Youngest Competitor Ever to Race in Traxxas TORC Series Super Buggy Class Ready to Tackle The Dirt Track at Charlotte
The stars of the Traxxas TORC Series, with their Baja-style off-road trucks, will descend upon The Dirt Track at Charlotte next Friday and Saturday, April 20-21. Among them will be 14-year-old Mitchell DeJong, the youngest competitor ever to race in the TORC Series Super Buggy Class.
The Traxxas TORC Series visited the track last year, but this is the first year the Super Buggy Class will compete, making it extra tough for a rookie like DeJong to have success.
“I am the rookie, the youngest to ever to race in this class and have never raced this track before,” said DeJong. “The other Super Buggy competitors have had time to work on their vehicle set ups for the track conditions. Choosing the right tires and wheels and having the suspension set up correctly for the track is a huge part of being successful in a race.
“I just moved in to the Super Buggy Class. It is an adult professional race class, but I was given special approval to race because of my experience and record.”
Although new to the Super Buggy Class, DeJong is no stranger to the TORC Series – or dirt tracks. Not only is he a 2009 off-road series champion, he holds back-to-back Lucas Oil Off-Road Series Modified Kart titles (2010 and 2011).
Because of his success, he was approved to run in the Super Buggy Class. The rules state the driver must be at least 14 years of age with prior experience and approved by the TORC/USAC Chief Steward.
Although young, DeJong already knows what he likes in a track and what to expect.
“I like sliding my vehicle into a turn. I like the jumps we have in short-course racing,” said the Temecula, Calif. native. “In off-road racing, the track terrain is never the same like it is on pavement. An off-road racer has to be good at reading the terrain and adjusting their driving. A race track can go from muddy, to blue groove, to large ruts, to dust and you have to be ready to make quick decisions when you are racing door-to-door with other vehicles while having dirt, mud and rocks thrown in your face. It's amazing fun.”
DeJong is looking forward to this new adventure and the premiere of the Super Buggies at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
“The Super Buggy Class doesn't get the recognition it deserves because most people don't realize that this is a driver's class,” said DeJong. “The super buggy is open wheel racing, so unlike the off-road truck class, you do not want to make much contact with other buggies or you’re more likely to wreck.
“I am super pumped to go to The Dirt Track at Charlotte. I saw the track on TV last season and it looked really fun. I'm just excited to be part of it all.”
Friday night's Traxxas TORC Series racing action at The Dirt Track at Charlotte will air live on SPEED at 8:30 p.m. ET. Along with the Super Buggy Class, the PRO 4x4, PRO 2WD and PRO Light classes will also hit the dirt.
Spectator gates open at 3 p.m. each night. Opening ceremonies start at 7 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday. At the conclusion of each night, there will be a public pit party where fans can get up close to the drivers and their trucks. The pit party will also feature music by Tim Hall and Buffalo Country.
Tickets for the Traxxas TORC Series event at The Dirt Track at Charlotte are just $20 for adults and free for kids 13 and under each night. Fans can get $5 off their ticket when they also purchase a ticket to the Food Lion AutoFair, being held at Charlotte Motor Speedway, April 19-22. To purchase tickets, call the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. For more information on the Traxxas TORC Series, please visit www.torcseries.com.
Connect with The Dirt Track at Charlotte by following on Twitter at www.twitter.com/thedirttrack or becoming a fan of The Dirt Track at Charlotte Facebook page.