St. George woman builds custom Jeep, preps to race the toughest off-road race in the world – St George News


st. George —From rock crawling and off-road to custom Jeep builds, a woman is looking to add race car driver to her list of abilities to complete the race of a lifetime.

Rubi Kunsch takes a photo while driving off-road. The location and date have not been specified. Photo credit: Rubi Kinsch, St. George News

“Rock crawling and off-road, that’s the world I traditionally live in,” Rubi Kunsch said. “I mean, in the racing world, I’ve never raced the King of Hammers or anything like that. It was like a dream.”

Kunsch said she and her husband Joe would race 2023 King of Hammers Everyman Challenge, 4600 stock class competition. The race will consist of his three laps. His first two laps are about 70 miles and his last lap is about 65 miles. The King of the Hammers event runs from his January 26th to February 26th. 11 in JOrson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area in San Bernardino County, California.

“The King of Hammers is the hardest off-road race on the planet,” said Kunsch. “It’s basically designed to wreck vehicles. Getting into a race is a huge feat. Finishing a race is just as difficult as winning it.”

Kunsch sits in the driver’s seat and races 1997 The Jeep Wrangler TJ she and her husband are building. The complete build includes converting the motor from 2.5 to 4.0, running super durable junkyard axles, custom suspension and more.

Rubi Kunsch poses for a photo next to the Jeep build she will use to compete in the King of the Hammer races in St. George, Utah, January 22, 2023 | Photo by Jessie Bang, St. George News
Rubi Kunsch poses for a photo next to the Jeep build she will use to compete in the King of the Hammer races in St. George, Utah, January 22, 2023 | Photo by Jessie Bang, St. George News

All fabrication of the Jeep build suspension was completed by Kunsch, who learned to weld for the first time for this project. Her husband Joe, who has been in motorsport for a long time, completes the motor swap and helps Kunsch weld the necessary roll cage.

“I don’t know any other woman who builds as many cars as I do,” she said. “Many people have been helped by a lot of people and are gaining more followers online, but they can’t be worried about what other people are doing. Getting to this point is enough.” It’s been great and it’s been a huge accomplishment to have achieved it all in the first three years.”

The core of the racing class is to keep the vehicle as stock as possible, she said, and motors and transmissions should only include those that are actually available for that year, make and model.

But how did she get here?

Kunsch, who works at Dixie 4 Wheel Drive, said he was originally a successful fashion blogger and happened to own a Jeep. In 2021, she decided to create another her Instagram account. This will allow her to brand herself and apply for sponsorships.

Rubi Kunsch and her husband Joe pose for a photo together. A place and date were not specified. Photo credit: Rubi Kinsch, St. George News
Rubi Kunsch and her husband Joe pose for a photo together. A place and date were not specified. Photo credit: Rubi Kinsch, St. George News

“I started building a Jeep and it blew up from there,” she said. “I never drove off-road or put a wrench on a car until 2020.”

When asked if it was her husband’s Jeep, she jokingly turned into flashy and eccentric outfits. In her first year, she was on tour with her Rockstar Energy in Southern Utah where she traveled to many locations including Trail Hero and fell in love with the area. When she hit it off with her now-husband Joe, she was baptized and the couple soon married.

“I’m more conservative the way I am now, but I’ve spent years trying to be respected for my technical driving ability rather than for my pretty face,” Kunsch said.

Along with a list of health scares, including getting hit by a car while cycling, Kunsch said he faced the possibility of death more than once.

After a car accident in 2016, doctors found a tumor in her throat. She began having her seizures, causing calcium deposits in her brain and veins, causing Parkinson-like symptoms, at which time she was told that she had a maximum life expectancy of 10 years.

After leaving the hospital, I vowed to live my life to the fullest with no regrets.

“Nothing is promised. I don’t want to be old, which is a gift in itself, and I don’t want to look back on how I wish I had done something,” she said. “Whether it’s going off-road, being a good person, or helping someone else realize that they too deserve good things, that’s what I do. That’s why I’m living the life of

Ruby Kunsch poses for a photo in one of her signature outfits. The location and date have not been specified. Photo credit: Rubi Kinsch, St. George News
Ruby Kunsch poses for a photo in one of her signature outfits. The location and date have not been specified. Photo credit: Rubi Kinsch, St. George News

The most exciting thing about the next race for Kunsch is being able to put herself in the driver’s seat and prove her skills. One lap is considered complete, but she and her husband are looking forward to completing all three of hers and taking the stage after the race with a win.

“I just know there are a lot of people who look at me and say, ‘She can do it, I can do it,’ and that’s why I keep doing this,” Kunsch said.

The couple needs additional sponsorship for their next race. Please support their efforts by clicking here. Spectators can stream the Ultra 4 race series live on YouTube and follow the couple’s progress. For more information, visit his website on King of Hammer.

To see Rubi Kunsch’s past accomplishments, follow Jeep builds, and to see her racing experience, follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.




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