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'I thought it was chaos when I first got into it,' train race driver says

Train racing: Where the first car has the engine and steering, the middle car has nothing but wheels and the third car has the brakes -- and they're all attached.

Jared Wall has a room full of car racing trophies -- he’s been racing since he was 17. 

“I was five days old, my parents raced out at Colorado National Speedway back when it was dirt. I’ve been going to the races ever since,” Wall said. His mother has won trophies, so has his brother and he hopes to hand it all down to his kids.

Wall's event is a little different though. 

“The first time I even heard about it, this crazy little lady who got me started in this … Shirley Thompson … this was back in 1999," he said. "She got me started in it. She came up to me and said, ‘Jared, I need someone to fill in for me’… I was like, 'OK?'"

He said OK to filling in as the "brake person" in a train race. 

“It was the memory that lasted a lifetime, then I started driving the car," Wall said. "Holy cow, completely different perspective from brake car to drive car."

Twenty years later and he’s earned eight championships. He’s now the full-time driver of team ‘Last Call.’

Credit: KUSA
Jared Wall before his race.

What's a ‘train race'?

Imagine three cars attached from front to back: 

  1. The first car has no brakes and pulls the other two cars. 
  2. The middle car is completely gutted and is in place to pull the third car. 
  3. The third car is there as a braking car and holds a driver with a steering wheel and a brake pedal. 

The person driving the brake car is responsible for braking when needed but of course, that slows things down. 

“A lot of people think it’s a high-speed demolition derby, if you will,” Wall said. 

The race can be between 7 and 10 laps with speeds up to 60 mph. 

“Ya know everyone wants to ride in the train. I got no problem throwing anybody in it,” Wall said.

Enter Keanna Weber. 

At just 15 years old, Weber jumps in the back, back, back seat and holds on for dear life. She has been train racing for a year. 

“I have all my trust in Jared, everyone, my family and all ... they all have to trust you,” Weber said to Wall before she got in the brake car for the last race of the season. 

“The main strategy is just to finish and hope we can come out with a trophy,” Wall said.

>> Watch below: 360 video of train racing

Big race

On this late September night, there are seven teams. Team Crazy Train is the leader in points for the season and all they have to do is finish the race. Jereme Wall and Chad Wall make up Team Crazy Train. Jereme is Jared’s brother and Chad is Jared’s son.

Not even a lap into the race, Jared Wall and Weber find themselves running into Team Trump Train -- a wall of cars.

Jared Wall gets his scarred and dented 1972 Montego back on track and Weber follows in her 1975 Chevette. It’s not helping that Team Trump has decided to have some fun with a squirt gun. The brake person is shooting water just to add to the excitement.

There are a few more bumps along the way. But when a race only lasts five minutes or so, it’s hard to make up the time. Jared Wall gives it his all and Weber’s car swings back and forth like a tail -- Weber holding on tight.

In the end, it was Team Crazy Train, Chad and Jereme Wall, that got the trophy.

While Jared Wall didn’t get the trophy on this night, he can at least say he had a hand in the victory.

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