Class 1600 charger Justin Smith heads for KC HiLites 250 Saturday in Jean

on 06 June 2013

The world of off-road racing can be very serious as evidenced by a stout $25,000 purse generated by Terrible Herbst Motor Sports Garage.

Highly-respected Justin “Bean” Smith, 28, could race just about anywhere, but the native of San Clemente, Calif. is headed for Saturday’s KC HiLites 250 scheduled south of Las Vegas.

Smith, a hard-charging Class 1600 driver, has a five-point lead heading into SNORE’s third race of the year. Knowing full well that second place Class 10 driver Cody Freeman of Henderson is clamoring for a chance to overtake him in the run for the money.

With Southern Nevada suddenly facing a heat wave about 10 degrees above normal, SNORE’s event will provide several challenges considering that the race starts at 8:30 p.m.

Between the heat and the night driving, Smith knows first-hand that while he could be most anywhere, he needs to be at SNORE’s race considering the big-time money generated by the prominent Herbst family.

“No question about it,” said Smith, who grabbed the 1600 victory at Ridgecrest, Calif. April 13, before quickly heading off to a wedding. “I need to be there no matter what the challenges or other events.

“The points fund is really good and one of the reasons I’m running SNORE all year long. I’m a self-funded racer, so I race off what I win. It can be a make or break for us.”

Smith is highly-recognized for his talent in the desert. He’s also involved in the construction and repair of off-road racing equipment.

Smith competed in the X Games as the FMX rider in 2003 and moved into off-road racing in 2004. He has more than 30 victories and five championships.

“I keep fighting for more and more wins,” he said. “But with the KC HiLites race, we still have a little bit of an uphill battle simply because this course is in the backyard of racers like Brian and Cody Freeman.

“It’s going to be a rough course.”

With all of the challenges, Smith feels good about his night racing talents.

“I feel really good about racing at night,” he said. “I have good vision.”

Smith said his 1600 car is ready for the race.

“It’s looking perfect,” he said. “Major Performance went through the motor and JG Transworks got us ready to go. We’re set up and planning a light test before the race Thursday.”

Justin Smith of San Clemente, Calif., has a narrow five-point lead heading into Saturday’s KC HiLites 250 presented by SNORE south of Las Vegas.

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