Racers dust up some great races in Round 5

Racers dust up some great races in Round 5

Corona, CA (June 24, 2017) – Following a very exciting weekend of racing action last month down in Baja, the drivers and teams of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, turned their focus north to our next stop: the gorgeous confines of the Utah Motorsports Campus here in Tooele, UT. Located just outside of Salt Lake City, this track is a favorite stop amongst the teams in this series, as the highly professional grounds, beautiful surrounding views, and the summer camp vibes combine to make for a weekend that allows racers and their families to race hard and then enjoy some downtime camaraderie into the long, sunlit evenings. Make no mistake, though: the racing here is still fierce, and the tight confines of this track force drivers to really make the most of any and every opportunity to pass, as those chances are harder to come by than normal. The dirt here is also highly temperamental, shifting from slick and greasy to dry and dusty almost instantly and without warning. Earning a win here is tough, as there are ample opportunities to make mistakes on this tricky, technical track, and those who came out on top here this afternoon really earned their victories.

Pro 4 Unlimited

Pro 4 Unlimited

Following Opening Ceremonies, the first Pro class race of the afternoon was Pro 4 Unlimited. Starting from pole after qualifying first, Kyle LeDuc shot into the early lead in his #99 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford. A spin out of turn four dropped Doug Mittag down to last after running second early, and allowed for a big shuffle in the running order, with Doug Fortin coming out ahead and across the stripe second after lap one, ahead of Eric Barron, Greg Adler, and Adrian Cenni in positions three, four, and five. Mittag held station after his spin to force a full course yellow on lap two, and on the restart lap, Cenni and Rob MacCachren moved ahead of Adler and into fourth and fifth. Two laps later, Cenni got by Barron on the inside at turn three after Barron ran wide, and that moved Cenni up to third. Two turns later, Fortin then spun and dropped to last, before waiting where he was to force a full course yellow, which fell on lap five. Fortin’s error moved Cenni, Barron, Carl Renezeder, and MacCachren up to spots two through five for the restart, and on that lap, MacCachren biked in turn three, which allowed Mittag to get by for fifth. On lap six, Cenni, Barron, and Renezeder ran three-wide into turn four, with Renezeder coming fire out of the corner ahead and into second place. An issue then started to develop on Cenni’s truck, as he dropped two spots in turn two on lap seven. Barron also dropped two spots on that lap, with both Adler and Mittag getting by for third and fourth. Mittag then passed Adler at turn four to move into third on lap eight, before the Competition Yellow fell at the end of that lap. RJ Anderson had moved up to fifth by this point, and on the restart lap, Adler spun and collected Bradley Morris in turn three, forcing another full course yellow. Adler’s error moved Anderson up to fourth and Barron back up to fifth, and on the restart lap, Renezeder biked in turn four, which allowed Mittag to get by for second. Renezeder fought back past down the inside at the same corner on the next lap, but Mittag got by again at turn three on lap 12. On lap 13, Mittag was slowed briefly as he ran up the takeoff of the tabletop jump between turns two and three, which let Renezeder by again, and from there, the top five held their positions. LeDuc’s truck looked almost untouched in first place, with a considerably more thrashed #17 Lucas Oil/RC10.com Ford of Renezeder in second. Mittag was third in the #81 Jhonlin Racing Team/Bilstein Shock Absorbers Ford, with Anderson fourth, and Barron fifth in the #32 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Mickey Thompson Toyota. Anderson was then disqualified following post-race tech, which moved Barron to fourth and MacCachren to fifth in the #21 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Industrial Power Tools Ford.

