Estero Beach serves up more thrillers in Round 4

Estero Beach serves up more thrillers in Round 4

Corona, CA (May 21, 2017) – After a very exciting set of races in Round 3 here at Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada, Baja California, México, the drivers and teams of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series returned for another afternoon of great races here at this beautiful track, situated right on the coast at the southern edge of this fantastic city. Once again, the uniquely fast and treacherous nature of this track brought forth some great competition, and those who were able to master this track certainly earned their successes today. Points battles were certainly shaken up, and all manner of excitement was seen throughout the afternoon’s proceedings.

Pro 4 Unlimited

Pro 4 Unlimited

After scoring his new “Evvo” truck’s maiden win yesterday, defending champion Kyle LeDuc was again looking for more success here at Estero Beach this afternoon. Starting from row two, both he and Doug Mittag ran one-two at the end of lap one, with Greg Adler, Doug Fortin, and Rob MacCachren rounding out the early top five. As the top three began to move clear, MacCachren closed right down on Fortin, but the action was then interrupted after a rollover in turn seven by Bradley Morris brought out the full course yellow. Morris’ right front suspension had sustained heavy damage, ending his race, and on the restart lap, contact between Eric Barron and Adrian Cenni sent Barron off the track between turns one and two. Barron opted to stop and wait at the edge of the track in hopes that a full course yellow would be thrown, which did happen, and so Barron was able to re-join the action from the back of the pack on the restart. On the restart lap, MacCachren got by Bryce Menzies coming out of turn four to get back up to fifth place in the #21 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Ford, with both of these drivers then getting past Fortin from turn one to turn two on the next lap after Fortin had begun to slow slightly with an issue.

By the end of the next lap, Menzies had moved right up to the back bumper of Adler, before then making the pass for third coming out of turn two in his #7 Red Bull/KMC Wheels Ford. On lap nine, Menzies then swapped out coming down to the end of the whoop section, which forced Adler out of line coming in to turn four, and allowed MacCachren to get past and up to fourth. Adler then pulled off the track on the next lap with overheating issues, with a full course caution coming out almost immediately afterwards thanks to on-track debris in the rhythm section between turns three and four. Adler’s bad luck put RJ Anderson up to fifth in the #37 Rockstar Energy Drink/Polaris RZR truck, and on the restart lap, Menzies got past Mittag at turn five to move up to second place. However, the two made repeated contact from turn five to turn six, which may or may not have played a roll in Mittag’s coming to a sideways stop on the landing of the jump into turn seven, with his truck now facing broadside to oncoming traffic. Fortunately, nobody hit him, and as the full course yellow came back out, Mittag’s truck was towed off. Mittag’s exit put MacCachren up to third, Anderson to fourth, and Barron to fifth in the #32 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Mickey Thompson Toyota as the field lined back up for a final two-lap sprint to the finish. On the last lap, Anderson got a great drive out of the final corner, and pulled alongside MacCachren in a drag race to the finish. The two could scarcely be separated at the stripe, and their trackers actually showed that the two had crossed the line in a dead heat; however, the position was given to MacCachren. Up front, LeDuc backed up his truck’s first win yesterday with another one today, sweeping the weekend in the new #99 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford, ahead of Menzies, MacCachren, Anderson, and Barron.

Pro 2 Unlimited

Pro 2 Unlimited

Starting from the outside of the front row, Jerett Brooks made a cheeky move by chopping across Rob MacCachren’s nose into turn one, allowing him to seize the lead, and he held that lead through the end of the first lap, with Brian Deegan, MacCachren, Bryce Menzies, and Rodrigo Ampudia close behind. Menzies passed MacCachren at turn two to take over third on the second lap in his #7 Red Bull/Discount Tire Ford, before moving right up on Deegan in the same corner on the next lap as Deegan struggled a bit in the corner. Menzies then got by Deegan two corners later to move into second, before showing Brooks a fender in turn five on lap six. Menzies held off on the opportunity to take Brooks out, though, and as the Competition Yellow fell at the end of the lap, it was Brooks, Menzies, Deegan, MacCachren, and Ampudia in the top five. However, on the restart lap, Menzies made quick work of Brooks, getting by with a beautiful pass at turn four to move into the lead. Brooks’ right rear tire then went down coming into turn one on the next lap, forcing him into the Hot Pits for a change, and with MacCachren also pulling off almost immediately afterwards, it was now Menzies, Deegan, Ampudia, RJ Anderson, and Bradley Morris in the top five. Anderson nearly got by Ampudia at turn five on lap nine, but caught a rut and fell back just behind Ampudia once again. On the final lap, Anderson then got into Ampudia’s side pretty hard in turn two, which caused Ampudia to spin and drop to fifth, as both Anderson and Morris got by for third and fourth. Anderson received the black flag as he crossed the finish line, though, dropping him to the back of the lead lap. Up front, Menzies got the big win, ahead of Deegan in the #38 Monster Energy/Mickey Thompson Ford in second. After Anderson’s black flag, Morris took third in the #24 K&N/Kicker Ford, with Ampudia fourth in the #36 Monster Energy/Papas & Beer Ford, and Jeremy McGrath fifth in the #2 Maxxis Tires/Traxxas truck.

