Action Heats Up Dramatically in Round 8

New Wheatland Track Round 7

Wheatland, Missouri (July 23, 2017) – After a very exciting first day of racing at this all-new Lucas Oil Speedway here in Wheatland, MO, the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, came back for more here today, as the drivers hit this magnificent track once again for Round 8 of the 2017 championship. With one race's experience under their belts, the drivers may now be feeling more confident on this track, and that confidence led to everyone pushing even harder, which also led to closer, more incident-packed racing, and the fans in attendance today certainly got their money's worth.

Pro 4 Unlimited

Pro 4 Unlimited

The Pro 4 Unlimited race was an absolutely wild one, and it was Rob MacCachren who led the way at the end of lap one in the #21 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Industrial Power Tools Ford, ahead of Kyle LeDuc, RJ Anderson, Carl Renezeder, and Doug Mittag. Pole starter Bradley Morris had slid sideways into the outside wall at turn four on the opening lap and came to a stop, which forced a full course caution at the end of lap one, and on the restart lap, Renezeder got by Anderson at turn four to move up to third. Early on the next lap, another full course yellow came out after LeDuc drove hard into turn one and over-rotated, knocking MacCachren up into the outside wall after hitting MacCachren's left front with his right rear. The incident was ruled a no call, but MacCachren still had to hit the Hot Pits for a right front tire change. On the restart lap, Renezeder got by LeDuc with a beautiful sliding inside pass at turn two, but LeDuc quickly got back by at turn three. However, LeDuc then clipped the outside wall at turn four, allowing Renezeder to close in, and when LeDuc got a bit sideways off the jump into turn seven, Renezeder was able to dive inside for the pass. However, Renezeder briefly lost power as he went through the corner, and that left the door open for Mittag to shoot by both LeDuc and Renezeder on the inside and into the lead in his #81 Jhonlin Racing Team/Maxxis Tires Ford. Renezeder struggled to get moving again, and LeDuc wound up with a right rear flat, which quickly dropped him down the order and sent him into the Hot Pits for a new tire on the next lap. With all the shuffling amongst the frontrunners, it was now Mittag, Anderson, Doug Fortin, Adrian Cenni, and Chad Hord in the top five.

On lap six, Cenni got by Fortin when Fortin ran wide exiting turn six, and as both Fortin and Renezeder jumped side by side over the next jump, they made contact, sending both up into the left hand wall, forcing another full course caution. Hord and Brandon Bailey now moved up to fourth and fifth, with MacCachren then passing Bailey at turn one to move into fifth on the restart lap. Less than one lap later, MacCachren got by Hord for fourth just at the start/finish line, with Renezeder then passing Hord for fifth four corners later. MacCachren and Renezeder then closed right in on Cenni during the middle of lap nine, with MacCachren getting by Cenni coming out of turn six, and Renezeder quickly following suit, before Cenni then spun seconds later. On lap 10, Fortin rolled after catching his right front tire on one of the tractor tires that lined the inside of turn two, and that brought the full course yellow back out. Mittag, Anderson, MacCachren, Renezeder, and Hord now lined up in the top five for the restart, and with only one lap remaining, Mittag flew away as soon as that green flag dropped. At turn seven, Renezeder bashed Anderson out of the way with a door-to-door hit, and that let Renezeder get by both Anderson and MacCachren on the inside. Then, in the final corner, Hord forced Renezeder wide as they exited the turn, and that let MacCachren get by them both on the inside, and with Cenni close behind, it was a four-truck race to the line for second. Mittag crossed the line ahead of them all to get his first Pro 4 Unlimited win- congratulations Doug! Second across the line was MacCachren, third was Hord in the #9 Lucas Oil/Ponsse Forestry Equipment Ford, and fourth was Renezeder. However, Renezeder was given the black flag for his contact with Anderson, which put him back to eighth, and moved Cenni to fourth in the #11 Atrium Payroll/Maxxis Tires Ford, and Fortin to fifth in the #96 General Tire/Fortin Racing, Inc. Toyota.

