Racer Roger Mears On Bakersfield Baja His Famous Brother And The Mears Gang

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Inducted in the 2020 Off-Road Motorsports Hall Of Fame, Roger Mears is the eldest son of racer Bill Mears and the older brother of four-time Indianapolis 500 Champion Rick Mears. Roger drove buggies, midgets, stock cars, sprint cars and competed in the Indy 500 twice in his long career. He made his mark in offroad racing and was a constant threat in both short course and desert racing.

Mears built and raced the Nissan trucks and won twenty World Off-Road Championships at Riverside International Raceway. Think motocross meets Baja in front of 60,000 fans. It was wheel-to-wheel-racing, with great sponsors, factory support, and the sport's best drivers. His first Baja race was in 1973, "my brother Rick and I showed up with a couple of spare tires and gas cans and just fell in love with the place." Mears went on to win four Baja 1000's, five Pikes Peak Hill Climbs, two HDRA/SCORE series titles, and the Mickey Thompson Stadium Series Truck title.

We stopped to see Roger when we were driving through Bahia de Los Angeles on the 2021 BajaXL Rally. He and his wife Carol have been living in BOLA for years. The conversation flowed easily; he was humble about his successes and honest about his struggles. His deep reverence for his family -his father Bill, younger brother Rick, and his sons Casey and Roger Jr were genuine and refreshing. I only called him Rick once, and we laughed about it!

Enjoy the conversation with Roger Mears.

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