Small Team, Big Finishes: Big B Motorsports
Last year, we featured the first ever Miller Motorsports' Pro Series production chassis. The chassis landed in the hands of Josh Blyler of Big B Motorsports. Byler spent much of 2016 competing in the Eastern Ultra4 Racing Series and started his 2017 season off with a bang by landing a sixth-place finish at King of The Hammers. We recently got a chance to talk to the recreational enthusiast turned racer and found out what he had to say about the car, racing and what the future holds.
Driving Line: So, how was your first Hammers Race?
Josh Blyler: It was an amazing experience, and I am very grateful to everyone who helped us get to where we are today. We attended our first KOH in 2015 as spectators, and I immediately knew this was something we wanted to be part of. Our main goal in the 2017 KOH was to finish as this is a huge accomplishment in itself. To do this, we knew we had to run a steady, comfortable pace and just keep moving. We stuck to the plan, and to say we are happy with the results is a huge understatement.
DL: What was the biggest surprise?
JB: The size of this event and the amount of following it gets still amazes me. Sixty-thousand people show up in the middle of nowhere and create the greatest off-road race in the country. When I get on top of a mountain and look down across Hammertown, it leaves me speechless.
DL: Did the car perform the way you wanted?
JB: The car was great all week. I attribute that to working with the best people and the best parts in this industry. We are very fortunate to have teamed up with the Miller Motorsports crew, and the amount of knowledge they have shared with us is invaluable. I joke all the time that this car is a little tank ready to go to battle. To see firsthand what these things go through is amazing. To be able to finish a race like KOH with no real damage is a true testament to the quality of the components we are using.
DL: Any major problems throughout the race?
JB: We lost front brakes in the first few miles of lap 2. The car has isolation valves to separate the front and rear brakes, so we continued on and stopped at remote pit 2A to check it out. The crew found a blown braided line, and the only replacement line was back at main pit. We decided to continue on racing, and the crew got the parts we needed to remote pit 2B, and the repairs were made there.
DL: You’re running 40-inch Nitto Trail Grapplers. How are they working for you?
JB: Awesome! We couldn’t ask for anything more. We did not have a flat all day, and they performed flawlessly. I am still blown away that you can put a tire through this kind of abuse, and they just keep on keeping on!
DL: What are your racing goals for the 2017 Ultra4 season?
JB: We are going to race the east coast Ultra4 series, and our goal is to have a top-five finish in each race.
DL: Shifting gears so to speak, before Ultra4, did you have any off-road racing experience? If so, how do you think that helped you?
JB: I have always been into things with motors and wheels since I was a kid. If it made noise and threw mud, I liked it. My first real racing didn’t come about until I was 15 and built a racing buggy with a buddy at home. We built a 4x4 Toyota and raced it at the Line Mountain 4 Wheelers in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. I had to lie about my age and forge my parent’s signature to enter, but luckily it all worked out. As things progressed we kept building better and faster vehicles. We learned what worked and what did not.
We still race at Line Mountain, and it’s pretty awesome to see what that grassroots racing event has evolved into. The experience I gained there both in driving and wrenching is something that can only be learned through years of trials and errors. It’s been a great experience, and I want to thank my Line Mountain family for all the memories made there.
DL: What’s the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone looking to get into Ultra4 Racing?
JB: Be prepared to spend countless hours of shop time to be successful. I am a true believer that most races are won in the shop. For every hour spent behind the wheel, be prepared for 20 hours or more holding a wrench. It takes a crew of dedicated help and a very understanding family to deal with the amount of time invested into this. I can’t thank my wife, family and friends for the amount of support they have given me through this adventure. We are just average guys having above average fun and can’t wait for the next adventure!