Wheatland, Missouri (June 23, 2018) - The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series returned to Lucas Oil Speedway on Saturday and a near-capacity crowd saw Rob MacCachren put on a show in the 2nd annual GEICO Off Road Shootout Presented by General Tire.
MacCachren, of Las Vegas, made a last-to-first charge through the field to earn his third Pro 2 victory of the season, besting runner-up Rodrigo Ampudia with a late pass.
"We love coming here. These fans are second to none," MacCachren said, noting that his crew made several changes on the truck right before the race. "I just want to thank my guys for working so hard."
Other winners on Saturday in the pro divisions included Kyle Leduc (Pro 4), Brock Heger (Production 1000 UTV), Darren Hardesty (Pro Buggy) and Ryan Beat (Pro Lites).
Day two is set for Sunday as spectator gates open at 8 a.m. with practice starting at 8:30 a.m. followed by qualifying. Junior Kart races begin at about 11:30 a.m. Opening ceremonies are at 2 p.m., followed by the Pro 2, UTV, Pro Buggy, Pro Lite and Pro 4 races.
MacCachren qualified fifth, but had to start last in the 10-truck field due to an unscheduled pit visit prior to the field rolling off the starting grid.
Jerett Brooks took the lead on lap five before Brian Deegan went in front the next time around. But Deegan slowed suddenly to bring out a caution, sending Brooks back into the lead before the steadily advancing MacCachren made the winning move the next time around.
The first half of the 10-lap race saw pole-starting Jeremy McGrath and season points leader R.J. Anderson battle it out for the lead. Anderson pressed the issue on lap four, trying to get past McGrath, and the two tangled in the S curve as the rest of the field drove past.
Anderson rallied to finish third, protecting his season points lead, and McGrath salvaged fourth.
LeDuc outruns Anderson: Kyle LeDuc battled with season points leader R.J. Anderson through all 10 laps, but was able to prevail in the Pro 4 feature. Doug Mittag finished third.
"We were hooked up today," LeDuc said. "We went early and risked a little bit at the beginning. The truck was dialed in and fast and good. We had a great day."
LeDuc and Anderson started on the front row and pulled away from the field to turn it into a two-truck race. Anderson made a pass attempt a couple of times, but was never able to get alongside the leader.
"So close. My team gave me an awesome truck," Anderson said after his second podium finish of the day. "We battled and went toe-to-toe for a bit. It was a fun battle. We just didn't have enough to get by him."
Anderson has yet to win a main event in 2018, but remains in the points lead.
Heger takes UTV feature: Brock Heger of El Centro, California, backed up a Production 1000 win at Lucas Oil Speedway a year ago with another one, going wire-to-wire to prevail on Saturday.
"I was able to get out front early. The car ran super good," Heger said.
Mickey Thomas started seventh and rallied to finish second with Jason Weller in third.
"We tried to let the track come to us, and it did at the end," Thomas said.
Hardesty wins his third: Two-time series champion Darren Hardesty picked up his third win of the season, taking the Pro Buggy division after emerging the better of a mid-race skirmish with Bud Ward.
Ward led the first five laps, but he and Hardesty made wheel-to-wheel contact battling for the lead. Ward's vehicle came to a stop and he was sent to tailback under the caution flag and had to settle for eighth.
"It was a great race up there," said Hardesty, who said the contact was unavoidable. "After that, we kept chugging along. My spotter was telling me, 'Drive it like a go-kart' and that's what we did."
Matthew Brister finished second and Eliott Watson, who won at Wheatland in 2017, wound up second.
Beat wins Pro Lites: Ryan Beat of El Cajon, California, led all the way in the Pro Lite feature, but it wasn't easy as he held off fellow front-row starter Brandon Arthur throughout.
"This place is awesome. I love racing here and this track is by far the best we race at," Beat said. "We'll come back and try to do it again" Sunday.
Brock Heger was running a strong third and in contention with the top two until a lap-six spin ended his chances at victory. That put Chris Polvoorde into third and that's where he finished.
GEICO Off Road Shootout Presented by General Tire
General Admission Tickets
(All tickets include access to Off Road pit area)
Adults (16 and over) $25 advance online, $30 at the gate
Seniors (62 and over)/Military $22 advance online, $27 at the gate
Youth (ages 6-15) $10
Kids (5-and-under) FREE
GEICO Off Road Shootout Presented by General Tire
Pro 2 Feature - 1, Rob MacCachren. 2, Rodrigo Ampudia. 3, RJ Anderson. 4, Jeremy McGrath. 5, Danny Ebberts. 6, Andrew Carlson. 7, Bradley Morris. 8, Jerett Brooks. 9, Brian Deegan. 10, Adam Daffner. 11, Kipp Mickles.
Pro 4 Feature - 1, Kyle LeDuc. 2, RJ Anderson. 3, Doug Mittag. 4, Greg Adler. 5, Scott Douglas. 6, Adrian Cenni.
Pro Lite - 1, Ryan Beat. 2, Brandon Arthur. 3, Christopher Polvoorde. 4, Brock Heger. 5, Ronnie Anderson. 6, Mickey Thomas. 7, Cole Mamer. 8, Mason Cullen. 9, Jimmy Weitzel. 10, Keaton Swane. 11, Kyle Knott. 12, Bridget Burgess. 13, Sarah Burgess. 14, Cory Winner.
Pro Buggy - 1, Darren Hardesty. 2, Matthew Brister. 3, Eliott Watson. 4, Chris Nunes. 5, Brady Whitlock. 6, Sammy Ehrenberg. 7, Trevor Briska. 8, Michael "Bud" Ward. 9, Michael Meister. 10, Trey D Gibbs. 11, Michael Hester.
Production 1000 UTV - 1, Brock Heger. 2, Mickey Thomas. 3, Jason Weller. 4, Jacob Rosales. 5, Trevor Leighton. 6, Jeremy Houle. 7, Ronnie Anderson. 8, Blake Enloe. 9, Josh Bergman. 10, Rusty Dukes. 11, Kipp Mickels. 12, Robert Stout. 13, Jim Price. 14, Nathan Barry. 15, Myles Cheek. 16, Ben Enloe. 17, Eli Bieschke. 18, Paul O'Brien. 19, Robert Loire. 20, Devin Young. 21, Keith Brooks. 22, Travis Rasmussen.
Junior Kart Feature - 1, Jake Bollman. 2, Ayden Ford. 3, Bergen McGrath. 4, Lake Adler.
Junior 2 Kart Feature - 1, Connor Barry. 2, Holden Heitritter. 3, Ethan Ebert. 4, Broedy Graham. 5, Braydon Beatty. 6, Rhyan Denney. 7, Chaden Zane Minder. 8, Nick Plemons. 9, Kyle Orlando. 10, Rhowan McGrath. 11, Tyli Olsen. 12, Niko Lopez. 13, Jake Bollman.
For ticket information on all events at Lucas Oil Speedway in 2018, contact admission director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or by email at nichole@LucasOilSpeedway.com. Fans also can go online to purchase tickets for any event on the 2018 schedule.
Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With its entrance located just outside the pit gate this sprawling scenic camping facility will continue to enhance the racing experience at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks.
Click LucasOilSpeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984.