Fans Pack the House Again at Glen Helen
With the extra draw of a fun night under the lights being added to the already thrilling show that is Lucas Oil Off Road, it's no wonder that this race weekend is the most popular on the calendar. The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, is back at Glen Helen Raceway once again, and the southern California race fans flocked to the northern outskirts of San Bernardino to pack the stands once again as Round 10 of the 2012 championship got down and dirty here this evening. The racing was once again fantastic, as the drivers battled the unique challenges of both the lights and this difficult track, which has caught out even the most seasoned of veterans in years past. If you weren't here, you missed a great event, but you can read on and at least get a taste of what those of us who were here got to enjoy.
For all the latest photos, check out Lucas Oil Off Road on Flickr.
Junior 2 Kart
After starting from row two, Shelby Anderson and her #405 Walker Evans Racing/Anderson's Nu Power machine grabbed the early lead in today's opening race, Junior 2 Kart. Behind Anderson, it was Travis PeCoy in the #411 Fox Racing Shox/Simpson kart, Dylan Winbury in the #469 Magnum Off-Road/Black Rhino truck, Parker Porter in the #461 Redline Performance/Advantage Boats machine, and Jeremy Davis in the #485 Green Army/Hoosier entry. The running order in the top five stayed the same for the first four laps, but on lap five, Davis was the first to break up the ranks, as he got by Porter for fourth after Porter was briefly slowed when he had a bit of contact with Winbury ahead of him. This also meant that the top three drivers were now separating away just a little, but with the Competition Yellow then coming out, those gaps closed right down again.
The running order was now Anderson, PeCoy, Winbury, Davis, and Porter at the halfway point, but on the restart lap, it was Winbury who muscled PeCoy out in turn two as he took over second spot. The top four then pulled open a small gap over those behind, with Porter driving a bit erratically as he fought to catch back up. On the penultimate lap, Winbury made his bid for the lead, as he really leaned on Anderson from turns two through four, before finally edging ahead and into the lead. Then on the last lap, Broc Dickerson got by Porter through the whoops in the final corner to move up to fifth in his #423 Driscoll's Surf N Skate/Kar Tek truck. Up front, Winbury picked up his sixth win of the season, followed by Anderson, PeCoy, Davis, and Dickerson.
Junior 1 Kart
Next on track came the Junior 1 Karts, and it was Blaze Nunley in the #230 RC10.com kart who took the early lead, ahead of Broc Dickerson, Darren Hardesty, Parker Darland, and Travis PeCoy. Dickerson then moved up to first on lap two in his #1 Dickerson Motorsports/Walker Evans Racing truck. A few laps later, and some moving was going on a bit further down the order, with PeCoy moving up to fourth in the #211 King Off-Road Racing Shocks/Simpson machine, and Conner McMullen taking over fifth in his #288 Monster Energy/Racer X Motorsports entry. The top five drivers were now running nose-to-tail, and at the halfway mark, their order was Dickerson, Nunley, Hardesty, PeCoy, and McMullen. On the restart lap, PeCoy had to swerve to avoid contact with McMullen, which ended up costing him a few positions, and dropping him out of the top five.
McMullen had moved up to fourth, and Darland was now back up to fifth in the #241 Alexander Ford/Lincoln/Maxim Air Conditioning and Heating truck. A couple of laps later, and McMullen had picked up another spot, as he got by Nunley and up to third. After that, though, the running order in the top five stayed the same, and it was Dickerson who picked up the win, followed by Hardesty in the #231 Bilstein/RC10.com entry, McMullen, Nunley, and Darland.
In Modified Kart, it was yesterday's winner Cole Mamer who was out front early again in the #535 Simpson/T.I.S.I. Racing kart, ahead of Myles Cheek in the #557 Rockstar/Metal Mulisha truck, Blake Lenk in the #521 Team Associated/Walker Evans Racing entry, Gavin Harlien in the #555 Simpson/Full Tilt Trophy Karts machine, and Sheldon Creed in the #574 TrophyKart/Duncan Racing truck. On lap two, Harlien was slow out of turn four, which allowed Creed to get by and move up to fourth. Harlien then spun near the end of the very long turn six, which dropped him back several spots, and moved Kyle Hart up to fifth in the #523 ReadyLift Off Road Suspension/Duncan Racing kart. Up front, the top three had already been running clear of the field since lap two, and continued to do so all the way to the Competition Yellow, with the running order still Mamer, Cheek, Lenk, Creed, and Hart in the top five. On the restart lap, Lenk slowed with smoke coming from the back of his machine, while other drivers got by both him and Hart and into the top five. Those two drivers were Bradley Morris and Jeff Hoffman, who slotted in to fourth and fifth, behind Creed, who was now up to third. On lap eleven, there was a change at the front, as Cheek got by Mamer into turn five (where he'd tried the same pass on the previous lap), shooting into the lead in the process.
The track was really rutting out now, and the young drivers were hooking the ruts and bicycling just like the grown-ups. On the penultimate lap, Hoffman found his way by Morris for fourth spot. Then on the final lap, Creed was a bit slow out of turn four, and with Hoffman and Morris side by side just behind, the three streaked towards turn five in a race for the final podium position. Unfortunately, there was a local yellow in turn five, which these drivers didn't really seem to recognize, as they all sped past the scene, which drew the ire of race officials. As they crossed the line, it was Cheek who got the win, followed by Mamer, Creed, Morris, and Hoffman, but following a post-race decision by race officials, Creed, Morris, and Hoffman were moved to the end of the lead lap for their local yellow infraction. This unofficially places Hart in third, Brock Heger in fourth in the #511 Kacon Framing Inc./LGE Paint machine, and Sterling Cling in fifth in the #518. However, the results are still in question, as officials are still trying to review Hart's involvement in Harlien's spin on lap four, so results won't be finalized until Wednesday.
First out onto the full-length track was Limited Buggy, and once again, it was a big field of open wheel drivers who would take each other on. On the opening lap, there was a big pile-up in turn four that involved several drivers, including points leader John Fitzgerald, but although those drivers may not have liked where they ended up after the incident, they were at least all able to continue. Kevin McCullough had the lead after all the chaos, and was followed by Bradley Morris, Jordan Poole, Zac Hunt, and Kyle Quinn.
This running order remained the same for the first six laps, until a rollover by Grew Crew in turn two forced a full course caution. Crew was able to continue, and with officials deciding that the full course caution would also serve as the Competition Yellow, drivers were set to have an extra lengthy nine laps of green flag running to the checkered flag. On the restart lap, Fitzgerald (who'd already come back up to sixth) got down the inside of Quinn at turn two, and went by as the two raced down to turn three. Up front McCullough and Morris were really dicing for the lead, but another full course caution (brought out after Chad Graham spun and stalled out in turn five) forced them to ease up for a few moments.