Pro 2 Unlimited

Pro 2 Unlimited

It was one of the craziest races of the year so far in our weekend's final race, and it was Brian Deegan who held a sizeable lead at the end of lap one after trouble involving Rob MacCachren caused other drivers around him to have to slow down and swerve around him to avoid contact. Patrick Clark ran in second, with RJ Anderson third, Jerett Brooks fourth, and Rodrigo Ampudia fifth. These five held their positions over the first three laps, with both Clark and Anderson then closing right in on Deegan on lap four, though still no passes were made. On lap five, Anderson tried an inside move on Clark, but after somewhat forcing Clark wide, Clark returned the favor in the next corner, and both drivers held their positions. The Competition Yellow then fell at the end of this lap, and on the restart lap, Bradley Morris got by Ampudia early on the lap to move into fifth. On the next lap, Anderson tried to force his way by Clark on the inside at turn seven, but Clark held his line, and then gave it back coming out of turn eight, as he forced Anderson wide to the right edge of the track. In the next corner, Ampudia then caught a rut in the final corner and was sent into a violent rollover, which put him up into the catch fence, and then back down onto the k rail. The crash was an ugly one, and caused heavy damage to Ampudia's truck, but most importantly, Ampudia was alright, though his truck was unable to continue in this race.

A full course yellow fell so that officials could tow Ampudia's truck off, and on the restart lap, Morris got by Brooks for fourth at turn three. However, Brooks got back by Morris down the inside at turn six, and when Morris tried to force his way down the inside at turn seven, he had to drive straight into the corner, where Anderson was now at his slowest point while trying to make the corner just ahead. Morris drilled Anderson in the door and rolled him, causing a full course caution, and Morris received a black flag for his aggressive driving. On the restart lap, things initially looked great for Deegan, but as he landed off the huge "Booster" tabletop into turn four, it looked as though his engine suddenly gave up the ghost, and he slowed dramatically, with Clark nearly piling into the back of Deegan. Clark managed to get by and into the lead as Deegan pulled off into the infield, race over, but just after starting the next and final lap, Clark suddenly slowed heading into turn three, apparently the victim of an engine failure himself. Brooks, running second, slowed to miss hitting Clark, and McGrath swept by on the inside and into the lead. McGrath, having run most of the race outside the top five, now found himself in first, and he held that position over the remainder of the final lap to grab the win in his #2 Maxxis Tires/Safecraft Safety Equipment truck. Second was Brooks in the #77 General Tire/Bilstein Shock Absorbers Ford, with the comeback kid, Kyle Hart, taking third after his crew had worked right up to qualifying this morning to repair the heavy damage his #41 Maxxis Tires/Amsoil Ford had sustained in his crash yesterday. Fourth was Morris in the #24 K&N Filters/Kicker Audio Ford, and fifth was Adam Daffner in the #70 McKenzie's/Mickey Thompson Ford.

Pro Lite Unlimited

Pro Lite Unlimited

On the opening lap of the Pro Lite Unlimited race, points leader Jerett Brooks rolled in turn two, which led to a full course caution and a complete restart of the race. As the field took the second green flag, Brooks was still in the Hot Pits, changing both right side tires, and his closest points competitor, Brock Heger, re-started at the back after having to hit the Hot Pits under yellow as well. At the front of the pack, it was Christopher Polvoorde who led the way after lap one, with Brandon Arthur sitting second, Hailie Deegan third, Ronnie Anderson fourth, and Cole Mamer fifth. On lap two, Polvoorde ran wide at turn one, allowing Arthur to close right in from behind, but Arthur couldn't quite turn that momentum into a pass. Later on the same lap, Mamer and Heger made contact exiting turn seven, causing both drivers to spin out, and that allowed Ryan Beat to get by and up to fifth in the #51 Rockstar Energy Drink/Lunarpages Chevrolet. A good, close race for the lead was developing between Polvoorde and Arthur by lap four, and on lap five, Beat got by Anderson into turn four to move into fourth spot. However, both Cory Winner and Mickey Thomas had now closed in on the Beat-Anderson race, making it a very interesting race for spots four through seven. The Competition Yellow fell at the end of this lap, and on the restart lap, Polvoorde caught a rut in turn one, causing his truck to hop to the right and lose momentum. This allowed Arthur to sweep in close, before passing Polvoorde around the outside in the next corner to take the lead in the #6 MavTV/Toyo Tires Chevrolet.

