UTV World Championship - Hercules Tires by Will Rodgers


Laughlin, Nevada., April 15, 2017 --Will Rodgers and GMH Motorsports overcame a solid starting position and a minor last lap incident with another car to bring the Hercules Tires Polaris RZR to the checkered flag in the second position at the 2017 UTV World Championships.


The finish on Saturday continues Rodgers’ current streak of five Top-5 finishes thus far in 2017 crossing between NASCAR and UTV.


A three-year absence from UTV off-road racing proved not to be a challenge for the young 22-year old. Rodgers demonstrated in a private test held on the morning of race day that he had what it took to get it done in the World Championships event.


Drawing 11th in line on the fourth row would be a setback for Rodgers which he quickly remedied by driving into the top 3 within the first four corners.


The no.117 would continue to run up through the field as by the second lap, Rodgers had gapped the third place car by thirty seconds within the first sixteen miles.


“Within the first mile I knew we had a good car that could compete with the best. It was just a matter of keeping it together and battling lap traffic through the thick dust," said Rodgers.  "At times you couldn’t see further than 20 feet ahead of your bumper, but I knew if I hesitated, it would mean less of a chance for a podium finish.  On the first lap I passed 12 cars, one of which was racing legend, Robby Gordon.  I was pretty stoked about that!"


Approaching the final sixteen miles of Saturday’s fourty-eight mile event, driver Will Rodgers was shaping up to finish a strong second place. When suddenly in the last couple miles of the race, with dust being so thick, he clipped another car that was stopped in a corner.  Luckily the incident caused only minor damage and Rodgers would be able to continue to bring home the no.117 Hercules Tires Polaris RZR second in the Sportsman 1000 class.


“The final lap was a bit hectic for me still battling through lap traffic.  The dust never died down and unfortunately led to me clipping another competitor who had slowed on course because of the lack of visibility.  Thankfully we managed to keep going and run as fast as possible to the finish.  I am very proud of what we accomplished this weekend.  Being out of a UTV for 3 years gave me doubts before the start but once we were off, everything I had learned about this type of racing came back.  I am ecstatic about the way my Hercules Tires performed on this car and that treacherous of a course.  The Terra Trac M/T’s had never been proven at this level of competition but blew everyone’s expectations out of the water with our results!  A very big thank you goes out to Hercules Tires, Solvang Brewing Co., GMH Motorsports, Diego Alvarado and Noah Gragson for all the help and support this weekend.  I can’t wait to get back in a UTV sometime soon!"


Photo Credit goes to Rusty Baptist



Will Rodgers overcomes adversity and achieves victory in first weekend of Pro racing. by Will Rodgers

Murrieta, CA (March 9th, 2016)  

This past weekend in Austin, TX at Circuit of the Americas marked Will Rodgers' first fully professional automobile race weekend.  Will successfully competed in the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge TCB (Touring Car B) class and on track with over 50 cars combined in three classes.  The weekend consisted of two 45 minute sprint races both of which were live streamed and pre-recorded for the CBS Sports Network television show airing on Thursday March 17th at 9:00PM ET.

 A tumultuous weekend began on the Tuesday prior to the race as he loaded into the Jordan's race toter to embark on a 22 hour trip to Austin, TX.  Arriving in Texas Will saw, for the first time, the Mazda2 race car he had purchased just days before.  The car was a proven winner in SCCA club racing events but had never raced in a professional series.  Jim Jordan and Will proceeded to prepare the car as quickly as possible to "pass tech" and be ready to hit the track for test day (Thursday).  

After proving fastest on track for tests on Thursday, the next step was to qualify the car and prepare for race 1.  Will went out in qualifying as one of the most competitive cars on track and laid down the fastest time of the session followed closely by teammate Henry Morse.  Assuming the pole position secured the race Will proceeded to impound for inspection.  Will was then informed his car and Henry Mores's were both under weight according to a 2016 rule they were unaware of. 