On the restart, Poole slowed just after the start/finish line, and came to a stop, race over, up in turn two. This forced yet another full course caution, and also moved Hunt to third in the #334 Speed Energy/Bowden Development, Inc. Alumi Craft, Fitzgerald to fourth in the #314 BFGoodrich Tires/Simpson buggy, and Quinn to fifth in the #311 McKenzies/LAT Racing Oils machine. On the restart lap, Morris got alongside McCullough coming out of turn four, and out-braked the leader into turn five, moving himself into first place with just three laps to go. Two laps later, and Fitzgerald was now just ahead of Hunt as they approached turn three. Hunt hit Fitzgerald as the two braked for the corner, sending Fitzgerald sideways into the corner. Fitzgerald stayed upright, and got back going quick enough to maintain his third place, while Hunt suffered a left front suspension failure, ending his race.
At the white flag, the running order was now Morris, McCullough, Fitzgerald, Quinn, and Lindsay Geiser in the #395 Canidae/Mickey Thompson Geiser up front. On the last lap, however, it was Dillon Ayers who made a forceful pass on Geiser to take over fifth in the final corner in his #398 Gear One/Fat Performance Lothringer. At the head of the field, Morris picked up the win in his #304 Lucas Oil/K&N Penhall, followed by McCullough in the #389 Gear One/Broken Cartel Geiser, Fitzgerald, Quinn, and Ayers.
Pro 4 Unlimited
Following Opening Ceremonies, which included the singing of the National Anthem by Caroline Renezeder (daughter of Carl Renezeder), it was time to get back to racing with Pro 4 Unlimited. Travis Coyne had the early lead in his #5 ProComp/Maxxis Ford, and was closely followed by Eric Barron in the #32 LAT Racing Oils/California Metals Toyota, Josh Merrell in the #22 MavTV/Hart and Huntington Ford, Kyle LeDuc in the #99 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford, and Todd LeDuc in the #7 Rockstar/Makita Ford.
On lap two, Coyne and Barron bumped side by side heading for turn four, with Barron nosing ahead and into the lead in the corner. Shortly afterwards, Kyle LeDuc got by Merrell for third, before ping in next to Coyne into turn five, going by, and moving into second on lap three. Within two more corners, Merrell and Todd LeDuc also got by Coyne, with Renezeder also getting by less than a lap later. Up front, it was already a close race for the lead between Barron and Kyle LeDuc, but a rollover in turn two by Merrell, and the subsequent full course caution, paused that for just a bit. Merrell's misfortune moved Renezeder's #1 Lucas Oil/General Tire Nissan up to fourth, and put Coyne back in fifth, but on the restart lap, it was Adler who got by Coyne to take that spot. The Competition Yellow then came out, and the running order was now Barron, Kyle LeDuc, Todd LeDuc, Renezeder, and Adler in the top five.
Under yellow, smoke was seen coming from the back of Todd LeDuc's truck, but he was able to continue at what looked like full speed when racing resumed. Renezeder, however, wasn't able to do so, as some kind of mechanical issue took the edge off of his pace, and allowed Adler and Coyne to get by and into fourth and fifth. Up front, Kyle LeDuc was really trying hard to get by Barron now, but Barron was driving rather erratically, never leaving a clear opening available for long enough to allow LeDuc to get by cleanly. LeDuc tried an acceptable level of contact, which Barron was un-phased by, so LeDuc then tried reckless bravery.
Unfortunately, Barron had the same idea, and with the track now very rutted out in turns two, three, and five, the two went way up on the bicycle, side by side, as they raced through turn two. Both drivers came back down in their same positions, and to the delight of the crowd, the battle was still on. Another full course caution then came out after Renezeder and Curt LeDuc got tangled up in turn four, and after racing resumed, Barron simply had the measure of Kyle LeDuc. LeDuc made a couple of last ditch shots for the lead, but Barron was just too tough to pass, as he thrust his truck through the immense ruts to pick up his third win on the trot; Barron hasn't been beaten since taking his first career Lucas Oil Off Road win back in Round 8! Kyle LeDuc finished in second, with Todd LeDuc third, Adler fourth, and Coyne fifth.
Pro Buggy Unlimited
There was potential for history to be made in Pro Buggy Unlimited this evening, as Doug Fortin, winner of the last five races in the class, was poised to tie the current series record of six straight wins (set by Kyle LeDuc in Pro 4 Unlimited earlier this season) if he were to win here in Round 10. At the end of lap one, though, it was Mike Porter who was out front in the #8 Mickey Thompson/Speed Energy Alumi Craft, followed by John Holmes in the #3 Prolong Super Lubricants/JG Transwerks Racer, Fortin in the #96 Fortin Racing, Inc./Fox Racing Shox Racer, Jerry Whelchel in the #5 ProAm/General Tire Foddrill, and Geoffrey Cooley in the #22 Competitive Metals/BFGoodrich Tires Alumi Craft.
On lap two, Holmes got into the back of Porter coming into turn three, and although Porter got away clean, Holmes stuttered for a moment, which allowed Fortin to get by on the inside. Two laps later, Cooley rolled at turn two, which brought out a full course yellow. Despite a couple of big puffs of smoke coming out of Cooley's car, he was able to continue, with his engine quickly clearing out and getting back up to speed. Garrett George briefly moved up to fifth after Cooley's misfortune, but was then black flagged (possibly for contact with Cooley), which moved Randy Minnier into fifth in the #59 Bay City Electric Works/Ramtek Alumi Craft. After the restart, Minnier went wide in turn three, allowing Cameron Steele (who'd also been black flagged earlier) to easily get by on the inside. Two laps later, Steele was a bit too aggressive into turn three, where he just clipped Whelchel. Whelchel got away unscathed, and Steele turned himself to avoid furthering the contact, which allowed Minnier to get back by. Steele got the spot right back before the end of the lap, though, and just ahead of the Competition Yellow.
