Morris Steps up at Route 66
Route 66 Speedway in Joliet, Il was the one track on the 2012 TORC schedule that made Shawn Morris worry the most. With a history of spectacular crashes and even having a jump named after him, going into Rounds 7 and 8, Morris was determined to not let the track beat him.
When the Flying Dutchman Off Road team arrived to Joliet on Tuesday, it was apparent this yearwould be very different. Rumors buzzed around the pits that the track underwent major changes. Curiosity in tow, the team check it out for themselves before even unloading the race truck.
“The track is 100% different from last year,” stated crew chief Mikey VandenHeuvel. “The infield is much more technical. This year speed won’t be the concern. This is a driver’s track.”
Wednesday gave the teams a three hour open practice window. With so much practice time, the crew was able to make many fine adjustments to the suspension and track bars for optimum handling on the tight infield sections.
Overnight the rains fell and made the track a bit of a mess for early Thursday. TORC made the decision to cancel the final practice session and combine it with the qualifying laps in the afternoon. Morris qualified in 7th out of 17 trucks, just out of the six car inversion.
After qualifying Morris headed over to the Chicagoland NASCAR track to be apart of Fan Fest. “It was awesome to get to take my Pro Light out on the NASCAR track. The fans were blown away by all the off-road trucks. It was great to expose them to what we do and invite them over to the dirt track.”
As the sun set Thursday night, the ProLight field of 17 trucks took to the track and went green flag racing. Starting in 7th, Morris swapped positions midpack for most of the race and finished in 7th. The top six would be inverted for Friday’s race on live SPEED, so Morris would have to start in 7th again.
In front of a packed crowd and millions watching on live SPEED, the green flag flew on Round 8Friday night. Going into the first turn, Morris took the high line around the stock car oval and threw the truck in hard, passing a number of trucks. One by one he picked off his competitors until the mandatory competition caution. Just after going back racing Morris was passed by Greaves, but held position at 4th.
“I was so happy to be running towards the front. There was a lot of malay and chaos in the back so it was good to be able to stay out of all that.”
With three laps remaining another truck rolled causing a full course caution. TORC announced there would be a green-white-checker finish to the race. When the race went back green, Morris passed Greaves on the infield and pulled away. With all of the TV cameras rolling Morris crossed the finish line in 3rd.
“It’s an absolute dream to be out here racing with these guys and get a podium. To do it on Live national SPEED is even better.” explained an excited Morris. “My MAXXIS tires were perfect on this track. This Chevy motor ran strong and fast all night. I gotta thank all my sponsors and crew who worked so hard to get he here tonight.”
With Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2012 TORC season in the books, Flying Dutchman Off Road would like to thank all their sponsors for the continued support. Up next for the team are Round 9 and 10 in the upper peninsula of Michigan at the iconic Bark River International Raceway on August 11th-12th.
CASEY CURRIE’S 2012 TORC DEBUT—A 1-2 FINISH!
Anaheim Hills, CA (July 25, 2012) – Returning to the Traxxas TORC series for the first time in the 2012 season, Casey Currie jumps right back into the driver’s seat of his Monster Energy General Tire Nissan where he left off, and straight on to the podium for a 1-2 finish at Chicagoland Speedway. To add to the 1-2 punch, Casey would also take home the Traxxas Maxx Lap Award for the top lap effort of the night.
Earning the number one qualifying spot on Thursday, Casey would start three rows back after the inversion of the top six qualifiers. Casey began maneuvering his way through the field and picking off trucks one by one as he gained ground, the sky opening up as he reached the second place position.
“We had the truck to beat before the rain,” Casey explained, “but nature played its part while we gave it our best and held on to that second place position. The truck is ready for tomorrow’s race and I can’t explain how happy I am to be in Chicago to give these 10,000+ fans the race they came to see, in person and on LIVE TV!”
For Friday’s race, Casey would again start three rows back after the inversion of Thursday’s top six finishers. The green flag dropped and Casey made his way through the field, picking off one truck at a time to finally battle Pro Lite points leader Andrew Caddell for the first place finish.
“We came to Chicago with one thing on our minds—winning,” explained Casey. “My team did an amazing job; with great communication and accurate tuning of the truck, we couldn’t have run a smoother race. Our hard work and a flawless race is really what put us in the winner’s circle.”
Next up, Casey Currie will be bringing it back home to Glen Helen Raceway for the Lucas Oil Off Road Series in San Bernardino, CA on August 4-5th. For more information on Casey, visit CaseyCurrie.com,become a fan at Facebook.com/OfficialCaseyCurrie or follow Casey on Twitter at Twitter.com/caseycurrie.Casey can also be found on Instagram at @caseycurrie.
ABOUT CASEY CURRIE
|Racing dirt bikes at age five and off-road trucks by age 16, it’s more than a coincidence that Casey Currie became one of the youngest-ever team owners and drivers on the CORR circuit. Now putting his talents to work in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Series, Casey joined the Pro Lite 2WD Truck class in 2006, scoring his first Championship in 2010 in the Traxxas TORC Series.Casey’s off-road resume is lined with wins on motorcycles, trucks and buggies in the desert—he is no stranger to dirt sports.In 2012 Casey will race for the championship in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Series in his No. 2 Monster Energy/General Tire/Nissan Pro Lite truck, while mixing it up with UTV races and public appearances in between. When he’s not on the road, building off-road vehicles and drumming up side projects, he’ll take to the dirt with friends—dirt bikes, UTVs, or mountain bikes, he does it all. For more information on Casey Currie, visit CaseyCurrie.com.
ABOUT TRAXXAS TORC
|The Traxxas TORC Series – The Off Road Championship, is the fastest, most punishing short course racing series on the planet. TORC events are packed with flag-to-flag fender banging as drivers push the limits over whoop and jump filled natural terrain racetracks. Off-road racing fans come from far and wide to experience this most challenging form of high-octane competition and once they taste TORC for the first time they’ll be hooked for life.|
Greaves Team Grabs Another Podium at Chicagoland’s Route 66 Dirt Track
Chicago, IL (July 21, 2012)The Off Road Championship (TORC) made a rare Thursday and Friday engagement for rounds 7 and 8 on the dirt at Route 66 in Joliet, Illinois. The Route 66 complex is adjacent to its sister track at Chicagoland Speedway which plays host to NASCAR, IndyCar and ARCA events. The Friday night installment was broadcast live on SPEED TV as well as streamed live over the internet. With nationally know X-Game and Rally Car icon, Travis Pastrana and NASCAR truck series racer Matt Crafton joining the field; it was sure to produce some very competitive racing. Mother Nature was also bearing down on the scene but all races were run with only a slight delay for the Pro Light race on Thursday evening.
Johnny and CJ Greaves, excited about the opportunity to show their stuff to the national television audience, geared up for the tight, technical course made of a re-configured oval dirt track. The two nights of racing proved to be an emotional rollercoaster and hard fought experience for the team.
Thursday, CJ qualified 2nd and started on row 3 beside fellow Monster Energy sponsored Casey Currie. After a couple of full-course caution restarts, CJ had his Monster Energy/ Toyota/ Oakley/Maxxis Tire Pro Light lined up in the 4th position for a single file start. CJ stayed in the top5 the entire race but was not able to make any headway on the leaders. He was running 5th, battling with Matt Cook for 4th on the white flag lap. Matt did a hard nose-over on the infield double jump landing him on his side and allowing CJ to take a hard fought 4th place finish.
