Disco Derek West spills on family, racing, opportunities, and why he’s retired now. A twenty-year career with over 100 wins in all elements of off-road, Derek has always been a wheelman. He can drive anything and podium.
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3:54 – Four wheelers started the driving bug
9:03 –my very first race is a holeshot race and everyone’s wrecking!
14:07 – John Lloyd was the one who got me into off-road
16:12 –Camp Jeep in Branson is where I met Ritchie
20:17 – Ashley was driving my comp rig to college
24:18 – I learned you have to trust your rig and trust your spotter
28:00 – the sponsors weren’t interested, nobody was interested
30:48 – I am just the monkey behind the wheel
33:32 – I hated optional lines
37:58 – got invited to KOH in 2009
43:40 – I got second place, and somebody said “What happened?” I was proud of that second place
51:39 –that was the hardest race
58:11 – the solid axle is actually doing extremely well
1:02:05 – the origin of “disco”
1:05:03 – if you can swing it, pay for it yourself, sponsorship is a job.
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Derek West. Yes, that’s right, Disco Derek West. First time I met him, he wasn’t going by Disco.
[00:01:31.830] – Big Rich Klein
We met in Oklahoma at a rockcrawl event. We’ll get into that. But, Derek, thank you for coming on board with conversations and talking to me and our listeners.
[00:01:44.130] – Derek West
Yeah. Thanks for having me.
[00:01:45.600] – Big Rich Klein
Let’s let’s get right down to the nitty gritty like we always do. Where were you born and raised?
[00:01:50.370] – Derek West
I was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri. And I’m still here.
[00:01:54.990] – Big Rich Klein
That’s correct. I knew that’s where you’re at. I didn’t realize that that’s where you were born and raised as well. So let’s talk about those early years. Do you have I never found out if you have any brothers or sisters.
[00:02:06.810] – Derek West
I have three stepsisters. I’ve got one that’s younger than me and two that are older, but none that I necessarily grew up with or OK. So I kind of grew up as an only child. My two older sisters lived in another household and then my younger sister lived with me. But she’s 12 years younger than I am.
[00:02:32.340] – Derek West
So, you know, she was pretty young at the time I was leaving the house.
[00:02:37.260] – Big Rich Klein
OK, so let’s talk about your early years and growing up. I’m an only child. I always wished I had brothers and sisters. But what it did is it I had a lot of really good friends growing up since I didn’t have brothers and sisters. Did you find that same thing?
[00:02:58.830] – Derek West
Yeah, I suppose so. And so the funny thing is, since I didn’t have any close siblings close to my age anyway, know, so I thought that I wanted to have multiple kids because of that.
[00:03:15.030] – Derek West
And then I ended up just having one myself. But yeah. You know, so you can find good friends. And I think siblings just fight in their younger years and then, you know, maybe become better friends later in life. But yeah, I mean, I guess I kind of miss that. But, you know, I didn’t know any better wasn’t a big deal to me.
[00:03:35.640] – Derek West
[00:03:37.680] – Big Rich Klein
So what was your your interest as a kid? Did you did you get into music? Did you get into scouts sports? What kind of things what kind of things floated your boat?
[00:03:54.210] – Derek West
Yes, I got it.
[00:03:54.990] – Derek West
You know, I enjoyed listening to music. I started to find an interest to play guitar, and that didn’t last very long at all. I got into skateboarding, so I like to skateboard. That was pretty fun. Um, some biking. But in that so my dad, uh, you know, got us some four wheelers. So I did a fair amount of four wheeler riding, which kind of probably started all of my interests and in racing, um, and then we’ll talk some more into that so, you know, kind of work is.
[00:04:34.920] – Derek West
He also helped me get a jeep when I was actually fifteen, I guess. But but early on I was I was riding four wheelers and I really like and enjoyed that.
[00:04:45.840] – Big Rich Klein
OK, from the four wheelers. What about what what age was that?
[00:04:52.710] – Derek West
And so I actually had a little mini bike I think I got for my seventh birthday, OK, which was a motorcycle, and I rode it around, but I was never big into dirt bikes when I was little. You know, I had that and it was fun to ride for some reason. I like the four wheelers and so oh, I’m going to say around ten ish. I’m not exactly for sure. We got a two fifty Honda TRX, four wheeler.
[00:05:23.970] – Derek West
We had one of those and then a year or two later ended up with a one twenty five as well. You know what, they were just kind of more utility type of four wheelers.
[00:05:34.800] – Derek West
Right. Um and then somewhere.
[00:05:41.220] – Derek West
Oh probably by the time I guess I was. I guess 13 maybe we ended up with a Yamaha warrior, which was a bit more sporty, right? READ MORE