Under yellow, the running order was Porter, Fortin, Holmes, Whelchel, and Steele in the #16 Monster Energy/Lucas Oil Alumi Craft. On the restart lap, Steele charged by Whelchel and Holmes in the whoops between turns two and three to move into third, with Whelchel then getting black flagged for contact with Holmes during the restart. Minnier was now up to fourth, with Holmes running fifth, before falling off the pace somewhat and dropping back a few more spots. This moved Cooley back into the top five, while up front, the top three drivers were now fairly clear of the field. On lap sixteen, Fortin had a good drive coming down to turn one, and as he and Porter climbed up the ramp of the tabletop between turns one and two, Fortin turned sharply to the inside and tried to pe down the inside into turn two. Porter chopped down in front of him, though, and kept Fortin at bay, and with two laps to go, it was now Porter, Fortin, Steele, Cooley, and Steven Greinke in the top five. From there, Porter continued to stay smooth as silk, as he'd done all race, as he flew home to his second win of the season, ending Fortin's streak just shy of the record. Fortin finished a close second, followed by Steele in third, Cooley in fourth, and Greinke in fifth in the #23 SC Fuels/Concourse Racer.
Pro Lite Unlimited
With the lights now fully illuminating the track, it was veteran Chris Brandt starting alongside young gun (and winner of last night's race) Bradley Morris in Pro Lite Unlimited. Morris moved into the lead early in his #24 GoldStar Asphalt!/Oakley Ford, followed by Brian Deegan in the #38 Rockstar/Makita Ford, Justin "Bean" Smith in the #19 Competitive Metals/Metal Mulisha Ford, Brandt in the #82 BFGoodrich Tires/National Concrete Cutting Toyota, and Matt Cook in the #55 Supercross.com/Loctite Toyota. Up front, the running order went unchanged for the opening three laps, before a rollover by Smith at turn two on lap four forced a full course yellow. That yellow turned into a red flag when a small fire broke out aboard the Smith machine, but with emergency crews quickly extinguishing the flames, Smith was able to continue at the tail of the field.
Once racing resumed, the running order was now Morris, Deegan, Brandt, RJ Anderson in the #37 Monster Energy/Polaris Dodge, and Chad George in the #42 Discount Tire/Yokohama Ford. Deegan tried to pe inside at turn two on the restart lap, but with Morris holding his preferred line, Deegan was unable to get past. On the next lap, Anderson got alongside Brandt as they entered turn four, where the two stuttered as they both tried for the same line through the corner. George was right there to take full advantage, as he got them both to jump from fifth to third in one corner, with Anderson then coming out ahead of Brandt for fourth. George's good fortune was short-lived, however, as he then rolled in turn two on the next lap, which brought out a full course caution just when the Competition Yellow was set to come out anyway. Under yellow, the running order was now Morris, Deegan, Anderson, Brandt, and Cook in the top five.
George was able to get re-fired and continue, and after green flag racing resumed, the running order up front remained the same for a few laps. On lap thirteen, big smoke then started coming out the back of Anderson's truck, and after finishing the race on seven cylinders last night, the points leader's luck went much worse here tonight. Anderson's pace was slowed to a crawl, as the rest of the pack roared past, with Brandt, Cook, and Casey Currie moving up to third, fourth, and fifth. At the head of the field, Morris was actually starting to pull away from Deegan now, which forced to Deegan to try and raise a little more pace from his machine. Further back, Cook then slowed on lap fifteen, pulling into the hot pits and out of the race.
This moved Ryan Beat into fifth in the #51 Premiere Motorsports Group/Black Rhino Ford, while up in front, Deegan was now eating back into Morris' lead. On the final lap, it was a heartbreaking turn of events for Brandt, who suddenly pulled to a stop at the exit of turn two, as a mechanical failure ended a very strong charge when Brandt, running second in points, could've taken advantage of Anderson's misfortune. As the checkers came out, it was Morris who drove an immensely impressive race, with mental fortitude well beyond his years, to hold some of the best in the business. Morris led wire to wire to take the win and the sweep of the weekend, followed by Deegan (who finished with a flat tire- maybe this explains his loss of pace for a few laps earlier on?), Currie in the #2 Monster Energy/General Tire Nissan, Beat, and Doug Mittag in the #81 Supercross.com/Desert Ironwoods Resort Toyota.
The penultimate race of the night was Super Lite, and it was Brent Fouch who was out front early once again, as he was last night, in the #21 Fouch Racing/General Tire truck. Code Rahders ran second in the #16 Superchips/K&N machine, with last night's winner Sheldon Creed third in the #74 A.M. Ortega/BFGoodrich Tires entry, Ryan Hagy fourth in the #5 Valli Construction/Rockstar machine, and Dawson Kirchner fifth in the #18 Speed Technologies/General Tire truck.
This running order stayed the same for the first three laps, with the top three drivers beginning to open up a gap over those behind. On lap four, Rahders jumped by Fouch, literally, into turn five and into the lead, with Creed then out-dragging Fouch out of the corner to get by as well. Two laps later, and Fouch was now starting to fall back into clutches of Hagy, and on the next lap, Jessie Johnson charged through the whoops to pass Kirchner and move into fifth. At the Competition Yellow, the running order was Rahders out front, followed by Creed, Fouch, Hagy, and Johnson in the #15 SoCal Super Trucks/Speed Energy entry.
After the restart, the running order was still the same in the top five, and after a few more laps, Rahders and Creed were starting to pull away out front. Johnson then had yet another rollover in turn two (he rolled there twice last night), which brought out a full course caution. On the restart lap, Rahders was a bit slow coming out of turn two, and Creed and Fouch were right there to take advantage, as they both moved past and into the top two spots. Hagy then muscled by Rahders in turn three, before getting past Fouch right afterwards. Rahders fought back, though, as he jumped alongside Fouch, again, and out-braked him into turn five, moving back up to third in the process. With one lap to go, it was now Creed, Hagy, Rahders, Max Hunt (who'd also gotten by Fouch just after Rahders had), and Fouch in the top five.
On the final lap, Rahders spun out as he exited turn four, sending him to the back of the pack after what had been a very strong race by the young driver. Up front, Creed streaked home for the win and the sweep of the weekend, followed by Hagy, who got a big measure of redemption following a nasty rollover last night. Rounding out the podium was the British driver Hunt and his #37 General Tire/Justice Brothers truck, who scored a terrific result in his first ever race weekend in the series. Fourth place went to Kirchner, and fifth place was Garrett Poelman in the #62 Supercross.com/Toyo Tires machine.
Pro 2 Unlimited
The final race of the weekend was once again Pro 2 Unlimited, and as the field streamed out on track, an outage in the portable light over turn four meant that the racers were sent to the hot pits for about 20 minutes until the lights were fixed.
