The Talent Tank

EP 26 Derek West

May 18, 2020 Derek West Episode 38
The Talent Tank
EP 26 Derek West
Chapters
The Talent Tank
EP 26 Derek West
May 18, 2020 Episode 38
Derek West

A play on the triumph and losses in performance and life.  The Talent Tank podcast will navigate the inner workings of lifestyle, lives, family, teams, careers, programs, and technology in and around the offroad motorsports industry.  What breeds success with your Talent Tank on full, failures when its on empty.  From the journey to the Starting Line to take that Green Flag, on to exploring trials and tribulations on and off the track in pursuit of victorious achievement and the Checkered Flag.

The Outlaw from the Ozarks, the Springfield Sultan, none other than "Disco" Derek West @derekwest20 of Crush Motorsports on this episode of The Talent Tank.  We dive in on everything from driving the ULTRA4 Racing #20 4400 Class car, on into a crash course on solar power for your home.  Examining the cruxes of taking one thing you love, and it turning into a job.  For the last 18 years as a rock sports professional, Derek has been one of those guys that if you ever beat him, you know he just had a bad day, because he's rarely out driven.  Deeper into the tank we discuss how to stay motivated, how to continue to have success, and the logic behind taking the path less traveled.   

After the Checkered Flag-
Solar panel cost in 2020: 
What range of costs should you expect to see in quotes for a solar panel system? Solar panel costs for an average-sized installation in the U.S. usually range from $11,411 to $14,874 after solar tax credits, and the average price per watt for solar panels ranges from $2.57 to $3.35.

Headshot Provided by Alan Johnson

Brought to you by:
Custom Splice www.customsplice.com for all of your recovery equipment needs, they are your one stop shop.
Branik Motorsports Custom Machine www.branikmotorsports.com is a full-service machine shop with one off and production capabilities that prides themselves on quality, service and value.
Magnitude Performance www.magnitudeperformance.com a Mast Motorsports Company www.mastmotorsports.com.  Magnitude is a Made in the USA manufacturer of premium chrome silicon coil-over suspension springs.

Please like & subscribe.
https://thetalenttank.com/
https://www.instagram.com/thetalenttank/
https://www.facebook.com/thetalenttank/
Insiders Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheTalentTankInsiders/

Show Notes Transcript

A play on the triumph and losses in performance and life.  The Talent Tank podcast will navigate the inner workings of lifestyle, lives, family, teams, careers, programs, and technology in and around the offroad motorsports industry.  What breeds success with your Talent Tank on full, failures when its on empty.  From the journey to the Starting Line to take that Green Flag, on to exploring trials and tribulations on and off the track in pursuit of victorious achievement and the Checkered Flag.

The Outlaw from the Ozarks, the Springfield Sultan, none other than "Disco" Derek West @derekwest20 of Crush Motorsports on this episode of The Talent Tank.  We dive in on everything from driving the ULTRA4 Racing #20 4400 Class car, on into a crash course on solar power for your home.  Examining the cruxes of taking one thing you love, and it turning into a job.  For the last 18 years as a rock sports professional, Derek has been one of those guys that if you ever beat him, you know he just had a bad day, because he's rarely out driven.  Deeper into the tank we discuss how to stay motivated, how to continue to have success, and the logic behind taking the path less traveled.   

After the Checkered Flag-
Solar panel cost in 2020: 
What range of costs should you expect to see in quotes for a solar panel system? Solar panel costs for an average-sized installation in the U.S. usually range from $11,411 to $14,874 after solar tax credits, and the average price per watt for solar panels ranges from $2.57 to $3.35.

Headshot Provided by Alan Johnson

Brought to you by:
Custom Splice www.customsplice.com for all of your recovery equipment needs, they are your one stop shop.
Branik Motorsports Custom Machine www.branikmotorsports.com is a full-service machine shop with one off and production capabilities that prides themselves on quality, service and value.
Magnitude Performance www.magnitudeperformance.com a Mast Motorsports Company www.mastmotorsports.com.  Magnitude is a Made in the USA manufacturer of premium chrome silicon coil-over suspension springs.

Please like & subscribe.
https://thetalenttank.com/
https://www.instagram.com/thetalenttank/
https://www.facebook.com/thetalenttank/
Insiders Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheTalentTankInsiders/

Intro/Outro :

Let's drop the green flag on this episode of the talent tank podcast. With your host Wyatt Pemberton bringing you the best, fastest, most knowledgeable personalities and ultra before and off road racing.

Wyatt Pemberton :

This episode of the talent tank, brought to you by three amazing partners, custom splice offered recovery equipment, bringing motor sports custom machine, and magnitude performance a mass Motorsports company. Hey, this is why Hey, before we get going, man, I gotta just say thank you guys, for everyone who continues to tune in every week giving me and my guests in this show. Two hours of your life on a weekly basis is absolutely, man. It's so flattering. Yeah, that's kind of the only word I really have for it. I'm completely elated that you know the thousands of you guys that have just continued To help the show grow, continue to spread the word. I love it. Here I am Hatton Han pandering was going through the stats this weekend. really realize that of the thousands and thousands that tune in weekly for this show and listen to what we have to say 58% of you guys listen across the apple podcast, Apple podcast has an amazing rating system. You just scroll to the bottom of the page. And there it is. You can leave five stars and you can even type in a little review that 58% of this thousands of listens less than 1% have left reviews. Come on guys. We're better than that. Come on, man. Those are rookie numbers when you pump them up. All right, guys. Hit pause. Hit the ratings at the bottom of the screen. All right. Enjoy. All right, all right. All right. We are back in the saddle again the talent tank another installment will deep dive here. you clicked on today's episode. We've got disco Derek Request hailing a Springfield, Missouri. Derek, how are you?

Derek West :

I'm doing good. Thanks for having me on why?

Wyatt Pemberton :

And I've known you. Well, since 2007 ish x Ra. I tried to think back to exact memory. I think the first time racing issue was at grey rock Alabama, xR a and I came to the realization you're the guy to beat like back then like any chance like if everyone would have their their days that they were on top of the boxer, you know, their game was on point. But you were always on point.

Derek West :

I mean, I think there's a lot of luck and determination and drive, you know, back then I was young, didn't have any money and somehow managed to scrap some stuff together and kind of had something to prove, I think and yeah, I did good. Not you know, I was very fortunate to have done all that stuff and done as well as I did and there's good times,

Wyatt Pemberton :

and you've been at it for like 18 years. You've been a quintessential competitor and offered racing for you're coming up on two decades of it. That's nuts. I want to get into that. That is absolutely nuts. that's a that's a crazy bar that you've set.

Derek West :

Yeah, I've been doing it a long time, which, which is good and bad at, you know, both. But there's lots of other guys that were there before me that way. I remember watching Shannon, I think when I was probably in high school looking in magazines of Pinkie, and some of these other guys have been doing it forever, and some of them aren't doing anymore. But yeah, it's been a long time. And it's fun. And I don't know how much longer I'll be able to do it. But I've enjoyed it. And, you know, some of the X ray days that you mentioned was, you know, that was that was probably the highlight of the fun era. You know, when you go to a race and you show up and you're meeting new people because we're all new. You know that what that one like we'd been doing it for 10 years at that point. And so that was a lot of getting to know people over drinks and campfires and absolutely right.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So I introduced She was disco Derek West, but I do not know why you're called disco. What's the deal?

Derek West :

It's good question. So I believe it was Lauren Healy that actually coined the term when we are at a ultra for race in Ralph's Creek Pennsylvania. And we're in this is still back where we used to go out and do some stuff you know, I feel like we don't do a lot of this stuff anymore but so there's little club around the corner from the park and we all go down there and having a good time. And so we're doing Danson had a jukebox going on we're goofing around and I think Lance Clifford and I somehow got into a worm race which he annihilated we had he actually went up a set of stairs doing the worm is crazy. But anyway, so just goofing off and having a good time and you know, Lauren's maybe a little more straight lace when it comes to cutting loose and so anyway, so he coined that and my wife didn't like it for the longest time hated it, because on that and I was like, You know what? I kind of like it. And so I embraced it. David had a disco ball for a while. And, you know, it's always good to be known for something that's funny or you know, that's associated with fun and so I didn't mind it.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, you can't give yourself your own nickname. That's kind of folk. Ah, I like it. Yeah, says Lauren. He the nickname you disco. All right. I can see that. I've seen you dance. You're pretty. You got some premium good moves, though.

Derek West :

Yeah, that was probably back in the day. I'm, I'm old dad now. So I got the dad dance. I get

Wyatt Pemberton :

that bad dance. being humble. So what's going on a day, we've got some stay at home orders. We still got some Cova going on, on the countries kind of starting to open back up. Have you slowed down at all with your business? Have you slowed down with your day to day?

Derek West :

Yeah, so it you know first of all hit and wasn't sure what was gonna happen. You know, of course it kind of came in slow. In fact, I even went and did a race right there in the beginning, you know and things are starting to go little weird and you're starting to think about germs on things like I remember on the way the race I was went to a truck stop. And that was the first time we're hitting me. I'm going in, I'm paying with my credit card and I'm using it and I'm touching things and, you know, thinking about all that, but anyway, so we went to that race and then after that, we came back and things started shutting down. And you know, so I do solar energies what I do for a living, then the phone just stopped ringing. people stop thinking about buying Raisa started getting cancelled, and yeah, so it definitely made me sit back and think you know what, what's going to happen for the rest of the year and I've got this time now what do I do with this time? We're in limbo of not doing all the things that I'm accustomed to doing?

Wyatt Pemberton :

And you're a guy that doesn't sit around anyway, I know you're pretty busy, busy body type person. So is it killing you? You

Derek West :

don't stir crazy? No. So when they started canceling races, so I was like, okay, so that, that's out for While So, yes, I could go over and take a toothbrush and start going over my race car. And I was like, you know, I need to figure out how to make a living. You know, I don't I didn't know what was gonna happen with sponsorships and, you know, potential winnings, all this stuff that you know, I normally have going on during a season. I don't know what's gonna happen with that. I don't know if we're going to race the rest of the year, you know, so, you know, first everyone's going forward, thought they were gonna have races and then it got held off and I thought, you know, this, this could go on all summer. Anyway, so I turned around and kind of focused on my work stuff and was brainstorming and and kind of stepping out of my normal trying to find business and dig up some business calling other companies seeing if they needed help with some of their work. So I've got it. I had an installation crew, I was trying to keep busy. So I spent all day kind of doing that for a while.

Wyatt Pemberton :

That'll happen. They're things starting to turn around a little bit or now.

Derek West :

Yeah, so don't During this process, I ended up laying off, some of my workers know that that well, that's the best thing for them, you know, we only clean the shop so much because we, I was working into it and then we finally caught up with with our work. You're probably familiar with this, but you know, we've got some lead time. So we've got some work that's lined up. And you know, I had about three weeks worth of stuff lined up. And once we ran out of that, you know, as either I was gonna pay my guys to clean my shop and do things or you know, send them home, let them draw unemployment and in you know, with all the bonuses that were going on, they were going to come out pretty good. And so I had a talk with him and we weighed out the options. We all thought that was the best strategy. So did that and then during the process of basically turning over all these rocks, I started finding work, you know, and then I have gone back trying to get my guys to come back which proved to be a little difficult, right so one of my guys actually he went found another job. What You know, good on him he could have been lazy and sat at home and he just wasn't that type of person he found something else and that had some other guys that didn't necessarily want to come back to work just yet. I think fear of you know the virus what's going on out there you know, there's a lot of talk of people getting bad sick and die and you know, so we discussed some more and we're not around people that much with what we do so so anyway, so I got some crew back I have some new guys and we're back into the swing of things and I feel good moving forward. And you know, I still don't know what's gonna happen. I don't know if the the bad part of this economy's hideous yet or not, but so I've been back to work I've been working on racecar I hadn't even watched it from the did an outlaw bouncer race and so me and one of my guys got washed and spare chassis. So we've been scrubbing on chassis getting all cleaned up and think I'm trying to get in shape and go out and ride around Memorial Day weekend and contestant tune on some things and so hopefully likely in the background

Wyatt Pemberton :

That is outstanding that, you know, not necessarily job creation, but you've been able to kind of retain jobs. I mean, certainly you had a little bit of turnover, a little swap out of human capital. That's, that sucks. I'm sure because those guys were trained. They were guys you could lean on. You know, that's volatility in the market, right?

