Will Carter's new Ultra4 car has had quite an eventful 2012 season. The maiden voyage was the Line Mountain 4 Wheelers race at Raush Creek at the end of April. After an early flop, Will finished in 8th place. He put down one of the fastest laps at the Great American Park in the ECORS C Class race on May 19, but tagged a tree and broke a wheel on lap 5. Now the Will Carter Racing 4452 is prepped and ready for the inaugural King of Hammers Qualifier at the Brush Run at Crandon International Speedway this weekend, June 16 and 17.
We're not ashamed to admit that Will is one of our favorite drivers... he's stupid fast, level-headed and smooth on the course, quick with the cutting brakes, and always makes for great photos. He can turn fast lap times in a 4400 car or a Stock Class TJ. He's also a pretty decent fabricator and a super nice guy who took some time out of a very hectic schedule to tell us about his love of off-road racing and adventure, how he's not afraid to rub tires or trade paint, and how his new daughter is going to help keep him out of trouble...
How did you first get involved with off-road racing?
After watching videos from King of the Hammers 2008, I knew I wanted to get involved in the sport. I had wanted to build a competitive rock crawler for years but couldn't ever get over the fact that they were going really slow. My dad and I had been talking about getting back into some sort of motorsports for some time. He used to race late models before I came along (and ruined his fun) and we raced go-carts when I was in middle school, so we decided to go for off-road racing. I built a rock racer in the final months of 2008 and we made the trip out west for KOH 2009 for my first off-road race ever.
Now that you've been competing for a couple of years, what is your favorite track?
I don't know if I have an exact location for a track but I do tend to like the shorter tracks with a lot of laps as opposed to the single pass, long mileage endurance race course. There seems to be more opportunity for real tire to tire racing. Drivers tend be more aggressive on shorter tracks because you know help isn't that far away. The ambulance is only a minute away instead of an hour away and you only have to drag your rig 500 ft to the trailer instead of 25 miles if you wad it up.
Who are your sponsors?
My main sponsors are my wife Kristy, my little girl Zee, and all the rest of my family. Without their support I'd just be wheeling a beat Toyota on the weekends (which is awesome fun, don't get me wrong). For 2012 we've had huge help from Right Side Performance. The car was built there, is prepped for every race there, and is fixed there when the driver wads it up. We've also had help from Glad Precision Engines in Floyd, VA, Spidertrax Offroad, Branik Motorsports, RuffStuff Specialties and Raceline Wheels so far this season. We're always eager to work with new companies that have quality parts and service, though!
What do you have planned for 2012?
I plan to race a lot and race hard. 2011 was a bit slow for us and I'm itching to get back on the podium.
Where is the most interesting place you've ever been off-road?
I know it's a common answer these days, but it has to be The Hammers in Johnson Valley, CA. Just to be at a location where you can hop in your truck and ride and ride and ride in any direction you want is pretty cool. Here on the east coast we're usually limited to the trail that's been cut through the trees. Out there you can explore in any direction until you run out of gas.
I know that you like to ride dirt bikes, as well... what's your favorite way to get around off-road?
I do like to ride dirt bikes but, unfortunately, I suck at it. I usually get too confident too fast and end up hurting myself. After the birth of my daughter I've decided to stick to things with cages...
My real favorite way to get around off-road is backpacking on my own two feet. I try to go on a decent backpacking trip every few months, at least. I'm kind of a minimalist/ ultralight geek when it comes to traveling on foot. It's always an adventure.
As he and the Will Carter Racing/ Right Side Performance team begin the long trek to northeastern Wisconsin, we wish Will the best of luck on "the world’s premier short course off-road race track" at Crandon this weekend!