Truckee made: Local racer Rose seeks series title |

Truckee made: Local racer Rose seeks series title

Truckee's Woody Rose will vie for a points title this weekend in Oklahoma.
Justin Scacco /

TRUCKEE, Calif. — With one foot on the break and another on the gas Steven “Woody” Rose Jr. sits at the start line, loading the throttle of his Trent Fabrication Top Shelf Ultra4 car as he awaits the start of another off-road race.

In an instant the 457engine screams down the dirt track, creating upward of 700 horsepower, but among the chaos, the vehicle’s driver sits calm, clear-headed, thinking, “don’t mess up around the first corner. It’s always the first corner.”

Rose takes it perfectly, powering out and pushing his vehicle over 100 mph down a dirt straight away before locking the brakes to make a 90-degree turn.

Rose continues to push the car around the track, navigating whoop sections, rocks and boulders, and jumps while pursuing a checkered flag in the car he built for a sport he was made for.

“I love racing,” said Rose. “It comes naturally. It’s pretty much built into me.”

Rose grew up in Truckee around parents that both competed in off-road racing. His first job was at The Auto & Tire Doctor, pushing a broom around at the age of 16 before later moving onto tires.

He now works with his stepfather Derek Trent at their family-owned shop in Reno, Trent Fabrication. The shop specializes in building off-road racers and for the past several years Rose has been studying under Trent and the other mechanics, learning to build the vehicles from the ground up.

“Five years ago I started at The Auto Doctor doing tires, and slowly moving up in the mechanic field,” said Rose, “Now I can do a lot of things that I never knew I was capable of doing.”

While working at Trent Fabrication, Rose got the opportunity to sit in the passenger seat and navigate during races, gaining valuable experience all the while awaiting his chance to get behind the wheel.

“Every single time I was in a car we were on the podium,” said Rose. “It was a lot of first-place finishes. So, it gave me a lot of knowledge of how to control the car and what to do in certain scenarios.”

Rose got his shot to drive last year, making his debut in the Nor Cal Rock Racing Series. He’d take second in his first race, and went on to post two third-place finishes.

This year Rose has won two races and landed on the podium in each of the six events he’s entered. As a rookie in the Ultra4 4800 Limited Class, Rose leads the West Series points race going into this weekend’s final event, Legends of the Fall.

Rose, his stepfather, and the rest of the team from Trent Fabrication left for the series finale in Disney, Oklahoma last week. Rose enters the weekend with a slight lead in points and with double points on the line, will likely need to finish ahead of Wyoming’s Jeremy Jones to claim the West Series title.

No matter the result this weekend, Rose said he’s found a home both behind the wheel and under the hood, and plans to continue pursuing his dream of building and racing cars.

“I would love for this to be a career,” he said. “I build these things from the ground up with Derek and I love doing what I do.”

The Legends of the Fall race will be streamed at

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