Derek West :

Yeah, no, no, it was a good deal for both of us. He was driving an hour and a half to work. And, you know, it was a move that we both needed to make, because distance was a problem. But like I said, I mean, it was it was great that it's great to see some people want to do something and not just sit at home and get a paycheck. So you can see he could have sat at home collected unemployment made more than what he was making. He didn't so

Wyatt Pemberton :

outstanding.

Derek West :

I like to see that.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So I got two questions on moves to separate moves, but they both you know, come to your part of the world one first question. How do you feel about if this happens and goes forward? If we're back to it, the ultra for nationals gets relocated to Davis, Oklahoma. That's almost your backyard. I mean, oh, couple hours down the road was a four hour drive for you.

Derek West :

three hour. Uh oh, I'm gonna call it six. Probably

Wyatt Pemberton :

six. Isn't that far?

Derek West :

Oh, yeah. Well, it's it's four and a half. I think Oklahoma City and I always seem to take me five and it's probably an hour and a half from Oklahoma City south. So I'm gonna call it six hours.

Wyatt Pemberton :

That's fair. But for an ultra for race. That's almost your backyard.

Derek West :

Yeah, it's super close. Absolute six hours is super close. For sure.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So that's a good deal. Right. For you excited about that in? I think you've had some success at Davis in the past.

Derek West :

Yeah. So so I'm super excited about it. I could care less about the distance. If this race was in Alaska, that's where I want to go. So Davis, Oklahoma is the best ultra for course, in my opinion, mental. It's just, it's great. It's it's kind of my jam. That's awesome.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I love that you are so excited about that. Like, I do think Davis is nice. I think it's you know, location. I mean, well, I mean, it's location of when He would and the zoo there with Joe exotics you know that's awesome right

Derek West :

yeah I'm super upset that we didn't go visit that over the past time that we've been there I saw I looked it up and it's like five miles down the road

Wyatt Pemberton :

no I knew it's crazy how close it was in not been but it was funny hearing like like Vaughn get involved getting a gun over there and out there and seen it I don't know if he ate the the Walmart pizza or whatever it is they've got going on but that's a bet he's think I bet he really thought back about that. The second move question I had for you was there's some online online rumors going by around about a fellow we all know by the name of easy Rick Mooney ham considering a relocate from Lake Havasu City, Arizona, to your neck of the woods.

Derek West :

That's what I hear. I hear you stopping by to see me in like August. So I think they're coming up to kind of look at it. So you know, it's based off of his social media. I'd say that it's a good fit for him and did you

Wyatt Pemberton :

know each other very well from like your days is like NATO teammates

Derek West :

Oh a little bit so I'm trying to think what all what all we've done so I've been thinking around him a little bit when we vacation and have a super go into the race Glen Allen or something stopped in and visit with within their hot springs he came out and gave me a ride in this car. We did a few hot laps up horsepower Hill and he's a he's a pretty cool good good guy.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I do like Rick I just I just seemed like way out of right field but then at the same time knowing him everything's kind of out of right field. So

Derek West :

for me it wasn't out of right field at all. To me it made perfect sense. There. Yeah, you know, so I follow a lot of stuff on social media and I never say a word because I'm the type of person that writes out. You know, this big long paragraph. I got no and I deleted all back out. But I follow that out and people can't understand why he's doing it and based off of what I See him posts on social media with his beliefs and everything it's just made him the business man I guess so. Yes spot on. Yeah. So getting down the away from things and producing some of your own things you know, I just you know so I don't know if you saw a Rick and had looks like he was building some sort of weekend getaway out in the country he was he

Wyatt Pemberton :

yeah they had a little Mountain House deal where they were jackhammer and a jackhammer rock to put in a basement and yeah, I think they got the basement in like cinder block, like, pretty awesome. I mean, it looked like a bunker. I mean, it looked like it probably easy to easier to do that in the Ozark Mountains. Right.

Derek West :

Yeah. So I don't know what happened there. But I assume he's wanting to do something similar out here. And there's people all over that. You'll have stuff like that around here. Yeah, those

Wyatt Pemberton :

aren't mountains or, I mean gorgeous. You know, having grown up in Kansas, we would come down to you know, I remember going to Springfield all the time as a kid where you live your hometown I've been to Branson a lot and we are remember going annually we go canoeing down a lot of the rivers there in southern Missouri, some of them end up you know, like, Is it the white that ends up going into Arkansas? I mean was like Boy Scouts and all that and it is God that part of the country is so gorgeous, it's just straight beautiful. You're blessed to live there. I mean, that's

Derek West :

Yeah, there's there's a lot of outdoorsy type of stuff to do. canoeing, we've got a ton of rivers right here, and I didn't even realize until I was somewhere else and I was like, hey, let's go canoeing. That'd be fun. And there just really wasn't you know, a lot of rivers like that to do and you know, there's no I don't know 10 Rivers maybe that go out and get on and have access to fish and canoe and so there's a lot of outdoor stuff and a lot of it I don't think of much because I live here. It is nicer and I do enjoy it.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, we talked about a bunch of other stuff, but people are dialed in, you know that they turn this on, they want to listen to who Derek West is. Derrick you hail of Springfield, Missouri. That's a pretty pretty decent sized city in South Central Missouri. You born and raised there you live there now, Queen City of the Ozarks. I remember growing up like Bass Pro Shops that was Bass Pro Shops headquarters. And I'm like the first their first big store going there and just being a young kid just you know, jaw hanging on the ground how awesome that place was. But it's also headquarter of like O'Reilly's that's pretty what we all know Riley's frequent member of a frequent flyer program, there are rallies if you're in the racing business, good place to be.

Derek West :

It is. So you know, growing up, you always think you want to move somewhere else and grass is always greener, right. So you know what we do for racing? You know, I've traveled all over the country in different places for you know, vacation, we go all around and I really enjoy going to places other beautiful parts of the country. I like going to big cities You know, they've got things to offer there that I don't have here, you know, we're 250,000, you know, size area here, but I was like coming back, you know, and there's, there's really nothing that would take me away from here, except for the cold winter, you know, I don't like don't like the cold winter, you know, and there's other places that are worse, but that that's about it. But, you know, also I feel without the winner, you know, we've got, you know, seasons here. So we've got a full four seasons of, you know, spring, summer, fall winter. And I think that's, you know, what makes summertime so nice here is you go through a winter if you've got, you know, four months or it's terrible and you don't want to go outside and then spring comes back around and then you go out and you go to one of the rivers or you know, whatever it might be out in nature, get out and drive around and really enjoy it makes you appreciate it more.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So do your mom and dad still live there? Close local or?

Derek West :

Yeah, so my dad lives. Oh, probably two miles from me. I'm on the southwest was out of town and then my mother's lives on the north side of town. So she's probably 30 minutes away.

Wyatt Pemberton :

That's not bad they and then you're married and if anyone has been around ultra for and has met you and Bennett races the odds are they met your wife Ashley. She keeps the the train on the tracks so to speak, right?

Derek West :

Oh, yeah. Yeah. And so there's this thing with race and, you know, you either gotta, you know, do really good and kick butt or, or look good being bad. So I always tell my wife that and this is, you know, years ago, so I'd say, you know, you always need to look good and you stand around me or you stand around this car because I may not do very good and they may not remember me, but they'll remember you and, and so you associate with me and we're good.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And then you'll have a daughter London. Yeah, How old's London now? She's 13 so imperfect with having your dad two miles away in your mom still, you know, fairly close. They're pretty involved grandparents. But yeah, so London is very involved with activity. So yeah, I mean, not now I guess because of all the stuff going on but otherwise she's, we were doing you know, before everything got shut down we're doing travel volleyball, you know, which is this is the first start of all this for me so she's been doing some sports with school and extracurricular stuff but you know, the travel thing was, you know, just about every weekend and go into Kansas City and Wichita on Joplin. You know, traveling around stay in the night and practices then we've got her in boot camp and private lessons and you know, so she's staying pretty busy doing that. And then in does that tear you up? Like, this is what happens to me. My son is on baseball, Kyle on that level. And we will be at tournaments and it is the selfish thoughts, but it's, he's there. You have to be there. Watch him. He's your son. You're in this case. This is your daughter. You're in Wichita. You're watching him play volleyball. But in the back of your mind, you're going, Man, I've got to get X, Y, and Z done at the shop or X, Y, and Z done on my race car, because I've got that next weekend. So like, you're doing this like cost benefit analysis of being there being happy, but also knowing that you're like, well, for every day, I'm here, that's another two Night Two hours later. I'm gonna have to stay every night this week in the shop that go through your head.

Derek West :

Oh, yeah. And so it's a balance. And so when the season first started for her, I missed quite a few games, to be honest. So because it was in King hammers. So I was gone to Colorado to Jimmy's building the car, brought it back here. So I'm spending 1215 hours a day. So I missed a few of her games. And I mean, I just there was no I couldn't put in extra time at that point.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And this isn't a new thing again. You've been racing for some years. This is she's only known her father as dad the racer, right, right. My dad's a racecar driver.

Derek West :

You So part of it, I can justify, I guess to myself is, you know, I may miss some of this time with her now, but we're going to make it up later. So I mentioned that, you know, here in Memorial weekend, we're going to go out and do something, well, we're going to take our motorhome that we have for racing, and then we're going to put a race car and a side by side on that trailer. And, you know, she's gonna get to go out and drive me around all weekend and side by side. And, you know, we'll spend a ton of time together, you know, with toys that are that we have because of racing, so it kind of balances out that way.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, I think you're teaching or something, you know, valuable, you know, work hard, play hard, you know, you work hard to get to this point to be able to enjoy life on this level. And on these terms, and I know I've seen running around in side by side, she's a there's a lot of freedom in that right. 13 years old, that cut you loose. You're good, right?

Derek West :

Absolutely. No, she's got the and I've called it up For her a little bit, you know, so I got the whip lights and bluetooth stereo so she can put on her music and I'm sure she feels pretty cool, you know, going around rocking out, so,

Wyatt Pemberton :

no, absolutely. So were you in the sports when you were a kid like her? Or?

Derek West :

Yes, I was but not, not at the level that she is. And by that level what I mean is,

Wyatt Pemberton :

we didn't really have that level then right? That level kind of?

Derek West :

Probably not. No, probably not. Not like that. I mean, who could afford to do that? You know, it's like it's, you know, crazy the amount of money that we spend traveling around and in fees and equipment and but there was you know, so whatever camps they had, we just didn't really know about it. You know, so when I was little we weren't in the right circle, I guess. And you know, so if there was a football camp or whatever, I wasn't at it. And so then when season came around, coaches were already familiar with kids are at the camps and I wasn't at the camp, but So I don't know, I did track and in football and soccer when I was really young. So anyway, so I learned what I missed out on. And I saw how the coaches looked at those kids. And, you know, so I talked with, with actually my wife and said, find out what camps are going on where these kids need to be, where they're going to be with the coaches, and I talked to my daughter, and make sure you talk to the coach. And, you know, it's, it's not always about talent, you know, even what I do, it's not about talent, you know, get sponsors and all that sort of thing. It's being in the right place at the right time. And, you know, making a name for yourself being remembered, you know, whatever it may be. And so I try to teach that to her. And so that's why we've got her involved in all this stuff. And she may like it, she may not, I don't know, we had her on piano because that that was one of the things as a kid that I wish my parents was like, made me do some sort of musical instruments. I think, you know, now it'd be super cool. And I thought that for a long time, so we we had our own piano for the longest time and then she just didn't want to do it and then enforcer do it.

