As if racing a Top Alcohol dragster weren’t enough, Jaren Mott became a licensed Jet Car racer in 2011. And as if that weren’t enough, last summer, at the urging of Rocky Mountain Raceways’ oval legend Jimmy Waters, Mott took up crate motor Sprint car racing on the America First Credit Union Super Oval. Clearly, growing up around racing and spending so much time at RMR – and Bonneville Raceway before that – has instilled in Jaren an insatiable need for speed … either that or the man simply likes the comfortable feel of a fire suit. Either way, he is always welcome on the Young Kia Drag Strip or the America First Credit Union Super Oval. Jaren recently had a conversation with RMR Marketing Communications Director Jim Burton.
When did you know you wanted to drive a race car/dragster?
I grew up at the track. I was out there from the time was born. My dad, Dave Mott, has been racing since before I was born. He started in Sand Drags and then to NHRA Asphalt racing so I have spent my entire life at the race tracks so it was second nature to me to want to drive a dragster. I was fortunate enough, when I was old enough, to help my dad when he was running his Super Pro dragster to seven straight Super Pro championships at Bonneville Raceway starting in 1987. When NHRA introduced the Jr. Dragster program we built me a Jr car and just kept climbing the ladder from there.
How did you get involved in the racing business
My dad has owned and operated Utah Chassis & Machine since before I was born. When I was young I would always go down to the shop and hang out and as I got older learned more and more about building engines and dragster chassis. That led to me working there and building engines and chassis. I also have had the opportunity to run a few racing retail stores as well. I ran Silver King Power Sports which was a high performance racing kart shop for a number of years. I also had the opportunity to manage Strange Performance for years which specialized in high performance racing and street rod components. Now I am still building engines and chassis at Utah Chassis and Machine, and also Dyno Tuning cars at UCM Dyno Shop.
Who has had the biggest influence on your racing career and why?
Hands down my dad has had the biggest influence on my racing career!! If it wasn’t for him I defiantly would not be where I am today. He has taught me everything about racing, how to build and maintain race cars, how to drive, how to tune just everything has came through him. Without him, none of my 18 season championships would have been possible.
Jaren Mott drives his winged Sprint on to the infield of the America First Credit Union Super Oval after winning a feature race on July 4, 2015.
Last summer you began driving a Sprint car, what went into your decision to try oval racing?
Last spring I was out at RMR and Jimmy Waters and I got talking and he brought up if I had “ever thought about driving a Sprint car?” I told him I have always liked to watch the winged Sprint cars run at RMR but I was so into drag racing I never really thought about driving one. Well, less than a week later I was in one of his winged Sprint cars running laps around RMR’s Super Oval. One thing led to another and I ended up running quite a few races in one of Jimmy’s cars. To this day I can’t thank Jimmy enough for giving me the opportunity to drive his cars.
What was it like racing on the oval as well as the drag strip?
It has been really fun being able to run on both sides of the hill at RMR. When we started the year in the sprint car it was fun just being able to compete on both sides of the hill. As the year went on and we ended up winning the big oval race on the 4th of July in the crate Sprint class and started looking at season points and decided to do everything we could to win the season points title in the crate Sprint class. It came down to the last race on the RMR Super Oval to do it but we did it. I can’t thank everyone enough that helped make the 2015 crate Sprint championship happen!
Jimmy Waters (left) and Jaren Mott (right) pose together after Mott drove Waters’ winged Sprint to a victory on July 4, 2015 on the America First Credit Union Super Oval.
For you, what’s the biggest difference between driving a Jet Car, and a Sprint?
That’s a tough question. The Jet Car I drive and the Sprint car are so much different from each other. About the only similarities between them I can think of is they both have four wheels and race at RMR!!! In the Jet Car you have a hand throttle and buttons to light the burner, and two brake pedals, compared to the Sprint where you have to more conventional throttle pedal and what not. The Jet Car requires a lot of focus for a short period of time to make sure you don’t make a mistake, where the sprint car requires you to stay focused for a lot longer period of time with the potential of a few rest breaks in there (yellow flags) throughout the race. That being said, I have been fortunate to have driven quite a few different types of race cars. I have so much respect for anyone that can drive any type of car at the top of the cars capabilities. I have been asked so much last year what is better, drag or oval? My only response is it takes so much to drive either at the top of your game. I have tremendous respect for both the drag strip and oval track.
What’s your favorite thing about Rocky Mountain Raceways?
I don’t know that I have one favorite thing about RMR. RMR is my home from March through October. I have so many favorite things out there. I have had the opportunity to drive every race car I have driven down or around one of the tracks at RMR. Last season I started working on the best safety team in the World at RMR. So even if I am not racing I am working safety at RMR so it is truly the place I enjoy spending my summers at. From the people and teams I race against to all the RMR staff that makes all the races happen out there, to everyone on my team that helps Mott Motorsports week in and week out, to everyone that helps us on Jimmy Waters Motorsports. All of that is my favorite thing about RMR.
Jaren Mott fires up his Jet Car Tow Mater during a 2015 event on the Young Kia Drag Strip.
What is you favorite racing movie?
I think I have three favorite race movies. Growing up I would watch “Heart like a Wheel.” It is an older movie about Shirley Muldowney and her racing career. I also like “Days of Thunder.” I got the opportunity to be a technical advisor and was a “stunt guy” (didn’t know driving a dragster was a stunt) in the Disney movie “Right on Track.” This is a movie about Erica and Courtney Enders’ Jr Dragster career and was filmed right here at RMR.
Who is your favorite musical artist?
I’m a big Nickelback fan. I like all their stuff from their older songs to their newest album.