We’re Into Off-Road Adventure

Off-road racer Brad Lovell, in his own words. “We’re here at my house and shop in Colorado Springs, Colo.,” said...

June 24, 2020

Off-road racer Brad Lovell, in his own words.

“We’re here at my house and shop in Colorado Springs, Colo.,” said Lovell. “My brother and I built this shop about 16 years ago, and it’s where we house our racing vehicles.

“I was born and raised here in Colorado Springs. My family in the summer went up into the mountains camping and off-roading, and my brother and I always wanted my dad to go farther. He had a Bronco, and we had a pop-up trailer. He never wanted to go up the rough roads, and it really drove my brother and I to want to go explore more.”

“And then it was on”

“So, he turned 16 and he got a Bronco II. I turned 16 and I got a Ranger. And then it was on. We’re going to all these different places and challenging ourselves. And we turned my daily driver, my Ranger, into a competition rock-crawler and went to the first rock-crawl and we won it. So, we went to the next one and we won it. So, it was then that I knew. This is what I was cut out to be. And, you know, honestly, there’s not a whole lot of looking back.”

The truck that started it all

“This guy is what kind of started it all. This is our 2006 Ford Ranger. And about the only thing that’s stock left on it is the gas pedal. We debuted it at the first King of the Hammers. We’ve won rock-crawls, hill climbs, desert races, King of the Hammers, all kinds of stuff with this truck.

“I’ve done lots of different types of off-road racing. We got our start in rock-crawling. In maybe 2008 is when King of the Hammers started. And those opportunities, in turn, gave us a chance to go to Baja, and Baja is just a magical place in my heart. I think there’s nothing better. I want to finish my career racing our classic Bronco down there in Baja.”

A handful to drive

“This is our 1968 Ford Bronco. The idea of this is to have something classic, stylish, fun and see what it was like racing 20, 30, maybe even 40 years ago. All the suspension geometry is still original. It can definitely be a handful to drive this thing. Short wheelbase, high center of gravity, and it has a Roush 427. It’s about 550 horsepower. We’ve topped it out at 117 mph (188 km/h), which is faster than a lot of more capable desert vehicles out there. The only thing is you’ve got to look pretty far ahead because you’ve got to get it shut down before you hit any type of little bump.”

The allure of Baja

“Baja has silt holes, rocks, beaches, forests, mountains. It’s really amazing, and it’s kind of been the focus of where I want to go for the last six or so years. So, my goal this year is to go win in SPEC Trophy Truck 6100. Racing a Bronco, we’re a limited-class car. It’s a lot different than what a SPEC trophy truck can do out there.

“This is a Geyser SPEC trophy truck. This thing is the real deal. You can go unbelievably fast in these things across the desert. You can hit bumps so hard; I cannot explain to you how much fun it is.”

Driven to compete

“I’m definitely an introvert. I’ve always been that way, and it makes me very driven to be competitive. But I’m not one that’s necessarily going to brag about the things I’ve done. So, from a day-to-day standpoint, being an introvert in racing makes it difficult because it’s hard to brag about myself and embellish stories. To me, a story is a story, and the facts have to fit. But I do think it helps from being authentic in nature also, which is what Lovell Racing is about.

“And I think being authentic fits with AMSOIL, too. AMSOIL makes absolute quality products. And the reason I want to identify with AMSOIL is because they’re authentic and quality and dedicated to people.”

Family support network is key

“It wouldn’t be possible for me to race at all without a support network, and my wife Natalie has always come out to the races and cooked and helped. And my boys Adam and Byam have, back since they were just learning to walk, come out to short-course races. And they’re out there learning and being part of a community.

“What I want for them to find in life is the same passion that I’ve found out of racing. I hope that’s racing, and I hope I can give them a hand along the way to get there. But I think ultimately what’s going to drive them day over day to be happy in life is picking their own passion.

“Racing is something that takes all of you. I spend all my work time thinking about racing and all my free time thinking about racing. We’ve found a way to make it work, and it’s right there in our face all the time. But it’s kind of really what we’re about, and it’s a family mission.”