What does the future of off-road racing look like? Youth Divisions facilitate the next generation.
Not all young racers will be the next big-time household name, but when the effort and motivation out surpass your closest competition, you do have a leg up.
For Dallas Gonzalez, at only 15 years of age, he has set out and determined his future goal of becoming a professional off-road racer.
Dallas’ first taste for competition came in 2015 when he entered a Polaris RZR 170 at the 2015 UTV World Championships. He was only eight years old at the time and new to it all.
Since then, Gonzalez has earned 15 major championships in the six short years, including 5X BITD UTV World Champion, 2X BITD Winter Nationals Champion, WORCS Series 250 & 570 Champion titles, and close to 40 podium finishes.
Gonzalez moved into Best In The Desert’s UTV Pro N/A Class and races in the WORCS Series 1000 Stock Class. It was not without massive sacrifice and investment to come this far.
Dallas has become a true racers racer and eats, sleeps and breathes his craft 24/7. We asked Dallas a few questions about his career, how he got started, where he is going, and what it takes to be competitive.
TENSOR: What has it taken to get to this point?
DG: My first race was in a RZR 170 dune car at the UTV World Championships. I fell in love with the sport but realized we were not competitive and needed to modify a few things.
After two years, I moved into a Production 170. Every year, I kept moving up a class; 570 Stock, then 570 Production and an RS1 1000. I tried a lot of different racing series, but we love desert racing the best.
TENSOR: What drives you and how do you gain a competitive edge?
DG: I typically drive about 30-50 miles every day in the desert behind our house with my play car, which is excellent practice and a lot of fun! I push myself to know everything about the cars, so I enjoy learning how to fix them and keep them running to the best we can.
TENSOR: What are your future goals?
DG: One day, I plan to race trophy trucks, race in the Dakar rally, and hopefully be a Red Bull Athlete.
TENSOR: Tell us about the current car and what makes it competitive.
DG: My desert car is a stock 2018 Polaris RZR XP 1000. My short course car is a stock Polaris RZR RS1 1000. Race prep and having a good team is the key to being competitive. Also, the parts we use, everything has to be reliable.
TENSOR: Tell us about the Tensor Tires and how they perform for your program.
DG: Tensor tires are lighter, rugged and reliable. We haven’t experienced any problems and never had a single flat. They are all-around outstanding tires!
It is not all racing, and like most teenagers, Gonzalez is currently enrolled in online schooling. His mom, Jessica, says Dallas is not allowed to race if he does not do well in his classes.
Knowing this, he exceeds the requirements and has scored a 3.5 Grade Point Average to keep him on the race track.
Carving out a career in off-road racing at a young age is no easy task. Dallas spent time climbing the ranks and raced in WORCS Series 2016-2021, all BITD Youth Events, Dirt Series 2017-2018, Lucas Oil Regionals (AZ) 2017, the 2020 Mint 400, and the UTV World Championships 2015-2020.
That is a lot of track time and it certainly has paid off.
Gonzalez boosts an impressive list of supporting race sponsors, including Polaris, Method Race Wheels, Tensor Tire, 4WP, Got Sand Performance, Walker Evans Racing, PCI Race Radios, and Sparco Safety Lonestar Racing, Havoc Racing, Rigid Lights, SuperATV, and VP Racing Fuel.