CORONA, CA (January 11, 2019) - After winning 2018 Rookie of the Year honors in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, Mod Kart division, 13-year-old Bronsen Chiaramonte is aiming higher for the new season ahead.
Chiaramonte was an impressive third in points during his first tour of Mod Karts. The goal now turns to winning the division's championship and he promises that effort won't be an obstacle.
"We're just putting everything I've got toward the championship and just work hard," the teen from El Cajon, California said recently. "My Dad (Dan) and I are down there every night, working on the cars, getting them prepared. We're ready to do everything we can to get it done."
Chiaramonte's rookie year in Mod Karts, after moving up from JR Karts, saw him post one victory and four other podium finishes. He wound up just 23 points behind champion Brody Eggleston.
"The season went really well," Chiaramonte said. "We got brand new cars going into the season and didn't really have any seat time. Once we got into it, we started hitting podiums and having a good time."
Chiaramonte said, Off Road racing is a family sport with brother Braden, who's 11, finishing eighth in Mod Karts. Cousin Sheldon Creed, who began his career in the entry-level youth divisions of the Lucas Oil Off Road Series, has blazed a path in stock cars and won the ARCA Series championship last season.
It's no surprise that Bronsen Chiaramonte said, the 21-year-old Creed has been a huge influence on his career.
"I've looked up to Sheldon for a long time now," Chiaramonte said. "He just got out of ARCA and is going into the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and just moved to North Carolina. He's made a track for me to follow. All the championships that he's won - plus he's taught me so much about how to drive the cars over the years."
Chiaramonte got his racing start in BMX Bikes before moving into the JR1 Karts when his grandfather, Maurice Ortega, purchased a Kart for him. He said the transition to Mod Karts was fun, yet challenging.
"Just going over the jumps and pitching it through the corners," he said. "The Mod Kart class is a fun one to be in. You have so many things going on with the cars. You have driving and shifting. To me, so far, it's been my favorite class to be in."
While he dreams of following Creed's path into racing professionally, Chiaramonte is content to hone his skills right where he is for now. But he does think about some possibilities, down the road.
"We're gonna stick with the Mod Karts until I age out and we're gonna try for the championship," Chiaramonte said. "I just want to keep going up through the Lucas Oil Off Road Series and into the pro classes. Just sticking to the dirt, maybe do some sprint-car racing someday.
"I just have to thank my grandpa (Ortega), my Mom (Terra) and my Dad (Dan) for all their hard work, and my entire family."
Written By Lyndal Scranton
About the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Modified Kart division:
The advance kart class, for ages 10-15, utilizes 250cc or 450cc motorcycle engines limited to 48 horsepower. The karts are a minimum of 815 pounds and have a 13-inch front wheel travel limit and 19-inch rear wheel travel limit. Maximum wheelbase is 73 inches with a 58-inch maximum track width. Modified kart numbers are 500-599.
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, and MAVTV. 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.