Once that was done, it was Brian Deegan who got the early lead in his #38 Rockstar/Makita Ford, ahead of Carl Renezeder in the #17 Lucas Oil/General Tire Nissan, Jeremy McGrath in the #2 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford, Robby Woods in the #99 Lucas Slick Mist/General Tire Chevrolet, and Rob Naughton in the LunarPages Web Hosting/Hart and Huntington Ford. On lap three, Rob MacCachren got inside of Naughton coming into turn three, and really forced him wide as he moved up to fifth. A full course caution was then thrown when Marty Hart came to a stop in turn two, and on the restart lap, McGrath jumped alongside Renezeder off the jump into turn five, and ran him wide to pick up second spot in the corner. Another full course yellow then came out after Greg Adler blew his engine in spectacular fashion, with a huge plume of smoke pouring out the back of his truck as the motor let go.
Once racing resumed, championship leader Hart re-joined the fracas in an effort to salvage some precious points. Yet another full course caution then came out as Ryan Hancock was at a near-standstill in a dangerous spot atop the tabletop between turns one and two. Officials also made this the Competition Yellow, and when racing resumed, Hart came to a stop again, with track workers being able to get him towed to safety just in time to avoid another yellow flag period. The running order in the top five was still Deegan, McGrath, Renezeder, Woods, and MacCachren through lap fifteen, but on lap sixteen, Woods just caught the back bumper of Renezeder in turn four. This caused Renezeder to spin, and while MacCachren tried to take advantage from just behind, Woods had a half spin that put him right in MacCachren's path, forcing him to check up, and allowing Woods to actually pick up a position as he moved into third. MacCachren also moved up (to fourth), as did Naughton (to fifth), with Renezeder dropping back three spots to sixth. In the closing laps, two battles developed for third and fifth spots, with MacCachren and Renezeder really hounding Woods and Naughton, respectively. All the drivers in the top five held their positions, though, and at the checkered flag, it was Deegan who got the win, ahead of McGrath, Renezeder, Woods, MacCachren, and Naughton.
That does it for a tremendous race weekend here at Glen Helen. Up next on our calendar, we've got an all-new race track, as the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series heads north to Sparks, NV, just outside Reno, and the Wild West Motorsports Park. Series head Tony Vanillo says that fans will be blown away by this new track, which is reported to have substantial elevation change and great viewing areas. Rounds 11 and 12 of the 2012 championship will take place in just three weeks' time, August 25 and 26, so make your plans now to head up and check out what is sure to be another fantastic weekend of fun in the dirt!
Round 9 Thrills Under The Lights!
This weekend marks the return of a big fan favorite in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO: the night races! Although this year will actually feature a second pair of night races later on in the season, this weekend features the first night races of the year, set once again in their traditional southern California home. For the third year in succession, Glen Helen Raceway, set right amongst the hills on the outskirts of San Bernardino, CA, will play host to this ever-popular event, as Rounds 9 and 10 of the 2012 championship will unfold under the lights. These night races are often some of the best of the season, and with the added bonus views of flashing exhausts and glowing brake rotors, as well as the simple enjoyment of a balmy summer night in the grandstands, there is a lot to enjoy this weekend. In case you missed the action out on the track, here's a synopsis of the evening's proceedings.
Junior 2 Kart
In the first race of the afternoon, a strong field of Junior 2 Karts took to the track, led by Parker Steele and Dylan Winbury on the front row. Steele grabbed the early lead in his #449 Steele Racing/SDHQ Off Road Racing kart, ahead of Travis PeCoy, Shelby Anderson, Winbury, and Jeremy Davis. Winbury got by Anderson on the inside at turn three on lap two, moving his #469 Black Rhino/Famous Stars and Straps entry up to third. On the next lap, Davis pulled the exact same move on Anderson, in the exact same spot, and took over fourth in his #485 Green Army/Hoosier machine. Davis then picked off Winbury at turn three two laps later, and with the Competition Yellow coming out on the following lap, the running order in the top five was Steele, PeCoy in the #411 Simpson/Fox Racing Shox truck, Davis, Winbury, and Anderson in her #405 Walker Evans Racing/Bud's Tire and Wheel entry.
These drivers held their positions on the restart, and with the top eight drivers having run nose-to-tail through the first half, this was still anyone's race. On lap nine, Trevor Briska picked up fifth spot in his #459 JH Sims Trucking Co, Inc./Fiberwerx kart, and on lap ten, Winbury re-took third from Davis. On lap eleven, Briska made a good run through the whoop section in the latter half of the final corner, got alongside Davis, and just edged him wide as he moved up to fourth. Davis' luck then got a whole lot worse, as contact with another driver ended up dropping him down to last place, a tough break for sure. Broc Dickerson moved up to fifth as a result, while up front, it was Steele who'd led wire to wire, all the way to the finish, as he picked up his very first win in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series- congratulations Parker! Second went to PeCoy, third to Winbury, fourth to Briska, and fifth to Dickerson in the #423 Dickerson Motorsports/Black Rhino machine.
Junior 1 Kart
After an opening lap pile-up between three karts forced a restart, it was pole position starter Barrett Nunley who led the field on the second start. Parker Darland ran second, followed by Broc Dickerson, Darren Hardesty, and Ricky Gutierrez. Darland and Dickerson both got by Nunley coming out of turn four on lap two, with Dickerson then edging ahead of Darland through turn six to take the lead. Gutierrez had also leapfrogged Hardesty on the same lap, but the two were then put back to seventh and eighth on lap the, which allowed Conner McMullen and Travis PeCoy to take over fourth and fifth. PeCoy then made a nice drive over the tabletop and down into turn two on lap five, passing both McMullen and then Nunley as the three dove into the corner. McMullen picked off Nunley as well on the next lap, and at the Competition Yellow, the running order was Dickerson in the #1 Walker Evans Racing/Eibach Springs kart, Darland in the #241 Alexander Ford/Lincoln/Maxim Air Conditioning & Heating machine, PeCoy in his #211 King Off-Road Racing Shocks/CMI entry, McMullen in the #288 Monster Energy/Foddrill Motorsports truck, and Nunley in the #215 RC10.com kart. PeCoy moved up to second on the pe into turn two on the restart, and with a good run out of turn six, McMullen kept pace with PeCoy as he also got by Darland at the start/finish line to take over third. Darland now appeared to be slowing, which allowed Nunley, Gutierrez, and a few others to quickly get by, before Darland then pulled off the track, race over.
Up front, Dickerson, PeCoy, and McMullen were now running nose-to-tail in the top three, and in one sudden burst, McMullen flew past both PeCoy and Dickerson through turns one and two to take over at the front. The other two had no answer for McMullen, who stayed out front to pick up the win, ahead of Dickerson, PeCoy, Nunley, and Gutierrez in the #278 G Brothers/Patrick's High Performance Graphix machine.