Pro 2 Unlimited

Pro 2 Unlimited

The final race of the afternoon was Pro 2 Unlimited, and wow, this one was an eventful race to say the least. RJ Anderson got out to the early lead in his #37 Rockstar Energy Drink/Polaris RZR truck, ahead of Bradley Morris, Brian Deegan, Rob MacCachren, and Jeremy McGrath after lap one. Lap two saw Morris start to spin coming into turn five, and with a host of trucks bearing down on him, a slight tap from MacCachren was enough to send Morris around and over, with several other trucks piling into the scene. The incident brought out a full course caution, with Anderson, Deegan, Rodrigo Ampudia, MacCachren, and Jeremy McGrath holding the top five spots for the restart. These drivers held their positions on the restart lap, with MacCachren then getting past Ampudia out of turn four to move up to third on lap four. At the start of the next lap, MacCachren’s hood suddenly flipped back against the front window opening, completely obstructing his view, and causing him to suddenly slow. Ampudia and McGrath accordioned up behind him, with MacCachren then drilling the end of the inside k rail at the entrance to turn two. MacCachren stopped hard, damaging his truck heavily, and that brought out another full course yellow. After a lengthy clearing of the incident (MacCachren was ok), racing resumed, with Anderson, Deegan in the #38 Monster Energy/Mickey Thompson Ford, Ampudia, Brooks, and Morris now in the top five. After the restart, Deegan was all over Anderson on lap seven, before easily getting by out of turn four on lap eight to move into the lead. Anderson got back alongside after the start/finish, though, and edged Deegan wide in turn one, before Deegan then clawed back ahead over the remainder of lap nine. On lap 12, McGrath started to get by Ampudia coming out of turn four, but as Ampudia fought to hang on to the position, the two collected, and McGrath spun, with the two then winding up faced nose to nose, with McGrath somehow getting away quicker, despite having to turn back around before continuing. With the dust still clearing from this incident, Anderson then nearly got back by Deegan into turn five on the next lap, though Deegan managed to hang on to the position. As the field was finishing its penultimate lap, Ampudia pulled into the Hot Pits and out of the race thanks to damage from his earlier incident with McGrath. Ahead of him, the drivers in the top five held their positions, with Deegan taking the win, ahead of Anderson, Brooks in the #77 General Tire/Bilstein Shock Absorbers Ford, McGrath in the #2 Maxxis Tires/Traxxas truck, and Morris in the #24 K&N/Dynamic Motorsports Ford.

Pro Lite Unlimited

Pro Lite Unlimited

Starting from row two, reigning champion Jerett Brooks moved into the lead of the Pro Lite Unlimited field on lap one in the #77 Rigid Industries L.E.D. Lighting/General Tire Nissan, ahead of Christopher Polvoorde, Brock Heger, Brandon Arthur, and Ronnie Anderson. Laps two and three saw Cole Mamer move up to get all over the back of Anderson in the battle for fifth, with Anderson struggling to hold Mamer at bay. The biggest mover on track was Ryan Beat, who’d started 15th after initially qualifying on pole before being disqualified from those results for being too wide at post-qualifying tech. Beat had already worked his way up to seventh, but with the remaining six trucks ahead of him all being very quick, passes would now be much tougher to come by. Up front, Brooks and Polvoorde were well clear in the race for the lead, while just behind, Heger ran wide in turn four on lap five, which allowed Arthur to get alongside and then past in the subsequent whoop section. Behind these two, Mamer had now finally made the pass on Anderson for fifth, and at the Competition Yellow, it was Brooks, Polvoorde in the #94 The Palms River Resort/Tomar Performance LED Lighting Nissan, Arthur in the #6 MavTV/Toyo Tires Chevrolet, Heger, and Mamer in the top five. After the restart lap, Beat passed Mamer out of turn four and through the whoop section to move up to fifth in the #51 Rockstar Energy Drink/Lunarpages Chevrolet, before briefly nosing ahead of Heger coming out of turn three on lap ten. However, Heger then forcefully bumped Beat wide in turn four, drawing the eye of race officials, before then suddenly slowing to a stop coming out of turn two on the next lap. Up ahead, Polvoorde was all over the back of Brooks during the second half of lap 11, before Brooks gradually began to pull away as Polvoorde’s driving got just a little wild. Behind these two, Beat then passed Arthur for third at turn four on the penultimate lap. From there, the running order within the top five went unchanged, as Brooks grabbed the win, ahead of Polvoorde, Beat, Arthur, and Mamer in the #35 Atturo Tires/Bilstein Shock Absorbers Nissan.