CJ Greaves crawled out of his Pro Light machine and jumped into his Pro 2WD Toyota Tundra to join a field of talented drivers. CJ qualified 2nd. With the 6 truck inversion, he started on row3 beside Rob Mac. Travis Pastrana was behind him on row 4, the younger Greaves found himself in the middle of a lot of talent that he would have to contend with in order to get to the front. Onlap 3, CJ tried to make an inside move on Chad Hord, going for the 4th position at one of the hairpin turns. When he did, his front wheel hit the giant tire barrier hard, spinning him around.Barlow slammed into his rear quarter panel. CJ righted his truck and went back to work. The damage was severe however. Well off the pace, CJ would have to pull out of the race on lap 4: a devastating and disappointing blow to CJ in the points race as well as his hopes for a great showing.
Johnny qualified third and started the Pro 4×4 class race on row 2 with Ricky Johnson just behind him on row 3. Scott Douglas won the holeshot but Johnny was right on his back bumper. Johnny, taking the inside line into turn 1, took the lead. On lap 4, Johnny caught a rut. As he checked up, Douglas slammed into his left rear, spinning him 180 degrees, facing the wrong way. Douglas gunned his machine and drove over the front of Johnny’s Monster Energy Toyota. After the mayhem, Johnny emerged in 5th. At the competition caution, RJ pitted to change a tire advancing Johnny to the 4th spot. The contact with Douglas obviously damaged Johnny’s ability to steer his truck. He was able to make his way to third but the damage would eventually take its toll. Johnny ended up in 5th.
Friday was rebound day for Greaves Motorsports. With the live SPEED TV broadcast, both CJ and Johnny were anxious to get back on the track and improve on Thursday’s showing. Up first was CJ Greaves in the Pro Light. He started from row 2 for the 2-by-2 rolling start. When the green flagflew, He jumped immediately into the top 3 and up to the second spot before the end of lap 2 before disaster struck. CJ caught the edge of a berm and rolled over on his side in the infield bringing out a full course caution. Track crews put him back on all 4′s and he was able to re-fire his machine. CJ sped around the track to join the rear of the field, still on the lead lap. Greaves went to work on the restart, picking off one position at a time. By the competitioncaution, he had made his way into the top 4 behind Currie, Caddell, and Morris.
With few opportunities to pass, CJ Greaves was finally able to get around Morris to take thirdin the infield whoop section. On the white flag lap, a full-course caution came out when Norman flipped. The restart would be a green/white checkered situation. Officials sent the field around a couple of times. As bad luck would have it, CJ had a right rear flat. He would not be able tohold off the field at the restart and settled for a disappointing 8th place.
Pro 4 hit the track next. Johnny Greaves lined up on the front row and took the lead before the end of lap 1. RJ passed Jenkins to go into second, setting up the classic battle fans have come to enjoy between Johnny and Ricky. Johnny was able to hold off Ricky for a while but RJ would eventually pass him. Johnny held tight to the 2nd position with Douglas trying his best to get around him. Johnny held on to add another podium to the Greaves team’s accomplishments.
“I was pretty sure I could get out into the lead but Ricky has been running good all week, so I figured if he reels me in, I’m not going to fight him for it, just jump in behind him and find out what we’ve been missing ’cause I haven’t been doing a lot of laps,” said Greaves from the podium. “It’s a good start for me, we’re on the podium and moving forward.”
Thirteen trucks hit the track for the featured Pro2WD class race. CJ was number 13, starting from the very back of the pack with a lot of trucks and talent in front of him to pass. Like a man on a mission, he picked off one position after another: Jenkins, Oberg, Barlow and Pastrana. He was up to 6th by the competition caution with Chad Hord in front of him and next of the list to pass.
On the restart, Hord and Kincaid pass Taylor. It was CJ’s turn to pass him. As they exited theturn, CJ powered to the outside of Taylor. But Taylor took the line away from CJ, forcing him offthe side of the tabletop and off the track. CJ kept digging and only lost one position. In the mean time, Travis Pastrana rolls bringing out a full course caution. USAC resets the field back to the last green flag lap: Rob Mac, Menzies, Hord, Kincaid, Taylor, CJ and Barlow made up the top 7. CJ quickly got around Taylor clean for 5th, but when Menzies bicycled, Taylor ran hard into CJ allowing Barlow to claim 5th. The track was getting increasingly slick. With about 2 lapsto go, CJ over rotated and dropped several positions. He battled with Mike Jenkins. Menzies, Barlow, Kincaid, and Jenkins have problems on the last lap, allowing CJ to finish in the top 5.
Greaves Motorsports will head to the long Bark River, Michigan track on August 11-12. Johnny has won many races in Bark River that features a huge jumps and long sweeping turns.
2012 Mole Lake Casino & Conference Center / MORR Off-Road Challenge Winning Streaks End, First Time Winners, & Super Stock Championship Tightens Up – Highlight the Weekend
Posted on Sunday, July 15, 2012
Glenview, IL (July 11, 2012) – This past weekend the Mole Lake – MORR Off-Road Challenge brought together one hundred five competitors from across the country to the Langlade County Fairgrounds in Antigo, Wisconsin. Along with all the TORC Sportsman classes, a unique two round competition for TORC PRO-Light racers was also included in the program. Along with the cooperation of Mother Nature, the Krueger and Vanden Heuvel families, and the support of Mole Lake, another great off-road event took place at the long-time short-course venue.
The event itself saw the Mole Lake Casino & Conference Center add purse money to all classes as well as the PRO-Light Challenge and has a contract with the promoters to extend their support for the event through 2014. Along with the event support, Mole Lake is an official marketing partner of Midwest Off-Road Racing.
The .75 mile long track utilizes the majority of the .5 mile bank clay circle track, along with a lengthy pass through the infield. Overall the fast straightaways and high speed corners are combined with six large jumps, a tight bank infield corner, and a long and large rhythm section to create a very challenging and entertaining off-road course.
Saturday – Round 5
The first race of the weekend was the twelve truck field of the Classix division. The diverse field included 1980′s editions Ford Broncos, Chevy Blazers, a whole bunch of mid-size GM bodied coupes, and a 70′s Chevy El Camino. The opening lap saw #696 Jeremy Dake takes the lead, but was short lived as Aaron Konitzer took command of the race by lap two. Behind Konitzer, #612 Kenny Platen, #613 Dale Chestnut, and Mike Mischler battled most of the race for the final two podium positions.
The during the mandatory caution, the race was red flagged to spread more water throughout the track as the unseasonably dry summer throughout the Midwest thoroughly tested the Antigo track crew.
After a ten-minute delay, the field went back to racing. Quickly Konitzer gapped the rest of the field. The final few laps saw Chestnut make a late race charge to finish second, as early race leader Jeremy Dake regrouped to land on the podium for the first time in his career claimingthird place. The win by Konitzer ended Dale Chestnut’s four race win streak.
A small but strong field of five Stock Trucks lined up next. For much of the race the battle for the lead was between Tom Graff and defending class champion Matt Ives. Ben Wierzba ran a steady and consistent pace keeping a close distance on Graff and Ives has they fought for the topspot. After the mandatory caution Ives finally had the momentum going through the rhythm section to make the pass for the lead. Unfortunately, Ives and Graff hooked bumpers sending both trucks into a spin. This was all Wierzba needed to grab the lead, and hold the top spot for the final four laps for his first career win.
Meanwhile Ives and Graff continued to battle, this time for the runner-up spot. Ives regroupedquicker and took home second place as Graff broke on the final lap, but it was enough to claim the final spot on the podium.
Eleven 1600 Single Buggy drivers rolled out for the next race. Pole sitter Dave Lugar immediately grabbed the lead, with Canadian Travis Dinsmore right on his bumper in second place. Lugar gave it his best shot, but on lap four Dinsmore made the pass to assume the lead. MeanwhileMike Seefeldt held on to third place as Mark Steinhardt and Mike Vanden Heuvel battled for fourthplace as the mandatory caution came out.
