Wheatland weekend concluded with changes at top of two classes

Wheatland weekend concluded with changes at top of two classes

Corona, California (July 27, 2017) – The entertainment business has an old saying, first voiced by Phineas T. Barnum (or maybe Walt Disney or someone else), that when a show closes it should "always leave them wanting more."

The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series did that July 22-23 at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri.

The series made its first trip to the Midwest to race on a technically challenging 1.3-mile course that incorporated more elements than a Las Vegas buffet line. The new 9-turn layout gave the drivers an opportunity to demonstrate how they have made the series the best in the world and the drivers obliged with two days of intense, exciting competition that made the GEICO Off-Road Shootout presented by General Tire one of the most memorable events in series history.

There were victories by series icons Carl Renezeder (Pro 4) and Brian Deegan (Pro 2) on the first day and Jeremy McGrath (Pro 2) on the second; there was the unexpected win by Doug Mittag (Pro 4) on day two; there was a continuation of the tight points battles between Darren Hardesty Jr. and Eliott Watson in Pro Buggy and Jerett Brooks and a handful of others in Pro Lite; and there were disappointing results for Kyle LeDuc (Pro 4), Rob MacCachren (Pro 2), Eric Barron (Pro 4) and others.

When the weekend was over there were new leaders in two classes and a different look to the standings in the others with five rounds of racing remaining in the 13-round championship season.

The next two rounds will be on the Wild West Motorsports Park course in Sparks, Nevada, August 26-27, followed by two rounds at Glen Helen Raceway in Devore, California, September 15-16 and a return to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona, October 21-22, for the final championship round and the season-ending Challenge Cup races.

McGrath will begin that stretch with the biggest lead in any of the four professional classes, a 21-point advantage over Deegan in Pro 2. The past three events have been good ones for McGrath, who hasn't finished out of the top 5 this season. The Encinitas, California, resident moved from third into a tie with MacCachren for the lead after rounds 3 and 4 in Baja California and after rounds 5 and 6 at Utah in June he was alone on top, 15 points ahead of Deegan, with RJ Anderson third and MacCachren fourth.

McGrath added to his lead with a third and his win at Wheatland. Deegan, Anderson and MacCachren held their positions, too, but trail by 21, 27 and 39 points, respectively, and MacCachren is looking over his shoulder at Jerett Brooks, who is only 2 points behind him.

There was no change in the top 3 in Pro 4 but there's a much different look to the standings after dismal weekends for LeDuc and Barron.

LeDuc had rolled onto the track at Lucas Oil Speedway 28 points ahead of MacCachren and 33 up on Renezeder. But LeDuc, who has won three straight titles, struggled to a pair of 9th-place finishes and now leads MacCachren by 2 points and Renezeder by 17. Anderson finished 8th and 6th at Wheatland and is fourth, 27 points behind LeDuc, with Doug Fortin fifth and Mittag up three spots to sixth after his first class win.

Barron's truck suffered too much damage on opening day for him to race round 8 and plummeted from fourth to 10th.

In addition to staying in title contention in Pro 2 Brooks held onto the lead in Pro Lite, where he is the reigning champion. But he followed a win on the first day with a 10th on day two while Brock Heger was finishing second and fourth. As a result the 13-point lead Brooks had going into the weekend was only 4 points when it was over. Hailie Deegan is third, 20 behind, and Brandon Arthur (41 behind) and Ryan Beat (42 back) are fighting for fourth and fifth.

Watson and Hardesty traded wins and the lead in the Pro Buggy class. Watson went into the weekend 10 points ahead and came out of it 1 point behind. Watson had a win and an 8th-place finish and Hardesty trumped him with a win and a second. Sterling Cling and Bud Ward also exchanged places with Cling moving to third and Ward to fourth.

Heger and Arthur stayed atop the Pro 1000 UTV pile. Each had a win and a sixth but Heger got one bonus point to add to his lead, which is now 27 points. Jason Weller remained third and Dustin Nelson moved up two spots to fourth, 43 points behind.

Trey Gibbs earned 103 of a possible 104 points to turn an 8-point deficit into a 29-poiint lead over Cole Keatts in the Modified Kart class. Brody Eggleston is 2 points farther back in third.

Television Schedule

All times are Eastern. Subject to change.
Sunday, January 21
2:00 PM
- Chandler, AZ
Sunday, January 28
2:00 PM
- Chandler, AZ
Sunday, February 4
2:00 PM
- Chandler, AZ
Click here for full TV schedule.

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