Driver: Jason Blanton
Hometown: Kirkland, Washington
Vehicle: #966 Nitto Tire Ultra4 buggy
- 2015 Ultra4 4Wheel Parts Glen Helen Grand Prix 2nd Place
- 2014 Ultra 4 Western Regional Series 3rd Place
- 2014 Untra 4 Nitto National Championship 10th Place
- 2013 Ultra 4 Western Regional Series 3rd Place
- 2013 Ultra 4 Nitto National Championship 3rd Place
- 2013 King of the Hammers 9th Place
What approach & strategy will you take at KOH this year?
JB: It is funny how strategies change after you have been racing for a while. When I first started racing KOH my strategy was simple, hold the car together, don’t take risks and finish. Now things have changed I want to win! That requires you to go fast and take chances. This is a risky strategy because you are either going to do really well or you won’t finish. That’s racing though and if I want to keep up with the top racers that is what I have to do.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your past experiences with KOH?
JB: I’ve learned a lot from past KOH races. It’s hard to control your adrenaline at this race. One second you are going 100 mph through the desert right on the brink of disaster and the next your have to think about where you are going to go in the rocks so you don’t get stuck or roll. Once you can learn to relax and think the odds of finishing increase dramatically. Knowing how hard you can push yourself and your car.
While winning is the ultimate goal, what would you consider a success this year at KOH?
JB: While I want to win, I would consider the race a success to have a top five finish, or even better yet to get on the podium. Racing is a never ending learning process; you’ll never be perfect and you can always be better.
What would winning the King of the Hammers mean to you?
JB: If you are a racer you always want to win, that is what drives you. It would be conquering one of my main goals racing Ultra4. To beat all the guys I look up to would be euphoric. The competition is fierce so this would really demonstrate how we stack up against the other teams in the series.
What unique challenges are you and your team facing this year?
JB: There are many challenges to race at the Hammers. Stay alive is the first one! As the goal shifts from merely finishing to winning, it requires you to take more risks and push harder. Knowing what risks to take and when to back off are the difference between finishing on the podium and scattering the car in the desert.
What are you looking forward to in 2015 and beyond?
JB: I’m hoping next season I will be fighting for the top positions through the year. I also want to try some other racing with my car and see if I can keep up. I’m hoping in the future Ultra4 will become a mainstream sport, see our names on TV every weekend and we can all turn our passion into a career.
What will it take for you to get/keep the competitive advantage this year?
JB: To keep up with all these high horsepower IFS race cars requires a lot of race prep, refining my driving skills, and a lot of luck. We are doing a ton of prep on the car before this KOH. It had been run hard for two seasons now so I want to replace everything on the car to ensure I have the best odds of doing well at this race and all season long.
How do you balance the demands of racing with family life?
JB: I don’t have to much balance in my life! I work long days for my business and spend a lot of late nights with my dad and my crew chief Tyler Anthony to keep the car in the best condition possible. It’s a hard juggle at times. My business is growing and busy and racing takes up the rest of the time I have. One of these days I will figure out how to manage it all and then I will be able to have and raise a family, hopefully. For now I will just do what I can to keep up and do what I love.
- Twitter @