King of the Hammers Lady Driver Bio for Lindsay Gilstrap
From: Lufkin, TX
Team Name: Gilstrap Motorsports
Driver of Record: Lindsay Gilstrap
Co-Driver: Josh England
Class: 4400 Qualifying Tuesday EMC Afternoon & Smittybilt Every Man Challenge Race (Thursday)
Car Number: 4505
How do you know your Co-Driver? I met Josh England through racing the Dirt Riot series. He helps create the courses and does media for the racers as Rise Above Photography. He has been great in the car - a very patient man!
Driver of Record: Clay Gilstrap
Co-Driver: Lindsay Gilstrap
Class: 4400 Qualifying Tuesday PowerHour & Main KOH Race (Friday)
Car Number: 26
How many times have you raced King of the Hammers? This will be my fifth time co-driving for the King of the Hammers and fourth year as a driver. In 2014, I raced a UTV with Jeremy Dickenson as my co-driver, we didn't finish and broke a lot of parts! In 2015 and 2016, I drove the 4505 car in the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge race with Josh England as my co-driver. In 2015, we crossed the finish line, but were an hour and a half late getting in. In 2016, we finished 8th!
Clay and I went to King of the Hammers for the first time in 2012 to get an understanding of the race and competited in the Dirt Riot series all year. With Clay driving, and me as the co-driver, we qualified for the 2013 race in the fall of 2012 at the Texana Ultra4 National Finals race. In 2013, we finished our first King of the Hammers in 14th. In 2014, we wrecked really bad going end-over-end at the top of Chocolate Thunder. In 2015, we were in the lead for a good part of the race and towards the end we caught on fire. After we got the fire out and the car running again, we were the last car to finish before the cut-off, finishing 17th. In 2016, we were running good, but had a bunch of motor problems and finished 11th. Clay and I are both really proud to be 3rd in the 2016 Ultra4 National Series Points.
How did you get into Ultra4 Racing? My background is in barrel racing, showing cattle, and veterinary medicine. I met Clay in 2010; he and his family had a love for offroading and wheeling, and had just gotten into racing. Clay was racing XRRA and Shelby was participating in W.E. Rock rock crawling, and Dirt Riot had just started. Shelby was racing Dirt Riot in Altus, OK and asked me to get into the co-driver seat with her. The car ended up breaking in half because of the weight of the mud, but we finished. Clay also needed a co-driver, and since I now knew the course from riding with Shelby, I jumped in and co-drove for him and have been his co-driver ever since. We were freezing and covered in mud - a race none of us will ever forget. Since then, I have gone from the co-driver seat into the drivers seat as well.
What has been your most exciting achievement in Ultra4 racing? Us sitting in 1st place in Ultra4's 2015 King of the Hammers race was probably the most exciting. Our team kept the news from us, but we could tell by where the helicopter was that we were in the lead. Just knowing there was a chance to win and anytime we are in the lead is exciting.
In the 4505 car, my most exciting moment was coming into the finish last year on time and having Clay waiving the checker flag for us. Josh and I overcame a lot of challenges throughout the day, and we made it!
I also think our relationship has been built as a result of the racing. This is something that we do as a couple. We are rewarded and excited when we do good, and we push and challenge each other along the way. Clay say's he'll shut off the comm, but he doesn't. I'm helping him get prepared for the next obstacle. It is great that it is so teamwork based.
What does race prep look like in your world? We both have very demanding jobs. I am responsible for the sponsor and paperwork part of it. I am a health and fitness person, so my everyday health is important and rewarding. I do practice winching and working with the tools that I need to use during the race. Clay and Billy (Clay's dad) work on the cars. I try to get to the shop as much as possible, and feel bad and embarrased that I can't be there as often to help as I would like.
What are you looking forward to at this year's King of the Hammers? Not the Mud! I really enjoy being eith our race family. We park next to Lucky Dog Racing (Levi Shirley) and get to hang out with everyone for a week. Friendship and fellowship have come from being part of this racing community.
What are your goals for this years King of the Hammers? In the 4505 car, this will be our first year of qualifying, so I am really hoping to get a decent qualifying position. I really hope to be in the Top 5, and really nice to be on the podium. I'm more about being consistant than speed, so of course just finishing is good too. Finishing means I got the see the whole course so I can help be a better co-driver on Friday.
In the 26, we need to get a great qualifying position, top 10 for sure, but would prefer to be in the top 5. On race day, we would really like to see the podium and would be estatic for a win. It's a dream of Clay's to win this race, so it is a dream of mine and I would like to see us do it!
What excites you about racing? Going Fast! The Competition. I like this from of racing and comptition better than any other kind because it is about endurance. It's not only rock and desert, but also navigation and hoping the car doesn't break down. There is a big adrenaline rush for us.
What is the difference for you between driving and co-driving? My priority is Clay and the 26 car, but I have always had a desire to drive. Clay and Shelby were driving, so I wanted to drive to see what it felt like and see what it was all about. Driving gives me the rush, a heart beat, being in control of the car. Co-Driving keeps me in a more calm and mellowing state. I think it's harder to be a driver, to listen to someone else telling me where to go, what to do and to not get mad while shifting, managing the pedals and trying to go as smooth or fast as possible. As a co-driver my role is reversed where I am the one trying to stay calm for him, talking him down, pointing out challenges, offering solutions and navigating. To sum it up, there is the listening end and the speaking end.
What is a piece of advise that you have been given? "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Phil 4:13 I have a piece of teap in my car in front of the steering wheel when I'm racing and in front of the GPS when I'm on the passenger side. This is my daily quote that has always been my go to. It's Uplifting, gives me a little power, "ok, I needed that". I take it even more to heart since my Dad paseed away. I know that God and Dad are watching over us. I don't ever pray for a win or finish, I pray for everyones safety. I don't think about us winning, but to have a clear mind to be sand and focused on skills.
Tell us about the Team that Supports you. Gilstrap Motorsports is a family team. Billy and Lee are Clay's parents. Billy takes the lead on the cars and is in charge of all our pits. Lee is on top of the stats and knows exactly where we are and helps with all the race logistics. Shelby is Clay's sister and also races. We don't broing anyone else to help, just the five of us. So, we team up with the other Texas teams and make pit crews happen for everyone including Tribe4x4, the Shirley's, Doug Jackson, Alex Wacker and Darrell Gray.
• Total Equipment And Service
• Maxxis Tires
• Tribe 4x4
• Raceline Wheels
• Lucas Oil
• PCI Race Radios
• PSC Motorsports
• PAC Racing Springs
• Branik Motorsports
• Fox Shocks
• Power Tank
• Mechman Alternators
• Mast Motorsports
• RCV Performance
• Fleet Ink
• Advanced Adapters
• Trail-Gear Inc.
• Odyssey Battery
Author: Lindsay Gilstrap