Shawn Rants, 4500 class driver running the ship on Episode 132


Our personal pit crew captain for many years, Shawn Rants shares stories of KOH, raising kids and working on high end equipment. One of our favorite because of his pure generosity of spirit. Listen up to see what makes the man.

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5:26 – if it snowed 4 feet, the bus came to get us with chains on, there were no snow days

14:07– it was trying to do things differently…but a lot of times you end up drifting back

17:45 – Top Eliminator Sand Drags, that’s high horsepower, 3000 HP; 300 ft in under 2.9 seconds

23:28 – these are around $5 million, we have well over 100 of them…

28:17 – it was enjoyable, but I can’t say it was easy

32:05 – “well. I went and paid your entry fee today, so you have to go.”

39:56 – you might drive 2000 miles to make two 3-second runs

42:34 – my lifelong goal was to win KOH (in the 4500 class)

47:22 – we always want to do whatever it takes to finish

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.


[00:01:47.290] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of conversations with Big Rich, we have Shawn Rants. I can’t remember the first time I actually met Shawn. It may have been with Dean Bulloch or Jeff Rector or Mitch Funk. Maybe in Moab before racing. But Shawn races the 4500 class at Ultra Four and King of the Hammers, and he raced with us in Dirt Riot. He was also the head of my pit crew, as I called it. Every time we’d come to one of the Dirt Riot races or into Farmington, Shawn and his guys were always there to make sure that the We Rock jeep was ready for battle. So, Shawn, thank you so much for everything you’ve done, and I want to say thank you for coming on and talking with us.

[00:02:38.690] – Shawn Rants

Well, yeah, it’s an honor to have a conversation with Big Rich. I believe we met in eleven. I can’t remember it was at Moab because you started the Dirt Riot in eleven or twelve.

[00:02:56.170] – Big Rich Klein

I think it was 11. I believe it was eleven, but it may have been. We did a test event and then we started a full season.

[00:03:07.930] – Shawn Rants

Yeah, and I didn’t race the first season. I was there with Mitch Funk, but then after that I did a number of seasons, and it was some of the most enjoyable times we had in racing.

[00:03:23.390] – Big Rich Klein

Well, I sure enjoyed it. I really loved all the racers. I loved setting up the race courses and going into all the parks and everything. But that’s another story. Let’s start off the beginning by asking you where were you born and raised?

[00:03:43.610] – Shawn Rants

I was born in California by chance and then I was only two and moved to Grand Junction, Colorado and lived there. I lived in Colorado. My father passed away in 75 and then I moved to Utah and then I’ve been in Wyoming and then now in New Mexico.

[00:04:02.700] – Big Rich Klein

Okay, well, we’ll get to what you do for work and everything, but where did you spend most of the time growing up? Those informative years, say up until the beginning of high school, that would have.

[00:04:19.840] – Shawn Rants

Been in Colorado, in Grand Junction and then up around Eagle, Colorado.

[00:04:23.760] – Big Rich Klein

Okay. And what was it like there at that time? I know you’re not as old as I am or we’re really close, maybe, yeah.

[00:04:35.430] – Shawn Rants

I’m not afraid to say it because most people in my family don’t live this long. I’m 62.

[00:04:40.280] – Big Rich Klein

62, okay. Yeah. You’re a little younger than me.

[00:04:44.010] – Shawn Rants


[00:04:44.700] – Big Rich Klein

I grew up in the south of San Francisco in the Bay Area, so I wasn’t rural. Grand Junction was pretty rural at that time.

[00:04:54.030] – Shawn Rants

It was, it was a very small town and then we moved to a Farm  Dad was a farmer, we lived in town in Grand Junction early on and then we lived on the farm up in Colorado when he passed away. But we lived at 9000ft and it was an hour and a half drive to school and an hour and a half home and it was fun times, it was enjoyable.

[00:05:21.250] – Big Rich Klein

Was that hour and a half on a bus?

[00:05:24.010] – Shawn Rants

On a school bus, yeah.

[00:05:25.440] – Big Rich Klein


[00:05:26.770] – Shawn Rants

And if we got 4ft of snow, the bus came, the bus came to us with chains on it and we went no matter what. There was no snow days. It could be three to 4ft and you still went.

[00:05:39.220] – Big Rich Klein

Right. Not like nowadays, right?

[00:05:41.800] – Shawn Rants

If it gets a skiff and gets cold, they cancel.  READ MORE

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