Wyatt Pemberton :

But she got to experience it for a while. Right? That's Yeah, it's all about the experience. No, I think you're doing the right thing from a parent's standpoint, I think you're doing exactly what so many tries to accomplish as a parent you try to tilt the playing field is far in your child's favor as possible, right? You're trying to I mean, nothing's fair out there. Nothing's level there's no level ization unless you're playing like that was at the fair, free play soccer where everybody gets a trophy. It's, that's not the real world. So you're you are you're trying to give them always that leg up. And if it's that extra one on one coaching time, if that's the extra camp, it's it's an extra face time in front of coaches. You're just always trying to get them that. I don't know another way to do it. Right. I think you're doing it right.

Derek West :

Yeah. It's it's learning experience. You know, I don't know what I'm doing. You know, so a lot of what I do in life is is based off of my experience when I was a child on you know what i did wrong or didn't do, and I try to make sure that didn't happen with my daughter.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So crush motor sports. That's your race team. Ashley. Um, I love pumping her up for this. She basically runs that thing for you, right? Absolutely. Yeah, you spin the wrenches. You're the pretty face with the helmet on. She runs everything else. That's how it worked in my house anyway, that's for sure. Yeah. How did you come up with that name crush Motorsports.

Derek West :

So I almost had to go back to the beginning here. So So I had a jeep. And it was the Jeep that I first started racing wasn't my first Jeep. It was actually my third. It was the Jeep that Ashley was driving to school. She was going to college at what is now Missouri State University. It was SMS you then but so she was daily driving that. And I took it down to a race in Hot Springs, Arkansas. And so we would actually drive it down there. So I'm, gosh, when I'm I, I guess I'm 23 maybe at this point 22 or 23. And so I had a buddy that had a truck and a trailer. So he's a little older than I am. And I was you know, I didn't have any money. And this is just Jeep I, you know, I've been building jeeps since I was 15 years old. So by the time I'm 23, I've kind of got some stuff fixed up and bought and sold and traded for some stuff, but I hadn't fixed up pretty nice. So we went down hot springs, and I raced it and I hit it on the rocker real hard. fact I think that trip that was called rocker knocker, I believe a rocker thing maybe it is rocker rocker. But anyway, it hit on the rocker so hard that I couldn't close the door. And also the transfer case was slipping. So I was having to hold the in gear and I had to drive at home that way. So hot springs about five and a half hours. So I had a set of tires that my buddy would haul on his trailer And not switched the street tires out, put on some cop tires and go do that. But anyway, so on the way home she said, That's it, we're getting me another car. So anyway, so I had it all beat up so I ended up repainting it so Ashley's dad is a painter. No so he fixes, fixes autos is what he does. And so we painted it and try to remember how I even came up with this color. Anyway, so the color that I came up was called Orange Crush. So my jeep we needed that g crush it was basically named off the color you know whatever I guess I was young I thought you know people have a crush on the Jeep or me or who knows what I was thinking back then but so anyway, so that name kind of stuck and and always for whatever reason like to name things something a business name and not use my name. And so I crest motor sports was actually actually hated that from day one. So now You know, I don't you see my shirt. So now she's branding me very hard with Derek West racing.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Derek West racing number 20.

Derek West :

Yeah, but that's Chris Motorsports. So that's where that came about.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And I probably missed that in the complete intro of introducing you and I apologize for that right now. But yeah, Derek, Derek is the 4400. Driver. Number 20. Jimmy's four by four racing. Yeah. Number 20.

Derek West :

And I've got stories about my number that will clear up some things probably.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Let's get there right after a couple of things here in the middle as we will cover that when we talk racing. Let's talk work for a second. You mentioned earlier, you're in the solar you will one you as we talked about what's going on with COVID and employees and work and all that. It's very clear. You're entrepreneur, you own your own business today. Solar Energy Services. You guys do rooftop solar. Residential. Do you guys do some commercial? We do. Okay. I remember When you started this and thinking, Wow, that's cool. He's kind of ahead of the game. I wonder how big that market is. And obviously, it's blown up since then. So is that three, four years old now? Five years.

Derek West :

So I've been in the solar business for 13 years, I believe. But I've had my own company for six or seven now. Okay, so yeah, so solar has well, loud backup. So 13 years ago, when I got into solar, which was with my stepfather who'd been doing it for 20 years, it was a little out there, people didn't know about it, and does that really work and you know, so it was a whole different field than what it is now. Of course, we're here in the Ozarks. So this is why I'm saying I can relate to Rick Mooney, ham with Lee wants to do so we do a whole lot of preparedness, bunker type of places, people live off grid, have their own power, make their own food, you know, very self sustaining. So I've got a lot of experience. With that, because that's back then that's what you did with solar. They have what's called grid tied or net metering, where you have solar panels that go to an inverter. And then you use the utility grid to store your energy so you don't even have batteries. When I first started doing solar, you couldn't do that legally in the state of Missouri. So I learned, you know, personal and have to have batteries to store their energy. So I learned on doing that, and that type of clientele was generally a survivalist or prepare, you know, so this is, you know, my stepfather went through the y2k era where everybody thought that everything was gonna crash because you know, the computers were going to die or whatever. Then we had some ice storms here in 2008, which is our tooth there. 2007 So I started doing this just slightly after that. learned everything installation, pricing systems and sales and since I was a little kid, you know, I thought I would be my boss, you know, I thought I'd be my own boss. And you know that the timing came, you know. So finally the opportunity was here. And I was in a place where I could do it. And I had to Ashley, my wife, who knew how to do all the bookkeeping side of things and keep that straight. And I could focus on the business of, you know, kind of the nuts and bolts of things. And we've been doing it ever since. And that's still what we're doing. And we've got a great partnership together doing it. And I think we appreciate each other more, because we lean on each other and we rely on each other. And I think it's been a good thing for us.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And I think you guys are on the right side of it. I think rooftop solar is the future for residential, I think solar in general. I think I'm in the power business myself, you know, from electricity, power production, manage a fleet, a gas, fired a fleet of a geo thermals. And then at the end of my career doing that there was a lot of wind farms came on some solar farms that were We, we manage output for, but we saw the penetration of rooftop solar into the daily grid and with like you said net metering, net metering, I think is the most genius thing for residential and commercial that could have ever happened before that the utilities were against it. You know, they didn't want the rooftop guy that the local guy, your survivalist or sustainability guy, just willy nilly pushing electrons out to the grid off of their rooftop unit. Now, the Times have changed, you know, with a, you know, zero carbon footprint. Now you have the ability to if you have your own rooftop solar, you get a net meter, and I guess I should, I'll let you do it. Describe net metering.

Derek West :

So net metering is the process where you would have an agreement between you and your utility provider. So at that point, you become your own individual power station. And so, you know, I guess what rooftop solar looks like is you've got a neighborhood and let's say you got maybe 10 houses. So those 10 houses on a nice sunny day are providing the power for their house. And then they're sending their excess electricity backwards through the meter into the grid system, which then is getting used by other houses instantaneously. But then you build credits into the meter. And so now you're able to, you know, it's in a sense, store your energy out there in the grid. And then so at night, when the sun is down, you now pull energy from the grid, which at that time instantaneously is coming from, you know, whatever your power source is the coal plant or hydro or whatever. And your goal is to try to net out or you don't have a zero bill. So you're you're trying to produce your own energy

Wyatt Pemberton :

for you guys in Missouri. Can it ever go positive where you could actually produce more than you consume in a month and get paid for it or is the best you can do? Zero,

Derek West :

so no, you can get a credit and I will get To depth of how it works, because it gets a little confusing, but you know, basically, if you produce more than what you use, you're going to get a credit. You can carry that over to the next month. That's in Missouri other every state is different. So it's a state by state law. Some states have where you can, you know, maybe if when you produce more than what you use, you're getting paid a certain rate, but not not in Missouri. So here in Missouri, so what I do is I take a person's utility usage, and I break it down monthly, so I look at it for 12 months of the year. And then I design a solar power system, you know, on their roof, you know, so I actually have a software program where I go through satellite imagery, and I design something on the roof and it takes into account the angle and where it's at and how it's pointing and all these factors. And I tried to design something that closely matches what a person's usage was for the previous 12 months. You know, So that's where we're trying to get as close to we can as netting out, but generally on average, about a 70 to 80% of their overall electrical usage is what I'm what I'm shooting for.

Wyatt Pemberton :

But that's amazing in and of itself, right? That's a massive reduction.

Derek West :

Yeah. Yeah, it is. There's warranties so you can do you know, what I'm offering now is 25 year warranties on all the products, you know, so it's a long term investment. And so I've came up with these warranties to put in place to protect people, you know, because, you know, when you have your own power system, you're kind of on the hook for maintaining it.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So you get some long term service agreements with these guys, as

Derek West :

well. So it's done to the manufacturers. Okay, up front, I buy extended warranty, you know, for the electronics for the inverters. I'm a certified partner with my solar panels. So I'm able to offer 25 year warranty with them and, you know, depending on what electric rates do what utility company they're with, it's any Where from seven to 15 year payback on a system that you're going to have for 25 years because that's what it's warranted

Wyatt Pemberton :

for. But you also, from a business standpoint, you're the guy who's gonna get the call when there's something wrong with it. Even outside, you're gonna get the service call, right? You're the one who's gonna go do the repair. So there's service work available with this business, right? Correct. That's awesome.

Intro/Outro :

Stay tuned. Your talent tank is in full yet.

Wyatt Pemberton :

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Intro/Outro :

Now back to the show.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So I saw some stuff about and this is what I know about you from the racing world and your ability to take what you're working on and make it better. Like you're not a you're not a racecar builder. You your cars come from Jimmy's four by four, but you've always refined them to be better and more efficient and fitting you for what you see working for you. So I saw you doing that with your solar installs. You've adjusted them and you've ran the wiring a certain way. And you've, you know, and it was something I'd never thought about was just the cabling that comes off the back of the solar photovoltaics. Well, I saw that somewhere, right?

Derek West :

Yeah, all day.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, there you go. The cabling that came off, you know, you've made a point and it was something I would have never thought of that. Most installers. Maybe they just lay that cabling. It just lays there on the roof underneath the panels and you kind of never see it but you're right, you know, you get snow or ice or leaves nixie know that stuff is creating something of a dam on the roof and catching stuff. And you have a video I saw you had created a little system to clip that up. So it follows the you know, it's just clean wiring, and we've all seen like the backside of like the Campbells race dashes and how beautifully they're wired. This is the same similar instance. You were Doing it to the PV cells. I was awesome.

Derek West :

Yeah. And, and so that's a perfect analogy because that's what I think about is, you know, I want my, my work of what I do to be looked at in that light, which you know, just like the Campbell's because So back in when I first started in this in 2008. So we were one of two or three solar companies around in the state. You know, there just wasn't hardly anybody now there is 30 solar companies within 15 miles of me, and they all slap stuff up there in a hurry. And that's just a big pet peeve of mine is to do it right the first time and be proud of what you're doing. This is this is all stuff I've learned from racing. And it's because with racing, you know, especially as we got into endurance, you know, my stuff started getting cleaned up, you know when you built a car to do rock RX Ra, you could have problems because all you had to do was go for a few minutes at a time and then you had a break and you could fix something. Well, with endurance racing, we can't whatever you start with is what you end with, or you know, otherwise it kills you somewhere in the middle. So I learned that things need to be done. Right. And I mean, they need to be perfect. And so I that absolutely followed into my work ethic. Love just making things right, because that's, I mean, that's how it should be. And if you want the last, you know, it has to be

Wyatt Pemberton :

it's your racing program has taken your quality control through the roof. That's obvious.

Derek West :

Yeah. Because I mean, I'll have to say as growing up, I was not at the OCD. It's got to be perfect, just right person. So I have learned that and develop that trait, specifically, you know, through racing.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Now, as we've seen racing have evolved. Oh, I specifically say ultra for racing, off road racing, you know, all the way back to, you know, cow rocks, Mo rock x Ra. We'll talk about those guys here in a little bit. in that era, but going from there to where we are today in 4400, we've seen technology advanced leaps and bounds like no other. But we've also seen that those technology advances happen in solar. Correct. Has the technology in the panels that you were installing 13 years ago, gotten immensely better over that timeframe? I can read about it. But here I've got you here. Ulu the horse's mouth. You can talk to us directly about what you've seen as a solar subject matter expert. I didn't realize I was gonna get that out of you. But uh, I'm so curious right now.

