Corona, CA (December 26, 2018) - The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series JR 2 Kart 2018 Rookie of the Year likes to be in the middle of the action, whether it's on a race course, wrestling mat or the football field.
Ethan Ebert is a busy 12-year-old who currently enjoys being part of the wrestling in middle school after playing running back for his youth football team earlier this fall. All this, of course, after wheeling his way around the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series for a full season.
"I just like the adrenaline in all of the sports," said Ebert, a seventh-grader from Marana, Arizona, who just completed his third and best season of off road racing.
Ebert posted one victory and two second-place finishes this year, winding up 57 points behind JR 2 Kart champion Connor Barry. Like Barry, Ebert is eager to begin competing in the full Modified Kart division in 2019.
"It's going to be so much different," Ebert said of the move up to a bigger, faster and more advanced race vehicle. "The horsepower, the drifting, just the different driving style and all the different tracks as well. I'm looking forward to it."
Ebert said he began racing at the age of 9 after attending an off road race in which one of his friends, Luke Knupp, was competing. Knupp, in JR Karts at that time, was fourth in the 2018 Modified Kart standings.
Ebert spent one year competing in JR 1 Karts and a year and a half in JR 2. He quickly fell in love with the sport.
"The most fun thing is being able to go out there and jump the car as high as you can, run around the corners as fast as you can and race with your friends," Ebert said. "It's just so much fun."
Instead of setting any specific goals before the past season, Ebert said he simply wanted to "get on the podium (top three) for every race and just be consistent."
Ebert said he couldn't have done it without sponsors, like Vision X, Element 7, Puffin T-Shirts, A Seth Hepler Production and Kevin McMullen Racing. He also wanted to give a shout-out to spotters Jimmy Owens and Daniel Gomez for making his job easier on the track.
Crew members were parents Eric and Kellie Ebert, along with Seth Hepler, Isabella Ebert and Chad Hutchinson.
For 2019 in the Mod Kart, Ebert will be teaming up with Jimmy Owens and Xtreme Machine and Fabrication, and is currently seeking and accepting sponsors.
With a vision on perhaps making a career out of racing, Ebert said he looks to a pair of veteran Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series drivers for inspiration.
"RJ Anderson and Bryce Menzies," Ebert said. "They're two of the top drivers and they're very respectful. I want to be just like them. I like their personalities. They're really nice to everybody who comes up to them and wants to take a picture and they're always willing to sign (autographs)."
"Also, they're really good drivers, so that's another reason I want to be just like them. I know (Anderson) started out in a Mod Kart, just like I'm getting ready to get into next."
"Hopefully, I'll be able to keep consistent enough to be able to drive a (Pro 2 or Pro 4) when I'm older and have fun there. It would be so much fun."
By Lyndal Scranton
About the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series JR 2 Kart division:
One of the introductory divisions of the sport are for ages 8-15. These custom, single-seat mini race trucks feature Honda, GX390 389 cc 4-stroke air-cooled engines that must be sealed by Fleming Motorsports. The engines are 11.7 horsepower at 3,600 rpm. Maximum width is 58.5 inches. Maximum wheel base is 73 inches and minimum weight is 670 pounds. JR 2 Kart numbers are 400-499.
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, MAVTV. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: This is Short Course! For more information, please visit www.LucasOilOffRoad.com and interact with us on social.