The final race of the afternoon on the shortened "kids" track was Modified Kart, and the young hotshoes of the sport, who often manage to put on a show that rivals any race run by their fully-grown counterparts, absolutely did so again today. Cole Mamer grabbed the early lead in his #535 Simpson/Mamer Motorsports kart, ahead of Myles Cheek in his #557 Rockstar/DASA truck, Blake Lenk in the #521 Team Associated/Missing Lenk Motorsports entry, Kyle Hart in the #523 ReadyLift Off Road Suspension/Duncan Racing machine, and Sheldon Creed in the #574 TrophyKart/Kar Tek truck. Creed and Morris both got by Hart on lap two, with Morris then passing Creed for fourth two laps later. Morris then got by Lenk on the inside at turn three on lap seven, while a bicycle in turn three by Creed allowed Hart to barely edge past as they drag raced down the straight towards turn five, all just ahead of the Competition Yellow. At this point, the running order was Mamer, Cheek, Morris, Lenk, and Hart, but as the field circled under yellow, Lenk was forced to pull off track with an issue, ending what had been a very strong run by the young driver. The new top five (Mamer, Cheek, Morris, Hart, and Creed) held their spots on the restart lap, but on lap ten, Hart made an ambitious run towards the very slight right of turn five, where he tried to nose past Morris for fourth. Hart was unable to pull off the pass, and as the course quickly turned left into turn six, he ran wide and into the outside k-rail, hitting hard on his right side. This allowed both Creed and Jeff Hoffman to get past, but Hart was able to continue. Morris then began to slide back down the order as he struggled with a right front flat, and he was quickly out of the top five. Up front, Mamer was still leading, his truck still nearly pristine despite the muddy conditions, and he came home first to get his second win of the season, ahead of Cheek, Creed, Hoffman in the #547 BRT Signs/Cactus Asphalt kart, and Hart. Mamer's win was all the more special following the passing of his grandfather yesterday, and Mamer's family celebrated an emotional win with a big hug up in the Spotters' Area- way to go Cole!
First out onto the full-length track came the Limited Buggies, and they would be the final race before Opening Ceremonies. Jeff Richards started alongside points leader John Fitzgerald on the front row, and despite Fitzgerald's substantial points lead and considerable pedigree, it was Richards who had the early lead in his #315 ABC Muffler/King Off Road Racing Shox buggy.
Fitzgerald ran second in the #314 BFGoodrich Tires/Weddle Racing Gears car, with Jordan Poole third in the #310 Riot Racing/GoPro Fraley, Dillon Ayers fourth in the #398 Gear One/Fat Performance Lothringer, and Kevin McCullough fifth in the #389 Gear One/Broken Cartel Geiser. Zac Hunt got by McCullough coming out of turn two to take over fifth on lap two, and on the next lap, things really heated up at the front. Fitzgerald seemed to suddenly turn up the wick, closing right down on Richards into turn five, before pulling alongside down the front straight and nosing into the lead into turn one. Poole followed suit, as he also got by Richards on lap four, and a bit further back, Kyle Quinn managed to get inside of both McCullough and Hunt to move from seventh to fifth in turn three on lap seven. The top two now had a gap over the rest of the field, and at the Competition Yellow, it was Fitzgerald, Poole, Richards, Ayers, and Quinn in the top five. Quinn was hit in turn two on the restart lap, dropping him back several spots, and with Richards also dropping back, Hunt and John Proctor were now up to fourth and fifth. A rollover by McCullough in turn five then brought out a full course caution, and when racing resumed, Poole was caught out by contact in that dangerous turn two, which caused him to loop down to the inside burm and drop back to the tail end of the field. The running order was now Fitzgerald, Ayers, Hunt, Quinn, and Bradley Morris, and that order stayed the same through the white flag. On the final lap, a good race between Quinn and Morris was really heating up, and it was Morris who got the better of Quinn, as he got by for fourth at turn four. Up front, Fitzgerald picked up yet another win to extend his points lead, with Ayers and Hunt rounding out the podium. Fourth went to Morris in the #304 Lucas Oil/K&N Penhall, and fifth place was Quinn in the #311 McKenzies/Bugpack Products buggy.
Pro 4 Unlimited
Following Opening Ceremonies, the monsters of Pro 4 Unlimited roared into life, with Greg Adler and Josh Merrell leading the field away from the front row. Eric Barron got a lightning quick (if not questionable) start in the #32 LAT Racing Oils/Maxxis Toyota, jumping up to first as the field barreled into turn one. Barron held the lead at the end of the first lap, ahead of Carl Renezeder (who also had a great start from back on row three) in the #1 Lucas Oil/General Tire Nissan, Kyle LeDuc, Greg Adler, and Travis Coyne.
On lap two, contact sent Adler up into the outside wall at turn five, which brought out a full course caution. Adler was able to re-fire and continue, and on the restart lap, LeDuc got by Renezeder on the inside at turn four, moving up to second place as he tried to chase down Barron. Merrell then rolled at turn five, bringing out a second full course caution. On the restart lap, LeDuc got a got run out of turn one, moving to the inside of Barron and just into the lead in turn two. Barron wasn't having any of it, though, as he held tough and nosed back ahead out of the corner, forcing LeDuc to try again. The two leaders were now quickly walking away from the pack, while behind them, Todd LeDuc had now gotten by Renezeder down the straight into turn five, moving him up to third in the #7 Rockstar/Makita Ford. Renezeder then spun at turn four on the next lap, and at the Competition Yellow, the running order was Barron, Kyle LeDuc in the #99 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford, Todd LeDuc, Curt LeDuc in the #43 KCHiLites/Truxxx Lift and Level Kits Ford, and Adler in the #10 4 Wheel Parts/Affliction Ford.
LeDucs were now running two-three-four, and at the head of the family train, Kyle LeDuc was still taking the fight to Barron. On the restart lap, LeDuc was finding it hard to intimidate Barron, and as he tried force his way into the lead, Barron held his line, and LeDuc hit Barron hard side to side at the exit of turn two. Barron gave it right back, though, as he kept his foot in it down to turn three, where he nosed ahead, then swung his tail wide and into LeDuc's side. The move was a precise measure of revenge, one that seemed all too understandable, and which drew a big cheer from the absolutely packed stands. In all the bumping and banging, something went majorly wrong mechanically on LeDuc's truck, as he was slowed to a crawl soon afterwards, a devastating end to his strong charge. Todd LeDuc moved into second, with Adler third, Coyne fourth in the #5 ProComp/Team Associated Ford, and Curt LeDuc fifth. Adler spun at turn five on lap 17, dropping him to seventh, but he charged back over the final laps to re-take fifth. Up front, it was a dominant, unshakeable drive by Barron that gave him his second straight win, ahead of Todd LeDuc, Coyne, Curt LeDuc, and Adler.