The final six laps saw Dinsmore trying to fend off Mike Seefeldt. The two traded positions on lap seven, but Dinsmore never gave up. Then on lap nine the Canadian took the lead heading into the infield portion of the track. The final three laps saw Dinsmore keep the lead to take the winas Seefeldt finished second, and a late race charge by Mark Steinhardt crossed the finish in third place.
The seven truck field of Formula 4×4 trucks consisted of four Ford Broncos, one Ford Ranger, one Ford F-150, and a Jeep CJ-7. The top two positions were determined early on as Brad LeMarche grabbed the lead, with Dave Miah running about six truck lengths behind the defending class champion. On lap four Ben Passa moved around Charlie Bell for the final podium position. The final seven laps saw the running order remain the same. Officially Brad LeMarche took the win, Dave Miah finished second, and Ben Passa crossed the line in third place.
The six truck field of Super Truck was next. Throughout the day track officials were trying their best to keep the dust to a minimum, but there seemed to be almost too much water on the trackfor this race. Jerry Edgerton grabbed the holeshot which allowed him to run in the clean airas he led flag to flag.
Behind Edgerton the mud was a contribution factor to the finishing order. Early on Bob Gremlerwas running second with pressure from rookie Gerrit Bancroft. On lap four Bancroft caught Gremlergoing too wide through Turn Four and moved up to second place. The mud coming off the trucks really was causing vision problems for everyone except leader Edgerton.
On the restart, Gremler passed Bancroft to reoccupy second place. A lap later Bancroft spins in Turn Four allowing veteran Don Williams to move into podium position. The final four laps saw the running order remain unchanged. Jerry Edgerton takes the win, Bob Gremler comes across the finish in second, and Don Williams completed the podium.
The largest field of the weekend took to the track, as twenty-four Light Buggy competitors lined up for the rolling start. Pole sitter Eric Lear grabbed the lead, with the rest of the field pushing and bumping their way to the front. On lap two Tony Keepers made the pass to take the lead. As Keepers was running away from the field, class points leader Greg Stingle was stuck in traffic well back in the field.
At the mandatory caution, Keepers held the lead with Lear in second and Beau Ambos in third. Stingle somehow found himself in fifth place with his sight set on the podium.
When racing resumed, Keepers kept the lead and held on for his first career win. Meanwhile Stingle continued to press and by lap ten moved into second place. Another late race charger was theteenager Billy Buth, after starting well back in the back, he made a last lap pass of Lear to take final spot on the podium.
The nine trucks had a practice and qualifying session that had Andrew Caddell qualifying number one and took home the $500 Traxxas fast qualifier award. The top six times were inverted for Saturday’s start. This put Mitch Dorr and Nick Baumgartner on the front row. The rolling start saw Baumgartner take the early lead, as Dorr spun heading into Turn Two. Somehow everyone made it past Dorr without making contact.
After the restart, CJ Greaves and Keegan Kincaid were having a great race for the third position. At the finish it was Caddell taking the win, as Johnson claimed second place, and Kincaid rounded out the top three positions.
The PRO Buggy group was next. Right from the start a great battle for the top spot emerged between Andy Zipperer and teenager Mitchell DeJong. The two Buggy drivers passed each other several times before DeJong made the pass for the leader permanent during lap three. While this was happening, New York’s Bob Klaus was doing his best to keep the AWD Buggy of John Frana from getting to a podium spot.
After the mandatory caution, the restart saw Zipperer spin going through Turn Four as Bob Klaus had to retire with mechanical issues. This moved Frana into second and Zipperer into third place. For a couple of laps Frana was making small gains on DeJong, but never enough to challengethe young Californian. At the finish it was DeJong first, Frana second, and Zipperer in third. Duringthe podium interviews DeJong told the crowd that he stuck in third gear the final three laps.
The final Sportsman race of the day was the usually controversial and always high tension Super Stock Truck group. The last couple seasons has seen various accusations by several drivers aimed at their fellow competitors, as well as overly aggressive driving that has seen USAC wave the black flag on several incidents.
With that said the Super Stock competitors put on the best race of the day. Once again Mole Lake Casino & Conference Center stepped up with an additional $2000 for the class payout. On lap one current points leader Nick Byng spun out heading towards Turn Two and a few moments late retired from the race. Up front a four truck battle raged for the remaining eleven laps. Early onJustin Keehner grabbed the lead with Danny Beauchamp and Don Demeny literally right on each other’s bumper. The three trucks were racing three wide throughout the first half of the race. Atsome point in the race all three drivers had held the lead.
The second half of the race saw Keehner fade back to fourth place as Al Konitzer made a late charge to move into second place with three laps to go. The final laps saw Beauchamp take controlof the race and finish on top of the podium with Al Konitzer second, and Don Demeny holding on for third place.
The incredibly close racing during all twelve laps saw little if any contact between the frontrunners of the race. As the top three drivers climbed out of their trucks, TORC Race Director Terry Severson was the first person to congratulate each driver on their great race. Special thanks also goes out to Ed Monte and MSD Ignition for donating the RPM limiting chip for every SST entry. After watching this race, limited engine speed seems to “level the playing field” in this extremely competitive class.
After all the racing, a short exhibition saw Johnny Greaves in his PRO-4×4, Jerry Conrad in his Ultra 4, Jim Ridderbush in another Ultra 4, and Dan Baudoux with his Sport 4 make several laps for the nearly full grandstand pavilion.
Sunday – Round 6
The first race of the day had six Classix racers line up for the twelve lap affair. The start saw Kurt Schuch grab the early lead only to succumb to mechanical issues on lap three. Rob Weiland moved into the lead with Dale Chestnut, Mike Mischler and Scott Mueller in hot pursuit. The top three races were running close together when the mandatory caution came out allowing the rest of the field to catch up with the leaders.
When the field went back to green flag racing, Mueller made a hard charge to get around Mischler for second place and began pressuring Chestnut for the lead. With three laps to go Mischler retired and the Mueller slowed his pace. The last two laps saw Chestnut take a commanding lead all the way to the finish as Mueller, now running with a broken axle, hung on to second as a hard charging Bill Wilson finished third.
The 1600 Single Buggy group was next and once again Dave Lugar grabbed the early lead. This time current points leader Mark Steinhardt took control of the race by the end of the first lap. Steinhardt was never seriously challenged as he took his third win of the year. Meanwhile Travis Dinsmore and reigning points champion Brad Erickson had a wheel to wheel battle during the entiretwelve laps. In the end Erickson crossed the line in second closely followed by Dinsmore. As the race wound down, Charlie Schlieve Jr. and Dillon Reimer had very solid runs finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
Due several racers unable to make the starting grid the next race was the combined classes of Formula 4×4 and Stock Truck. The Formula 4×4 race was a duel between Charlie Bell and Brad LeMarche. The two racers both held the top spot on a couple of different occasions, but in the end it was LeMarche taking the win with Bell in second. The final spot on the podium was determined on the last lap as Dave Miah looked like he was in line for third place, but with onlyrear wheel drive, the Ford Bronco got hung up on a implement tire course marker allowing another wounded truck driven by Dave Maaged to coast on by for third place.
The Stock Truck race was also a two truck race between Ben Wierzba and Matt Ives. Wierzba led most of the race as Matt Ives while driving a wounded truck, kept leader always in his sights. With three laps to go Ives overtook Wierzba coming out of turn six, but Wierzba hung tough and reclaimed the lead on the final lap of the race.
