Racers charge hard on the beach in Round 3

Racers charge hard on the beach in Round 3

Corona, CA (May 20, 2017) – After a cracking start to the season out in Chandler, AZ, the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, has moved its way south for Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2017 championship. In sharp contrast to the desert heat of Chandler, AZ, this weekend finds the series seaside, as the lovely Estero Beach Resort hosts this weekend’s action within walking distance of the beach itself right here in Ensenada, Baja California, México. Drivers love the fast, flowing nature of this very unique track, but everyone fears the gruesome roost that also occurs here, which can instantly black out one’s forward vision, and cause real issues for things like radiators and air cleaners. This track presents a real challenge, and always seems to throw several surprises at the competitors, and today, those rules were no exception.

Pro 4 Unlimited

Pro 4 Unlimited

Doug Mittag, driving the ex-Kyle LeDuc “Steelo” truck this season, sped into the early lead of this afternoon’s Pro 4 Unlimited race, ahead of Greg Adler, LeDuc, Carl Renezeder, and Doug Fortin at the end of lap one. On lap two, Fortin got by Renezeder between turns four and five to move up to fourth, with LeDuc also moving up one spot, past Adler, before the end of the lap. Lap five saw RJ Anderson then move past Renezeder at turn two to take over fifth, with the Competition Yellow then falling at the end of the next lap. At this point, Mittag still led the way, with LeDuc, Adler, Fortin, and Anderson rounding out the top five. On the restart lap, Fortin over-rotated at turn four and dropped back several positions, and the surrounding drivers shuffled their running order while trying to get past Fortin. The top three still held station at the end of the lap, but it was now Renezeder and Bryce Menzies in fourth and fifth, with these two then making contact on the next lap, causing Menzies to hit a tractor tire and come to a brief halt. A full course caution fell at the end of the lap when Menzies was still struggling to get moving, and meanwhile, Anderson moved back inside the top five thanks to Menzies’ misfortune. On the restart lap, Mittag landed hard off the jump into turn seven, flattening his right rear tire, and handing the lead to LeDuc in the #99 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford. As Mittag’s pace slowed dramatically, he quickly fell out of the top five, and by the end of lap ten, it was Adler, Rob MacCachren, Eric Barron, and Adrian Cenni who ran behind LeDuc in that top five. On the final lap, MacCachren over-rotated in turn two while trying to miss Adler, who himself was starting to over-rotate, and MacCachren wound up nosed against a tire on the inside of the track. This helped those behind MacCachren to move up, and at the stripe, it was LeDuc who got his maiden win in his new “Evvo” truck, ahead of Adler in the #10 4 Wheel Parts/Odyssey Batteries Ford, Barron in the #32 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Mickey Thompson Toyota, Adrian Cenni in the #11 Maxxis Tires/King Off-Road Racing Shocks Ford, and Bradley Morris in the #24 K&N/Kicker Ford.

Pro 2 Unlimited

Pro 2 Unlimited

With a strong previous record here at Estero Beach, Jeremy McGrath was again looking for success here this afternoon, and he got his effort started the right way, leading the field in his #2 Maxxis Tires/Traxxas truck at the end of lap one. Brian Deegan ran second in the #38 Monster Energy/Mickey Thompson Ford, with RJ Anderson third, Rob MacCachren fourth, and Bryce Menzies fifth. On lap two, Menzies biked in turn one and dropped back to eighth, which promoted local favorite Rodrigo Ampudia to fifth. Patrick Clark, Jerett Brooks, and Menzies then all moved right in behind Ampudia, with Brooks and Menzies then getting by Ampudia at turn two on lap five. Up front, the top three were running very close, and at the Competition Yellow, it was still McGrath in the lead, ahead of Deegan, Anderson in the #37 Rockstar Energy Drink/Polaris RZR truck, MacCachren, and Brooks. After the restart lap, Menzies got past Brooks on the inside at turn two to take over fifth on lap eight, with Deegan then making a beautiful pass on McGrath down the inside at turn five to take over the lead. The top four drivers were now running very close, but when Anderson over-rotated after a little contact with McGrath in turn seven on the next lap, he spun and dropped back. Disaster then struck for Deegan, as a right rear flat severely slowed his pace, and sent him into the Hot Pits for a replacement. McGrath re-assumed the lead, with MacCachren, Menzies, Ampudia, and Anderson now filling out the top five. Anderson got by Ampudia on the inside at turn five for fourth on the penultimate lap, but after that, the top five held their positions. McGrath got the win, making him the third winner in as many rounds here in Pro 2 Unlimited, ahead of MacCachren, Menzies in the #7 Red Bull/Discount Tire Ford, Anderson, and Ampudia in the #36 Monster Energy/Lucas Oil Racing TV Ford.