Pro Buggy Unlimited

Pro Buggy Unlimited

The Pro Buggy Unlimited race was a rather subdued affair, and at the end of lap one in this one, Bud Ward led the way in his #17 Ramona Tire & Service Centers/Horsepower Ranch Funco; Darren Hardesty Jr. ran second, with Sterling Cling third, Eliott Watson fourth, and Trevor Briska fifth. These five held their positions all the way to the Competition Yellow, which fell at the end of lap seven. Once racing resumed, Matt Brister got past Briska for fifth at turn three on lap eight, before getting alongside Watson at the end of the next lap after Watson had been a bit slow out of turn five, possibly due to something like a missed shift. Lap 11 saw Hardesty Jr. slow with a right rear flat, and with the entire field quickly passing him up, he decided to duck into the Hot Pits for a change. This put Cling up to second in the #77 Cling’s Aerospace/BFGoodrich Tires Alumi Craft, with Watson now third, Brister fourth, and Briska fifth in the #59 MTRV8/Prolong Super Lubricants Funco. From there, the top five drivers held on to their positions, and at the stripe, it was Ward who got the win, ahead of Cling, Watson in the #3 Fox Racing Shox/Baja Designs Alumi Craft, Brister in the #5 Bink Designs/LAT Racing Oils Funco, and Briska.

Production 1000 UTV

Production 1000 UTV

Next up were the Production 1000 UTVs, and at the end of lap one, Brock Heger led the pack in his #921 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Maxxis Tires Yamaha, ahead of Nathan Barry, Jason Weller, Paul O’Brien, and Mickey Thomas. Weller got by Barry out of turn three to move up to second on lap two, with O’Brien then getting by Barry out of turn two on the next lap to move into third. Lap four saw Myles Cheek move up to fifth early on the lap, with Ronnie Anderson then getting by Cheek early on the next lap. Cheek got back by later on that lap to re-take fifth, with a full course yellow then falling at the end of that lap after Barry came to a stop in turn five. Once Barry had been towed off, racing resumed, with Heger, Weller, O’Brien, Thomas, and Cheek holding the top five spots. On the restart lap, contact in turn three sent Cheek nose-first into the inside wall (another driver was caught out as well), dropping him back several positions, and that moved Anderson back up to fifth in the #952 Safecraft Safety Equipment/Holz Racing Products Polaris. Heger had already opened up a gap over the pack, as most of the rest of the drivers in the top ten were battling hard for positions. Anderson moved past O’Brien (who’d dropped to fourth) for fourth late on lap seven, and on the next lap, both he and Thomas were all over Weller in a three-UTV battle for second. On the penultimate lap (lap nine), Anderson then got alongside Thomas in the whoops between turns four and five, before getting by and up to third in turn five. Anderson then ran wide in turn three on the final lap, handing the spot back to Thomas. However, Anderson still had time, and charged back alongside in the whoops, before diving inside at turn five. At the same time, Thomas bicycled badly and shot out to the outside of the corner, which allowed both Anderson and O’Brien to get past. At the line, Heger scored a relatively comfortable win, ahead of Weller in the #948 DragonFire/Lucas Oil Racing TV Yamaha, Anderson, O’Brien in the #911 Specialty Coatings/Cylex Signs Yamaha, and Thomas in the #944 Mystik Lubricants/Union Graphic Co Yamaha.

Our first of two race days here in Utah has now come to a close, but we’ve still got tomorrow to do it all again in Round 6. Gates will open to the public here at 9:00 AM, with qualifying getting underway at 9:30. Racing will start at 1:00 PM, with Opening Ceremonies at 2:30, and the first  Pro class of the day, Pro 4 Unlimited, immediately following. Get out here and enjoy the action, it’s sure not to disappoint.

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.

Written by Scott Neth for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

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2017 Events

Oct
21-22

Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series 2017

Television Schedule

All times are Eastern. Subject to change.
Saturday, September 30
2:00 PM
- Wheatland, MO
Sunday, October 1
2:00 PM
- Toole, UT
Sunday, October 1
10:00 PM
- Wheatland, MO
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