Burt Jenner became SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS‘ latest winner at the last round in St Petersburg when he dominated his opposition to take victory in the second race.
The Checkered Flag recently talked with the Stadium Super Trucks series race winner about his racing past, present and future.
Jenner’s hunger for racing began early, his father Bruce Jenner raced in the IMSA Camel GT series in the 1980’s alongside sportscar legend Scott Pruett, so the seeds were sown then.
“I remember the days well, as I look back on my younger years, Jack Roush’s pitts are all I really remember from that time period.” says Jenner. “I will forever be a Ford and Scott Pruett fan because of those days. I of course was always a fan of my dad, but I always knew the guy who was going to kick everybody’s butt was his teammate Scott Pruett.
“I think at the end of the day my dad loved racing more than anything and the respect he had for Scott Pruett definitely rubbed off on me, to me Scott Pruett is a god and I would give just about anything to be respected in the motorsports world like he is.”
As with a lot of motorsport careers Jenner had to stop racing when he ran out of money, and took up Sim racing online.
“I created P-R-O-S (Professional Racing Online Series), it had $50,000 prize money per season, and the winner of the championship won the opportunity to go to a real racing school in a late model stock car. We mimicked the NASCAR schedule with a few extra road courses in place of the cookie cutter 1.5 mile oval tracks.”
“It was my belief that simulator racing was the future of motorsports, it is the only way of changing motorsports from a sport for only the affluent to something that anybody with talent can achieve, similar to the opportunity that stick and ball sports offer.”
After being sidelined for nearly 10 years he saw an opportunity in the shape of a TV show…
“In 2013 I stood in a 9 hour line at California speedway in hopes of being picked for Ford’s “Octane Academy” TV show on NBC. The show required you to compete in road racing, rally, off-road, and drifting. Out of the couple thousand entrants I ended up winning the whole thing and walked away with 50k cash and a 50k car.”
As a result of the show and Jenner’s success his current sponsor (Gladiator Tyres) asked if he wanted to drive in the remainder of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series, “Who wouldn’t want to race a Lamborghini?” admits Jenner, who took a second place finish in the last race of the season.
For 2014 Jenner would make the move over to Stadium Super Trucks. “My first impression was that it was going to be cool to have a Mickey Thompson Stadium style series back. But after watching the first race on asphalt at the Long Beach GP, I knew this was going to be ‘the new thing’… the way the trucks drifted through some corners, drove on three wheels in others, jumped down the straights… yet still had awesome road racing action.
“To me it was simply the coolest series on the planet. After convincing Gladiator tires we should be a part of the series, I got my first test in the truck and when I was finished all I could do was chuckle in disbelief and smile from ear to ear… THE TRUCKS ARE AWESOME!”
Jenner almost took his first podium finish at the 2014 X Games but was unfortunately taken out of contention after colliding with a wayward Robbie Gordon.
“Racing at X Games was surreal and over far too fast. I made a conscious effort to block my surroundings out and take everything one lap at a time and, above all, avoid racing incidents… My plan almost worked out for us, but thankfully I’ll have a chance to try again this year…”
With a consistent drive throughout 2014, a number of fourth-place finishes came before making a breakthrough top-3 finish in Las Vegas. “Making it on the podium was a HUGE relief! I had led on the last lap the Detroit GP, been in podium position at X Games, cut a tire at the Sand Sport Super Show race and somehow I didn’t have a trophy to take back and show the Gladiator Tire boss. Las Vegas was my last opportunity to prove ‘I belonged to be there’ and the weight off my chest was huge.”
After finishing the series sixth over all Jenner has confirmed a full programme for 2015 to take part in the remaining races of this season (only missing the season opener in Australia).
We asked if he would be looking to drive in any other disciplines in the future…
“I would definitely be open to racing anything, I’ve always said I would be racing lawnmowers if nothing else… But I have to be honest, I truly believe SST is the future, and if I had the choice of F1 or NASCAR I can honestly say I’d pick SST… It really isn’t debatable, these are the funnest racecars to drive on the planet and I think the future is incredibly bright for the series… Thanks to Gladiator Tires I’m just honoured to be part of its growth.”