third at the first regional race this season. While Gibbs may be the youngest to line up, Shields is exactly two weeks older, making him also six years of age when the first green flag waves.
No matter how you slice it, the RZR 170 class is destined for another season of incredibly unpredictable racing. There’s nothing quite like watching the youngest and most promising young stars of short course off road duke it out, and it’s only a matter of time until the start of the 2020 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is upon us.