Four Super Truck competitors lined up for the next twelve lap event. Jerry Edgerton grabbed the holeshot closely followed by Gerrit Bancroft and Bob Gremler. On lap two Gremler stormed by the two trucks in front of him to take control of the race. Edgerton had his hands full with Bancroft during the entire time; Witt three laps to go Edgerton succumbed to the pressure and rolled moving Bancroft in second place. The final lap saw a side by side drag race to the finish,as Gremler crossed finish about three feet in front Bancroft.
The twenty four buggy field of Light Buggy would see side by side battles throughout the field. Up front a real battle ensured between Beau Ambos, BryanbHoltger, Matt Mullen, Matt Ashauer, and Matt Solka. Ambos lead first couple of laps, but latter faded. Then Mullen took the lead for the mid-section of thebrace. Bryan Holtger made his move around Matt Ashauer mid-race and challenged Matt Mullen for the lead. Then with two to go Holtger carried his momentumbaround Mullen to take the lead and at the same time Solka moved around Ashauer while running through therhythm section. The finish had Bryan Holtgerbtaking the win, Matt Mullen in second, and Matt Solka taking thefinal spot on the podium.
The second round of the Mole Lake PRO-Light Challenge lined up with Mark Oberg and Josh Hintz on the front row. The opening lap had Oberg out in front, but by lap two Keegan Kincaid was in command of the race. Behind the leader Andrew Caddell and Luke Johnson went door to door, similarto Saturday, during the first half of the race. The three Jenkins Brothers Racing teammates continued to hold the podium positions all the way to the checkered flag. Early race leader Mark Obergfinished fourth and Shawn Morris rounded out the top five.
After scoring the two PRO-Light rounds of racing , the overall results were: 1st- Andrew Caddell, 2nd-Keegan Kincaid, 3rd-Luke Johnson, 4th-Mark Oberg, 5th-Shawn Morris, 6th-Eric Ruppel,7th-Mitch Dorr/Josh Hintz, 8th-Jason Janusz, 9th-Nick Baumgartner, 10th-CJ Greaves.
Six Super Buggy racers made it to the starting grid for Round 6. The rolling start saw John Frana grab the lead and dominate the first four laps. Then on lap five, the engine expired endinghis weekend. Mitchell DeJong took over the lead, as Andy Zipperer and Bob Klaus battled for the runner-up spot. After twelve laps Mitchell DeJong took the win, Andy Zipperer cross the finish insecond, as Bob Klaus was right behind in third place.
The final race of the weekend was the Super Stock Truck group. After an incredible race on Saturday, everyone wondered if the twelve truck field could duplicate the feat. Jay Schaefer and Ty Arneson were on the front row, and when the green flag was waved Schafer lead the field after the first lap. By lap two Saturday’s winner Danny Beauchamp made the pass for the lead. By lap three Justin Keehner moved up to second and a lap later Demeny moved into third. A real battle between the first three racers began to develop, but before Demeny could really challenge Keehneredged ahead for good on lap ten. At the checkered flag it was Justin Keehner taking the win, Danny Beauchamp coming across in second, a hard charging Larry Maciosek landed on the final step of the podium, and early race leader Jay Schaefer finished fourth.
Just as the final checkered flag was waved heavy rain hit the Langlade County Fairgrounds, after all what would a TORC event be without a little rain.
Once again a great big thanks goes out to Mole Lake Casino and Conference Center for sponsoring the event as well as the efforts of the entire MORR group, the Krueger and Vanden Heuvel families for promoting and hosting an awesome event, the Langlade County Fairgrounds Board, Miller Electric and Traxxas for their product donations to the raffle, the Antigo community, TORC/USAC, the MORR Podium Girls (Zatrina McGeshick, Taylor Brownell, Hope Knuijt, Brandy Bancroft) the racers and their supporters, and all the volunteers that lent a hand with the event.
For photos from the weekend event please visit the MORR Facebook page.
See you in Bark River!!
CBS SPORTS NETWORK TO AIR LUCAS OIL OFF ROAD RACING SERIES PRO LITE ACTION FROM ROUND 5, ON JULY 15TH AT 8:00PM ET / 5:00PM PT
Corona, CA- (June 13, 2012)
Tune into CBS Sports Network Sunday, July 15th at 8:00pm ET/5:00pm to catch the recap of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro Lite Round 4 excitement featuring an insider’s perspective into the controversial engine selection for the Pro Lite Trucks. Competitors candidly discuss their decision to use either a high-revving inline 4-cylinder powerplant or the more traditional V-8 configuration. Both have their own distinct advantages, it all comes down to tailoring the power delivery to the racer’s driving style and terrain.
Corona, CA- (June 13, 2012)
Tune into CBS Sports Network Sunday, July 15th at 8:00pm ET/5:00pm to catch the recap of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro Lite Round 4 excitement featuring an insider’s perspective into the controversial engine selection for the Pro Lite Trucks. Competitors candidly discuss their decision to use either a high-revving inline 4-cylinder powerplant or the more traditional V-8 configuration. Both have their own distinct advantages, it all comes down to tailoring the power delivery to the racer’s driving style and terrain.
The full coverage of the action in the GEICO Duel in the Desert presented by General Tire Round 5 from Speedworld Off Road Park in Surprise, AZ is fast and furious. With the points battle for the top positions incredibly close and every position critical to the championship chase, all the drivers are gunning for the podium. Featuring 20+ entrants, the Pro Lite class also boasts the largest field in the Series, making the wheel-to-wheel fight for valuable track position even more critical.
Heading into Round 5, RJ Anderson and Chris Brandt are leading the points chase and are looking to keep their advantage over the field of highly talented drivers such as the 2011 Champion Brian Deegan, who struggled in the early stages of the season with mechanical and on-track problems.
LUCAS OIL OFF ROAD RACING SERIES – WILD WEST MOTORSPORTS PARK – RENO, NV
Corona, CA- (July 5, 2012)
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is gearing up for their inaugural appearance at the Wild West Motorsports Park, August 25th-26th in Sparks, NV for the Toyota Silver State Showdown Presented By Fox Shox. As each driver fights his way through the 15-event 2012 series towards a championship, Rounds 11 & 12 are sure to be a shoot out to the end.
“Norm Dianda with Q&D Construction and the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitor’s Authority have been great partners in bringing the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series to Reno Sparks,” said Alex Striler, Director of Sales and Marketing for Lucas Oil Off Road. “They’ve opened the door to many local businesses for us and introduced us to several enthusiastic potential event partners and local sponsors. We are really looking forward to bringing our races to the Reno Sparks area.”
The Series is pleased to welcome the addition of two Official Hotel Partners, the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino and the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino for the upcoming event.
Both properties are offering greatly discounted rates to Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series teams, sponsors and fans along with individually hosting Lucas Oil sponsored cocktail parties during the race weekend.
Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
For the family oriented fans, the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino has recently invested 25 million in renovations on their Resort in Reno. Updates include: Room renovations, 40,000 sq. ft. of go karts, bowling, laser tag, movie theatre and numerous other entertainment facilities on-site for spending quality down time with the kids along with a full casino.
Use the room rate code: LUCAS when booking a room online or by calling the hotel at 1-800-501-2651. Special rates will be $69.00 for standard room and $100.00 for Summit Suites. The Grand Sierra also has ample parking for large race haulers and trailers. RV parking available. The Thursday Welcome Party will be held at the Grand Sierra.