Race 1 began with Will managing to pass several cars before turn 1 on the first lap.  Several laps in, Will found himself in some tough battles with other competitors all fighting for top spots with other racing classes on track at the same time.  TCB drivers soon began to experience lap traffic.  For some this is a stress on their performance but Will was able to embrace the traffic and help it work to his advantage.  Towards the end of the race Will found himself out front of the field but not alone as Ted Hough, a TCB competitor, was utilizing a draft from Will's car to gain ground.  On the last lap in the last corner, Ted dive bombed Will, and they drove side by side through the turn.  The drag race to the checkered flag went to Will in a photo finish! 

Celebrations pursued but were cut short as the series informed the team of Will's disqualification from the race.  The DQ was due to a maximum limit exceeded by the negative camber on the front left wheel.  Perhaps the limited time the team had to prepare the car for the race the necessary precautions were not taken to ensure the camber bolts on the car would not slip.  The car began the race within spec rules but finished slightly out of spec. The team worked late into the night to fix the issue and give it their all for Saturday's race.

Race 2 on Saturday began with Will starting from the back of the grid once more, although this time from a standing start. “I knew I had to redeem myself, but I didn’t know how I would do in the standing start," said Rodgers.  "I had done them in karting and motorcross but this was my first pro race doing the standing start.  I hadn’t done any tests."  Will ended up having a terrific start and by turn 1 had passed several competitors.  The laps following were full of nose to tail battles with bump drafting and dive bombs.  With 10 minutes remaining in the race, Will found the lead and made the pass stick.  By the time the checkered flag flew Will had gapped his closest competitor by 8.5 seconds!

"The weekend overall was quite a rollercoaster.  I can't thank the Hale Motorsports team, Jordan family and all of my marketing partners; Solvang Brewing Co. Frank Kelly,  Dynotronics Tuning and Mazda, enough!  I'm very much looking forward to RD.2 at Canada Tire Motorsports Park in May!"

"I can't remember having a race weekend with so many ups and downs," said Jim Jordan.   "After Will drove his heart out on Friday, only to have the win taken away because of a minor preparation issue, I was going to make sure the car was perfect.  Will rewarded that late night effort with a win on Saturday and it was all worth it.   Will proved he has the talent to run up front consistently, and I am excited about the rest of the season."

Will and the Hale Motorsports team look forward to RD.2 of Pirelli World Challenge at Canada Tire Motorsports Park, May 19-22nd.  Both races will be broadcast live via world-challengetv.com

Will Rodgers Racing partners with ARMA Energy for 2015 season by Will Rodgers

Murrieta, CA  (May 15th 2015)  Will Rodgers Racing would like to welcome ARMA Energy to the team for the full 2015 Teen Mazda Challenge season.

“Partnering with a company like ARMA Energy is just what we wanted to bring a much deserved sponsor presence to Mazda and the Teen Mazda Challenge series. “This is an exposure boost to the Teen Mazda Challenge series this year”, said competitor Will Rodgers.  “The exposure that ARMA brings to the table will be fantastic for the program, and I'm confident the relationship will be rewarding for all parties.  With the experience WRR brings in racing and multi media, along with ARMA Energy’s media team, this is sure to be an exciting season”.

ARMA Energy owner Jimmy Sloan added, “Im really excited,  I’ve known Will from a young age and watched as he raced Karts, Motocross, and SXS off road racing. He has also worked impressively with me over the years in filming and producing movies.  When he came to me late last year with a proposal for ARMA Energy to become part of a Mazda Spec Miata program it was really a no brainer.  I know Will’s work ethic and everything he stands for. I know for a fact ARMA Energy will be in good hands with him”.

ARMA Energy is a Southern California based performance drink company.  Its brand revolves around the action sports world.  ARMA is dedicated to the spirit of team with a philosophy that believes in expression through art and sport.  ARMA creates both an emotional and visual lifestyle that is bold and adventurous. Along with their most recent venture in sports car racing,  ARMA operates its own AMA Supercross and AMA Superbike race teams.