Pro Buggy Unlimited
With the giant lights now taking over as the last of the sun's rays faded behind the hills to the west, next up was Pro Buggy Unlimited. Young Dave Mason Jr., who started from pole, put in a great opening lap to hold the lead in his #65 Competitive Metals/Eleven Western Builders Alumi Craft, ahead of Jerry Whelchel, John Holmes, Garrett George, and Mike Porter. Holmes was really challenging Whelchel early, but a right rear flat on the Whelchel machine forced him into the pits, and made Holmes' pass a lot easier. Up front, Mason Jr. was having a very strong run, but as he caught up to the lapped car of Eric Fitch, his luck took a sharp pe. As Mason Jr. tried to get by, Fitch cut across Mason Jr.'s line, causing him to spin, which dropped him all the way back to eighth. The drivers behind were left scrambling to avoid contact with either Mason Jr. or Fitch, and it was Holmes who came through to take the lead, ahead of Porter, Fortin, Greinke, and George. Porter then suffered a right rear flat, forcing him into the hot pits, and with the Competition Yellow now out, the running order was Holmes in the #3 Prolong Super Lubricants/Team Up Racer, Fortin in the #96 Fortin Racing, Inc./BFGoodrich Tires Racer, Greinke in the #23 SC Fuels/Redline Performance Racer, George in the #71 Anenberg/Yokohama Funco, and Cameron Steele in the #16 Monster Energy/Horizon Hobby Alumi Craft.
On the restart, Fortin got by Holmes to take the lead, with Greinke also getting by later on in the lap to move into second. Fortin then started to open up a gap, but a rollover by Porter, and the subsequent full course caution, erased all his hard work, as the field bunched up behind the ReadyLift Toyota Tundra Pace Truck once again. The field then took the restart, but some questionable actions led officials to call for the restart to be done again. After a couple of laps of sorting out the correct restart running order, the field resumed racing under a green-white-checkers run to the finish. That running order was Fortin, Greinke, Holmes, Steele, and George as the green flag waved, and on the penultimate lap, George got down the inside of Steele to make the pass for fourth at turn three. Steele answered right back, though, as he pe-bombed down into turn five, got alongside George, and simply out-drove him out of the corner to re-take fourth. From there, the top five held their spots, and it was Fortin who picked up the win over Greinke, Holmes, Steele, and George. Fortin's win was his fifth in a row- can he tie the series record of six straight, set by Pro 4 Unlimited driver Kyle LeDuc during the first six rounds of this very season, here at Glen Helen tomorrow night?
Pro Lite Unlimited
Young hotshoe Bradley Morris grabbed the early lead in the Pro Lite Unlimited race, and with 23 other drivers charging behind him, he had his work cut out for him as he tried to hold off an immense lineup. Brian Deegan ran second, with Justin "Bean" Smith third, Casey Currie fourth, and Chad George fifth. Smith slowed on the second lap, and pulled into the pits with a mechanical issue, moving Currie to third and RJ Anderson to fourth, with George still fifth. On lap four, Deegan started to close on Morris, and with a full course caution coming out after a rollover in turn two by Matt Cook, Deegan would get to take a shot at Morris on the restart. Deegan took full advantage of the restart lap, as he got inside of Morris and really forced him wide at the exit turn two, moving him up to first, if only just. However, Currie and Anderson then tried to get in the mix as well at turn three, and as they, Deegan, and Morris bumped and banged, Morris came out ahead, and re-assumed the lead in his #24 GoldStar Asphalt!/K&N Ford. At the Competition Yellow, Morris still led, with Currie in the #2 Monster Energy/General Tire Nissan, Anderson in the #37 Monster Energy/South Point Dodge, Deegan in the #38 Rockstar/Makita Ford, and Ryan Beat in the #51 Premiere Motorsports Group/eBay Motors Ford behind him in the top five.
On the restart lap, Sheldon Creed got into Beat a little bit as they came out of turn one, and Creed was then able to go by into turn two. Creed was up to fifth, but then spun and dropped back on the same lap, promoting George up to fifth once again in the #42 Discount Tire/Yokohama Ford. Deegan also moved up on the same lap, taking over third from Anderson, before a rollover by Todd Cunningham in turn two brought out another full course caution. Racing resumed briefly, only to be interrupted again by yet, this time for a rollover in turn two by Shannon Campbell. A green-white-checkers finish was then called for by race officials, and all drivers had their crosshairs fixed squarely on the back bumper of Morris. Fortunately for Morris, he possesses mental toughness well beyond his years, as he held off a stacked field to take his first ever win in this class- way to go Bradley! Second went to Currie, third to Deegan, fourth to Anderson, and fifth to Chris Brandt in the #82 BFGoodrich Tires/Livestrong Toyota.
Morris' win proves that Lucas Oil Off Road's ladder system is working, as he has risen from success in Modified Kart to success in Limited Buggy, and now to yet more success in Pro Lite Unlimited. Who knows where this young star's talent will carry him in the years to come?
Next up was Super Lite, and after a rollover in turn two by Brent Fouch on the first start, a full restart was called for. Fouch took full advantage of his second chance, as he led the field past the stripe after the first lap in his #21 Fouch Racing/King Off-Road Racing Shocks truck. Dawson Kirchner ran second in the #18 Speed Technologies/General Tire machine, with Sheldon Creed third in the #74 A.M. Ortega/Trench Shoring entry, Ryan Hagy in the #5 Metal Mulisha/Rockstar truck, and Jessie Johnson fifth in his #15 SoCal Super Trucks/Speed Energy machine. Creed moved up to second on lap two, and on lap three, had his sights set on the leader Fouch. Fouch was looking really squirrelly, though, and Creed was waiting for a safe moment to make his move. However, Creed got a little "encouragement" on his back bumper from Code Rahders, who pushed Creed up and alongside Fouch into turn three, where Creed then edged ahead and into the lead. Several more drivers then began to stream past Fouch, who appeared to now have an issue, for which he pulled into the pits not long afterwards. A rollover by Hagy at turn five then brought out a full course caution, and on the restart lap, a crash in turn two by Johnson shook up the order even more. It was now Creed, Rahders in the #16 Superchips/K&N truck, Kirchner, Drew Britt in the #7 Quick Lane/Mickey Thompson machine, and Hagy in the top five, with Rahders then dropping back before pulling into the hot pits. The Competition Yellow then came out, and Rahders' misfortune meant that while Creed still led, it was now Kirchner in second, Britt in third, Hagy in fourth, and Max Hunt in fifth in the #37 Justice Brothers/Exotic Engines entry.
