Hard-fought and first-time wins in Round 6

Hard-fought and first-time wins in Round 6

Corona, CA (June 25, 2017) – After a great first day of racing here at Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, UT yesterday, the drivers and crews of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, were back in action here this afternoon for Round 6 of the 2017 championship. These races were truly some great ones, with some epic victories coming about during the course of the afternoon, and all top-level finishers having to fight hard to score their results. Conditions were again warm and breezy, and the track itself was somehow even quicker to dry out than yesterday, making setup tricky for those who’d experienced a little more slick running in the early laps of yesterday’s races. To find out more, read on and find out just how your favorite drivers faired.

Pro 4 Unlimited

Pro 4 Unlimited

Following Opening Ceremonies, it was now time for Pro 4 Unlimited. Veterans Rob MacCachren and Carl Renezeder ran one-two after the first lap, with Doug Fortin, Kyle LeDuc, and Doug Mittag rounding out the early top five. On lap three, LeDuc got past Fortin at turn three to move up to third in his #99 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford, but Fortin nearly got back past coming out of turn four on the next lap. The top five drivers were absolutely flying, and things had plenty of potential to get ugly in a hurry, but so far, the drivers were holding it together. LeDuc and Fortin traded places twice in the space of two corners on lap five, and two laps later, an error by Renezeder in turn three allowed LeDuc to get by and up to second. In that same corner, Fortin spun and nosed himself up against the inside barrier, with Mittag then collecting in as well, and with some on-track debris in need of clearing, a full course yellow was thrown at the end of the lap. MacCachren in the #21 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Industrial Power Tools Ford, LeDuc, Renezeder, Eric Barron, and Greg Adler made up the top five as the field returned to green flag racing, but a bicycle in turn three by Adler on the restart lap allowed RJ Anderson to move by and up to fifth in the #37 Rockstar Energy Drink/Polaris RZR truck. LeDuc then got by MacCachren around the outside in the next corner to take the lead, and two laps later, both Barron and Mittag each moved up one spot apiece to take over third and fifth positions.

Early on the next lap, a full course yellow fell after Adler had come to a stop nosed against the inside wall in turn three, and on the restart lap, LeDuc ran wide at turn three, allowing MacCachren to get by on the inside. LeDuc muscled back by on the inside at turn four, with MacCachren then racing by again in turn five. Just behind this great battle, Barron then spun in turn five, and the entire field stacked in behind him. Anderson escaped pretty quickly, but the rest of the field was relatively slow to get going again; Mittag had to be towed off track, and Renezeder had to be pulled off the top of Barron’s truck before he retired to the Hot Pits for the rest of the race; Barron was able to continue. After a lengthy red flag period, racing finally picked up again, and after heavy contact in turn three between MacCachren and LeDuc, LeDuc re-took the lead. Another full course caution then fell at the end of the lap after Adrian Cenni rolled in turn four, and when racing resumed, it was now LeDuc, MacCachren, Anderson, and Fortin in the top five. LeDuc over-jumped into turn two and ran wide on the restart lap, allowing MacCachren to get by on the inside, and later on that lap, Bradley Morris passed Fortin for fifth. From there, MacCachren held off a hard-charging LeDuc to take home the win, with LeDuc taking second, Anderson third, Morris fourth in the #24 K&N/NTN Ford, and Fortin fifth in the #96 General Tire/Fortin Racing, Inc. Toyota; Adler physically finished fourth, but after failing to serve a black flag, he was put to the back of the lead lap finishers.