Here’s the direct booking link:
Silver Legacy Resort and Casino
If you are looking for a great place to stay closer to the downtown action, the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino is a great choice. Traditional Reno gaming action, 28 different dining and entertainment venues are all part of the Silver Legacy experience. Nationally renowned comedian Brian Regan is performing Friday, August 24th at the casino. It’s also within easy walking distance of several popular downtown Reno attractions and directly connected to the Eldorado Casino and Circus Circus Casino. The Saturday night “After Party” will be held at the Silver Legacy.
Click on the link below for your special Lucas Oil room rates at the Silver Legacy or call in on our toll free number of 1-800-687-8733 and use the discount code: LUCAS12 for special room rates. Special Room rates are $45.00 plus tax and resort fee Sunday thru Thursday and $69.00 plus tax and resort fee Friday and Saturday. Suites are available for $75.00 midweek and $100.00 Friday and Saturday.
Here’s the direct booking link:
Due to the ever-increasing popularity of the sport, the television coverage is also extensive, with airings on CBS, NBC Sports, SPEED, CBS Sports Spectacular and MAVTV. It’s going to be an action-packed weekend of racing action.
This high impact Series includes the following classes: Pro 4, Pro 2, Pro Lite, Super Lite, Pro Buggy, and Limited Buggy. It’s true short course racing at its very best, there’s nowhere to hide, and no place to rest for the competitors and pure excitement for the fans.
The driver line-up in the Series come from all corners of the motorsports world: Seven-time Supercross champion, Jeremy McGrath, Freestyle MX Star and the “General” of the Metal Mulisha, Brian Deegan, Baja Off Road Legend, Rob MacCachren, Multi-time Short Course Champion, Carl Renezeder, X Games Icon Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg and the Legendary Off Road Family of Kyle, Todd and Curt LeDuc just to name a few.
Kids 5 and under are free with a paid adult general admission ticket. The venue also features an exciting Midway Area, where fans can meet their favorite drivers and check out the fun-filled vendor’s displays.
BACK TO BACK PODIUM FINISHES FOR SMITH AND TEAM COMPETITIVE AT MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK
In his rookie season racing in the pro-lite class, Justin “Bean” Smith has led laps and shown signs of being a front runner. But he’s been plagued by bad luck. Smith has struggled with part failures or incidents on the track that have kept him from finishing races. Moving up from the Pro Buggy into the Pro Lite class this year with an all new truck has certainly had its share of challenges. The talent of Justin “Bean” Smith had never left, but luck certainly has not been on his side. His driver talent was never more evident than this past weekend as the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series hit mid-season with rounds 7 and 8 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Smith piloted the no. 19 Competitive Metals/Metal Mulisha Pro Lite truck to a 3rd place finish in Saturday’s round-7 and led most of Sunday’s round-8. Smith finished 2nd after getting passed in the final laps by the reigning champion Brian Deegan. Two back to back podium finishes gave Smith and his team a tremendous boost and outlook for the second half of the season.
“We couldn’t catch a break it just seemed something would go wrong every race. It feels great to get up on the podium and show that we can and will be a contending team,” said “Bean”. “Finishing on the podium was exactly what we needed to gain some momentum and turn things around heading into the second half of the season. I’m pumped for the rest of the year and can’t thank all those enough who help us with sponsorship, especially my crew Brian and Paul for sticking with me and making it happen.”
Dave Mason Jr – Pro Buggy
Dave Mason Jr. has also had a rough rookie start to his Pro Buggy class debut this year. The bad luck storm followed Mason to Utah, but there were signs that the storm is starting to clear. Dave Jr was fastest in the practice sessions leading up to Saturday’s qualifying. During the qualifying session his car was having issues with the brakes locking up causing him to start mid-pack. The crew worked hard to fix the issues and during Saturday’s round-7 Mason drove his no. 65 Competitive Metals/Rigid Industries Pro Buggy to the front. He battled with the leaders in what was a closely contended race. On the final lap Dave Jr was shuffled back to fifth grabbing his first top five of the season.
With the strong run on Saturday, Dave Jr was excited about his potential for Sunday’s round 8. He was again one of the fastest cars in practice. But during qualifying got a flat tire and therefore started in the back of the field for the main event. Dave Jr quickly drove up through the field and was once again contending with the leaders until another flat tire sent him into the hot pits for a tire change. His crew went into action and quickly got him back on track, but he was then 1-lap down. Dave Jr again drove u
p through the field to catch the leaders despite being a lap down. A third flat would end the day leaving Dave Jr with a finish not reflective of his on track speeds. Despite the continued hardships it was obvious Dave Mason Jr and his Alumi Craft car will be strong for the second half of the season.
Geoffrey Cooley – Pro Buggy
Geoffrey Cooley is also in his debut season as a Pro Buggy driver, but unlike Mason and Smith he’s been a contender for race wins since the first race of the year. Entering the Utah event Cooley had nearly all top five finishes, several podiums and near race wins. But round 7 and 8 were not so kind to Cooley. For Saturday’s round 7 Cooley started 5th piloting the no. 22 Alumi Craft/Competitive Metals Pro Buggy. From the green flag he began moving forward towards the lead spot. About midway through the race Cooley was caught up in a racing incident that left heavy damage to his left front suspension and he was unable to finish the race.
Cooley and his Alumi Craft crew worked hard to get the car fixed and the team was ready for a fresh race day with round 8 on Sunday. Cooley was again one of the fastest cars in practice. During qualifying the track had changed from practice and was very slick. The track changes meant trouble for Cooley when he rolled the car after catching an edge off a turn. The damage was repairable but Cooley had to start from the rear of the field for the main event. As he worked his way up through the field Cooley was involved in another incident and was handed a black flag ruling by the officials. Cooley returned to the rear of the field and again went to work moving back through the pack. He would end his day salvaging a top ten finish. The team will shake off Utah and look towards rounds 9 and 10 at Glen Helen.
Nick Tyree – Pro 2
Nick Tyree was not at the Utah event due to sustaining injuries from a crash at a recent Crandon race. Team Competitive continues to wish Nick Tyree a speedy recovery.
Competitive Metals is a leading provider of metal products servicing California, Nevada and Arizona. Their products are made in the USA and meet the highest of quality standards. Competitive Metals stocks the most commonly needed materials for motorsports, construction, manufacturing and more. Products can be delivered to the race track, your business or customers can walk-in and hand pick from the large stock of products. No order is too small and no order is too large. Customers value Competitive Metals 50 plus years of combined product knowledge and unmatched customer service.
CASEY CURRIE MOTORSPORTS
CASEY CURRIE CHARGES THROUGH THE FIELD IN UTAH
Anaheim Hills, CA (June 29, 2012) – The sun and wind were out in full force, beating down and whipping through the paddocks at Round 7 & 8 of Lucas Oil Off Road at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Unrelenting were the conditions, and so was the determination of Casey Currie as he charged through the field all weekend. Starting toward the middle of the pack both Saturday and Sunday, Casey would suffer some setbacks, giving him a chance to display some of his raw talent and driving skill for the crowd as he powered his way through multiple competitors to finish 5th on Saturday and attain up to position 2 on Sunday, final results still pending.
“We had a great jump at the start and coming into the 1st turn I was T-boned, resulting in a flat tire,” commented Casey of Saturday’s race. “I pitted to have the tire changed and re-entered the race in the back of the field. We were dead last, but put our heads down to work our way through 18 trucks to finish 5th.”
Running in the top 3 after starting 9th on Sunday, the door-to-door sport of short course racing would get technical when contact was made with only several laps to go.
“We had a great race going, running in 4th at half-way,” Casey went on to explain. “We came into the 3rd turn after the restart, and close racing resulted in slight contact with another driver. We charged hard after that to get in the top 2 spot before the race was over and are now waiting on Lucas officials for results.”
