Chad and Dick DeVries enjoy a healthy family rivalry at Lands End Hill Climb
Chad DeVries came back this year for more than regaining his Lands End Hill Climb record.
The Wheat Ridge man came back for an opportunity to race and compete against his dad, Dick, at least one more time.
The DeVries are the only two drivers racing in the Comp Truck Class this weekend on Lands End Road. The race continues at 10 a.m. today.
“There’s a little poking and prodding, but when you grow up and the guy’s your hero and you look up to him. ... I don’t know how to put it, but it’s been a long time since ‘06 when we raced together,” Chad said. “I did a lot of growing as a person and as a father myself. To have that opportunity and he’s still willing to do it ... I can’t put it into words. It’s a special feeling.
“We get to compete against each other, we get to rib each other. At the same time we go back to the shop and it’s all open-book stuff. We don’t hide anything. I can’t count what my parents have done for me.”
Chad finished his third run on Saturday in 5 minutes, 32.92 seconds. Dick finished his third run in 5:37.61.
The DeVries both drive Ford Rangers.
“The truck class used to be pretty good-sized, but trends change,” Dick said. “People that were running trucks couldn’t afford them any more or weren’t enthused by them and quit.
“The new class appears to be the rock buggies. They have more opportunities around the country and get more exposure. That was what going on with the rally cars. Things are always changing. Trucks are just a body.”
“It’s four tires,” Chad said. “You’ve got to figure out to make it work. It doesn’t matter if it’s a stock car or a rock buggy.”
Dick ran his first Lands End Hill Climb in 1992. The next year Chad came up to watch his dad.
“Dad had a rough Saturday and I didn’t get to see him run,” Chad said.
That didn’t matter much — Chad was already hooked on racing.
“I remember the first time I went to comp truck in 2000 and spent all this money I didn’t have,” Chad said. “We put a motor together and it ran for 20 minutes. Dad and I talked and he said, ‘Get in mine. I’m running open comp, there’s nothing keeping you out of comp truck.’ I jumped in his, never been in it, didn’t fit and I beat him. All I was expecting to do was record some laps.”
They worked on a spare motor together and put it in the truck so they could both race successfully.
“We finished first and second on Pikes Peak,” Chad said. “It was awesome.”
In 2002, Chad DeVries ran Lands End and set a course record. The next year he wrecked and didn’t finish.
“The first time I drove this road, to me, it’s better than Pikes Peak,” Chad said. “It’s a lot of fun. I like the area. We’re happy to have any support we get.
“This road is not paved. It’s a challenge; it’s intimidating. It’s fast and it’s fun. People are always appreciative we’re here. It’s not all about what you’ve got underneath your seat, it’s about what you’re willing to do and what you are capable of.”
Dick competed in the Lands End Hill Climb in 2008, but Chad did not. Chad raced last year, but Dick didn’t make it. They are running together for the first time since 2006.
“He enjoys it and that’s good,” Dick said. “He found something that keeps him working at it hard and try to make things better. It shows up all the way around.
“Even if it’s nothing more than making sure we’ve done everything before we get here, you translate that to the customers.”