Pro Lite Unlimited

Pro Lite Unlimited

After a very tough break yesterday, Ryan Beat was looking for redemption today, and would certainly have a good shot at it thanks to a pole starting position. Beat put that starting spot to good use, leading the way in his #51 Rockstar Energy Drink/Bilstein Shock Absorbers Chevrolet at the end of lap one, ahead of Jerett Brooks, Brock Heger, Hailie Deegan, and Christopher Polvoorde. Polvoorde over-rotated in turn two on the second lap, and Cole Mamer went off to the inside of the track with him, all of which allowed Ronnie Anderson to move up to fifth in the #52 Walker Evans Racing/South Point Chevrolet. From here, the top five drivers held their positions up to the Competition Yellow, which fell at the end of lap five. After the restart, Brooks moved up to put a serious challenge on Beat by the early part of lap seven, before a full course caution at the end of lap eight put a pause on the action after Ray Griffith had rolled over. Beat’s and Brooks’ battling had allowed Heger to close in on them in the race for the lead prior to the caution flag, but when racing resumed, Beat and Brooks again got away enough to make it more of a two-truck fight for the lead over the final two laps. In each of these last two laps, Beat seemed to struggle with the deep ruts in turn five, which allowed Brooks to gain momentum off the corner. Brooks carried that momentum down to turn seven, where he got very close to Beat on each of the last two laps (he even got alongside Beat’s inside door on lap nine), but each time, Beat managed to pull back ahead as the two sped up to the start/finish line. The two were very evenly matched, but Brooks drove Beat clean, despite several opportunities to take the leader out, and so Beat held off the hard-charging defending champion to grab the win. Brooks was a very close second in the #77 Rigid Industries LED Lighting/General Tire Nissan, while Heger was third in the #12 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Ultra Xtreme Race Wheels Toyota, Deegan was fourth in the #38 Monster Energy/4 Wheel Parts Toyota, and Anderson was fifth.

Pro Buggy Unlimited

Pro Buggy Unlimited

Defending champion Darren Hardesty Jr. led the way in Pro Buggy Unlimited at the end of lap one in his #99 Bilstein Shock Absorbers/Racer X Motorsports Alumi Craft, ahead of Bud Ward, Kevin McCullough, Sterling Cling, and Trevor Briska. A full course caution flew at the end of that opening lap after Eliott Watson stopped in turn five, almost certainly in an effort to force that yellow and give himself a bit of extra time to get into the Hot Pits and change his flattened right rear tire. Watson got his way, and did manage to re-join the field on the lead lap, albeit well back, and up front, the top five drivers maintained their positions through laps two and three after the restart. On lap four, McCullough seemed to have popped his car out of gear in turn four, dropping him back to fifth, which allowed Cling and Briska to get past. Debris in turn seven then forced a full course yellow at the end of lap six, and on the restart lap, Watson was on the move, getting all the way up to fourth by the exit of turn two! McCullough still ran fifth, having also passed Briska, and on the following lap, both Watson and McCullough closed right in on Cling in the race for third. McCullough then got by Watson for fourth at turn five, with these three remaining very close on the following lap. On the final lap, McCullough passed Cling down the inside at turn two to grab third spot in his #62 DA8/Stapleton Roofing Foddrill, with Watson then passing Cling at turn four to move into fourth in his #3 Fox Racing Shox/BFGoodrich Tires Alumi Craft. In a last minute twist, Watson then won a surprise drag race to the line with McCullough, snagging third at the last second. Up front, Hardesty Jr. got the win, ahead of Ward in the #17 Ramona Tire/Slime Funco, Watson, McCullough, and Cling in the #77 Cling’s Aerospace/Five One Media Alumi Craft.

Production 1000 UTV

Production 1000 UTV

In Production 1000 UTV, Ronnie Anderson led the proceedings at the end of lap one in his #952 Safecraft Safety Equipment/Holz Racing Products Polaris, with Myles Cheek in the #957 CMI Precision Machining/Maxima Racing Oils Polaris in second, Mickey Thomas in the #944 Mystik Lubricants/Union Yamaha third, Brock Heger in the #921 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Airaid Yamaha fourth, and Paul O'Brien in the #911 Specialty Coatings/Cylex Signs Yamaha fifth. Cheek made a great pass around the outside of Anderson at turn five to grab the lead on lap two, and two laps later, Heger got by Thomas for third. On the same lap, lap four, points leader Brandon Arthur, already well down the order after an opening lap incident with another UTV, pulled off with a steering issue. Arthur's exit brought out a full course caution, and on the restart lap, Heger got by Anderson easily down the inside at turn four for second, with the top five drivers then quickly beginning to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, as they were the only ones who were consistently doubling the jumps through the rhythm section between turns three and four. O'Brien did start to lose contact with this group by laps seven and eight, but still had plenty of track between himself and the rest of the field to easily hang onto his fifth place. Over the final four laps, Anderson held tight to Heger's back bumper in a great race for second, and on the final lap, he managed to get alongside at turn two and stay there over to turn three, before Heger then forced himself back in front by edging Anderson a bit wide. From there, the top five drivers held their positions, as Cheek got the win, breaking Arthur's streak of winning all of the races so far this season; Heger took second, Anderson third, Thomas fourth, and O'Brien fifth.

From here, the drivers and teams of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series will return home and commence five weeks of preparation for our next two rounds of racing, which will take the teams far to the north and into the beautiful confines of the Utah Motorsports Campus, just outside Salt Lake City in the quaint town of Tooele, UT. In sharp contrast to the open, flat nature of Estero Beach, Utah Motorsports Campus features a compact track that’s packed with jumps- an entirely different challenge altogether. Join us then, June 24-25, and in the meantime, keep up with all the latest developments in the series at lucasoiloffroad.com.

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

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