Racer Spotlight: Short-Course Champ And Family Man Brian Deegan

Like any sport, in the world of off-road racing, there are well-known heavy hitters, and some of them bounce between different forms of racing. Brian Deegan is one of them, having done a little bit of everything – motocross, freestyle motocross, rally racing, and short-course racing. While we were out at the recent Lucas Oil Golden State Nationals in San Bernardino, California, we got a chance to hang out with the man and get to know him.

We caught Brian between races, when he had downtime after Saturday’s qualifying. When asked about his thoughts on the weekend thus far, he said, “This is always a good track. It’s rough and dirty. It kind of beats you up.”

Even with many years of experience, off-road racing always has something new and challenging. In the case of short-course racing, the track changes every single lap, and from day to day. It’s unlike any other form of four-wheel racing. “Every track is different. Off-road everything is dirt, so it’s always changing: how they water the track, how they prep it, who’s doing it – it just changes all your setups,” said Brian.

Deegan goes flying over the tabletop at Glen Helen.

“We always struggle at Glen Helen, and we always struggle on the grip,” continued Brian. “I think it’s because we went to a lower truck. We’ve thrown a lot of different things at the truck to try to get grip. On practice day we were on top of the board. Then, during race time, the track changed – it was wet and slick. It was like driving on ice.”

But not all of Brian’s life is devoted to his own racing efforts and evaluating course conditions. Almost 10 years since he started competing in short-course, he still races to win, but there is also a strong focus on his family. His wife, Marisa, supports him throughout everything and keeps the pits busy, and his kids – Hailie, Hayden, and Hudson – have caught the racing bug. In particular, Hailie is coming into her own, with experience racing stock cars and short-course trucks, and has been giving her all in the #38 Pro Lite truck.

While Brian knows winning isn't everything, it's still a blast when it happens. He went home with the Pro 2 trophy on Saturday, beating out stiff competition from RJ Anderson and Jerett Brooks.

As Brian put it, he has reached his “moment of contentment” when it comes to racing. “I’ve been through motocross, Supercross, freestyle motocross, won multiple X-Games, won Rallycross, won Pro 2 and Pro Lite; I’ve done it,” he said. “Off-road has been fun to me and I want to raise my kids in it, and I’m here to win, but at the end of the day, there’s only so many hours to enjoy life. And I want to be there for my kids and help them succeed.”

Finding the balance between one’s calling and one’s family is something that many men and women struggle with, but it appears that Brian has found that happy medium. We’ll be cheering him on as he heads to Chandler, Arizona next month to finish out the 2018 season.

About the author

Bryce Cleveland

Bryce has been in the automotive industry for most of his life. He’s done everything from fixing cars, flipping cars, writing about cars, and everything in-between. He has owned a total of 18 vehicles, most of which he owned before the age of 20. He currently drives his 2015 Ford Fiesta ST every single day and has plans to buy his third Jeep XJ Cherokee very soon.
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