Jack Olliges is ambitious, talented and has a serious passion for racing. He’s also 10. His father, Steve Olliges, is a decorated racer with over 30 class wins and seven championship titles across the SCORE International and Best in the Desert racing series.
When Steve mentioned an upcoming UTV race in the Laughlin Desert Classic, Jack wasn’t just surprised that his dad was serious about actually letting him race—he was beyond excited.
Steve started calling everyone he knew. There wasn’t much time. Within a few days, they secured parts for Jack’s Polaris RZR: new 32” BFGoodrich® tires, lights, a clutch, shocks, window nets and a race suit that made the 10-year-old look like he’d been racing for years.
Once they arrived in Laughlin, Jack got to see his customized RZR in all its glory. “It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” remembers Jack. With the race just a few hours away, the nerves began to sink in. For the first-time racer, there was no turning back.
“When we went to the start line, I almost couldn’t breathe because of how nervous I was. But when I started, all that went away.”
“When we went to the start line, I almost couldn’t breathe because of how nervous I was. But when I started, all that went away.” GPS issues caused a slow first lap, but after a quick pit stop, Jack and Steve started to pick up speed as Jack learned the nuances of the course.
Unfortunately, a bad whoop section and a broken trailing arm prematurely ended their race. “I was kind of bummed that happened. I was just getting comfortable! But I was still so happy that I got to race.”
Even though the end result wasn’t exactly what Jack had hoped for, the 10-year-old hits on a common truth that every racer, no matter their age, can relate to: “That was the most fun I’ve ever had.”
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