Pro Lite Unlimited

Pro Lite Unlimited

After sweeping the weekend out in Chandler, Brock Heger was once again out front early in his #12 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Maxxis Tires Toyota, ahead of Ryan Beat, Hailie Deegan, Brandon Arthur, and Christopher Polvoorde at the end of the first lap. These five drivers held their positions over the first four laps, with Heger gradually pulling out a bit of a gap over his pursuers. On lap five, a mistake by Polvoorde allowed Ronnie Anderson to move up and make a pass for fifth in his #52 MavTV/Walker Evans Racing Chevrolet, just ahead of the Competition Yellow. On the restart lap, Arthur rolled in turn four, with Anderson also spinning off into the infield in that same corner. This brought out a full course yellow, and also shuffled the running order, with Jerett Brooks and Ray Griffith now sitting fourth and fifth for the restart. On the restart lap, Deegan and Beat made contact coming out of turn two, which sent Beat off into the infield. Beat was able to re-join the action, albeit well down the running order, and the talented young driver was certainly not happy. Griffith got by Brooks on this same lap, and by the end of the lap, it was still Heger in the lead, with Deegan now second, Griffith third, Brooks fourth, and Anderson fifth. Brooks got back by Griffith after some beating and banging at turn three on lap eight, while just ahead, repeated contact had taken its toll on Deegan, whose truck was now spewing steam from the radiator. Deegan kept her foot in it, though, and her truck made it to the finish, albeit visually quite a bit worse for wear. Griffith fell two spots to fifth on lap nine, and at the checkers, it was Heger who picked up his third consecutive win, ahead of Deegan in the #38 Monster Energy/Mickey Thompson Toyota, Brooks in the #77 Rigid Industries LED Lighting/Bilstein Shock Absorbers Nissan, Anderson, and Griffith in the #53 General Tire Ford.

Pro Buggy Unlimited

Pro Buggy Unlimited

In the open wheel division, Kevin McCullough came into this weekend looking for redemption after a tough weekend at his home track in Chandler. Winner of three of the four races held here previously, McCullough was again out front early this afternoon, leading the way in his #62 DA8/Stapleton Roofing Foddrill; points leader Eliott Watson ran second, with Darren Hardesty Jr. third, Bud Ward fourth, and Trevor Briska fifth. Briska over-rotated at turn two on the second lap, and unfortunately, Sterling Cling and Brady Whitlock piled into Briska, causing the latter two to suffer race-ending damage. Briska, however, was able to continue, but he’d lost his fifth place, which was now occupied by Matthew Brister. The incident brought out a full course yellow, and after the restart, the top five drivers held their positions through to lap six, when Briska got back inside the top five after passing Brister for fifth. Up front, McCullough was gradually pulling away, while just behind, Watson and Hardesty Jr. were locked in a solid battle for second. Further back, Ward dropped back to seventh, promoting Briska and Brister to fourth and fifth, but after that, the running order within the top five went unchanged. McCullough got a much-needed win, ahead of Watson in the #3 Fox Racing Shox/BFGoodrich Tires Alumi Craft, Hardesty Jr. in the #99 Bilstein Shock Absorbers/Off Road Warehouse Alumi Craft, Briska in the #59 MTRV8/Prolong Super Lubricants Funco, and Brister in the #5 LAT Racing Oils/King Off-Road Racing Shocks Funco.

Production 1000 UTV

Production 1000 UTV

Winner in each of the first two rounds this season, Brandon Arthur was again out front early in the Production 1000 UTV race, leading the field after lap one in his #906 Toyo Tires/Steel-It Yamaha; Myles Cheek ran second, with Mitch Guthrie Jr. third, Ronnie Anderson fourth, and Brock Heger fifth. Guthrie Jr. dropped all the way back to 12th on lap two, and with Cheek blasting past Arthur in the whoops between turns three and four, it was now Cheek, Arthur, Anderson, Heger, and Dustin Nelson in the top five at the end of lap two. Cheek and Arthur then began to pull clear in a race of their own for the lead, with the top five holding station through to the Competition Yellow, which fell at the end of lap six. On the restart lap, a rollover by Guthrie Jr. forced a full course yellow, and after a lengthy yellow flag period, racing finally resumed. Anderson got by Heger for third at turn seven on the restart lap, and two laps later, Cheek then biked and got squirrelly coming out of turn four, which allowed Arthur, Heger, and Anderson to get by as Cheek struggled to get his car gathered up. The top four were still running very close, but Cheek then began to fall back with some kind of issue, possibly related to his tires. At the head of the field, Arthur held off a late attack from Heger to grab his third successive win, ahead of Heger in the #921 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Maxxis Tires Yamaha, Anderson in the #952 Safecraft Safety Equipment/BFGoodrich Tires Polaris, Cheek in the #957 CMI Precision Machining/Walker Evans Racing Polaris, and Nelson in the #994 Yamalube/DWT Yamaha.

That wraps up the racing from our first of two rounds here at Estero Beach. Tomorrow, we’ll do it all again, with racing starting at 1:00 pm with a Modified Kart demo race, followed by Production 1000 UTV. Opening Ceremonies will run at 2:30 pm, just ahead of the first Pro class race of the afternoon, Pro 4 Unlimited. If you’re not already here, get yourself down and enjoy this beautiful place and all it has to offer, including what will surely be another exciting round of short course off road racing action.

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. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: This is Short Course. For more information, please visit www.LucasOilOffRoad.com.

Written by Scott Neth for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

Television Schedule

All times are Eastern. Subject to change.
Sunday, December 17
2:00 PM
- San Bernardino, CA
Sunday, December 17
8:00 PM
- San Bernardino, CA
Sunday, December 24
2:00 PM
- San Bernardino, CA
Click here for full TV schedule.

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