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A DRIVER’S CLASS Kyle Quinn Wants To Put Class 1 On The Map Again Story by Stuart Bourdon Photos by Get Some Photo, and courtesy Kyle Quinn/Wilson Motorsports Kyle Quinn is the driver-of-record for the No. 138 Wilson Motorsports car, and co-driver with Ronny Wilson. They are the points leader in Class 1 halfway through the 2022 SCORE Off-Road Racing season. While the Wilson family and team are well known in Class 1, Quinn comes from a famous off-road family himself. His dad, Jeff Quinn, owned McKenzie’s Performance Products, and ironically, it wasn’t until Kyle was about 20 years old that he first considered driving an off-road race car. Kyle Quinn’s first experience in off-road racing was when he went to a short-course off-road race, an experience that got him hooked on off-road racing. “That led to my dad and I building a single-seat limited buggy,” said Quinn. “We raced that for about five years. Around that time, I began dating my future wife, Amy (who is Randy Wilson’s daughter), and began driving one of the Wilson 1600 cars and a 1600 car with Chase Motorsports for a few years.” Quinn soon began looking for more seat time and experience in the desert. “I was getting into anything I could to get desert experience, including 5-1600,” he said. Soon, he was driving the Class 10 car with Brad Wilson and eventually transitioned into driving one of the Class 1 cars with Brian Wilson (Brad’s cousin). He then transitioned into one of the new Wilson Motorsports’ Jimco cars with Ronny Wilson. BUGGIES ARE BEST  Coming up through class 1600, Quinn learned to keep up momentum so he wouldn’t lose speed in the sand washes and through the corners. Class 10 was a little more powerful than 1600 but still required the same heavy foot to maintain speed through the desert. “Our Class 1 cars have all the power and suspension needed to get even more speed out of the car,” said Quinn. “I like Class 1 because it’s a driver’s class. The skill of the driver has more to do with the outcome of the race.” Buggies are the “OG” off-road car class for Quinn. He raced buggies with his father. His dad raced buggies his entire life, including some with the Wilsons. “In a way, it’s paying respect to my dad who lived for Class 1, and one of the highlights for me with the Wilson team was driving in the 2017 SCORE Baja 1000 with my father-in-law. Buggies are part of my life, and it would be hard to move away from them.” THE FUTURE OF CLASS 1  Quinn thinks AWD might be the next step but believes there are some drawbacks to it. “Our buggies are different than most, so I think working on maximizing the suspension as much as we can is our best direction right now,” he said. “The AWD systems can limit travel and add weight to the car’s nose, altering the balance of the car. Then, you’re working on getting that sorted out.” In an effort to improve the exposure of Class 1 to more teams, he would also like to see Class 1 cars qualify for overall starting positions (with SCORE Trophy Trucks) so their drivers can prove just how competitive the unlimited class cars can be. “It would really help bring Class 1 back into the spotlight to qualify against the entire field rather than qualifying for first in class,” he said. “We’re still starting behind all of the SCORE Trophy Trucks. Let us mix it up with the trucks to show that we can be just as fast.” MAKING BUGGIES FAMOUS AGAIN Driving the new Jimco Hammerhead cars gives Quinn the sense that Wilson Motorsports is helping to bring some of that excitement and competitiveness back to Class 1. “Now that the bigger Class 1 cars like ours are sort of modeled after the trucks, but are still true Class 1 cars, they have the potential to breath new life into the premier buggy class.” SJ

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