Wheatland, Missouri (June 24, 2018) - A rain-soaked Lucas Oil Speedway road course made for a slippery, contact-filled Sunday in the premier divisions of the 2nd annual GEICO Off Road Challenge Presented by General Tire.
Veteran racer Scott Douglas of El Cajon, California grabbed the lead with two laps remaining, when leader Kyle LeDuc saw his truck succumb to mechanical issues, to grab the Pro 4 win in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series main event.
Meanwhile, in the co-headliner on a day in which morning rain delayed the action, Rob MacCachren finished off a weekend sweep by winning the Pro 2 feature.
Douglas, who has eight desert championships and three Baja 1000 wins, earned his second career Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series main event but first since 2010 as he's following the series for the first time in several years.
"I love it and I love all these fans out here," Douglas said, noting that patience was required on the 1.2-mile course. "We haven't had a big notebook at all these tracks and we've been behind the 8-ball. I feel bad for all my fans because I haven't been at the level of speed that I want to be or that I'm used to.
"When the rain comes down you can throw all those notebooks away. It's a great equalizer. It turns into patience and driving talent. Everybody out there was doing an amazing job. It was pretty good and it was quite the track. You have to have such self-discipline."
LeDuc, seeking a weekend Pro 4 sweep, led the first six laps but faded as smoke billowed from the right rear of his truck with two laps to go.
The race took another major turn on lap two when third-running R.J. Anderson - the series points leader - went out with a broken rear suspension after hitting the wall in the tunnel.
Adrian Cenni wound up second with Doug Mittag in third, elevated a spot when Greg Adler was penalized following contact with Mittag late in the event that left Mittag with a shredded left-front tire.
"It was a lot of fun to be out there, even though it doesn't feel like you're going more than two miles per hour," Cenni said. "My crew did a really good job. Other guys were breaking and we didn't break."
Mittag began the day 11 points behind Anderson with LeDuc 18 behind.
"It was a bummer deal," Mittag said of the being knocked out of contention for the win. "But it was still a good weekend for points."
Mac goes back to back: Rob MacCachren of Las Vegas, Nevada led throughout to take the Pro 2 victory, holding off teammate R.J. Anderson for much of the event. The weekend sweep vaulted him past Anderson and into the season points lead.
"With all the weather today, I want to thank all the fans for sticking it out," MacCachren said. "I'm glad we put on a good show and I want to thank Lucas Oil for getting this track to come around.
"The guys on this team work really hard on this team. Reliable is the key. They give me a good truck and it's my job to try and not make mistakes."
Jerett Brooks wound up a distant second with defending Pro 2 series champ Jeremy McGrath coming from a ninth starting position to finish in third in a wild event.
"There was a lot of carnage. Guys were taking no prisoners out there," McGrath said.
Anderson, who came into the race leading the points, chased MacCachren through the first half of the race but wound up seventh after a late-race contact with Bradley Morris. Earlier in the event, Morris and Brian Deegan tangled with Deegan unable to finish.
Beat goes on: Ryan Beat continued his Lucas Oil Speedway weekend dominance in the Pro Lite division, leading all the way for his second feature win in two days.
"It feels good. We had this truck tuned up and ready," Beat said.
Beat relinquished the lead, for just a few seconds, with two laps remaining when he and Ronnie Anderson made some contact in turn seven. But Beat quickly recovered and regained command by the start-finish line.
"Those guys were banging on me hard and we just kept (digging)," Beat said.
Brock Heger finished second with Chris Polvoorde in third.
Hardesty also repeats: Darren Hardesty Jr. made it a weekend sweep and four straight series wins in the Pro Buggy division, leading all the way. Trevor Briska finished second and Trey D. Gibbs was third for his first podium finish.
"I couldn't be happier. That's four back-to-back wins and I couldn't ask for anything more," said Hardesty, who is seeking his third straight Pro Buggy points championship. "The next thing we pursue is the championship.
"What a race. The track was super wet and super slick. I was doing everything I could to keep it going straight, but was super fun out there."
It was a solid run for Briska, though he was no match for the winner.
"We got into a little carnage that first lap and dropped back to fifth, so we are super happy to work our way onto the podium," Briska said.
Farr hangs on for UTV win: The first race after the rain delay saw Tim Farr hold off a last-lap challenge by Saturday's winner Kyle Chaney to win the Turbo UTV feature.