Will Rodgers and the entire team are looking forward to making the most out of their relationship with ARMA Energy and plan on developing great opportunities for the future together.

Double Win at Buttonwillow Raceway for Will Rodgers by Will Rodgers

Murrieta, CA (April 22nd 2014) - Will Rodgers started off his second consecutive Spec Miata season with the Southern California division of NASA this past weekend at Buttonwillow Raceway.  Last year Will began racing with the Jordan family in their 1994 1.6 Spec Miata to learn the ropes of the sport while in the shadow of the 2014 Champ, Joey Jordan.  Joey took Will under his wing teaching him the fundamentals of car racing including competitiveness, speed, and race craft.  Will has since won multiple Miata competitions and is ready from the past year of training to come out swinging for his full 2015 Spec Miata Season.

Friday's test day at Buttonwillow was Will's first day in the new race car, a 2001 1.8 NB chassis Miata.  "Making the switch from the 1.6 to the 1.8 was pretty straight forward.  Both are very competitive race cars and are very similar but are different at the same time.  I had to learn what made this particular motor and chassis combination fast."  Joey Jordan was on hand testing the car Will drove last year for his older sister, Jahna Jordan.  "I was very fortunate to have Joey at the track on Friday with me walking through the different ways of the car.  Since this is the same car he won the championship in last year, he knew the ins and outs and could pass that information to me. We were able to do some lead follows and even battle a bit to get me even more comfortable before my first race Saturday afternoon."

Saturday morning Will was eager to get on the track to see how he stacked up against the competition.  Because of a tech inspection set back, Will missed the morning warm up and had to jump right into qualifying.  Will qualified 2nd out of the 12 car field just behind competitor, Rob Burgoon.  Will's race Saturday afternoon started off very well.  From the drop of the green flag Will was able to take the lead 2 corners later and quickly unfolded a great battle between competitors, Rob Burgoon and Matt Million.  Will traded the lead back and forth with Rob for almost 5 laps before a mistake was made by the 91 of Burgoon allowing Will to take the lead for the final time.  Will was able to manage a gap which grew roughly 8 to 10 seconds.  Four laps later Will took the checkered flag and climbed to the top step of the podium for his first So-Cal NASA Spec Miata Win.

Sunday morning Will led the field to the green flag for the qualifying race.  Entering turn 1, Will had a fellow racer make a mistake and minor contact was made between Will and the competitor's car resulting in both being forced off track and starting the race in dead last.  Will drove hard and managed to make up four positions, but he wasn't about to catch the leaders in the short 6 laps.  "It was very unexpected to have carnage in the first corner being the size field.  Fortunately everyone was fine and the cars only had a scratch here and there."  

Starting Sunday's final race in P5, Will was determined to get to the front quickly and take the lead.  " Starting directly behind Matt Million who was also starting behind Rob Burgoon, I had a pretty good feeling the three of us would work our way to the front right away.  Turn 1 was all it took to get the three out front and begin an epic battle for the lead.  " I was able to get by Matt Million on lap one which immediately put me within striking distance of Rob Burgoon.  Rob and I had an outstanding battle for what felt like forever but in reality was only 10 laps.  I was able to get by him a few times but was passed back.  I knew where I was faster than him and waited for the opportunity to present itself once more.  It did and I was able to hold on the the lead once again for the remainder of the race."  Will finished the race again with a large gap between 2nd place of Rob Burgoon, followed by Matt Million.

Will looks forward to starting the 2015 Teen Mazda Challenge season next month at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana May 16-17th.

"This weekend felt amazing! Getting my first So-Cal NASA Spec Miata win and really getting acquainted with the new car.  The real work starts now as I know the 2015 TMC session will be a very competitive one, and I must be on top of my game mentally and physically.  I would like to thank everyone who helped get me to the top step this weekend, and for all the hard work they put in.  I wouldn't be able to do any of this without the great people around me."