Derek West :

So solar panels, I'm gonna say no, there has not been quantum leaps. So have they gotten better? Yes. So solar panels are rated in efficiency. So a solar panel, an average solar panel is roughly 40 inches wide and 66 inches long. So when I first began doing this, we were around 200 watts on that. size of a panel. Today I'm installing 315 watts in the same physical size. So yes, it's a third better up. And that came in for me incrementally, though. So it was 200 watts. And then a few months later, it was a 205 and a 210. And a 215. On what it has to do with is their silicon wafers and the solar panels, and it has to do with how thin they can get those. And so that, you know, the technology keeps getting thinner and thinner and thinner, which boosts the efficiency, you know, so that's just been a slow, gradual thing. The electronic side of things is where I feel like there's been more of advance of how they harvest painting power from the solar panels, ease of how to what's called string solar panels together. So generally, when you have a solar panel system, you've got to hook them together, somehow. And so you put, let's just say 10 of them together in a series, which would give you, you know, 400 volts or something. And so the converter technology has allowed that to be much more flexible, which is easier on designers which trickles all the way down to the customer. So the electronic side of things is where I feel the biggest jump in technology has been.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So are those panels, the same panels you're putting on a residential rooftop. So those kind of the same panels that we see out in a solar farm fields are is there as a big difference between what you see out there and what you see with what you're doing?

Derek West :

So the solar panels that I'm doing today, I would say are probably very similar technology to the first one that was made, which I think was like 1954, which is in the Smithsonian. So they look different, but it's the same, same thing happening, it's the same process. So yes, so same thing on a solar field, you know, only difference of solar fields. As they may have some sort of racking system that moves or rotates on follows the sun kind of like a sunflower. Yeah, but other than it's, you know, there is no, all the technology that I'm aware of is all the same. So you've got, you know, the light strikes the solar panels, which excites the electrons, they start moving around inside there, which creates energy.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, I hope everybody listening picks up a you know, something they didn't expect to get out of this conversation today. I always try to bring more than just the racing game and you just added a whole bunch of value to me, has just told me a bunch about solar that I had kind of really not a lot of information on it.

Derek West :

Yeah, so the the solar panels themselves is what I know the least about probably, you know, I don't make solar panels, you know, so I buy them. I don't know a whole lot about you know, equipment and as far as how the process actually works, I know a little bit about it, you know, so my specialty is designing and putting Adding everything together you know making it all work making a system out of the parts and pieces that are available

Wyatt Pemberton :

while inspecting right you you have the capability that you to come in and you're not overspending somebody's getting them to spend a whole bunch of money they didn't need to but then you're also not under specking them and where it would be an anemic system where they just wouldn't see the gains that they can be capable of seeing. Right

Derek West :

right. Yeah, and then so also so along the way Oh, I guess it's been a year ago or so I got my master's electrical license. You know, so I've I've learned a lot and studied a lot. And you know, there's it is an evolving industry and it's changing all the time. But it's fun. I like it and I enjoy what I do.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, congratulations on your masters. Hopefully. There's not a bunch of ultra for guys that start calling you going Hey, can you fly out here to Nevada and put in my solar because they trust you love you know you but at the same time, it also be pretty cool if you end up putting Guys to work on a traveling team, right?

Derek West :

Yeah, no. And I you'd be surprised I get quite a few messages of people asking, you know different things and I'm all about helping people. So no problems there.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, let's talk off road and in racing here, let's kind of get into this. Thank you everyone for for listening to that, uh, hopefully somebody glean some nuggets on that and help somebody in their future renewables even if it's 10 years from now, you think back and you're like, you know, I listened to a podcast way back in 2020. about a guy talking about some rooftop solar. Let me let me dig that back up that that scratched an itch for me. 15 years old Derrick West, your dad, he trades for a jeep. You said it was a white a piece of shit. big ol POS but you learned that you start learning how to wrench on it. Your dad loved it. Is that about where the start was? Did the hook really get set there or did the hook get set later in life? About off roading being outside ranch Being able to do what you do today as far as your race opps go.

Derek West :

Yeah, so my dad worked a deal for this Jeep which I think had a trade value of $800 it was a 76 cJ five, and I'm not for sure if he was doing it for me or for him. My dad grew up with lots of Jeep so he had Willies and renegades and you know, the screamin eagle on the on the you know, eagle on the hood and you know, some some pretty neat stuff as far as what he had for for vehicles and found this old CJ five that was rusted out and sitting down. So we traded on it, and that's and I had no aspirations to off road or do anything or didn't know what I was doing and that we had it and didn't need work and we started on it.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And then did you work on it with your dad? Does he teach you teach you how to wrench so many guys don't end up having someone that teaches them how to wrench they learn from somebody?

Derek West :

Yeah, so I have learned quite a bit from my dad doing breaks and different things. I mean he always had me working and doing things which at the time I thought was horrible as a kid having to do some of the work these having to do but now I look back and you know, he was teaching me things. So first off was its it went to the body shop, so you know, he wasn't a painter or you know, didn't number one, the body guy and had quite a bit of rust the floorboards are rusted out. So he took it down to a body guy, and he had it for quite a while. But then he struck a deal with a guy that specialized in jeeps. This was in a town that's no 20 minutes or so from Springfield, basically, via some repairs and some different things. And of course, my dad's all about fixing something up making it better and rotten it. He was an old Corvette racer, so he was a drag racer, and he was pretty good. You know, wants some State Championships in the class he was in. And

Wyatt Pemberton :

there it is. There's the racing like the racing was in your blood. Well, it is,

Derek West :

you know, so, yeah, in fact, I need to go dig out his trophy. He's got a bunch of trophies and won quite a bit of stuff. And I have always looked at as like, Well, you know, my dad was in the race. And I was in racing, because I, you know, I don't know how I got what gave me the drive to do this. You know, I didn't grow up with with my dad racing. You know, he'd done it before I was around. But anyway, so he struck a deal with the guy to work on the Jeep. And but as part of the deal, I had to go down there, and he had to show me teach me how to do that, you know, so that's where I learned how to pack bearings and just lots of different things that I had never done before.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So there probably wasn't a discount, your dad probably had to pay double,

Derek West :

Probably so. So now that was at John's four by four and Moore's john Lloyd. And, I mean, he was pretty patient. You know, he was You know, I ended up being a good really lifelong friend and my first sponsor, you know, once I did get into racing, but that that's where it all started. He was teaching me how to do this. And I guess once I started, I wanted more and next thing you know, or for swapping axles and transmissions and motors and putting ARV lockers in and lifts and

Wyatt Pemberton :

so you're pretty into trail riding by that point then right

Derek West :

couple Jeep clubs. So trying to think of the timeline how that all went down. So I had a 76 cJ five that had a paint job lift kit with 33 inch tires, the 304 va which it did not come with it had 258 you know, we'd swap that in and put a four speed transmission in it and so that it was it was a pretty good little pavement pounder. So me and my buddies would cruise around town and and back then there wasn't a lot of jeeps cruising around like there are today. No today there is a Jeep everywhere everywhere.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I mean, how long was the rear drive shaft on that thing? 10 inches. Well yeah, that was a you know, that was something I also learned because you had you had to get the CV driveshaft because you know, the 30 threes and vertical it's an elevator.

Derek West :

Yeah, yeah. So yeah, a few power shifts and through that thing out of there. Now let's have a little x or app and so that you know, just always so then you learn you figure out how to adapt and make that hold up. And now that was fun. cruise around town and we got to where we're going down to the lake, so there's lots of lakes around me. We'd go down there and go camping and trail ride around down there. And then of course, I was trail riding with with john Lloyd, you know, and they were doing real off roading. You know, they weren't just trail road and they were going to obstacles and they knew where the obstacles were. And so that's what started getting me more and more into it. And so by the time I got into the Jeep club, I had actually got rid of that Jeep, which by the time I've got rid of it It had her right before I guess I should say. I had Dana 44 axles that were sprung over out of a scout so they were wider. But I bought a 93 Wrangler because my my big hold back with my 76 cJ five was that carburetor and as soon as you start doing some harm that they cut out and get some gas in there so so I got a 93 Wrangler just for the fuel injection. longer wheelbase didn't hurt either, I guess but I swapped the axles. I took the axles out of that CJ five and put them underneath the Wrangler. Now that think about it, I don't remember what I put on the CJ five I guess I got some stock axles or I don't know. But so I did all this in my driveway of the house, which you know, I'm sure the neighbors appreciated that

Wyatt Pemberton :

we've all been there. We've all done it right.

Derek West :

And then yeah, so I got involved with the Jeep club and the Jeep club kind of formed. Because g was having camp Jeep in Branson, and so basically they needed somebody to make all these trails and then guide the trails. And so we had this Jeep club that kind of formed over that. And a bunch of us got a pretty tight bond, because we were out, working every day cutting trails. And then we did, we're the trail leaders for camp Jeep, and we're involved with that. Now, that was a fun experience.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And then somewhere in there, those guys, a couple of them went, did a comp somewhere, they went to a camp and they came back and they told you, they're like, dude, you could have won this, or you could have done really well. And you're like, well, what is it?

Derek West :

Yeah. And so I guess I kind of had a competitive nature or a drive to do things that other guys couldn't. So we would go out on a club trail run, you know, there'd be a hard obstacle and some guys go around it or whatever. Well, I was determined, I was going to make this and I was gonna make it the easiest and, you know, so, so I kind of had that reputation and so It was actually my co driver, Richie Keller and his brother, Kyle Keller, who I still associate with quite often. In fact, I talked to Kyle today, you know, and this is,

Wyatt Pemberton :

gosh, 20 years ago, man, I love rich Keller. That guy is awesome. I even think I texted or something about or it was on the list to talk about was I missed that guy. That guy was kind of a party animal, but also just kind of cool, mellow, like, things wouldn't get out of hand with Richie around. you'd laugh.

Derek West :

Yeah, no, he liked have a good time. He's a great guy. And yeah, so I mean, we've we've done a ton of stuff together. But yeah, so reaching his brother were down at this event. I think the event they're at was at birds adventure center in Cass Arkansas. They had had a race. It may have been a mud stock race. I'm not for sure. But anyway, there's some sort of obstacle and none of the guys could even make it and so they came back and told me this and at the time, I was racing an ATV so I had a Honda 400 dX and got some buddies I've got into that with and was racing. But in the back of my mind, I was like, man, I see these guys wreck on the first corner all the time as soon as I'm gonna wreck on or break my arm and break my leg and, you know, like it's telling you I don't have any money. So as soon as that happens now I can't work and you know, I bought a house so I own a house and I'm gonna go bankrupt. You know, this is ridiculous. And so I was like, yeah, maybe that's what they're saying. Yeah, maybe I could do that. I could have a roll cage and seatbelts and you know, just it's a lot safer. It's what I thought

Wyatt Pemberton :

with age comes the cage, right?

Derek West :

Iran so I I kind of started working towards that, that goal and so my chief had been willing just have the factory cage it didn't have a full roll cage. So so I bought a kit that was a B and was an ER or somebody made this kit. It was you know, you buy the kit welded in. So I got that Notice the hidden rules for where I was going to race, I had to get all the stuff to meet the rules. And so I did that went out and raced and won my first race. That's awesome. And that was my first taste of it. And I was like, Man, it's like that trail riding. That's for the birth, as like this go on fast. And, you know, it's just just letting it all out. And you know, it's just, it was just a different sensation. And I was hooked.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So here we are 18 years later. Yeah. I'm gonna actually probably flip this portion of the interview backwards. I think, you know, the right way to go about this is to really talk about what all you've done and accomplished and all that and go through that, and we're going to do that. But I want to ask you a question up front versus asked you a question at the end. You've been a competitor for 18 years, your name is always in the conversation. Even back in the Zarya days. When we first when I first got into off road racing. You were the guy like in the East Coast if you ended up in it. chance to be ahead of Derrick West in some form or fashion. You knew that Derrick had had a bad day. That was it like it wasn't, you weren't gonna straight up beat him. Typically, it was. He'd had a bad day. On some level. That was how you were gonna be. That's how we were gonna get ahead of you. That's how I remembered anyway. So how do you do it? How do you continue? And I've asked Chris May the same conversation, the same question, because he's been able to stay involved and competitive for so many years. Just day in day out race and race out month after month after year after year. Is there ever burnout? Are you cyclical? How do you do it? What is the Derrick West's secret sauce on continuing to prep your car loaded in the box and go race?

