Anyone who knows Dylan Wiles knows that he's good for a story and a laugh, often at his own expense. Long-time friend, Terry Moorefield (aka YourHotDogGuy!), has a great "Dylan story."
Some years back, they were wheeling in Dayton, Tennessee, with the Carolina Trailblazers. Dylan came knocking on Terry's camper door and asked for a can of "something." He told Terry he didn't care if it was beans, corn, soup, or whatever. Terry offered him supper but Dylan just wanted a can of something. The next evening, Dylan invited Terry to come have "Jeep Stew." Terry was afraid there were some broken parts simmering in muddy water, but it turned out that Dylan had bummed a can of "something" off everyone in camp and made a big pot of stew for everyone to share after a long day on the trails. Terry said it was actually really good and added that, "it's too bad they didn't know what all went in it, as it could never be duplicated."
In a series of endurance racing, where just finishing is key, Dylan Wiles is proud to have more podium finishes than DNFs. Racing in the ECORS series since its inception, Dylan's record includes three wins, three or four second place finishes, and three or four thirds. Dylan says that he loves the thrill of making an obstacle or winning the race but adds that he's even more grateful for all the great folks he's met and who have helped him make every race since the series inaugural 2009 race in Mountain City, TN. "Trail riding or racing, I seem to always make great friends along the way. That's the best part!"
How did you first get into wheeling?
Probably at age 12, I was asked to sit in and steer an old scout out of a ditch while the neighbor pulled it with the tractor. Before he could get the chain from the tool box, I locked in the hubs and drove it out. My first wheeling with an organized club was back in 1997. I had bought a new TJ and a friend talked me into following him to Mt. City, TN. Brooke and I were amazed when we arrived to find a parking lot full off real wheelin' jeeps. We were proud to be in what seemed like a 4x4 parade traveling through town on our way to what would become the 4x4 trails at Callalante. We were actually wheeling what we called Pond Mt. It didn't take long to realize that my stock TJ was a great trail rig. I followed the Carolina Trailblazers everywhere that weekend and was amazed at what kind of terrain I was encountering and conquering. I was hooked from then on.
Where is the most interesting place you've ever been off-road?
I'd like to say Tellico, Robbinsville, Crossville, or one of many other places... oddly enough, I'd say the most interesting spot would have to be some trails that, looking back, I am sure were a prime example of where NOT to wheel. Sketchy stuff, but interesting to say the least.
How did you get involved with racing?
I've always raced what ever it was I was driving at the time. From my first big wheels, to my first bicycle, to my first car, to my first jeep. My first real rock race was at DPG when the Mud Devils held a rock race. When PJ Mallory of M and M fab told me about it, I took all the heavy stuff off of my trail rig TJ and entered. I had a ball. Then a URE Stables races fueled my addiction. Then I found out about a few guys from NC4X4 Forum were planning to start a series called ECORS. I was hooked from then on. I won the first ECORS B class race and have been chasing that rush every since.
What are the specs on the #14 XJ?
1997 Jeep Cherokee with only 70,000 on the clock
stock 4.0 engine
aw4 231 w/ Advance Adaptors sye kit
d-30/8.8 chromo's and 4:88 gears.
33x 9.50 bfg km2
cage, long arms, 5-pt harness and corbeau ss seats
Lots of work has gone into the sheet metal shaping to create very little drag in the wind tunnel. This jeep doesn't have a straight piece of sheet metal on it... at all! It was dent free at my first race. So 18 races later, it's bound to have a few dings here and there. That's one of my proudest bragging rights, that this is the same unibody XJ that has raced in every ECORS race there has ever been. I've seen guys go through multiple rigs during that time. Sure its rolled over on its side a couple (or seven) times but, knocking on wood, I have never really wrecked this car to the point it was useless. In fact this jeep is still competitive, having WON the last A class race at DPG!
What is your favorite place to race?
Tough call. ECORS has taken us to several places, all of which were awesome, new experiences. I like how fast Auburn (Alabama, at the Great American Park) is... and now Durhamtown seemed to be just as fast or faster. I like DPG a lot. I'd say that's my hometown course being only 30 minutes away. Hard not to like that. The Flats is always fun, but I'd have to say my favorite so far is Auburn, which is odd because I don't think I have ever finished a race there.
Who are your sponsors?
Man, I couldn't do it without sponsors! Snider Automotive, Larry's Muffler shop, RIDES of Conover, Snappy, JC, Oliver's Custom Drive Shafts, MudPro, M & M Offroad, YourHotDogGuy, Final Fate TV, RightSide Performance and Mid-Carolina Line-X, and IronMan4x4.
Without sponsors, I couldn't race, but the #14 has made every event and been relatively successful doing so because I've had a lot of friends tow me to the races, I've had a lot of friends help work on the jeep, and I've had a lot of friends help me out in so many little ways and BIG ways. THANK YOU to all of my friends and sponsors.
Last on the list, but most important, is my family. My two wonderful daughters, Maycee and Ella, and my smokin' hot wife, Brooke!
Dylan hopes to carry his momentum from this past season into the 2013 season. He says he has his sponsors to thank for the opportunity to race another year and, "a lot of help from friends like Scott Thomas at Metalwerx, and Scott Fields at UORTC."