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Mitchell DeJong Wins LOORRS Rounds 1 & 2 in Pro-Buggy at Glen Helen Raceway

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DeJong says his biggest challenge moving into the Pro Buggy was adjusting to the H-pattern shifter and the floor clutch - you wouldn't know it by watching him.
DeJong says his biggest challenge moving into the Pro Buggy was adjusting to the H-pattern shifter and the floor clutch - you wouldn't know it by watching him.
Mitchell DeJong is a typical 14-year-old Temecula, California eighth-grade kid. Okay, just kidding. He might be a regular-Joe in the land of wunderkinder, but in the real world the force is exceptionally strong in this one. DeJong is quickly developing into the real deal possessing mad-skills and brains; he's grounded, and he's not allergic to hard work.

Not yet street-legal to drive, in 2011 DeJong collected his 8th championship title in only five years. This season the Traxxas/Red Bull athlete continued were he left off by winning round 1 and 2 of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Regional Series at Glen Helen Raceway, setting a new track record of 47.6 seconds during the round 2 main event, besting the previous record by 0.3 seconds.
Mitchell DeJong continues his winning ways with two 2012 Pro Buggy victories at Glen Helen Raceway.
Mitchell DeJong continues his winning ways with two 2012 Pro Buggy victories at Glen Helen Raceway.


Coming off his impressive 2011 modified kart season, DeJong's off-season was short, as his preparation to step up into the more competitive Pro Buggy Unlimited class started almost immediately. Having only enough time for two test sessions in his new Pro Buggy before the start of the 2012 LOORRS Regional Series, DeJong proved that was plenty good enough. During his very first practice runs around the infamous Devore, Southern California track, DeJong was already turning lap times comparable to the top-dogs in the class. To keep that in perspective, DeJong is the youngest driver ever to be given approval to compete this class.

There's really nothing at all typical about being able to carry his kart success over into Pro Buggy, where new elements like turning brakes, foot pedal clutch, H-pattern shifting and open wheels need to be dealt with in precise proportions. Yet, this young straight-A middle school kid seems not to adhere to the same laws of physics as the rest of us.

"Well, first let me start by saying that the Pro Buggy is a blast to drive!" remarked DeJong. "I'd say the biggest challenge so far would be going from the sequential shifter to the H-pattern shifter and the floor clutch."
The 14-year-old driver set a new track record of 47.6 seconds during the Round 2 main event, besting the previous record by 0.3 seconds.
The 14-year-old driver set a new track record of 47.6 seconds during the Round 2 main event, besting the previous record by 0.3 seconds.


When he's not racing and his schoolwork is done, you can find him working with his dad prepping his race vehicles, which explains his keen grasp on the overall workings of his car. "I spend a lot of time at my parents business, DeJong Off Road Mfg.," DeJong explains, "Where they design and manufacture some of the coolest off-road vehicles and develop components for the race, medical and aerospace industries in the machine shop."

DeJong says his long-term goal is to become a race champion like his heroes, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Travis Pastrana and of course his dad, Vince.

So what sort of goals have you set for 2012?

"It's funny you ask that question," says DeJong, "Because the first time I went out to the track for a test I had set a personal goal to run the same times as the top competitors in the class," he replied. It looks as though he may want to re-set the bar for the rest of the year.

What are you feeling about heading to the first round of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Series in Arizona?

"I am really excited to get back on the track! We are still learning the car set-ups for the Pro Buggy, but just knowing I have some of the best products in the world on my Pro Buggy, like the K&N Air Filters, gives me a lot of confidence. Being the youngest driver to be approved to compete in this class is really awesome and I hope to earn the respect of the other competitors on the track."

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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