On the restart, a big rollover by Hagy meant that the Pace Truck would come right back out again, and while Hagy was out, thankfully he appeared to be ok. Hunt had now taken over fourth, with Garrett Poelman lying fifth in the #62 Supercross.com/Loctite truck. On the restart lap, Britt moved by Kirchner for second, with Poelman passing Hunt for fourth. A rollover by Eric Roner then forced another full course caution, with a green-white-checkers finish then being called for. On the restart, Johnson forced Kirchner wide on off the track in a dangerous way between turns one and two, and was rewarded with a rollover in turn two, his second of the night. With yellow waving yet again, it would now be a one-lap sprint to the finish under green. This race had already been filled with incidents, but it saved the best for last, as Gregg Godfrey's truck climbed atop the back of Bryan Osborn's, where the two got stuck together so well that they required heavy equipment to get them separated after the race. As a cap to the race, four other trucks had their own pile-up in turn four, while out front, it was Creed who'd kept out of trouble all the way to get the win, ahead of Britt, Kirchner, Hunt, and Poelman.
Pro 2 Unlimited
The final race of the night was Pro 2 Unlimited, and it was "The Hart Attack," Marty Hart, who led the field after the first lap in his #15 ReadyLift Off Road Suspension/GearUp2Go.com Ford. Patrick Clark ran second in the #52 VP Racing Fuels/Eibach Springs Chevrolet, followed by Jeremy McGrath and the #2 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford in third, Brian Deegan and the #38 Rockstar/Makita Ford in fourth, and Rob MacCachren and the #21 Rockstar/Makita Ford in fifth. A rollover by Rob Naughton in turn four brought out a full course caution on lap two, and though his truck initially looked alright, left front suspension damage forced him to retreat to the hot pits for the night. After the restart, McGrath was a bit slow coming out of turn two on lap five, allowing Deegan narrowly edge by as the two raced down to turn three. McGrath then got back by at turn four, and forced Deegan wide and off the track approaching the jump into turn five. Deegan re-joined the track in fifth, while McGrath then slowed intermittently with an issue, dropping him out of the top five. The running order was now Hart, Clark, MacCachren, Deegan, and Greg Adler in the #10 4 Wheel Parts/BFGoodrich Tires Ford in the top five. Adler was then a bit slow coming into turn five on lap seven, causing him to get rear-ended by Robby Woods. The two hooked and spun around into the catch fence, with Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg piling into the mess as well. Despite the incident, Adler managed to escape with his fifth place still intact, and at the Competition Yellow, it was Hart, Clark, MacCachren, Deegan, and Adler in the top five.
Deegan and McGrath pulled into the hot pits under yellow, which was an especially costly choice for Deegan, as he had to surrender his fourth place in exchange for a new tire. The two re-emerged at the tail end of the field, without having fallen off the lead lap, and on the restart, it was now Adler in fourth and Justin Davis in fifth in his #85 Green Army/General Tire Ford. Rodrigo Ampudia got by Davis on the restart lap, moving up to fifth in his #36 Lucas Oil/Papas & Beer Ford, as he continued to recover well after getting hooked onto a spinning Renezeder and dropping well back in the early going. Up front, Clark and MacCachren were now closing on Hart, and three laps later, Adler tagged himself on behind them. With Ampudia joining in a lap later, Hart now had a train behind him, as either his tires or his setup were starting to fade, However, those behind didn't have enough to do anything about that, as Hart continued to hold them at bay. On the final lap, Adler and MacCachren had a tense last minute collision at turn three, from which both drivers luckily escaped. Hart kept his cool up front as he brought home the win, his third of the season, ahead of Clark (who finished a career best in this class) in second, MacCachren in third, Adler in fourth, and Ampudia in fifth. Ampudia had faded on the final lap, and an apparent steering issue sent him into the outside wall after the finish. Fortunately, it was a glancing touch, but Ampudia was lucky to hang on for a top five finish.
That wraps up the night's events here at Glen Helen. If you missed tonight, worry not, as the lights will be back on again tomorrow night, with Round 10 happening right back here in San Bernardino. Gates will open to the public at 4:00 PM once again, with racing scheduled to begin with Junior 2 Kart just before, at 3:45 PM. Opening Ceremonies will kick off at 5:45 PM, followed by the first Pro class race, Pro 4 Unlimited, at 6:15 PM. Get here early to avoid parking difficulties, and to make sure that you get the best seats possible for what is sure to be another thrilling evening under the lights.
Veterans and Young Guns Both Excel in Qualifying
Greetings from the hallowed grounds of Glen Helen Raceway here in San Bernardino, CA, host of Rounds 9 and 10 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO. This weekend marks the return of the ever-popular night races, and fans are likely to once again fill the stands to capacity as they seek the added sensory indulgence of racing under the lights. This weekend also sees a slight change to the qualifying format, as each class will qualify just once, with two inversion numbers then being drawn afterwards: one to set the field for Round 9, and the second for Round 10. This places an especially high importance on qualifying, as drivers will now have just one chance to determine their starting positions for both races this weekend, and with the championship chase heating up in several classes, starting position is more important than ever. For a rundown on the qualifying action here in southern California this afternoon, read on and find out who really had what it took to stop the clock quickest. For all the latest photos, check out Lucas Oil Off Road on Flickr
Pro 4 Unlimited
First out on track this afternoon were the Pro 4 Unlimiteds, and it was Round 8 winner Eric Barron in the #32 California Metals/Fox Racing Shox Toyota who jumped out to the early lead with a 47.984 on the opening lap. On lap two, though, points leader Kyle LeDuc shut down the field with a blistering 47.041. LeDuc's time went unbeaten for the balance of the session, giving the #99 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford driver the pole. Behind him, Carl Renezeder was second fastest with a 47.543 in his #1 Lucas Oil/General Tire Nissan, ahead of Todd LeDuc in the #7 Rockstar/Makita Ford (47.977) in third. Fourth quick was Barron, who was unable to improve his earlier time, and rounding out the top five was Travis Coyne in the #5 ProComp/Team Associated Ford, whose best lap was a 48.539. After both inversions were drawn, it was revealed that there will be a six-position for both Rounds 9 and 10, which will put Josh Merrell and Coyne on the front row for both races this weekend.