"It was actually a lot of fun to drive," said Farr, noting that getting out front early helped him only go through only three helmet-shield tear offs.
"It was a fun race. We had a good battle there at the end," Chaney said.
Heger repeats in Production 1000: Brock Heger led all seven laps to win the Production 1000 UTV class for the second straight day. The El Centro, California, driver finished 7.22 seconds in front of Keith Brooks with Robert Stout in third.
"It's pretty fun out there," Heger said, noting that he was able to take advantage of his front-row starting spot with a good start and have visibility along with good track position.
Brooks, who said he grew up on the East coast where racing in mud is more common, advanced from fourth to second on the final lap. Stout was making his Wheatland debut after racing a pavement road-course event on Saturday.
Next up for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is the K&N Filters Silver State Showdown Presented by Toyota, July 21 at Wild West Motorsports Park in Sparks, Nevada.
GEICO Off Road Shootout Presented by General Tire
PRO 4 - 1, Scott Douglas. 2, Adrian Cenni. 3, Doug Mittag. 4, Greg Adler. 5, Kyle LeDuc. 6, RJ Anderson.
PRO 2 - 1, Rob MacCachren. 2, Jerett Brooks. 3, Jeremy McGrath. 4, Danny Ebberts. 5, Kipp Mickels. 6, Rodrigo Ampudia. 7, RJ Anderson. 8, Bradley Morris. 9, Adam Daffner. 10, Andrew Carlson. 11, Brian Deegan.
PRO LITE - 1, Ryan Beat. 2, Brock Heger. 3, Christopher Polvoorde. 4, Mickey Thomas. 5, Brandon Arthur. 6, Jimmy Weitzel. 7, Ronnie Anderson. 8, Cole Mamer. 9, Sarah Burgess. 10, Mason Cullen. 11, Bridget Burgess. 12, Kyle Knott. DNS Cory Winner. DNS Keaton Swane.
PRO BUGGY - 1, Darren Hardesty. 2, Trevor Briska. 3, Trey D. Gibbs. 4, Chris Nunes. 5, Michael Meister. 6, Sammy Ehrenberg. 7, Matthew Brister. 8, Brady Whitlock. 9, Eliott Watson. 10, Michael "Bud" Ward.
PRODUCTION 1000 UTVs - 1, Brock Heger. 2, Keith Brooks. 3, Robert Stout. 4, Jason Weller. 5, Robert Loire. 6, Josh Bergman. 7, Eli Bieschke. 8, Myles Cheek. 9, Ronnie Anderson. 10, Blake Enloe. 11, Kipp Mickels. 12, Mickey Thomas, 13, Devin Young. 14, Jacob Rosales. 15, Trevor Leighton. 16, Jeremy Houle. 17, Nathan Barry. 18, Jim Price. DNS Paul O'Brien. DNS Ben Enloe. DNS Rusty Dukes.
TURBO UTV - 1, Tim Farr. 2, Kyle Chaney. 3, Kyle Hart. 4, Eliott Watson. 5, Corry Weller. 6, Paul O'Brien. 7, Michael Lawrence. 8, Trevor Leighton. 9, Chance Haugen. 10, Eric Gordon. 11, Andy Ives. 12, Robert Van Beekum. 13, Myles Cheek. 14, Thomas Reihner. 15, Chelsea Haugen.
Bull riding to dirt track: The next event at Lucas Oil Speedway will be the Lucas Oil Invitational Pro Bull Ride Presented by ProtecttheHarvest.com, next Friday and Saturday. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with the program starting at 7 for the Amped Up Pro Bull Tour event.
Thursday Thunder set July 5: The next racing action at Lucas Oil Speedway is set for Thursday, July 5, as the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series resumes at the oval track. It will be "Thursday Night Thunder" Plus Fireworks Presented by Casey's General Stores and KY3. The Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models will be the featured class, running a $1,000-to-win main event courtesy of Rains Ice. Visit participating Casey's locations for a $2 off admissions coupon.
For ticket information on all events at Lucas Oil Speedway in 2018, contact admission director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or by email at nichole@LucasOilSpeedway.com. Fans also can go online to purchase tickets for any event on the 2018 schedule.
Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With its entrance located just outside the pit gate this sprawling scenic camping facility will continue to enhance the racing experience at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks.
Click LucasOilSpeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984.