Declan Shields Is Learning Fast
Words: Connor Moore
Photos: Activate Photo
Declan Shields is an eight-year-old ripper out of Arizona who may be young, but I am pretty sure he handles an interview better than I do. He has been racing for almost three years now, with his eyes set on becoming one of the best very soon. He was Rookie of the Year at LOORS in 2020 and winner at the UTV SXS World Finals in 2021 at WORCS—and he is looking to bring home even more hardware this year. If he is not out racing at a track somewhere, you can catch him watching videos of some of the best in the business, because this kid is all about the offroad lifestyle.
USM: Family plays a big part for you at the races! Who is out here this weekend helping you?
Declan: We have my mom who helps run my Instagram, my sister who is my biggest supporter, my two dogs Pink and Blue, and my dad and Dylan, who both work on my cars to make sure I can be the fastest I can be.
USM: You race in two different classes, the Youth RZR 170 and 250; which one do you like driving more, and why?
Declan: I like the 170 more right now because it’s a big change from going 40 mph to 60 mph, and I’m still definitely getting used to the speed.
USM: Do you guys go out in the desert and have fun outside racing?
Declan: My dad and I love to go out to Glamis a few times a year and ride in our dune buggies and drag race, so that is a lot of fun.
USM: What is your favorite type of weather to race in, and why is that your favorite option?
Declan: I definitely like muddy races where you can slide around. It’s an advantage if you need to pass, because first is more likely to just slip up at any point.
USM: If you could choose anywhere to go and have a race, where would it be?
Declan: I would definitely want to go race in Hawaii. I think that would be really cool.
USM: I see that you also like to race go-karts when you are free. Does that type of practice help you in off-road as well?
Declan: Oh yeah, it helps me a lot in teaching me ways to pass people and where I should or shouldn’t make the passes. It also teaches me different lines so I can use them to pass later.
USM: What are your goals for the 2022 racing season?
Declan: I want to win my class in points in RZR 170 and then get at least top-five in the bigger class with my RZR 250.
USM: Well Declan, You just finished up quite the race, dude! Why don’t you give us a little recap of what just happened here at WORCS Rd.3 in Lake Havasu?
Declan: I was battling with Nixon Nagel around the start and I made the pass on the outside and went up to the jump and well, it kicked me a little bit. I just started flipping, and I had no idea what was going on. The next thing I know, I’m two jumps later on the track saying “How did I get here?” The medics came over and asked if I was okay and I told them, “Yes! But get me back on the track.” I got back on the course with no front hood, and they had to tear one of the shocks off since it broke, but I worked my way back to pass almost everyone, finishing in second place.
USM: Lastly, who would you like to thank for helping you out there?
Declan: I want to thank my mom and dad, Adept Life Sciences, 2X Motorsports, Got Sand? Performance (GSP), and Benchmark Performance.
Declan has the whole world ahead of him. If you want to follow him on his racing journey, catch him on Instagram or TikTok @Declanshieldsracing.
He sends many thanks to all his sponsors: Adept Life Sciences, 2X Motorsports, Got Sand? Performance and Benchmark Performance.