Next stop for Casey Currie and crew will be the first Torc event of the year for the Currie team: Round 7 & 8 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL. To keep up with Casey in between events, and partake in giveaways for Casey Currie gear and other swag, become a fan at Facebook.com/OfficialCaseyCurrie or follow Casey on Twitter at Twitter.com/caseycurrie. Only like the pictures? Follow Casey on Instagram: @caseycurrie. Official website:www.caseycurrie.com.
ABOUT CASEY CURRIE
Racing dirt bikes at age five and off-road trucks by age 16, it’s more than a coincidence that Casey Currie became one of the youngest-ever team owners and drivers on the CORR circuit. Now putting his talents to work in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Series, Casey joined the Pro Lite 2WD Truck class in 2006, scoring his first Championship in 2010 in the Traxxas TORC Series.Casey’s off-road resume is lined with wins on motorcycles, trucks and buggies in the desert—he is no stranger to dirt sports.In 2012 Casey will race for the championship in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Series in his No. 2 Monster Energy/General Tire/Nissan Pro Lite truck, while mixing it up with UTV races and public appearances in between. When he’s not on the road, building off-road vehicles and drumming up side projects, he’ll take to the dirt with friends—dirt bikes, UTVs, or mountain bikes, he does it all. For more information on Casey Currie, visitCaseyCurrie.com.
ABOUT LUCAS OIL OFF ROAD RACING SERIES
The Lucas Off Road Racing Series is the evolution of the long-standing support of short course racing by Forrest Lucas and Lucas Oil. 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.
RENEZEDER BACK ON THE TOP OF THE BOX
LAKE FOREST, CA (June 26, 2012) – The winless streak is finally over for Carl Renezeder, and thankfully he got to battle for the top spot the entire race to add to the excitement of career win number 98. Renezeder qualified second for the Pro-4 race on Saturday, then started the race in third with the four-truck inversion draw. He got around Greg Adler on lap three and then engaged in a great battle with Todd LeDuc until the mandatory caution on lap ten. LeDuc held off Renezeder’s relentless pursuit for another four laps, but Renezeder made the pass stick on lap 14, leading the final six laps for the win.
“I’m definitely excited about this win, but I’m also relieved,” commented Renezeder. “We finally avoided the bad luck we’ve had this season, and I had a great time battling with Todd. Let’s hope this is a sign of better things to come for this team.”
It looked promising for the Pro-2 race that afternoon, as Renezeder had earned the pole position on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, a right rear flat in the early laps of the race was enough to keep Renezeder from battling for the podium. The crew did a great job of changing the flat at the mandatory caution, keeping the truck on the lead lap, but he was half a lap behind the leaders at the restart. Renezeder managed to catch the field and pass two trucks in the second half of the race, but that was only enough to finish ninth.
The trucks qualified again on Sunday morning. Renezeder grabbed the pole again in the two-wheel-drive truck and earned a third-place start in the four-wheel-drive class. The Pro-4 race was up first, and Renezeder was looking forward to another great battle. In anticipation of a slick track, he misjudged the grip in turn three and parked it in the middle of the turn on the first lap instead of sliding through it. He gathered it up and worked his way through half of the field, but the right rear tire problem resurfaced. The crew changed it in time to not only keep him on the lead lap, but allowed him to tag the back of the field before the restart after the mandatory caution. Renezeder fought hard, but he ran out of laps to catch the leaders, managing a fourth-place result.
The six-truck invert in Pro-2 assured plenty of battles in the last race of the day. The wind, dust, chaos and carnage all played into the results. Renezeder battled back and forth with several trucks throughout the race, but another right rear flat in the closing laps kept him from catching the first two trucks. He closed out the weekend on the podium with a third-place finish, wrapping up his best race weekend of the season so far.
The team has the month of July to prepare for the second half of the 2012 season, which kicks off in Glen Helen, California the weekend of August 4-5.
Summary of results for Carl Renezeder at Miller Motorsports Park – Tooele, Utah – June 23-25, 2012:
Pro-2: Rnd 7 – Qualifying: 1st, Race: 9th; Rnd 8 – Qualifying; 1st, Race: 3rd
Pro-4: Rnd 7 – Qualifying: 2nd, Race: 1st; Rnd 8 – Qualifying: 3rd Race: 4th
Follow the team and enter the contest to win a ride-along with 8x champ Carl Renezeder:
SURPRISES AND DOMINATIONS IN ROUND 8
Following a rousing batch of races in Round 7, the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, was back in action again today, as the gracious host track, Miller Motorsports Park, was again the venue here in Round 8. Strong breezes and warm temperatures were on hand again today, but with cloud cover getting blown in from the south, it was a very nice day to be out at the races. The action out on track kept everybody’s interests peaked throughout the afternoon, and fans will be headed home happy, with plenty to talk about around the water cooler tomorrow. For all the latest photos, check out our Lucas Oil Flickr Page .
Junior 2 Kart
After taking the win yesterday, Dylan Winbury couldn’t have asked for a better starting position than pole today. Winbury used this to full advantage, putting his #469 Famous Stars and Straps/Fiberwerx truck out front early, ahead of Shelby Anderson in the #405 Walker Evans Racing/Anderson’s Nu Power kart, Travis PeCoy in the #411 Fox Racing Shox/CMI entry, Jeremy Davis in his #485 Green Army/Rigid Industries LED Lighting machine, and Parker Porter in the #461 Redline Performance/Advantage Boats kart. Parker had a spin on lap three, dropping him well down the order, and promoting Broc Dickerson to fifth in the #423 Driscoll’s Surf ‘N’ Skate/Kar Tek machine. The top five drivers had now spread out slightly, with an even little gap between each driver, and their running order remained the same through the Competition Yellow. On the restart lap, though, Parker Steele cracked into the top five in his #449 Foddrill Motorsports/SDHQ Off Road Racing kart, moving past Dickerson and into fifth place. Davis also moved up, taking over third from PeCoy on the next lap. At the white flag, it was Winbury, Anderson, Davis, PeCoy, and Steele in the top five. On the final lap, Steele got a good run through the whoops to close down on PeCoy, and with a daring dive down the inside into the final corner, he made the pass to move up to fourth place. Up front, Winbury was the man, picking up his fifth win of the season en route to a clean sweep of the weekend. Anderson got some redemption with a second place today after a rough race yesterday, and Davis rounded out the podium in third. Steele finished in fourth, and PeCoy took fifth.
Junior 1 Kart
As was the case in Junior 2 Kart, yesterday’s Junior 1 Kart winner, Conner McMullen, got the early lead in today’s race. With McMullen’s #288 Monster Energy/Sunoco Race Fuels kart out front, it was Broc Dickerson running second in the #1 Dickerson Motorsports/Black Rhino machine, Darren Hardesty Jr. third in the #231 Bilstein Shock Absorbers/RC10.com entry, Parker Darland fourth in the #241 Alexander Ford/Lincoln/King Off-Road Racing Shocks truck, and Travis PeCoy fifth in the #211 Signpros/Lucas Oil machine. Hardesty Jr. got by Dickerson on the inside at turn one on lap three, and moved up to second as a result. The top four drivers were already opening up a gap over the rest of the field, and before the Competition Yellow, that top four group became a top three group, as Darland fell off the back of the leading group. However, that running order was still the same by the Competition Yellow, and stayed that way after the restart. At the end of lap seven, the top three fanned out, and came across the stripe three-wide, but somehow slotted back into their same running order as the went into turn one. On lap eight, PeCoy had a spin, which allowed Blaze Nunley’s #230 kart to move up to fifth place. After that, the top five held their places, and it was McMullen who brought out the broom, sweeping the weekend from the top step of the podium. Second went to Hardesty Jr., third to Dickerson, fourth to Darland, and fifth to Nunley.