Pro 2 Unlimited
Next up was Pro 2 Unlimited, and quickest out of the blocks was Brian Deegan in the #38 Rockstar/Makita Ford. Deegan's opening lap topped the time sheets at 48.869, but a 48.813 by the #17 Lucas Oil/General Tire Nissan of Carl Renezeder edged the 98-time race winner slightly ahead. Renezeder then dropped in a 48.592 on lap five, sealing the deal for pole position. Behind him, Rob MacCachren had the second fastest time, a 48.862 in his #21 Rockstar/Makita Ford, while Deegan's opening lap turned out to also be his best, was just seven THOUSANDTHS off MacCachren's time, and was still good enough for third. Rob Naughton finished in fourth with a 49.398 in his #54 LunarPages Web Hosting/Hart and Huntington Ford, narrowly edging out the #2 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford of Jeremy McGrath (49.455). The inversion in this field will be six positions for Round 9, and four positions in Round 10. This puts Marty Hart and McGrath out front tomorrow night, and Naughton and Deegan at the head of the pack on Sunday night.
Pro Lite Unlimited
Pro Lite Unlimited qualifying was again split into two groups, with Chris Brandt grabbing the early lead in Group One. Brandt circled the track in 52.206 seconds in the #82 BFGoodrich Tires/Livestrong Toyota on lap one, but on lap two, his time was bested by Bradley Morris and the #24 GoldStar Asphalt!/Lucas Oil Ford, who turned in a time of 52.117. Morris' time held tough for the remaining laps, and at session's end, it was Morris, Brandt, and Casey Currie (52.249) in the #2 Monster Energy/Hawk Performance Nissan in the top three places.
Group Two saw the leading times drop, despite Group One being made up of all the top points runners. Several quick drivers have had some serious runs of bad luck so far this season, and those drivers now found themselves in Group Two, and heading straight to the top of the overall time sheets. Justin "Bean" Smith led early with a 52.216 in his #19 Metal Mulisha/Alumi Craft Ford, but Brian Deegan put the field away on lap four, as he turned an astonishing 50.914 in his #38 Rockstar/Makita Ford. Chad George took second with a 51.576 in his #42 Discount Tire/Traxxas Ford, and third was young Sheldon Creed in the #74 A.M. Ortega/Maxxis Ford, with a best time of 51.622.
Once the times from both groups were combined, it was quickly apparent that those drivers who'd been suffering all that bad luck in the first half of the season had gotten a measure of redemption this afternoon. The top four times came from Group Two, with Deegan, George, Creed, and Smith (who improved to a 51.866) filling those spots. Morris was the only driver from Group One to sneak into the top five, as he finished fifth overall. The inversions here will be four positions for Round 9 and six positions for Round 10. This will give front row starts to Smith and Creed tomorrow night, and to Brandt and Morris the following evening.
This weekend's Super Lite field features the special addition of Nitro Circus star Eric Roner, as well as one of the show's co-creators, Gregg Godfrey. Both drivers struggled to match the series regulars here this afternoon, but were already starting to get the feel for things by session's end (though Roner did roll at one point). Up front, Brent Fouch had the quickest opening lap, a 54.965 in his #21 Fouch Racing/King Off Road Racing Shocks truck. Fouch's time held up for a couple of laps, but on lap three, Cody Rahders bettered that time with a 54.385 in the #16 Superchips/K&N machine. The field clicked off several more laps, and with the end of the session quickly approaching, it was then points leader Sheldon Creed who narrowly took the lead away, turning a 54.373 in the #74 A.M. Ortega/Trench Shoring entry. Creed kept the lead through the end of the final lap, and grabbed the pole, just ahead of Rahders. Third went to Ryan Hagy in the #5 Valli Construction/4 Wheel Parts machine, who had a best time of 54.548 on lap seven. Fourth was Fouch, who was unable to improve his time, and rounding out the top five was Dawson Kirchner (55.044) in the #18 Speed Technologies/General Tire truck.
A four position inversion for both rounds this weekend means that Fouch and Hagy will lead the field at the drop of the green flag both tomorrow night and Sunday night.
Pro Buggy Unlimited
This afternoon's Pro Buggy Unlimited qualifying was largely a two-driver affair, with Doug Fortin taking the early fast time in his #96 Fortin Racing, Inc./Fox Racing Shox Racer. Fortin's opening lap was a 51.474, a time which he then lowered down to a 51.370 on lap four. Two laps later, though, and it was the young gun, Geoffrey Cooley, who moved to the top of the heap with a 51.203 in his #22 Competitive Metals/Impact Alumi Craft. Cooley went quicker again on the next (and final) lap, improving his time to 51.162, and taking the pole in the process. Fortin's time held up for second, with John Holmes taking third at 51.411 in his #3 Prolong Super Lubricants/Team Up Racer. Fourth place was Mike Porter, who only managed one timed lap, a 51.667 in his #8 Mickey Thompson/Speed Energy Alumi Craft. The final spot in the top five went to Jerry Whelchel, whose best lap in the #5 ProAm/Camburg Foddrill was a 51.779. The inversion draw was six spots for Round 9 and four spots in Round 10. This gives a front row start to Garrett George and Whelchel tomorrow night, and to Porter and Holmes on Sunday night.
It was a battle between teammates Dillon Ayers and Kevin McCullough for the pole in Limited Buggy, with first blood to McCullough, whose opening lap was a 58.180 in his #389 Gear One/Broken Cartel Geiser. Ayers moved ahead of his teammate on lap three, turning a 57.475 in the #398 Gear One/Fat Performance Lothringer. Ayers then improved to a 56.339 on the next lap, a time that was good enough to be the session's best, netting him the pole as a result. Second went to Zac Hunt in the #334 Speed Energy/Bowden Development, Inc. Alumi Craft, who just managed to split the teammates with a 56.823. McCullough improved on his early time, and wound up third with a 56.922, while fourth went to the #304 Lucas Oil/K&N Penhall of Bradley Morris, whose best lap was a 57.332. Points leader John Fitzgerald rounded out the top five in his #314 BFGoodrich Tires/Simpson buggy, turning a best lap of 57.431. The inversion will be six spots for both rounds this weekend, meaning that Jeff Richards and Fitzgerald will be gunning for the hole shot from the front row in each of this weekend's races.
That wraps up our coverage of qualifying here at Glen Helen. Be sure to join us at what has traditionally been our series' best-attended weekend, and get your tickets soon before this one sells out. Gates open to the public at 4:00 pm Saturday afternoon, with Junior 2 Karts kicking off the racing just fifteen minutes afterwards, and Opening Ceremonies at 6:15 pm. The action is always better under the lights, so don't miss this one!
Written by Scott Neth for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
About the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series:
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is the evolution of the long standing support of short course racing by Forrest Lucas and Lucas Oil Products. Steeped in the Midwest tradition of short course off road racing infused with a West Coast influence, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing brings intense four wheel door to door action to challenging, fan friendly tracks. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: This is Short Course. For more information please visit www.LucasOilOffRoad.com.