Derek West :

Yeah, man, that's, that's tough. So in the beginning, you know, I was younger, I was new at it had a lot to prove maybe. And so I had a ton of drive and you know, I wanted to succeed and and of course in the beginning you You know, Richard and I are traveling around and, you know, sort of traveling all over the country and, you know, like I keep saying I didn't have any money so I tell riches, okay, if we don't win this next race, we can't afford to go to the other one. So, I mean, there's that drive, you know, so there's drive a I want to win and then there's B there's the drive if we don't when we're done, you know, we can't you know, the entry fees weren't always cheap, you know, and so for a young guy trying to maintain a race car and you know, it's just stock modified Jeep at that point in the beginning, but you know, even as I got into the pro modified You know, it was so me Richie and Kyle built my first pro modified that I was racing an xR re so I did it on the cheap and john Lloyd's shop at John's four by four because he wanted to help me you know, so I you know, I built this car ridiculously cheap. And I never even wanted to go on that class because I was scared of the cost of everything scared of the cost of ownership of the buggy scared of you know, could I Do good, that feel the drive? That's awesome.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, I mean, it's just where you harness everyone harnesses motivation differently, and they pull on motivation from different places. I think it's kind of the, I'm gonna say this way, like when you're when you're racing, are you the hair? Or are you the hound? You know? Or do you like being chased? Or do you like being the chin? So when it comes to like motivation, we draw motivation from different ways in different places and different, just all over. And yours is some Yeah, yours was, well, I wouldn't be able to do it again, if I didn't do good this time. So that's my motivation. Do good now, then I can have a shot at it again, I get another cut at it.

Derek West :

Yeah. And so, you know, in the beginning, I had so much drive and you know, for so many different reasons. And you know, I'd go out and do something completely unrelated to racing and I would get inspired and, you know, I'd see somebody do good at whatever it is. Whatever they do, maybe it's a musician or whatever. And I said, Man, that that dude is really good at what they do that makes me want to be good at what I do. And so 18 years, 19 years later, whatever, you know, it's difficult to keep that drive, you know, so you're doing the same you got to prep this car and you got to clean it and scrub the bare chassis and all the stuff that's associated with it, you know, now it's you got to do these press releases and make sure you don't forget any of your sponsors. And, you know, there's just all this stuff that goes along with this.

Wyatt Pemberton :

It makes it not fun, right? It sucks the fun out of it to an extent

Derek West :

I'm not gonna say is, it's not fun. I guess maybe it's, it's difficult. It becomes work, you know. So now I took this thing that I loved and I turned it into a job.

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Wyatt Pemberton :

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Now back to the show.

Derek West :

So one of your questions kind of your probes going into this, you know who's someone that motivates you? Then I left it blank. I thought about that afterwards. And I was like, man, if I lost my my drive my motivation that bad that, you know, I don't even know what to put here. And so I've been thinking about it thinking about it. Have you been watching the Michael Jordan? I have

Wyatt Pemberton :

not document. I've been told to watch it. It is certainly queued up has not happened.

Derek West :

And I've been thinking about this because I didn't answer your question. And I've watched this man Michael Jordan, go ups and downs but the determination and the drive that he has, you know, is unreal. You know, I guess and you know so again I now have watched him do that and so that kind of inspires me and I think you know so here I am an old you know washed up racer but you know I'm gonna find some stuff to get some drive and do better I'm excited this year I've got a new car so you know every time I get out and race I love in you know that's that's some drive so the problem is because the real works in the shop so how do I keep myself motivated in the shop to keep the car prepped and things moving along? And you know if I want to continue racing, I need to be making sponsor phone calls and you know, if I just sit on my hands and don't do that stuff, then you know, I'm not I'm not getting anywhere I'm not advancing You know, I'm through So, so I've been I've been thinking about that. So you've kind of sparked some inspiration in me to think about different things and you know, as I figured I've I've kind of fallen off a little bit on my my drive My motivations like what I used to have and

Wyatt Pemberton :

well no, I don't know if you've fallen off I'm gonna lay this on you it's cyclical right you know you're gonna have some some low moments and high moans you're gonna be an overachiever, you know, sometimes and underachiever. And in the end, it equals out the Eagles out that you still be able to compete. I will tell you that the 2008 2009 Derrick, I remember racing a Hannibal, Missouri Xsara event, and there was this huge Cliff drop off, that Weaver said put in the course, it was truly, if you do this, it's certainly going to make you faster, you're gonna definitely finish the course faster. But it was like, I'm gonna say it was a 20 foot drop. And you I don't know, maybe you were the third line, the third set of cars to go It was pretty early in it. And you shot off of that drop, like a 20 foot drop and all of us in line. We're just like, well, we're going off the drop. There wasn't a question then it was like nobody wanted to do it. But then you did it and it was like well I have to do that now. Like there's just no and I actually have a, what's not on my wall anymore, is it, it might be on the wall at my shop. But some photog they're caught me coming off of that, and basically landing on the nose, and then your full wide open throttle trying to drive out from underneath the roll. Because the rear is trying to pass you on the top and you're trying to drive out from underneath it with the front. You set the bar in that competition by going off of that thing, and everyone was like, there was f bombs dropped with your name on them. But that was the motivation you set that bar and I think today, I think you're gonna find those things that set that bar for you. Maybe it's Michael Jordan. I don't I don't know by. I see right now people look at you, and you're setting the bar really high. You might not recognize or realize that you are the ones setting the bar for so many people and they are just you're motivating them. So when you can turn around and look at that. It's gonna make you feel pretty Right.

Derek West :

Yeah, so now we did some incredible things back then, somehow I managed to put together a buggy, and still drove it. Like, I didn't care. I didn't care what I had invested. I wasn't thinking about, you know, scratching the paint doing anything. It was all about winning and doing good. And, you know, that changes a little bit. I feel like for me, you know, maybe I'm just older but you know, the cars gets way more expensive and now I'm worried about tearing stuff up and having to fix it. You know, I think that's the problem is I know I have to fix it. I think I tore stuff up enough times. I've had to fix it. So because there's another time Hannibal at a we rock event, there was this huge crazy drop off. I thought, you know, I don't even think I can make this but I'm going to I'm going to try and I tore up so much stuff. You know, you got to cut the tubing out and add stuff in and, you know, part of that I think hurts my drive to do things anymore. You know, I guess I was young and

Wyatt Pemberton :

dumb and well as you get older, you certainly do temper your actions with wisdom.

Derek West :

Yeah. So by those I don't know, that was a good time for me. You know, the the first X ray race that I went to I won as I was crazy because I didn't know what to expect. And I was going out there racing I'd been racing in the stock modified class for four years or you know, five years whatever it was and jumped up the class and you know, I thought all these guys are gonna, you know, they're gonna be so good and they're gonna beat me or whatever. But you know, it's just same people just different equipment. So right.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I mean, you've been involved since the beginning. Again, I'm reiterate this 18 years of campaign offer bracing you were there for cow rocks. I had not read the word mo rock in a very, very, very Long time that brought back some flashbacks mo rock we rock then X ray we're familiar with all these dirt Riot you know big riches deal which that sad to see dirt right go away you know that some grassroots ultra for racing in my book I think I thought it was good for good for the system anyway then of course ultra for in your 4400 driver there and have been since the beginning and then lately you've been doing a outlaw off road and that's effectively it's kind of like xR a right but rock bouncing its courses up hills it's a lot shorter drive.

Derek West :

It's really low stakes are there even two course two courses side by side.

Wyatt Pemberton :

But mud though it seems like every every time I see something with you from outlaw you've either wanted or you're on the podium but y'all are covered in mud. Do you love mud? It rains here

Derek West :

So it It's, uh, there's no mud. It's just well so I, you know, I've got my cut tires on so they are flat, slinging it. And you know, they'll generally run us across the small creek or something. It seems like but but there's no, you know, it's just what, just as what is their environment? Yeah.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So Jimmy's the when I first first you know came to know who Derrick West was you you you had a Jimmy's buggy and you've always had a Jimmy's car back in those early days How did you end up in a Jimmy's car How did you end up talking to Randy rod developing a relationship with that guy. I mean even today, I know you guys vacation together you know go skiing together and whatnot. What was the point way back then in the mid 2000s that you ended up in Jimmy's car to begin with and then about that relationship developing all the way through today.

Derek West :

So I was doing we rock stock modified with my G same g the orange, crusty And, you know, said was on revision 10, or whatever. And I just felt like the class was going nowhere. So I liked the class and I thought, you know, this is the start modifieds drivers class should be the manufacturers class, but nobody's paying attention. So and back then the pro modified was the main class. Basically, I just got frustrated enough that I was ready to jump a class which scared me because financial, I didn't know how I could do it. So that pushed me to figure out how to do this. So I made a call to Jimmy's four by four and of course, you know, what's the first thing you do when you call Jimmy's four by four? He says Jimmy there. So of course, rainy rod is jewelry. And, of course, he never skips a beat. Yeah, this Yeah. And you got him. Yeah, you got him in to this day. I still call him Jimmy Sims. It's uh, but anyway, so he we spoke He kind of did Google me, I guess and search me out a little bit and, you know, I just caught him at the right time where he was trying to grow his business and things worked. So, you know, he helped me with the roller chassis, you know, so I got lucky from him, brought it home. And of course, you know, so they were doing X ray stuff and they were, you know, in the Farmington and Moab and all that area. So there,

Wyatt Pemberton :

there was a lot of cars in that kind of era that were Jimmy started. We had like Kim Sears had hers. Brian Shirley was in one. I believe, like Mike mcclurg built one at one point. Did rusty Bray hava Jimmy's car one point. No, no. Yeah. It seemed like there was a lot more than that. But then they multiplied

Derek West :

they were getting magazine covers, you know, back then he had the air graphics guide, doing the airbrushing you're on the cars and so they had this, you know, this different look and you know, so they really stood out and that's it was just some noon tubing was just different the car slipped you know just me you know like they're just sitting there just you know ready to rip and

Wyatt Pemberton :

and he was cranking them out of it you know that the backside of that the back garage the back shop out of his dad's transmission shop there and Cortez yeah now not me now look where Randy is he's got that really nice you know setup out there kind of north west of Cortez, you know out beautiful view no matter which way you look. 360 degrees beautiful view from the shop versus the old the old shop being on, like right on their main drag with a couple of containers, shipping containers out back that he'd stash buggies in? Yeah, come on. And you know, it really wasn't that many years ago. That was 10 years ago, eight, nine years ago. I don't know how long they've been in the new building, but it doesn't seem it seems like a long time. But then when I think about I remember stopping at the old shop in 2010 or 2011. Somewhere in there anyway. Yeah.

Derek West :

Yeah. So when I was I was just out there. Oh, no. November I guess of last year, if you know for this new car that I just built the end, they had a parade in town and I walked over and I walked by that old shop and, you know, thought about the memories that I've had there and the time that I spent in that shop and it's it's still there looks the same.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Oh, yeah. Right. Yeah, man. So uh, Randy in new. You guys have worked together for so many years. I mean, that's like having a conversation with like, Lauren Haley about Randy or having a conversation like Nick Nelson about Randy. It seemed like you guys that end up in a Jimmy's car at one point. They're always in one for life. Like that's how the customer service. Jimmy's Well, let's talk about joining the Jimmy's army. I mean, you end up access to ready built race program ready built race support right from day one. When you sign the dotted line. They have one bill

Derek West :

fair? Absolutely. As part of, you know what I do with Randy and how Randy has helped me through the years so they develop the Jamie's army and so I always felt that I was part of, you know, somebody that should help facilitate that. You know, so I would always try to go out of my way to guys that were part of the Jimmy's army to you know, hey, if you need something, you know, especially these guys who go out and buy their new they bought a car, you know and I'm here I want to help you know they're helping Jimmy's who's helping me and you know, so it was kind of this this big team thing and Yes, that was fun to be part of.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And then they all you know rainy always gets like the extra big tent or used to I yeah, definitely the extra big tent out of CO H, where it's like 10 teams racing out of the big tent.

