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By Robert Janis

Three-Quarters of a Life Racing ATVs

Jeff Hancock
Jeff Hancock

He's only 25 years-old. But he's been racing ATVs for 19 years. If you do the math, yes, Jeff Hancock was 6 years-old when he first raced an ATV. "Racing has always been a part of my life and I have never lost interest in it," Hancock said.

He now lives with his fiancé and his 2 year-old son Jacob in Salome, Arizona, and it shouldn't be a surprise that Jacob is already an ATV rider in his own right. "Once he is old enough, he will more than likely start racing," said the proud dad.

Hancock has been desert racing since he was 18 years-old. It's only natural. He has lived in a small desert town in Arizona for most of his life. So a lot of his ATV riding has been in the desert. Desert racing was an obvious next step. His first desert race was in Whiplash Off-Road Racing, a series specifically held in Arizona. A Yamaha Raptor was the ATV that carried him to those early victories. He raced the Raptor because it was the first bike he owned. He did no modifications but rather raced it stock. It was good enough for him to win the beginner and expert classes and experience a third-place finish overall with the pros. His success encouraged him to turn pro in 2001 when he was 20 years-old.

Now he races in the ATV Open Pro class in Best in the Desert, SCORE INTERNATIONAL, Whiplash Off-Road Racing and CODE events. He claims to be one of the only factory desert racers. He began his factory ride in January of 2007. Hancock has competed in 33 major races. He's finished first ten times, second six times and the rest of his finishes range from third place and on. Last year he finished first in points in the Whiplash Off-Road Racing Series, third in points in the SCORE series and fourth in points in The Best in the Desert series.  His record in desert races for the last two years includes a second-place finish in the Baja 1000 and a second place in last year's Vegas To Reno race. "They were two of my most difficult but important races because they helped me gain the sponsors I currently have," he said.

His sponsors include Factory Polaris, LKH Farming, where he is employed and which is owned by his father; Hancock Racing; Maxxis Tires; UNI; Alba Action Sports; Regina; TAG; Tire Balls; Star Island Motorsports; Custom Cycle-ATV; KD Cycle; Northland Motorsports; CT Racing and IMS.

Thanks to his sponsors the Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS he races has been taken beyond stock and includes a Hancock Racing steering stem and A-Arms front and rear; a CT Racing motor; IMS foot pegs; TAG bars and grips; Motion Pro Throttle; Power Made hand grips and brush guards; PRM bumpers; Fox Evo shocks; UNI air filter; Maxxis tires with Tire Balls; Douglas rims; Alba seat and an aftermarket exhaust.

No doubt it is his competitive nature that leads him to say that winning is the best part of the sport while losing is the worst. However, he adds probably because it is desert racing after all that he competes in that breaking down "in the middle of nowhere" shares with losing as the worst part of the sport. What's his favorite race? He's got a lot of exciting events to choose from including the Bajas sponsored by SCORE and the Vegas to Reno produced by Best in the Desert. However, it's the Baja 1000 that he favors the most.

He predicted that ATV racing will become bigger in the coming years. "Hopefully as it grows, so do I and I am able to get my name out and gain more sponsors," he concluded.

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