Sara Price has dedicated her entire life to racing. She’s a race car driver, an ambassador for several companies and a businesswoman. She’s also a 2016 Off-Road Motorsports Hall-of-Fame inductee, X-Games Medalist, multi-champion and stunt woman as well as a role model to young racers everywhere. This California native took time out of her busy schedule to sit down with us and give us a glimpse into her world.
SS: How old were you when you first wanted to get on a motorcycle? What got you involved with motorsports?
SP: I was only eight years old. My older brother was racing motocross, and I had so much energy my Mom and Dad didn’t know what to do with me, so they would just bring me along to the track. Then, that Christmas I got my first motorcycle. I would go to the track and ride the “pee-wee” track while my brother practiced on the so-called “big track.” (Laughs.)
SS: What was the biggest influence that got you involved in motorsports?
SP: My dad. He was always involved in motorsports. He has a passion for desert racing, yet my brother and I ended up racing on two wheels. Of course, now I desert race too.
SS: When did riding turn into racing? How old were you?
SP: I raced from day one, literally. At eight years old when I started riding, I knew I wanted to race! I didn’t want to get off that dirt bike from the day I got it. I would ride until I ran out of gas!
SS: Was there an exclusively female racing class when you were a kid, or did you race against the boys?
SP: I always raced the boys until reaching the national level in motocross, where they had female classes. I would race most of the time in both the female and male classes. Now that I’m racing cars, there aren’t gender-specific classes.
SS: What was it like being a female racer in a sport and industry that is, for the most part, male dominated?
SP: As soon as you walk into the room, you get judged. Everyone has a first impression of you as a female. But I always just put my head down and work hard. People respect me for that quickly and don’t look at me as just a female, but instead as a racer and a competitor.
SS: Are sponsorships harder to get as a female?
SP: Every sponsorship is unique. Racing results aside, you must be creative with tools like social media to get sponsorships. One thing I’ve found is that being part of this small percentage of female racers, you get more attention and have more eyes on you. It is also important to present yourself as a complete package. I take pride in prioritizing my racing skill set first, but today you also have to use social media, speak well and make all the pieces of your brand work together. This is true for males and females. It’s part of your job if you want to be a successful athlete today.
SS: Motocross is a dangerous sport. What injuries have you had and how did they happen?
SP: This might be a long list. (Laughs.) I’ve had two shoulder reconstructions from numerous dislocations, seven screws and a plate in my other shoulder, nine documented concussions, torn ligaments and a broken leg. In motocross it’s not if, but when you will get hurt. It’s also about being as strong as you can be to handle the falls and then to bounce back as fast as you can to get back on the bike.
SP: Outside racing, what are your other hobbies or passions?
A: Before racing, I competed on horseback in many disciplines. I still love it when I get a chance to get on a horse. I also just love the outdoors. Any free weekends I have usually involve going to the desert and camping, so I can ride my dirt bike or Polaris RZR. I’m always down for anything motor related.
SS: What is your training regimen like for both driving and working out?
SP: I always try to stay active, no matter what. Racing a truck for full days isn’t easy, and you need to be in shape — we’re flying over that terrain. I try to get behind the wheel of anything I can to get some seat time but, unfortunately, aside from a few tests in the truck before races, there isn’t much seat time besides the race itself. Other than that, I stay as active as I can on my dirt bike, I hike and I go to the gym when I can.
SS: You moved from motocross into UTVs and trucks. What has that been like? Which is your favorite?
SP: Going from two wheels to four wheels has been an amazing journey! Motocross was my first love and will always be something I can never replace — it was my life since I was a little girl. However, I had to adapt when a future for me in motocross began to become less likely. I decided to start a business and took up racing UTVS. I climbed through the ranks to be a top competitor in the industry, and I raced in different disciplines, from short course to rock crawling. However, in 2016, I was debating my next move.
I really wanted a chance to jump into a truck to show what I could do. That chance presented itself when I got to race Stadium Super Trucks at an Indy car race. I couldn’t have asked for it to go any better. Even with minimal prior seat time, I proved I could be a force to reckon with in a truck. From there, I raced the rest of 2016 in SST and received a phone call from RPM Offroad, who gave me the opportunity of a lifetime — the chance to get behind the wheel of a Trophy Truck in their desert program! I was beyond excited!
SS: How was it at this year’s first Baja desert race in the RPM Offroad truck?
SP: This year I’ll be racing all of SCORE International’s desert races in Baja Mexico. They’re some of the most prestigious off-road races in the world, and I can’t thank RPM Offroad enough for the opportunity. I just got back from the first race of the series, the San Felipe Baja 250, which was 320 miles long. My navigator, Erica Sacks, and I spent over a week pre-running the course, logging over 700 miles to make sure we were as prepared as we could be. We ended up having an electrical issue that we had to battle to the finish line, but we made it and were able to gain points for a chance at the championship.
SS: What’s it like in the Trophy Truck, racing through the Mexican desert?
SP: It’s a feeling that you can’t really describe. Mexico is such a special place, and getting to experience the terrain and courses there in such an incredible truck at such high speeds is an experience of a lifetime.
SS: It seems that if it has an engine and wheels, you can race it. Tell us about FIAT and Hoonigan.
SP: FIAT brand and Hoonigan came up with the idea to support females in auto racing. They started with over 150 entries and narrowed that down to only six female racers. I won the title of “Next Female Hoonigan” and got to race the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth rally car at the Mt. Washington Hillclimb, which is the nation’s oldest hill climb race. It gains 4,500 feet of elevation in about seven and a half miles.
SS: What’s next on the horizon?
SP: For now, my primary focus is racing trucks with RPM Offroad and earning my stripes, as they say down in Baja. I want to put us in position to earn a championship. Aside from that, I also enter races in my Polaris RZR and take on fun projects that allow me to experience different disciplines and different vehicles. This is my passion.
This article was originally published in Summer of 2018. Sara has gone on to race in many prestigious off-road races. In 2019, Price became the first female SCORE International Baja 1000 IronWoman by solo driving the entire race. In that very race she also managed to finish second in the trophy trucks spec class. Listen to our interview with Sara on our podcast Skillset Live! If you want more great stories like this one, go pick up a back issue of Skillset at OutdoorGroupStore.com!