Derek West :

Yeah, there was. And I want to say there's even more than 10 teams and their time is crazy the first time he got that thing. So this huge tent, it's heated, air conditioned. That was nuts. Yeah, yeah. I made a statement.

Wyatt Pemberton :

When I first met you, you were BFG guy, but Randy converted you for those that don't know, because I didn't know this until you know maybe four or five years ago, but Randy rod was the guy who really ended up with nitto and introducing nitto to rock sports and then pushing the nitto brand in rock sports. And then you know, will we know where it is today in how heavily involved they are and ultra for, but that's how that was the connection, how you ended up being a ninja driver.

Derek West :

It is, you know, so without Randy and Jamie's, you know, I definitely wouldn't have had that relationship. So that spawned for me based off of that. But Randy had basically hounded and stayed on top of the NATO guy for two or three years before ever getting NATO to come over and come on board and start getting involved. So I don't know that they'd ever been involved with our sport at all without him.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, I believe. I think that's a fair statement. I think that's a, as we say, as I like to say an inflection point for offroad Motorsports inflection point, right. There was Randy stain on it Oh, and getting them to the table because that's really changed that's allowed K, which grows a lot, a lot of guys to build a race that weren't able to really race before you have to pull them back their program. And it has stepped in just the right time to put tires. I mean, putting race tires on offered race cars, it's an expensive business. That's a very large chunk of your budget goes to tires. And when you can get those guys that are tire manufacturers involved in supporting the racers on that level, it all of a sudden makes racing doesn't make economic sense. I don't want to say that. But I will say it makes it a palatable, more palatable, maybe.

Derek West :

Yeah, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. So, you know, like you're saying that had been on BFG for years leading up to that and that was about the time they're pulling out and so NATO came in and filled a void. And if they hadn't, I'd probably been done long ago.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, right. km h happens right? We're xR a in it, we're living it up, you know there's nothing, nothing cooler in the world the next era, you know, it's seven minutes of racing. Six weeks of shop time, then this race happens out west. We all know about 2007 did you go the 2008 race or was 2009 your first year

Derek West :

2000 hours. My first time

Wyatt Pemberton :

in what a first time it was now. Did you break down in outer limits? Is that where you had your first issue? Well, sorter okay. The way you say that there must be more Well, the desert kicked all of our asses. I mean,

Derek West :

if you can call water in your fuel broke down then I was broke down.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I There you go. That's right. And you filled up in California. Was that California Gas?

Derek West :

Yeah, I did. And that was back to the hard lesson there. You know, and I don't know what happened but I got several hundred gallons. They're in at California. I assume I set some water in the tank somehow. And I don't know if it's just because the sheer volume that I was pumping at once, that water sucked over into, I don't know, you know, some of my guys wondered if somebody didn't put water in our fuel tanks, you know, at night or something, but I never felt it was that but, but I don't know. So, yeah, we got went to the first pit, which you know, at the time, I had a 10 gallon fuel cell, I think because that was my X ray, we rock car so I didn't have any gas and was doing gray, got gas took off, start having problems and went run and I checked all kinds of stuff, I think changed computers, tested all this stuff, and finally figured out there was gas. That was that was a day later, I got that figured out.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So my day that day, we'd had an electrical Gremlin that hit us pretty early on it kept killing my fans and then we spent some time in the main pitch But then when we got back out on course, I remember coming around these rocks and outer limits and seeing you and saying to Kelly Kaiser, holy crap, that's Derrick Derrick sitting, like, we knew that you were having a bad day if we were going to be passing you and yeah, man, that's terrible. But you came back in 2010 a year later. And you you were nearly a new king at You nearly had it it was you, Lauren, it was that easy. Rick winningham or was it Brad Lovell?

Derek West :

also easy Rick was the first physical finisher but he was for it was Lauren, rad level me and then easy, Rick that year.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And y'all came. I mean, when I say you guys came in bumper to bumper, you guys were nose to tail across the finish line within 20 feet of each other. You guys motored in it was, it was a race right to the finish. Yeah, it was close. And out of that, I mean, What did you end up finishing there? You got third? I got third. Yeah, third, but there were some lessons learned there. And this is some lessons that have actually been coming up a lot lately. And we'll Gentile brought this up on social media. It's the what is the race course? At the hammers? What is the race course? Is it the 50 foot of centerline? Or is it staying in the rocks? When you're in the canyons? And what is the spirit of the course? What is the spirit of the rule? I believe in 2010. Maybe we are naive. We believe the spirit of the racecourse was when you're in the canyons, you're running the rocks, you're running the obstacles.

Derek West :

Fair? There, right. So that's a hard thing to figure out.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And today, it's not that it's really not that it's the you're going to take the burning course even if the burning course is above and bifurcating around an obstacle. Full bypass. Yes.

Derek West :

Absolutely. Hundred percent. No question. If there is a faster line that does not have rocks in it, I want that one.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So how do you feel about that?

Derek West :

I don't have a problem with that at all, you know, racing is racing. And as long as we all know, it's not a problem. So in 2010, I was I was very green. So there's a couple of things I didn't know the courses at all. Dave cold, you know, ultra for had a drivers meeting and said, I will have people in the rocks, you stay in the rocks. And if you get out of the rocks, I'm going to have them write your number down, and you're going to get, you know, whatever the penalty was. And I think that was maybe before they had maybe done this, you know, 50 foot rule or, but anyway, I just I wasn't familiar with it. I didn't know it. And, you know, there was times where we would get on the burned in course that I would take now you know, so there's kind of like a sand road right beside the rocks, in a lot of places, and you know, I see somebody sitting on the side of the hill. And I oh my gosh is that's one of those people watching in it. And so I would we backed up and got back in the rocks and drove the rocks. You know, now I know that is not what you do. You know, unless you know this past year, they had a meeting and there were some virtual checkpoints that you had to hit in the rocks. And they told you exactly where it was. And, you know, I knew what to do. I knew where I had to be in the rocks. And I knew where I could be out of the rock. So He even told us that it was a I think it was it schooners. Now, it's not spinners. It was made its outer limits. Anyway, there's a huge bypass that people were taking the last few years and I had never been on till this year because they said, That's okay. You can do it the second lap but not the third you have to go around it. You know, so if you if a person knows that, then it's all equal. But you know, it's just it just has to be spelled out. You know exactly what it is and then it's fair.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So do you think the race needs to be longer than

Derek West :

No, I think gets plenty long. You know, there's the bypasses, you know. So if you take all the bypasses your time isn't solid hours or anything, you know, but it's faster, you know. So you can potentially pick up, you know, 1520 minutes by these little pipe passes here in there.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And that's exactly what I was driving at people that have made a big deal out of the bypasses versus not the bypasses the bypasses versus standard rocks. I don't think it's a real time issue. And like you said, There you from you your opinion is maybe 20 minutes. I don't think it's a time issue.

Derek West :

Yeah. And a lot, a lot of it's not even hard, difficult stuff. It's just you're, you're gonna gain 30 seconds right here. And so you take that and then you know, if the next guy can to then you know, that's fine.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Now, I mean, what do you think the impact to the car is over? Say that 20 minutes that you're saving? Do you think that the impact to the car itself is saving the car or do you think it's just nuisance rocks that weren't going to be a problem?

Derek West :

Well, some of its nuisance. And some of its may be a little different. You know, so there's a couple places where there's, well, you know, what I call some pinch rocks, so it gets real tight. So, you know, a narrower car can just drive right through some of the wider guys. You know, especially some of the IHS cars have gotten wide. You know, that's, it's potentially a problem for them. So if they go into it too fast, you can cut a tire or do something or, you know, you get stuck in it bind up a little bit. So, you know, there's certainly probably some areas where you could bypass and save fatigue on the car. I mean, so it's a little bit of both, but you know, we've all got opportunities, you know, so I can bypass it. So can the next guy, right? So, you know, again, as long as it's fair for everybody, it's you know, I don't know that matters if you want to, if you want to do all this stuff, all they have to do is mandate it the I think the problem becomes policing it. And so I think That's why they came out this year and said, these are virtual checkpoints, you have to be here the rest is fair game because we can't police it.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I agree with you. I'm not trying to I wasn't trying to put you on the spot Derek when it comes to the competition side of it, but at the same time, you know, there's a lot of people that have things to say or opinions to say about it. And I kind of want to just spread the wealth of knowledge on that, like what is the true impact from the eyes of the competitor from the mind that the competitor does having to do with that and I fully agree with you make the rules the same for Derek as it is for racers, one through racer 100 that same rules, you follow the same portion of course, whatever, etc, blah, blah, blah. I like the comp when when we talk about it from an endurance level. The races continue, King of hammers has continued to grow and and got longer and longer and longer. And when I look at it getting longer and longer and longer, is it getting longer because it's getting easier, or is it getting longer to make it harder, and it feels like it's getting longer. Because it's gotten easier. And so it is a waste to an end, right? the NBN. When you send the cars out at 8am, you don't want your winner to come back at noon, you want them to come back at two or three or four in the afternoon. And the way to accomplish that is, if they're taking bypasses, if they're speeding up in that portion of the course, then we need to make the course longer to get them to return them because who's going to want to brag about you know, being a winner over a four hour race? No, but I mean, it's when you're bragging right is where the toughest hardest one day hardcore race in the world, but your winners come back and four hours you can't have that, right. Yeah. And so what how long was the course this year? 200 and something and 242 45.

Derek West :

One of the longer ones or possibly the longest this year the longest?

Wyatt Pemberton :

I think so maybe three years ago, but

Derek West :

so this year's course i thought was super easy, not difficult, you know? And I don't know if it was the course, you know, the course changes a little bit, or is it me as a driver getting more used to these big rocks and having them to go negotiate them, the vehicles being able to take it more so you can go over, you know, the faster train or the train faster. I mean, but I, you know, this year, as far as that difficulty, I didn't find myself getting stuck a lot or that something was, you know, just didn't seem difficult for some reason, and I and I noticed Randy Lawson made that exact same comment and I thought, you know, that's i'd agree with him.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, that's certainly been floated. The same thing that we've said about you know about technology and technology advances. The technology that's advanced in ultra for offroad 4400 endurance offroad racing, has jumped light years in the last 10 years. So the cars that we're racing seen in 2007 2008 2009 versus what we can race today? Yeah, you can cover a lot more ground a lot more comfortably and in there surviving the survival rate of that vehicle is substantially more reliable.

Derek West :

It is so I still struggle with the reliability so um, I think you know, this year I was just plagued with problems which you know, was maybe just a new car stuff or just, you know, I don't know that's, that's the tough thing. You know, a guy can win a race every time if he can just keep his car together, right?

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, you get to the finish line. Right? So what is it a to win? You must first finish

Derek West :

every race your story starts with why was winning until

Wyatt Pemberton :

Absolutely.