Pro 2 Unlimited

Pro 2 Unlimited

Closing out the action for the weekend were the Pro 2 Unlimiteds, and after lap one, it was Bradley Morris in the #24 K&N Filters/Kicker Audio Ford out in front, with Rodrigo Ampudia, Brian Deegan, RJ Anderson, and Patrick Clark making up the rest of the early top five. Lap two saw Ampudia misjudge a passing attempt on Morris going into turn five, and that allowed Deegan to slip by on the inside and move up to second in the #38 Monster Energy/Mickey Thompson Ford. Early on the next lap, Jerett Brooks got by Clark for fifth, and further up the order, Anderson then passed Ampudia for third on lap four. Brooks then got by Ampudia at turn five on the next lap, while up front, Deegan began to close on Morris on lap six. The top three drivers were running pretty closely, with a good gap back to fourth-placed Brooks as the Competition Yellow fell at the end of lap eight. After the restart, Rob MacCachren got past Ampudia and up to fifth on lap 10, while ahead of these two, a great race for second was going on between Deegan and Anderson. Anderson got by Deegan coming out of turn five on lap 11 to finally move up after several laps of battling, and just afterwards, Brooks was forced wide out of turn one thanks to more in-fighting between Anderson and Deegan. Brooks was sent out and up onto the outside k rail, where he got stuck, forcing a full course caution.

Brooks was quickly towed free, but damage to his right front suspension sent him into the Hot Pits for the rest of the race, and that put MacCachren up to fourth and Ampudia to fifth for the return to green flag racing. On the restart lap, Clark moved back into the top five after passing Ampudia, and just ahead, things were starting to heat up between MacCachren and Deegan in the race for third. On the final lap, MacCachren got into the back of Deegan in turn three as Deegan started to spin, and that sent Deegan up and over the inside k rail. Deegan didn’t hesitate, though, and sped right back on track, while MacCachren struggled to get moving again. The order around these guys shuffled, but up ahead, Morris ran an absolutely flawless and very smooth race to get his first Pro 2 Unlimited win in only his sixth race in the class, as well as his first win since his frightening mountain bike accident a few years ago, which forced Morris to the sidelines for over a year after he suffered a broken neck- congratulations Bradley! Second went to Anderson in the #37 Rockstar Energy Drink/Polaris RZR truck, with Clark third in the #25 Budweiser/Roush Competition Engines Chevrolet, McGrath fourth in the #2 Maxxis Tires/Traxxas truck, and Deegan fifth.

Pro Lite Unlimited

Pro Lite Unlimited

Young gun Cole Mamer started from pole and led the Pro Lite Unlimited field early in this one, with Brock Heger, Brandon Arthur, Christopher Polvoorde, and Ronnie Anderson filling out the rest of the top five after the first lap. Heger biked at turn four on lap two, dropping him to third as Arthur got by in the #6 MavTV/Toyo Tires Chevrolet. Anderson got by Polvoorde for fourth on this same lap, and soon after, a rollover by Kyle Knott in turn four then forced a full course caution at the end of the lap. On the restart lap, contact in turn five dropped Polvoorde from fifth to ninth, and that allowed Ryan Beat to move up to fifth in the #51 Rockstar Energy Drink/Bilstein Shock Absorbers Chevrolet. Anderson then got by Heger early on lap four to move into third, with Beat then getting alongside Heger later in lap four, before making a pass for fourth coming out of turn one on lap five. At almost the same time, leader Mamer suffered a very untimely right rear flat tire, and with several drivers quickly passing him up, Mamer was forced to duck into the Hot Pits under green for a tire change, ending his chances for a top result. On lap seven, defending champion Jerett Brooks quickly caught Ray Griffith, who was now running fifth, and on the next lap, Brooks got by on the inside at turn four. Up front, new leader Arthur had some solid breathing room over his pursuers, while further back, Beat was now closing right in on Anderson in the battle for third late on lap 11. It took until turn five on the next lap, but Beat then made the pass, and with Anderson also over-rotating as Beat was already most of the way by, Heger managed to pass Anderson as well and re-take third in the #12 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Ultra Xtreme Race Wheels Toyota. From there, the top five drivers held their positions, as Arthur picked up his first win of the season in this class after struggling early on with a new truck. Beat finished second, with Heger third, Anderson fourth in the #52 WalkerEvansRacing.com/South Point Chevrolet, and Brooks fifth in the #77 Rigid Industries LED Lighting/General Tire Nissan.