In the final race of the weekend on the shorter “kids” course, the Modified Karts once again put on a show that proved their billing as “the future stars of short course off-road.” Brock Heger got the early lead in his #511 Kacon Framing Inc./LGE Paint machine, ahead of Kyle Hart in the #523 ReadyLift Off Road Suspension/Duncan Racing kart, Bradley Morris in the #504 Trophy Kart/K&N truck, Sheldon Creed in the #574 Trophy Kart/RC10.com entry, and Jeff Hoffman in the #547 Cactus Asphalt/BRT Signs machine. The battle for the top spot was frantic from the get-go, with Hart getting inside of Heger at turn three on lap three, and Morris getting inside of Hart in the very same corner. Morris went from third to first in the blink of an eye, and held the lead all the way to the Competition Yellow. Hart still ran second at this point, with Heger third, Creed fourth, and Hoffman fifth. On the restart lap, Hart was passed by Heger in turn three, then stalled at the exit of turn four, dropping him well back. Creed moved up to third, with Myles Cheek now fourth in the #557 Rockstar/ThyssenKrupp Materials NA kart, and Hoffman still fifth. On the penultimate lap, Heger got by Morris on the inside at turn three, took the lead, and quickly opened up a few truck lengths over Morris. On the last lap, though, Morris got the spot back, passing Heger on the inside at turn four. Morris had the lead, and this time it was his to keep, as he came home the winner, ahead of Heger, Creed, Cheek, and Blake Lenk in the #521 Redline Performance/Walker Evans Racing machine, who got around Hoffman on the final lap.
In the final race before Opening Ceremonies, the Limited Buggies streamed out on track, with substitute driver Curt Geer having a sudden target on his back after beating the class regulars in his first race back in the class since December of last year. Geer had the early lead again today in his #310 Riot Racing/Yokohama Fraley, albeit by the skin of his teeth, with John Fitzgerald, Kevin McCullough, Dillon Ayers, and Keaton Swane close behind. On lap three, Geer got sideways coming out of turn five, and with more momentum in his favor, Fitzgerald went by and into the lead. Three laps later, Ayers had a strange spin after the exit of turn five, and despite running Swane wide to try and keep him at bay, Swane was able to get by and into fourth place. Ayers got the position back on the next lap, though, and at the Competition Yellow, it was Fitzgerald in the #314 BFGoodrich Tires/Weddle Racing Gears buggy, Geer, McCullough in the #389 LAT Racing Oils/CGM Geiser, Ayers in the #398 Gear One/Fat Performance Lothringer, and Swane in the top five. On the restart, Geer gave Fitzgerald a nice little “tap” on the back bumper as the flew off the first jump, and the field steamed into the second half of the race. On the restart lap, McCullough got a surprising run on Geer down in to turn five, and after running Geer wide after that corner, McCullough was up to second. Two laps later, Ayers went way wide in turn three, and hit his right rear hard on the outside k-rail, causing obvious damage, and sending him to the pits for repairs. On lap thirteen, Geer got back by McCullough with a nice run through turns one and two, and re-took second place in the process, with his sights now set on the leader Fitzgerald. Geer was able to close right down on Fitzgerald as the flagman unfurled the white flag, but Fitzgerald drove a flawless final lap, and kept Geer at bay to pick up the win. Geer finished second, McCullough third, Jim Price fourth in the #383 General Tire/Tucker Tire Lothringer, and Lindsay Geiser fifth in the #395 Canidae/Mickey Thompson Geiser.
Pro 4 Unlimited
Following Opening Ceremonies, it was time for Pro 4 Unlimited, and after Curt LeDuc had blown an engine at the end of this morning’s qualifying, he was forced to the sidelines, which must’ve been extra disappointing considering that he would’ve started on the front row after the inversion. Unfortunately, LeDuc couldn’t make the necessary repairs in time, which left Travis Coyne all alone on the front row at the start. Coyne and his #5 ProComp/Team Associated Ford led the field past the stripe after the first lap, with Eric Barron, Kyle LeDuc, Todd LeDuc, and Josh Merrell in-tow. The top three drivers quickly opened up a gap over those behind within the first three laps, and on lap five, Barron made a wild dive down the inside of Coyne into turn five. Barron swung wide through the exit of the corner, keeping Coyne at bay, and with that, Barron was up into the lead. Kyle LeDuc quickly followed suit on the next lap, as he got alongside Coyne in the whoops, then got by on the inside at turn five. The race for the lead was now on between Barron and Kyle LeDuc, with LeDuc making repeated deep dives, very late on the brakes into turns three, four, and five, but each time, Barron was able keep his truck firmly out in front. Further back, Todd LeDuc had moved his #7 Rockstar/Makita Ford up to Coyne’s back bumper, and made the pass just shy of the Competition Yellow. At this point, the running order was Barron in the #32 LAT Racing Oils/Maxxis Toyota, Kyle LeDuc in the #99 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford, Todd LeDuc, Coyne, and Merrell in the #22 MavTV/Hart and Huntington Ford. After the restart, Carl Renezeder moved up to fifth in his #1 Lucas Oil/General Tire Nissan, as he continued to march forward after suffering a spin on lap one, as well as a flat tire a few laps later. Up front, the battle was again on between Barron and Kyle LeDuc, but right front suspension issues on the LeDuc machine forced him to back off just a bit, leaving Barron free to fly up front. Todd LeDuc could’ve capitalized on his brother’s misfortune, but overheating issues forced him to slow slightly as well. Barron continued to hit his marks perfectly out front, and clicked the laps off quickly as he sped towards the checkers, where he crossed the stripe first for a stunning upset win, his first-ever in Lucas Oil Off Road- congratulations Eric! Second went to Kyle LeDuc, third to Todd LeDuc, fourth to Renezeder, and fifth to Merrell.
Pro Buggy Unlimited
Next up was Pro Buggy Unlimited, and it was perennial hot shoe Jerry Whelchel who grabbed the lead early in his #5 ProAm/General Tire Foddrill. In second, it was Doug Fortin in his #96 Fortin Racing, Inc./BFGoodrich Tires Racer, with Cameron Steele third in the #16 Monster Energy/Yokohama Alumi Craft, Eric Fitch fourth in the #97 General Tire/Action Auto Racing Foddrill, and this morning’s fast qualifier, Garrett George, fifth in the #71 Anenberg/Yokohama Funco. The battle for the lead was heated early on, with Fortin getting his nose ahead on the inside of turn four on lap two, and Whelchel taking the spot right back in the next corner. Two laps later, Fortin got a good run through the whoops, but Whelchel chopped him off coming into turn five, while further back, Dave Mason Jr. and Steven Greinke moved up to fourth and fifth after Fitch had spun in turn four, stopping him and dropping Porter back to seventh. Mason Jr. then suffered a right rear flat, sending him into the pits, and moving Porter back up to fifth. Further forward, Fortin looked like he might be having an issue, and Steele seized a possible chance and closed right in behind, as Whelchel opened up his lead approaching the Competition Yellow. At the halfway point, the running order was Whelchel, Fortin, Steele, Greinke in the #23 SC Fuels/Concourse Racer, and Porter in the #8 Mickey Thompson/Redline Performance Alumi Craft in the top five.