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Stay tuned. Your talent tank is in Bogut.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Do you know what the entire 2020 Ultra for racing 4400 class king of the hammers podium had in common brainy Motorsports custom machine. This small family on machine shop in Fort Wayne, Indiana has been advancing offroad technology since 2003. By proud veteran owner Stan Haynes and his son Brandon and a talent heavy staff committed to pushing the Motorsports performance envelope. If those names sound familiar, they should stand up Brandon had been offered racers since before kena hammers was a thing and both are pillars of team Indiana. I'm always talking here on the talent tank about supporting those that support you. I'm struggling to think of a sanctioning body that Brandon hasn't supported in rock sports ultra for we rock pro rock just off the top of my head and I support these guys myself. My current daily driven prerunner Chevy has numerous one off custom pieces on it from rear axle flanges to custom five eighths inch lug nuts, I sent the branding ideas and they made them a reality between the brake lines a forged 4340 axle shafts all the way to their custom billet 300 m shafts branding has you covered with pretty much any custom axle shaft any spline with no size or length restrictions need a rare oddball shaft for your unit mug. They have those as well. sway bars a large inventory of rod ends big and small. They're amazing specialized lightweight racing brakes and unit bearings and numerous bolt patterns onto their line of custom carrier bearings and u joints in 1480 and 1550 flavors and about Miss mentioning their amazing milled out aluminum suspension components 7075 billet aluminum links and trailing arms if you haven't seen these you're missing out on some very aesthetically pleasing pieces of hardware. Brandon prides themselves on quality service and value probably making parts that were the made in the USA moniker No matter if it's for your daily driven Jeep Toyota Chevy prerunner or something more serious like your rock bouncer ultra for or trophy truck you're covered with a call to Indiana that I mentioned I've metal and speed racing team that runs a brand new axles at over 300 miles an hour. Yeah, to ensure you eliminate your downtime while recreational wheeling this weekend. Reduce your time to shop turning wrenches on repairs or looking to put your race car on the podium call Stan and Brandon Brandon 2604678 to eight or on the web at Brandon motorsports.com brennick is a full service machine shop that can handle everything from one off to production runs. If they don't have it, they can make it.

Intro/Outro :

Now back to the show.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So you did you you built a new car this year, but I want to jump back for a second and how you dealt with some serious adversity in your program. And tell me if this year is wrong, but I want to say it was 2011 you had a car burned down and you lost 2010 years 2010. So

Derek West :

2010 This car was brand new, and debuted at the hammers. So finish it on the lake bed, and kind of buttoned it up really the night before the race. So I got third place at that race and last by a minute and a half. So second place was 28 seconds ahead of me and You know the first place was a minute and a half they had basically and I had to stop well three different times so I had a fuel injector rails come off one of the trails so I got up and was too anxious I guess because I stopped anyway so I pinched the O ring on the fuel injector rail putting it back together so I drove with gas leaking to a pit where Stan and the brand guys tried to fix it couldn't get it fixed. So I drove it all the way into main pit still leaking gas and we had to change the we just changed the whole fuel injector out that was probably my my race to win if I was looking at over the all the years and and so that was the tough one for me. But so then moving forward. I let rusty Bray borrow that car to go do a horse race which was a call a fire forking the hammers. And so the car caught fire while he had it. I don't know what happened. You know, I had those Those issues earlier in the year with the, you know, some of those fuel injector wiring problems. I don't think it was related to that. I think what what had happened was the pressure regulator was threaded into the fuel rail. So some of the cheap fuel rails have a pipe fitting on them, you know, is what to use for seal instead of an O ring boss. Gotcha. So and But anyway, so that fuel pressure regulator was right there and I think it had just vibrated, loose plus that thing's under pressure because it's a pipe seal. So it's, you know, pressure thread seal. And I think it cracked there was free fuel which got on the manifold which started the fire,

Wyatt Pemberton :

and you're not putting that thing out. Yeah. How did you handle that? How did you bounce back from that? I mean, that's that takes the wind from the sails.

Derek West :

Oh, it did, but it didn't. You know, so at that point, if you'd watch the Michael Jordan show you to understand this. So at that point, I was I was almost relieved that I got had a break, you know, because it was just, you know, all this going on and trying to figure this out and, you know, the money part of it and just all of it, you know, just all of it's a lot. It's just a lot all the time year round. You know, it's it's a job and that gave me the first break that I'd had from this job and about eight years. So I mean, it sucks, don't get me wrong, but but at the same time, if my obligations for the rest of the year, you know, I it was like a little bit of a breather and time to regroup. And, Randy, you know, I took the car back out to Jimmy's. And Randy bailed me out, you know, he got me all fixed back up and you know, we put something together again, and I was ready to go again for the next year.

Wyatt Pemberton :

You haven't missed a king of hammers since 2009. I have not. That's a pretty solid stout standing just to be there every single year. In February. We know where Derek West is. He's on the lake bed. So before we start talking about 2020 In your new car going a couple things just we talked about you know earlier like your co h lessons learned you know you you take the easy line all that what are some what some advice you give for some new guys getting in that decide they want to get a new car, let's say they end up calling Randy and they they they buy a car from from Jimmy's. And what are some advice you give to those guys? Like GPS like being lost, like pacing the mental game? What's the stuff that works for derek derek thinks about this comes like that base load of knowledge. You need to be able to take the green flag out there.

Derek West :

That's a tough one because there's there's so much to it. Oh, it's a lot to unpack. Yeah, I feel like I can't help a new guy. I mean, there's just so I don't even know where am I gonna start and if I start talking it's too much. You know, so you you've really got to go in and and learn. And then as you start to understand now ask me questions. How can I help and how do you overcome this because you know, it's You know, I can tell you something, how to fix the problem. But if you haven't ever had that problem, you're not going to remember it when you have the problem, because it didn't make sense to you at the time. If that makes sense.

Wyatt Pemberton :

No, that is a very cool and interesting way to look at I hadn't thought about it from that angle, but I think you're spot on. We all learn different ways, but that's, uh, yeah, I think you're right, for some,

Derek West :

you know, and there's and I've had so many problems, you know, and figure it out the fix and it's, you know, mentally I don't even know where to start you know, if I was trying to help you, you know, so the biggest thing that we're I'm always short is you know, get some people you know, get you need 1015 people out there helping you you know, that's the problem I go out there and I've got two guys with me and you know, I know enough people have been around long enough that I can find some help some people to help me but you know, that's the thing is you get so spread out all these pits in different places. And that's probably the one thing is get your Lots of people help you work in the pits help you work on the car, you know, surround yourself with a good crew.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And when we talk about like really good crew it is yeah, I've heard this. I'm gonna use Lauren as example Lauren has, you know Lauren's at the top of the game, he has trouble keeping people you know, at races, the Campbells, same way, it'll just be the family at events. No one's ever going to turn down help. But what I really find cool about offroad and for racing is the teaming up. You certainly have other Jimmy's guys you can team up with but you've teamed up with other teams, you know, about splashing gas or this or that or parts or whatever. That's always been really cool. What I've really found really fascinating about racing in offroad endurance is the ease by which teams will pair up.

Derek West :

Yeah, and, you know, so from the beginning of since I've been involved with this, I've just always heard about how great our sport is how willing we are to help each other in comparison to other Motorsports, which I have not been involved with other Motorsports. So to me, it's just you, you help people. And if it's your competitor, you help him and he's, you know, you want at some point you're going to Intel,

Wyatt Pemberton :

right. All right, we're gonna jump into Well, I'm gonna hit two little things. So 2019 you have a new current 2020 and that's where I want to kind of go into how your 2020 race went here. But 2019 you had a very successful 2019 you want it Davis crossbar, and then Alp. Were you on the pole there, but I didn't I don't actually remember how your race went like, is that right?

Derek West :

Yeah, so I got the pole. And I guess I'm gonna have to think about how my race went. That's fine. I want to say we got third, we get third second. I can't remember that.

Wyatt Pemberton :

That's when you've raced for so long. Yeah, they all kind of blend together. But congratulations on your win at crossbar. I mean, you know, you still have it. What made you decide to jump out of the old car and build a new one? Be ready for this year scale. Ah, what was the catalyst?

Derek West :

Oh, it's just time. So I had kind of been starting on things and had the inspiration to build this car the year before. So I've been working with Jimmy's again. And so this car has a leading arm. And there was just a lot of time involved in CAD and trying to get the correct window to get it built and was between me and Randy and getting all my parts and so the car actually came a year later than what I had originally anticipated.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Now is this kind of setup is similar to like a, like cades. And, like David Hartman's with the engine, push back and down a little bit, and you gain a whole bunch of up travel in the front, is it similar design, or how dissimilar is it from those cars?

Derek West :

So it's the same chassis, okay, so my chassis is with what's called a 48 p, which is, you know, so it's Basically for the 4800 class, so I guess technically I've got the first 4400 pieces, that's what I call mine's a 44 P, but it is, it's the same as same chassis as their so my leap front leading arms are a little different. And I'm sure there's a handful of other different things. But yes, it's the, it's the same design. So when I first started talking with this car, about it to Randy, I said, there's there's really two things that I want to change that I want different about the car that I had, you know, previous, you know, I said, I'd like to have more up travel. You know, it seems like if I hit a real big g outer, you know, some sort of a large event in the front, it'll bottom out a little easier than what I want. And I want the ability to corner better. So the leading arm gives me more up travel, so took care of that. And then they did a whole suspension, geometry change. And I've got a car, the corners, pedals, so they nailed it.

Wyatt Pemberton :

That's excellent that you get out what you plan to get out and What do you set out to get out?

Derek West :

I mean, I think so. So I've only drove the car twice.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, yeah, but fair enough. All right coat coverts kind of screwed us here. So what went down at kth? With that car? Any any issue shock tuning, or were you guys able to? Yeah, I know like Kade and David Hartman on their 1400 cars, they were able to basically share their dope sheets for shock setups. Were you withdrawn any of that? Or did you just have to go build it all straight out of the box and go put a bunch of tunes on?

Derek West :

Yeah, so I've got dual shocks and they're single. So you know, different, Neil. I don't even know who that tune was. So I didn't have any part of that at all. So I work with rad flow for my shocks and I have never since I've been in my Jamie's car. So and I also work with Phil of cardi. So Phil has a good relationship with Glenn, the owner of rad flow and talk with him and kind of help Custom put the tubes dialed in for where he wanted. And then I went in tuned with Phil. I mean, I'm blown away with how well this car does and the potential that it has. And the limiting factor of this car is me, you know, so it's it's pretty absurd, though how I feel driving this car. So there would be a, you know, a Jeep, you know, they sneak up on you, and all of a sudden you see him and you're going faster than what you should be. And so your reaction is to tense up, which is terrible. It's the worst thing you can do. So I find myself you know, tensing up going like this. And then I realized nothing happened in the car just took it in even so I did a I did the king of the hammers, and I did an outlaw race and the same thing. And I've gotta learn how to drive the car faster. The car is faster than what I can drive it. I got to figure it out.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So I guess there's a reason why someone gave him the nickname shock Jesus.

Derek West :

Yeah, so he's, now he's a great dude to work with. Super straightforward, nice guy. And yeah, I think mean he's, he knows his stuff. And I'm pretty happy. And of course, you know, there's always more, you know that So where am I? Am I at 80% or 90%? Or 70%? You know, I don't know, there's always warn a shock. You know, I don't feel like you ever get to the best it can be.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And as you get more comfortable in the car and you push the car harder and faster than the two needs to change. Yeah, that's awesome. So 2020 K, which brand new car? you've tuned it, what was the downside will happen.

Derek West :

So I'll start with qualifying. So I had probably the worst qualifying I've ever had. And I felt like I felt like I did. Okay. It was a crazy thing. So after my run, I didn't feel like I sucked. But you know what? He knew. So, I was like, boy,

Intro/Outro :

where

Derek West :

are these guys? way faster than I was I not very good. You know, I mean, the competition is getting better. I mean, it's all the time. That's better, better, better. So I don't remember where I started. But I want to Feel like I was 30th or something you know which which is a fine starting spot I mean really it's a perfect starting spot but you know I've been as high as third I think Kingdom hammers before and you know and i win polls here and there I mean not all the time but so I can be fast and but I wasn't there and I didn't know what was going on there anyway so we started off and you know I didn't do a ton of pre running and pretty well ran the first lap and that was about it we're working on stuff non stop I remember I was just you know new car stuff. This this race they have is smack dab in the middle of the offseason I feel like it's the worst time to ever have a race you can't prepare for of course, you know, I'd probably say that no matter when they had it, but no, that's right. So you know, we're trying to figure out a new car there and it's tough. You know, you're trying to you got problems to sneak up on you got to figure it out. But you know, we made it to race day and took off and did lap one and you know, trying to figured out the car. You know, like I said, How fast can I drive this thing? It's like, man, I push it a little harder. And it just takes it just goes. And you know, I don't really know what the limit is. And well, we had a great first lap. So I started 30th.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Who was your co driver this year?

