Riverside, California (August 8, 2012) - Seven-time supercross champion, Jeremy McGrath ignited the capacity Glen Helen Raceway crowd as he emerged from an epic Pro2 battle with the heavyweights of short course off road racing to earn second place on the podium in Sunday night's main event of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series action. Not to be outdone, McGrath's Stronghold Motorsports/ Monster Energy teammate and series broadcast analyst, Cameron Steele, recovered from a controversial decision that forced him to race through the ProBuggy field from the back of the pack to bring home the hardware as he fought his way to a tenth round, third place finish. RJ Anderson maintained his command of the ProLite championship standings despite facing his most challenging weekend of the season.
Standing room only crowds filled legendary Glen Helen Raceway for Lucas Oil Off Road Racing and Stronghold Motorsports' Monster Energy/ WalkerEvansRacing.com superstars Jeremy McGrath, Cameron Steele and RJ Anderson were in the thick of the action throughout the weekend. For McGrath, his dance through the Pro2 commotion yielded him a shot at the hardware in Round 10 while Steele's charge to the front of the ProBuggy pack couldn't be stopped, even by a controversial black flag. When the dust settled for the weekend, the team brought home the hardware and 19 year old off road racing phenom, RJ Anderson, remained on top of the standings in the ProLite title chase.
Jeremy McGrath and Cameron Steele take 2nd & 3rd on the podium in their respected classes
While he entered the weekend holding onto fifth place in the Pro2 division championship standings, the podium had eluded McGrath thus far this season. Having taken the opportunity prior to the event to gain valuable practice and test time at the team's home track at Legendary Glen Helen Raceway, he arrived with the renewed confidence of knowing that both he and the team were prepared to be among the front runners for Rounds 9&10 in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series marquis class. Among the leaders at the drop of Saturday's green flag, McGrath was immediately engaged in a dogfight for position. Unfortunately damage sustained during an incident with another competitor forced McGrath to pull off the track for repairs. Returning to the field, but now in the rear of the pack, he was able to fight his way through the field to the checkered flag for a respectable eighth place finish.
With the team knowing that they had devised a formula for success, McGrath's performance in Sunday's tenth round Pro2 finale was nothing short of spectacular. Starting the event mid pack, the race quickly turned to pandemonium as the thundering herd of 900 horse powered Pro2 trucks jumped and flew into each other as he exited the second corner. McGrath, focused on maintaining his speed and control, weaved his way through the mêlée and emerged from the chaos in third position. Now with his focus on advancing his position, he set his sights on the second place truck. For three laps he paced his adversary searching for an opening until he was able to make an aggressive pass that gave him the second spot. Midway through the race and second place firmly in hand, McGrath began stalking the race leader. For the balance of the event, his hometown crowd boisterously urged the popular motocross champion on to the finish line as he concluded his pursuit at the checkered flag with the second place position and his first 2012 trophy.
MC Racing GH 2012
Jeremy McGrath #2 Pro2
Steele's consistent weekend performance was capped off by a trip to the podium as he demonstrated the understanding of the nuances of ProBuggy competition that earned him the 2010 championship in that class. Starting the ninth round midpack didn't deter Steele from battling through the field and by the halfway point of the race, he was among the leaders. Not content with his position, Steele continued his advance to the checked flag where he concluded the day with a fourth place result. Sunday's Round 10 found Steel again have to claw his way from the middle of the group. Unfortunately, Steele was reprimanded on a post yellow flag restart, and forced to exit the track and reenter the race at the back of the pack. Undeterred by the controversial position, Steele remained steadfast in his resolve and began picking off his competitors one by one. Searching for traction on the rutted Glen Helen off road surface and working to maintaining his momentum, Steele battled all the way back though the sixteen car field as he worked his way in to podium contention. As laps ran down on his run to the front, Steele solidified his third trip to the podium this season with a well deserved third place trophy.
Steele GH Racing 2012
Cameron Steelef #16 ProBuggy
While McGrath and Steele's efforts were rewarded with strong results, nineteen year old off road racing phenom, RJ Anderson was faced with the daunting realization that the capturing ProLite championship title would not be an easy endeavor. For the first time this season, Anderson began the ninth round mired well back within the deep ProLite division. Banging and battling his way through the field, Anderson salvaged a hard fought fourth place result and maintained his commanding lead on the ProLite standings. The following day, Anderson charged out of the gate with the focus and determination that he has demonstrated throughout the season. Unfortunately, while in third position and on the move, his path to the podium was blocked as the second place truck, in a half hazard attempt to ward off Anderson, drove down in front of him leaving Anderson with no place to turn except for into the side of the errant driver. The contact resulted in significant damage to Anderson's vehicle, leaving his truck limping for the remainder of the race.
RJ Racing GH 2012
RJ Anderson #37 ProLite
The event that provided so much excitement for the standing room only crowds at Glen Helen Raceway also proved challenging to the Stronghold Motorsports Supercross.com/ Loctite team. Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg, immensely popular with spectators, is quickly evolving into a force to be reckoned with in the Pro2 division. The action sports icon and 2012 XGames gold medalist was advancing through the field in Round 9 but got caught up in his competitor's overaggressive battle for position that left him and his truck struggling to reach the finish line. Round 10 again found Stenberg the recipient of contact by a fellow driver that resulted in mechanical issues that took him out of contention.
Cook Racing GH 2012
Matt Cook #55 ProLit3
Matt Cook, while fearless in his approach to ProLite racing, was bitten by the constantly changing surface as he was the victim of a spectacular crash that left him on the sidelines of Round 9. The next day, Cook took the checkered flag and raced his way to the front of the pack. While attrition and aggressive contact were taking their toll on his competitors, Cook battled his way into fourth place and eyeing a podium finish. Unfortunately, it was not to be, as late in the race, Cook suffered a mechanical issue that left him on the sidelines.
Job Racing GH 2012
Larry Job #7 ProBuggy
Larry Job, a perennial championship contender faced a difficult weekend in his ProBuggy as he was plagued by mechanical issues while Garrett Poelman continues to develop his short course off road racing skills in this, his rookie season in the SuperLite spec class. Yielding a pair of fifth place finishes, Poelman's strong, consistent finishing results continue to place him among the leaders in the season long battle for supremacy in the tightly regulated division.
Poelman Racing GH 2012
Garrett Poelman #62 SuperLite
Eight year old Madix Bailey made his Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series debut in his Jr.1 Kart as he completed the weekend with a pair of top ten results.
Madix Bailey GH Racing 2012
Madix Bailey #217 Jr1 Kart