The top four drivers held their positions on the restart lap, but Porter was now suffering some kind of issue on the left front corner (the tire was flat, but the damage may have been more extensive than that), which dropped him down the order, and allowed Larry Job up into fifth place. On lap twelve, Fortin had another strong run through the whoops, and rather than allow Whelchel to shut the door on him again, he braked deep and kicked the door open, moving by on the inside and up to first place. Once one driver had found a chink in Whelchel’s seemingly impervious armor, others pushed to exploit it, as Steele got by in the same corner on the next lap, with Greinke following suit in turn four on the lap after that. Up front, Fortin had opened up a decent cushion, and despite a near-spin in turn three on the final lap, he held it together to come home the winner once again, extending his streak to four straight wins. Steele finished the race in second, with Greinke taking third, Whelchel fourth, and Job fifth in the #7 Supercross.com/Toyo Tires Alumi Craft.
Pro Lite Unlimited
In Pro Lite Unlimited, Justin “Bean” Smith and Ryan Beat, who both scored their first podiums in this class just yesterday, were running strong early on today, as the led the field one-two after lap one. Brian Deegan, yesterday’s winner, ran third, with RJ Anderson fourth and Noah Fouch fifth. Deegan moved his #38 Rockstar/Makita Ford up to second on lap two, with Anderson also getting by Beat just afterwards, as he moved up to third through turn one in his #37 Monster Energy/Polaris Dodge on lap three. On the same lap, Chris Brandt moved up to fifth in his #82 BFGoodrich Tires/Simpson Toyota. Two laps later, Sheldon Creed took that spot away from Brandt, as he moved his #74 A.M. Ortega/Maxxis Ford up to fifth, before getting inside of Beat and forcing him wide at turn four to take over fourth on lap six. Brandt then got by Beat as well, moving back into the top five on lap seven, before a full course caution was thrown after a rollover by Chad George in turn four. This doubled as the Competition Yellow, and as the field circled behind the ReadyLift Toyota Tundra Pace Truck, Creed pulled into the hot pits with a flat right rear tire.
On the restart lap, Casey Currie got into Brandt and spun him around as they exited turn three, which drew the wrath of race officials, who black flagged Currie. Up ahead, Anderson and Deegan traded places twice on lap ten, before a full course caution was thrown following a rollover in the whoop section by Shannon Campbell. Racing returned to green once Campbell had been righted, and on the restart lap, Deegan got inside of Smith and forced him wide at turn four, moving by and into the lead. Currie then came in to the hot pits to serve his penalty, leaving a new running order of Deegan, Smith, Anderson, Beat in the #51 Premiere Motorsports Group/General Tire Ford, and Fouch in the #52 BFGoodrich Tires/K&N Ford in the top five. In the closing laps, Fouch went wide and hit the outside wall at turn five, which dropped him out of the race, and promoted Bradley Morris to fifth in the #24 GoldStar Asphalt!/Lucas Oil Ford. The running order went unchanged on the final lap, and it was Deegan who swept the weekend in Pro Lite Unlimited, with Smith taking second, Anderson third, Beat fourth, and Morris fifth today.
Noah Fouch had the early lead of the Super Lite race today, with Ryan Hagy, Jessie Johnson, Garrett Poelman, and Sheldon Creed close behind. At the end of lap two, Fouch, Hagy, Johnson, and Creed came across the stripe in one collective clump, and after some shuffling into turn one, Johnson and Hagy came out just a little ahead of the rest. Hagy got a little forceful with Johnson in turn three, and edged ahead and into the lead. Fouch had been caught out by contact out of turn two, so running behind Hagy and Johnson, it was now Creed in third, Dawson Kirchner in fourth, and Drew Britt fifth. Creed then picked up a right rear flat, which he elected to drive on, rather than coming in to the pits for a fresh one. This moved Kirchner up to third, and Cody Rahders up to fourth, with Britt still holding fifth. For the next three laps, Johnson then closed right down on Hagy, hounding him for the lead, and on lap eight, he made his move. Johnson got the inside line at turn four, getting by Hagy and into the lead just before the Competition Yellow. At the halfway mark, the running order was Johnson in the #15 SoCal Super Trucks/Speed Energy truck, Hagy in the #5 General Tire/Metal Mulisha machine, Kirchner in the #18 General Tire/Method Race Wheels entry, Rahders in the #16 Superchips/K&N machine, and Britt in the #7 Stand-Up MRI of Arizona/Geiser Bros Design & Development entry.
Rahders got by Kirchner to take over third spot on the restart lap, and at the end of the same lap, Hagy got into the side of Johnson in turn five, an incident which Johnson survived well enough to hold the lead. At the end of the next lap, a full course caution was thrown following a rollover by Poelman in turn four, and when racing resumed, the running order in the top five was still Johnson, Hagy, Rahders, Kirchner, and Britt. On the restart, Rahders got a good run down to turn one, and moved past Hagy and up to second spot. From there, the top five held their places, with Johnson taking home the win, ahead of Rahders, Hagy, Kirchner, and Britt.
Pro 2 Unlimited
In the final race of the weekend, Rodrigo Ampudia and Rob MacCachren would start on the front row in Pro 2 Unlimited after the inversion from qualifying, and it was MacCachren in the #21 Rockstar/Makita Ford and Ampudia in the #36 Tecate/Toyo Tires Ford who ran one-two after the first lap. Carl Renezeder ran third in the #17 Lucas Oil/General Tire Nissan, followed by Rob Naughton in the #54 Lunar Pages Web Hosting/Hart and Huntington Ford in fourth, and Brian Deegan in the #38 Rockstar/Makita Ford in fifth. Naughton spun going into turn one on the second lap, dropping him all the way down to last place, which moved Deegan to fourth and Patrick Clark to fifth in the #52 Eibach Springs/VP Racing Fuels Chevrolet.
The running order in the top five held up for several laps, as MacCachren began to stretch his lead slightly, until lap eight, when a fire on board Robby Woods’ truck forced a full course yellow. Woods had already done the smart thing and gotten well off the track and right up to the closest safety crews, who got the fire out quickly, and with the field circulating under yellow so close to the halfway point, it was decided that this would double as the Competition Yellow. The running order was MacCachren, Ampudia, Renezeder, Deegan, and Clark as the field returned to green flag racing, and stayed that way after the restart lap. On lap 12, though, Renezeder just got into Ampudia coming out of turn four, sending Ampudia sideways across the tops of the whoops, and allowing several trucks to get by. Five or so trucks then piled into the next corner, where Greg Adler got into Clark and spun him around. The pile-up helped Renezeder and Ampudia to re-gain some positions, and after the pair of incidents, it was still MacCachren out front, followed now by Deegan, Renezeder, Ampudia, and Marty Hart in the #15 ReadyLift Off Road Suspension/GearUp2Go.com Ford. This order held up for several laps, but on the penultimate lap, an apparent blown engine signaled the end to Hart’s valiant charge, a real heart-breaker considering he’d survived a couple of rough incidents earlier on in the race. Clark moved back into fifth, while up front, MacCachren cemented the win with a flawless drive from start to finish. Second went to Deegan, third to Renezeder, fourth to Ampudia, and fifth to Clark.
With that, our yearly visit to the magnificent facility that is Miller Motorsports Park has come to a close. Judging by the sizeable crowds on hand this weekend, a crowd which has grown substantially in each successive year that we’ve come here, this event will rival our most popular venues when we return next year. And there’s more to look forward to, as one of those fan-favorite venues, Glen Helen Raceway, is up next. August 4th and 5th, just six weeks away, will be the dates for Rounds 9 and 10 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, kicking off the second half of what has already been one of the most exciting seasons in series history. Glen Helen is always a sellout, so get your tickets early, and join us in the dirt again soon.
Written by Scott Neth for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
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