Derek West :

David Sachs? Yeah, he's a good guy. He's been my co driver. Yeah, for the past several years. And he's a perfect fit. You know, he used to be a driver himself. So he's, you know, still got an ultra for car and so he knows what it takes. He understands what it's like being in the driver's seat, you know, knows what I'm going through. I think, you know, and he's, you know, it's worked out well.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, the the mental game, right. All the mental game. Yeah.

Derek West :

Yeah, no, but so we we came in lap one 15th maybe so I think we picked up 15 spots, you know, probably a lot of to attrition. You know, I didn't really get passed by a lot of guys. I think I had to if S cars passed me, which I didn't think was too bad for As long as the first lap was so, but after that we just started having problems, just little stuff we had to pull over to fix it. And, you know, rockin in the brake line and just different stuff. You know, just tough race and after a while, I just started getting more out from getting out and working on it. So then finally just had a had a problem that was it was done. That was the time to throw in the towel.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, I mean, there's we can talk about Yeah, the different difference between, you know, the green, what happens between the green flag and the checkered flag, but there's also what happens between the left ear and the right ear. That's a they're both two races. You know, once mechanical in one's totally mental and mechanical take you out but yeah, you're right. All those issues weigh in on that that mental side of you. That's suboptimal. Um, the one thing that I notice absolutely about Derek West out there and what you have gone Derek and you know, certainly the the crush Motorsports and your wife trying to move your brain into the dairy quest 20 and that's your your Instagram is dairy quest. 20 is for years though, this isn't a new thing for years, your social media leveraging is so onpoint in front of people. You're really good about doing videos, you're really good about talking people through what you're going through that day or what you're going through that moment, like simple stuff like hey, here we are king of the hammers is going on next week here. I'm in my shop in Missouri. Everything's the cars buttoned up. We got, you know, new graphics on new rap. And then you wrote the garage door in your life. And this is what we're dealing with. We're rolling out of here. This is a there's three inches of snow and there's ice everywhere. It's not much warmer in California, but we're going over when you go to like the outlaw races and you walk the course and you'll videotape your video and you'll load it to social media. You've been really, really good about that. Has anyone coached you on that or is that just been mental marketing on your side? Or has it been? What is it No, it's just

Derek West :

shown what I do you know, so I've got an obligation. There's a lot of people that help me and I want to, you know, show here, here's what I'm doing and I'm using your product and do and then I started doing the videos. And I really like to do it when I'm at the rock bouncer events because I feel like a lot of my following is ultra for type of people. And you know, they know what I do, and they know what happens there. But they've maybe never been to a rock bouncer event and they've never seen you know, these cars in person, possibly. So yeah, I just kind of started doing that. And I guess it's maybe easier for me to throw up a video inside let's let's do this three to one new video. Otherwise, it's some sort of photo and they got to come up with some catchy caption phrase of what's going on. And

Wyatt Pemberton :

yeah, no, there it is. I think that's it. I mean, I think that's the exam. I didn't know but now that as you speak through Yeah, you're right. Probably video is much easier than having to go put commentary and build content. And everything around it. Yeah, you've done a really good job. I don't know if anyone's told you that but your social media is always been really on point and Shannon Welch asked a few weeks ago during COVID about what drivers content during this has impressed people. And there was one that jumped out to me and I just want I blurted out on social media was the ultra for racing accounts, the the Facebook and the Instagram, they really been cranking out good stuff, but you as well, you have had just consistent, really cool, good stuff. And thank you. I mean, it's helps pass time helps. But also you do a lot of stuff that's very informative, not necessarily how to use but, like, off road racing, Derrick West at this event. 411 I think you're killing it.

Derek West :

Yeah. And, you know, I think I can be a whole lot better at it. But, you know, to be honest, I don't like talking on the camera bunch, and you know, so I have to force myself to do that. I don't know. I don't know who likes to do that specifically. I know some people do, but it's, you know, it's just, that's part of my job. You know, I'm out. I'm a sponsored driver and I need to show what I'm doing. And, and I know there's people out there that follow. You know, the funny thing is I make those videos and I don't get a whole lot of comments, but it's amazing that the people that I see in person, people that I know and they're like, Hey, I really like it when you're at these events and and so that's what kept me doing and started making me do it more was the in person one on ones where they tell me that they watched those videos and they like it and you know, keep doing it. They watch what I'm doing and so like okay, I guess I guess people like this. I like them. Try not to feel like I'm out toot my horn or

Wyatt Pemberton :

no, I think you're just being genuine ever being you and genuine I don't think it's any Well, I don't think it's anything more than that. But I think they're really good. Just Just genuine hey, here's what's up and here's what's going on at this event. And here's where I am right now and follow along. I mean, well, I mean that's a lot of what this district Tater sight is is the living vicariously through your exploits with your visor down. Right? Right. So we've definitely talked about endurance racing, and we kind of brought up a little bit of outlaw stuff. The Rock bouncing stuff, but race to riches to the last three years at that I'm gonna call that a rock bouncer event Is that a fair thing to call that? It's kind of a everything but I'm gonna call her a rock bouncer event you've won that thing.

Derek West :

Oh, it's it's full on rock bouncer event.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, I feel like there's this negative connotation between rock bouncers and like hillbillies or something. And I don't want to connect that so I'm always kind of leery about what to call a rock bouncer van or whatnot. I don't want people to think like, you know, some stereotype I guess. I love Timmy Cameron, Tim Cameron's awesome of all the work that Cole surely does and puts in. When James Cantrell was took his old for four car and did some rock bouncing. I thought that was pretty awesome. I think Miller had had some success. down there, he went to a couple of events. I don't know if what Vince they were but I remember easy Rick, you actually don't want to hit him liking it, but you and I get it. You're in southern Missouri short drives, shorter drives than going to the east coast to an offer an event out there. And you're having a lot of success in your 4400 car. Rock bouncing, killing it. Have you been well, well received?

Derek West :

I think it's getting better. So, you know, that's the problem with me of doing it for a long time and having a lot of sponsors, you know, so when I first started doing it, I think they think I'm from California or something and coming out here and somebody else works on my car and I just get in and drive it and you know, it's not the not the same feels like what X ray was, you know, we all meet each other but it's you know, I've been around long enough now I feel like things are better. But But yeah, I mean, it's it's, they're like x ray courses. Sometimes they get pretty extreme. But other than that, it's you know, it's a towards racing course with me on some technical stuff in it. And I'm good at that, you know, it's not, you know, so it's not even like I just showed up and it's my first time. I mean, that's what I started doing, you know, so it's so I enjoy I love it

Wyatt Pemberton :

fully in your wheelhouse, completely there.

Derek West :

It is. So, you know, and and their competition is getting better. You know, so over the past few years that I've been doing this, I'm watching those guys get better and better and faster and faster. Well, that was

Wyatt Pemberton :

funny talking to Josh Bleiler about this at one point where Millard showed up to align mountain race, and you tune shocks and all that. And then Bleiler and his dad, you know, they just bang it out on whatever the shock was that came out of the box out was and they hadn't tune anything in that. They saw how his he did his car handled. They went and talked to Eric. Hey, how do you make your car you know, hey, So good, you know networks like that. So the shock tune. Well that's we've seen the the bouncers they have started to tune for certain things and some of that ultra for technology that we've seen trickled down to trophy trucks as trickling down to the rock bouncers.

Derek West :

Yeah, so I mean, look at her just talking about Phil accardi. You know, so he's made some trips out and tuned on these guys. And, you know, so they, they work it out where they do tune sessions and get guys lined up and he'll go out there and tune on them. And yeah, so they realized that shocks is where it's at, and you're trying to, you know, just obstacles, you're trying to get over big rocks and you got a shock that will absorb it, you can do it better. Absolutely.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So what's, uh, what's next for Derek? You've been a guy that's taking your car 4400 car he can, in theory can do everything can't do it can't do any single one thing great, but it can rock crawl, it can bounce at this point. Is there any other genres you've thought about showing up but you know where it's not Far drives. Is it take your car to an SC SCCA event. I mean, I don't know what it is. You've always been one of those guys that's always progressively looking at different ways to enjoy competition. What's next?

Derek West :

Yeah, I don't know. You know, especially this year things are up in the air. So immediate next is so I'm kind of going back down to where it all started, which is birds adventure center in Cass, Arkansas. So that's where I'm going from Memorial Day weekend. Just to relax and enjoy it and in for a ride. And yeah, do some trail riding. So

Wyatt Pemberton :

let London refer Donna side by side.

Derek West :

Yeah, no, no, other than that, I needed to start taking a look at the schedules. You know, so Crandon got an old for race there. So I've raced there a couple times. You know, so I'm thinking pretty hard about doing that one that's not a sanctioned event, I guess part of the season. It's just kind of a standalone deal.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, I'd heard a rumor that they're talking about Crandon still happening, but without Crowds I've heard they're talking about doing it without crowds that seems well I guess that would be just like a normal off road race. But I can't imagine creating without crowds that

Derek West :

Yeah, so, you know, looking this year what I need to need to do is, you know, put my head down, put the work in, get my car right and show up to the races that I'm good at, you know, some of the rock bouncing events. You know, you talked about the the race get moved to Oklahoma crossbar, you know, be ready for that stuff. And I've got a car that's, you know, extremely capable. I mean, it's just man, that thing's just killer, and I just need to get it dialed in and me get dialed in with it. And, you know, see what I can do see if I can win some stuff.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I have no doubt on that one. Derek, I tell you what, thank you again for accepting my invite to be on the talent tank sit down and tell your story that the Justice were really cover everything you wanted to cover anything left lingering out there and low hanging fruit that I missed?

Derek West :

No, I guess the only thing would be my number.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, so yeah, we did you brought you drop that in there. There's a story about your number 20 What is it?

Derek West :

So when I first started racing, I was number 20. So my my Orange Crush Jeep was number 20. So when I was doing we were off, they mandated that we have a three digit number. So I went to 200. So I just added a zero on to it. Okay. And so I was stating 200 because that was my number. Well, then when we went to ultra for they mandated you have a 4400 number because of the best in the desert. So I was like, Okay, I'll do 4420 So, everybody's like, Hey, does that mean for for for 20 you know, thinking I had some sort of innuendo going on there with with words. Been out so that was it. So when When I built my last car, we were no longer needing the 4400 designation. So I went back to 20. So I'm just kind of back to where it started.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I love it. I love you circle back. I know that there's been guys that have all circled back to that, you know, that have dropped the 40 401. It just became a fight. I mean, there's only 99 of them, right? Nobody's going to have the first one. So you've got 44, or one through 4499 or 4499 seemed seemed like Jesse Haynes. That was his number. I'm sure there's some others in there that can kind of remember, but there's just more cars than that. There's more cars than and when it was only really needed for best in the desert series. Yeah, I think it was smart when you start seeing guys go back and drop away from being I guess, aligned with having to have a 4400 number even though they're a 4400 class. Anyway, I digress. Thank you for coming on, man. That was awesome. Yeah, I had a good time with that. Appreciate it. All right. On that note, we're out I hope you guys really liked this episode. It was a really fun one to make as usual, I really have to thank my my three partners on this custom splice those guys if you do anything for offroad recovery or even on road recovery or any projects please hit Todd and his crew up at a custom splice comm give him a call machining. Whoa my gosh branding machine Stan and Brandon those guys over there in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They do it all if they can't make it. I don't know who can if if you need it made they will do it hit those guys up. They are a big supporter of the talent tank and I value their involvement. And then last but not least, magnitude performance. Jason yoed and company they're NACA, dosis, Texas and everything that they've done for for the talent tanking, getting behind and supporting this, this venture in this project and everything, give them give them a call for your suspension needs. These guys do magic with springs and then the parent company mass motor sports engines and they have they have engines on lock handbill, lots of horsepower. There you guys Thanks, guys. We'll catch you next week.

Intro/Outro :

Thank you for listening and taking a dive into detail intake. Please like and subscribe on Instagram at detail intake or our website, the talent tank calm