Tooele, Utah (August 23, 2018) – Now in its tenth season, the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, is soon to make its ninth visit to the beautiful Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, UT, just west of Salt Lake City. As the drivers make their way to this gorgeous facility and the tight, challenging track that lies within it, we thought we'd take a look at which drivers have shown the most mastery of this unique place. Ardent fans of the series will remember that in our very first visit to the track back in 2010, then called Miller Motorsports Park, the off-road track was a very rough, almost desert racing-like loop, and was placed in the northeast corner of the facility's famous road racing circuit. In 2011, the current track was built, and drivers have been battling this slick, slow yet somehow fast track ever since. But who's done exceptionally well here? Let's find out…
Six drivers have won up in Utah in the Pro 4 class, but of those, only defending class champion Kyle LeDuc is still active in the class full-time this year. Of the 16 possible wins at this track since the series began racing here back in 2010, LeDuc has scored nearly half of them, with seven victories to his name. LeDuc picked up his first win at the track clear back in 2011, and has scored at least one win per weekend every year since 2014, including two weekend sweeps in 2014 and 2015. Behind LeDuc, recent retiree Carl Renezeder has three wins, off-road legend Rick Huseman has two (including the very first Pro class win here back in 2010), and more recent competitors Eric Barron, Rob MacCachren, and Bryce Menzies have two, one, and one wins, respectively.
While Rob MacCachren has only scored one win at this track in a 4WD, his record in Pro 2 is much better. With six wins, MacCachren is the most successful Pro 2 driver in the track's history, and MacCachren has spread those wins out well, having scored at least one win in all but three of the years that the series has been to this facility. MacCachren first took the top step back in Round 8 in 2010, before taking another win in 2012, a sweep of the weekend in 2013, as well as wins in 2014 and 2016, and with his current hot streak this season, there's no reason to think that he can't take another win or two this weekend.
Aside from MacCachren, all but two of the other six drivers who've won here previously should be in the field again this weekend. Among them, Brian Deegan has three wins, including one last year, and Jeremy McGrath also has multiple wins (two). Bradley Morris scored the most recent win here, and it was a memorable victory, as it was his first win in any class after returning to competition following a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a broken neck from a mountain biking crash. Almost as memorable was the win scored here back in 2010 by Rodrigo Ampudia, his first and only win in the class thus far, which he and his team celebrated perhaps more joyously than any other driver ever has in the series.
Only one driver who's still active in this class has a win heading into this weekend, and that's Brandon Arthur. Arthur's lone win at this track came back in Round 6 last year, which also makes it the most recent win in the class at this track. The day before that, Jerett Brooks scored the victory, his fourth and (presumably) final win in the class, which also happened to make him the winningest driver in the class' history at Utah Motorsports Campus. Next in line is Brian Deegan with three wins, then RJ Anderson, Sheldon Creed, and Chris Brandt at two apiece, and finally, both Casey Currie and Marty Hart each have one win at this track to their names. Of all these drivers, Currie, Brandt, and Arthur are the only ones who haven't won a championship in this class- could Arthur be the next driver to join the likes of Creed, Anderson, Deegan, and Brooks as a class champion? He'll have to get past points leader Ryan Beat if he hopes to do so this year…
Like Pro Lite, no one driver has been exceptionally dominant in this track's history in Pro Buggy. Five different drivers each have two wins apiece, but of these, only two-time defending champion Darren Hardesty Jr. is still active full-time in the class; the only other driver still racing in the class at all who also has multiple wins is Kevin McCullough, but McCullough is running a limited schedule this season. Mike Valentine, Doug Fortin, and Jerry Whelchel are the other three drivers with two wins to their names in the open wheel ranks, yet while success at this track seems to trend towards championship success as well in the Pro Lite class (four of the five drivers with multiple wins in that class here in Utah have also scored at least one championship), it seems to have the opposite effect in Pro Buggy: of the five drivers with two wins apiece here, only Hardesty Jr. has managed to score a class title in the series (he's actually scored two). Six other drivers each have one win: Bud Ward, Chad George, Geoffrey Cooley, Steven Greinke, Cody Freeman, and Justin Smith. However, of these, Ward is the only driver who's still active in this class.
Production 1000 UTV is the only other Pro class to have raced here previously (Turbo Production UTV will take to the track here for the first time this weekend), and the Production 1000 UTV record is a perfect two for two in favor of Brock Heger, who swept the weekend here last year in the class' inaugural trip to Utah. In any of the Pro classes, there are of course plenty of other drivers who've yet to win here but who have every chance of doing so this weekend, and names like RJ Anderson and Doug Mittag (Pro 4), RJ Anderson and Jerett Brooks (Pro 2), Ryan Beat, Brock Heger, and Christopher Polvoorde (Pro Lite), Eliott Watson and Sterling Cling (Pro Buggy), Myles Cheek and Robert Stout (Production 1000 UTV), and Corry Weller and Paul O'Brien (Turbo Production UTV) should all be on everyone's radars.
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. Our events can be seen on CBS, CBS Sports Network, MAVTV, and Live all season long on LucasOilRacing.TV. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: This is Short Course! For more information, please visit www.LucasOilOffRoad.com, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter in our Newsletter Signup section of the home page.
Written by Scott Neth for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series