Pro Buggy Unlimited

Pro Buggy Unlimited

In the open wheel ranks, Trevor Briska got the early lead here this afternoon, with Brady Whitlock, Bud Ward, Darren Hardesty Jr., and Eliott Watson close behind. Ward got by Whitlock from turns one to two on lap three to move into second, with Hardesty Jr. then getting by Whitlock in turn three, Watson getting past in turn four, and Cling getting by around turn five. Briska then biked hard in turn four on the next lap, perhaps with a bit of help from a little nudge on the inside from Ward, and after trying to ride it out, Briska went all the way out to the outside wall on two wheels, where he crashed into the wall and landed on his side. This forced a full course caution, and after getting towed to the Hot Pits, Briska was able to re-fire and re-join the fray. In all the commotion, Hardesty Jr. had managed to get by Ward before the end of the lap, which is when the yellow flag actually came out, so it was Hardesty Jr. who led Ward, Cling, Watson, and Whitlock for the return to green flag racing. A good race for third began to develop between Cling and Watson once racing resumed, and by lap eight, these two closed in on Hardesty Jr. and Ward, the only two drivers ahead of them. A slight over-rotation by Ward at the exit of turn four on lap nine helped Cling to close in further, and on lap 12, nose-to-tail contact between Cling and Ward on the landing off the jump into turn four sent Ward for a spin, which dropped him to fourth as both Cling and Watson went by. Shortly afterwards, Matt Brister moved past Whitlock for fifth, and after that, the top five drivers held their positions. Hardesty Jr. picked up the win in the #99 Bilstein Shock Absorbers/Impact Safety Alumi Craft, with Cling taking second in the #77 Cling’s Aerospace/Kyle Green Fabrication Alumi Craft, and Watson rounding out the podium in the #3 Fox Racing Shox/Factory Canopies Alumi Craft. Fourth place was Ward in the #17 Horsepower Ranch/Wiks Racing Engines Funco, and fifth was Brister in the #5 Bink Designs/Redline Performance Funco.

Production 1000 UTV

Production 1000 UTV

Next up were the Production 1000 UTVs, and at the end of lap one, Brock Heger led the pack in his #921 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Maxxis Tires Yamaha, ahead of Nathan Barry, Jason Weller, Paul O’Brien, and Mickey Thomas. Weller got by Barry out of turn three to move up to second on lap two, with O’Brien then getting by Barry out of turn two on the next lap to move into third. Lap four saw Myles Cheek move up to fifth early on the lap, with Ronnie Anderson then getting by Cheek early on the next lap. Cheek got back by later on that lap to re-take fifth, with a full course yellow then falling at the end of that lap after Barry came to a stop in turn five. Once Barry had been towed off, racing resumed, with Heger, Weller, O’Brien, Thomas, and Cheek holding the top five spots. On the restart lap, contact in turn three sent Cheek nose-first into the inside wall (another driver was caught out as well), dropping him back several positions, and that moved Anderson back up to fifth in the #952 Safecraft Safety Equipment/Holz Racing Products Polaris. Heger had already opened up a gap over the pack, as most of the rest of the drivers in the top ten were battling hard for positions. Anderson moved past O’Brien (who’d dropped to fourth) for fourth late on lap seven, and on the next lap, both he and Thomas were all over Weller in a three-UTV battle for second. On the penultimate lap (lap nine), Anderson then got alongside Thomas in the whoops between turns four and five, before getting by and up to third in turn five. Anderson then ran wide in turn three on the final lap, handing the spot back to Thomas. However, Anderson still had time, and charged back alongside in the whoops, before diving inside at turn five. At the same time, Thomas bicycled badly and shot out to the outside of the corner, which allowed both Anderson and O’Brien to get past. At the line, Heger scored a relatively comfortable win, ahead of Weller in the #948 DragonFire/Lucas Oil Racing TV Yamaha, Anderson, O’Brien in the #911 Specialty Coatings/Cylex Signs Yamaha, and Thomas in the #944 Mystik Lubricants/Union Graphic Co Yamaha.

That wraps up the action from here in Tooele. Up next, the series heads to its easternmost destination yet, and to an all-new venue: Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO. Rumors are flying as to the grandeur and design of this all-new track, and one thing’s for certain: it’s bound to be good! In four weeks’ time, we’ll find out just how good this new track will be, and the racing should be great as well, as all drivers and teams will be on level footing in terms of experience at the track. Join us then, July 22-23.

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.

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

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