Nick Nelson wins the 2012 Ultra4 National Championship & Sportsman of the Year
After a long competitive 2012 season, Nick Nelson and his team were named the Nitto Tire 2012 Ultra4
National Champions. Nelson, mixed with a dedicated team and rock solid new car, fought tooth and
nail from the deserts of Nevada all the way to the backwoods of Wisconsin to be crowned Champion.
Beginning the year with his car’s freshman effort at the 2012 King of the Hammers, a disappointing
steering failure ended their race early on, sending Nick home with a mission.
“Winning the National Championship was our goal from the start” stated Nelson. “We show up to every
race knowing we can win it, that alone gave us the drive we needed to see the championship through to
Going into 2012, Nick had originally planned to create a solid axle car with sponsor & friend Randy Rodd
of Jimmy’s 4×4, however, despite their overall shoestring budget, opted to shoot for an IFS racer. The
IFS car would suit Nick better it was decided, with him living in the Vegas area, arguably the heart of
desert racing in the United States. That decision would pay off big for him and his team.
Fresh off King of the Hammers, Nelson and his co-driver Brett Vogel would place 1 st in class at the
legendary Mint 400 desert race, now on Howe steering, followed up soon after by a 6 th place finish at
the Ultra4 “Cinco de Baja” race in New Mexico. Gathering momentum, Nick and team made their way
to Crandon, WI to compete in the annual Crandon Brush Run as a part of Ultra4’s first ever showing at
the venue, taking home a solid podium finish over two days of racing.
The Glen Helen Grand Prix would mark the next race in the series for Nelson, where they would take
on the 3 mile track and rack on as many laps as possible in the allotted time against 41 other seasoned
drivers. They would cross the line in first place, securing them the overall win at the event.
Leaving Glen Helen, Nick and Brett hit the road to their home town of Vegas where they would prep
their car to launch into the longest off road race in the country, Vegas to Reno. 534 miles of harsh
desert terrain later, they would finish first in the 4400 class by nearly an hour, in a commanding
domination of the desert.
Upon arriving to the Ultra4 American Rocksports Challenge shortcourse race in Tooele, the IFS car would
lose its engine in pre-running, forcing the team to accept a no-start in the race. The setback would
merely act a speed bump, allowing the team the opportunity to tear the car down and start fresh for
their final race of the season in Texas, the Ultra4 Nitto Tire Nationals.
After prepping the car for a brief showing at the SEMA show in Vegas, the team worked literally round
the clock diagnosing new engine troubles and eventually swapping in yet another new engine the week
of the race, allowing them just enough time to drive straight through to Texas, arriving in time for
176 miles of the rugged Texas countryside would be all that stood between Nick and the championship,
and they would make the most of it. They would go on to finish 5th overall, suffering a broken axle shaft
and a busted water line on course, Nick and his team fought hard through to overcome, crossing the
finish line with the national points lead, and a 1 way ticket to both the national championship trophy
at the awards ceremony that night, and the title of Western Regional Champ. Additionally, Nick would
be voted on by his racing peers to be awarded the Ultra4 Sportsman of the year, a title well-earned and
well deserved after a yearlong battle to the top.
Nick went on to state “Lots of people look at our team or car and think big budget throw away money,
but that just isn’t the case. We have a solid group of dedicated individuals behind us, from my co-
driver Brett to the companies that have all helped make it happen, we truly could not have done any
of it without their support and dedication to our cause. We strive to race against the best drivers in
the world, and the help of Les at FigSpeed, Randy at Jimmy’s 4×4, Glenn at Radflo, Tim from Nitto, ATX
Wheels, and the rest of our partners is what it is all about.”
Nick Nelson and his team from Nick Nelson Motorsports hail from the Ultra4 racing community, racing
both desert and rock endurance style events, based out of Las Vegas, NV. The team was founded in
2010 and has been racing competitively since.
Team sponsors: Jimmy’s 4X4, Radflo Shocks, ATX Wheels, FIGSPEED, NITTO Tires, Gear Works,
Magnaflow Exhaust, Adams Driveshafts, PAC Springs, Warrior Lifestyles Trailers, Howe Steering, Bulldog
Winch, Magnum Ink, Atl Fuel Cells, KC Lights, Battery Systems