Tooele, UT (August 29, 2018) – The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) swung through Tooele, Utah to feature Round 7 & 8 at Utah Motorsports Campus located just outside of Salt Lake City. The schedule of night racing coincided with a very large full moon peaking over the horizon just as the Pro Buggy event got the green flag. It was a majestic back drop to some epic racing. Driver of the #99 Bilstein / Alumi Craft Pro Buggy, Darren "HotSauce" Hardesty Jr., raced away with duel 2nd place podium finishes and extended his 2018 Pro Buggy Championship points lead.
The weekend started out blazing quick for "HotSauce" during Round 7 Qualifying. Darren clocked his fastest time of 45.371 seconds on only Lap 2. This would be good enough for 2nd on the pole and a mere .059 seconds off the pace.
Feeling very confident about his Bilstein Pro Buggy, Hardesty knew if he continued that pace into the race, the podium was only a Green Flag, 10 competitors, 14 laps, and a checkered flag away. Darren gave the #99 Bilstein Pro Buggy a once over, knocked the mud off, shined up the Mickey Thompson Tires and got her all pretty for the big show.
Utah's fans of professional off road short course are always treated to thrilling racing when the national series comes into town. The shorter and tighter than normal track features a tricky surface that is unlike anywhere else on the circuit. The more experienced racers have an advantage but even the pros slip up occasionally. Hardesty saw himself get caught up on Lap 1 of Round 7 with a slight spin out in Turn 4. The salty fine silt, which is prone in the area, turns into slippery caked up muck once it reaches water shed levels. While others' heart might have sank, "HotSauce" got spicy recovering with only one position lost. Hardesty would go onto hold 2nd place through the finish.
Darren commented "I had a solid run going once I got in the groove. I took the momentum and finished on the podium in 2nd place. It was a good points day and The Optima Fast Lap Award is the cherry on top. The Bilstein Pro Buggy is very fast, and we are looking for the top spot on the box."
Round 8 saw Hardesty qualified 4th fastest. Darren started the race in opposite fashion from Round 7 and immediately moved up a position to secure 2nd place on Lap 1. From there onto the checkered flag, Race leader Eliott Watson and "HotSauce" checked out from the rest of the Pro Buggy Field. By the end, it was an all Alumi Craft finish on the podium with Hardesty claiming 2nd place and his second podium finish of the weekend.
"From Trophy Karts to Pro Buggies... the boys are back at it, " boasted Darren. I had so much fun racing out there against my good friends and I am stoked to be driving the #99 Bilstein / Alumi Craft. I touch every part on this car and turn every bolt. These machines are flawless and we had another great day. It was all about finishing well and putting points on the board." Hardesty continued "Thank you to Bilstein, Off Road Warehouse, Mickey Thompson Tires, STEEL-IT, Impact, Lucas Oil Products, Bink Designs, Alumi Craft Race Cars, Black Rhino Performance, RacerX, and USA Wheels. I love racing here in Utah, the fans are friendly and that really pumps us up. But it's time to move on and we cannot wait for the next one at Glen Helen Raceway."
Round 9 & 10 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Series will head back West to Glen Helen Raceway for the Lucas Oil Camp Out Series in San Bernardino, California taking place on September 21 & 22. Don't miss all the action!
Photography By: Bink Designs
About Darren "HotSauce" Hardesty Jr.
Darren "Hot Sauce" Hardesty Jr. is a third generation racer who is making his own mark in racing. Working his way up the ladder from JR1 Kart, where he was named "Rookie of the Year" in 2011, he graduated to the fastest kart class in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series,. Racing a Pro Buggy In 2015, Hot Sauce earned the Rookie of the Year title and the points championship in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Regional Series. He gave the pro level series a try and did extremely well; so well that he also ran the Pro series for the rest of the season. He became the youngest driver to win a race in the Pro series and went on the take the Rookie of the Year title; earning his second Rookie of the Year title during the same season. In 2016, he has continued to accrue wins and podiums at the professional level. During his trip to the World Championships at the Big House in Crandon, Wisconsin, he earned a victory and second place podium finish racing against the Crandon regulars. At only 16 years of age, Darren Jr. became the youngest driver to win a pro series championship when he dominated the final race of the series. He vaulted from third place in the standings to a tie for first. Having more wins than his top competitor broke the tie, earning HotSauce the title. Darren's strong performance in 2016 attracted a huge fan following and a rising star nomination from the Off Road Motorsports Hall Of Fame. He backed up his strong run in 2016 with a second straight championship in 2017. He is going for his third championship in a row this season. Anytime he is in the driver's seat, it's guaranteed he will spice things up as his nickname "HotSauce" suggests.
Visit // www.darrenhardestyjr.com
About Bink Designs
Bink Designs is a premier graphic design company located in San Diego, CA. Since 2003, Bink Designs has been committed to providing cost-effective solutions for clients' high-end graphic needs. Bink Designs will work with you to develop a strategy that matches your goals. Bink Designs offers a number of services, including: Identity, Print Design, Vinyl Graphics, Web Design, Photography & Apparel.
Visit // www.binkdesigns.com