Polvoorde got back alongside Arthur into turn four, but then spun out in the corner, and as the rest of the field managed to squeeze by without hitting him, Polvoorde had to wait for almost every other driver to go by before he was able to get back underway. Further down the order, Thomas then had some help in getting rolled over in turn six, and that brought out a full course caution. It was now Arthur, Deegan in the #38 Monster Energy/4 Wheel Parts Toyota, Beat, Anderson, and Winner in the top five for the restart, with Winner then passing Anderson into turn one, and nearly getting by Beat at turn two. Anderson then got back by Winner in the whoop section, with Brooks then getting past Winner for fifth down the inside at turn nine. Brooks moved up again on the next lap, passing Anderson for fourth going into turn six in his #77 General Tire/Rigid Industries LED Lighting Nissan. Just before the end of the lap, Heger also got by Anderson to move into fifth in the #12 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Maxxis Tires Toyota, and up ahead, second-placed Deegan was looking like she might suffer the same late-race failure as Beat had yesterday, as steam was still streaming from her radiator overflow tank, as it had been since the Competition Yellow. Deegan gave her engine the ultimate torture test, running it to the breaking point right at the end of the final lap, as flames literally shot from the right side of her truck to signal the end of her engine's life as she crossed the finish line. Just ahead, Arthur got the win, his second of the day, with Deegan second, Beat third, Brooks fourth, and Heger fifth.

Pro Buggy Unlimited

Pro Buggy Unlimited

Defending champion Darren Hardesty Jr. led the Pro Buggy Unlimited field at the end of lap one in his #99 Bilstein Shock Absorbers/Impact Safety Alumi Craft, with Eliott Watson second, Broc Dickerson third, Bud Ward fourth, and Matthew Brister fifth. Brister was black flagged for contact on that opening lap, but continued to circulate, waiting the full three allowed laps before serving his penalty. On lap two, Watson got by Hardesty Jr. down the inside at turn three to take the lead, while further back, broken right front suspension put Ward on the sidelines for the rest of this one. Ward's issue moved Brister to fourth and Sterling Cling to fifth in the #77 Cling's Aerospace/KyleGreenFabrication.com Alumi Craft, and on the next lap, Watson over-rotated at turn seven, opening himself up to a great opportunity to get drilled by Hardesty Jr. However, Hardesty Jr. did great to slow up and avoid contact, and Watson actually got away with his lead still intact. Cling got by Brister for fourth on that lap, with Brister then going into the Hot Pits early on lap four to serve his black flag, and that put Brady Whitlock up to fifth in the #74 Integrity Air Conditioning & Heating, LLC/Fox Racing Shox Foddrill. The Competition Yellow fell at the end of the next lap, and on the restart lap, Cling got by Dickerson for third going into turn four. Up front, Hardesty Jr. continued to chase Watson hard for the lead, as he'd done since getting passed for the lead on lap two, and on lap eight, Hardesty Jr. made a great pass on the inside into turn six, putting himself cleanly back in front despite the difficulty of clean passes for these buggies. On the next and final lap, Watson hit Hardesty Jr. hard, back tire to back tire, as he dove down the inside at turn two, and that allowed Watson to get by and back into the lead. Hardesty Jr. nearly got back by in the next corner, but Watson then gradually got just a bit of breathing room, and held the lead all the way to the checkers. However, post-race analysis by race officials deemed that Watson's last lap contact with Hardesty Jr. had been too rough, and thus, Watson was black flagged, dropping him to the final position on the lead lap, eighth. This moved Hardesty Jr. to the top spot today, with Cling taking second, Dickerson third in the #23 BFGoodrich Tires Alumi Craft, Whitlock fourth, and Brister fifth in the #5 Bink Designs/LAT Racing Oils Funco.

Production 1000 UTV

Production 1000 UTV

After a botched first attempt at a race start, the drivers in the Production 1000 UTV class got it right on the second try, and at the end of the opening lap, it was Paul O'Brien leading the way in the #911 Specialty Coatings/Eibach Springs Yamaha, with Brandon Arthur second, Mickey Thomas third, Jason Weller fourth, and Brock Heger fifth. Scott Webster came to a stop after an incident with Ray Griffith on the opening lap, and that brought out a full course yellow at the end of the lap. Early on the restart lap, Thomas got by Arthur for second, and further around the lap, Dustin Nelson passed Heger when Heger had to run off track briefly coming out of turn seven (Heger and several other drivers had to slow and swerve after someone ahead had slowed more than expected in the corner). Weller and Arthur then both got by Thomas early on lap three to move up to second and third, with Nelson then also passing Thomas late on the same lap to move up to fourth. Weller then passed O'Brien down the inside at turn three to move into the lead in his #948 DragonFire/Weller Racing Yamaha on lap four, and further back, Keith Brooks passed Thomas for fifth early on lap five.  On that same lap, Arthur passed O'Brien to move up to second in his #906 Steel-It/Toyo Tires Yamaha. The top four drivers were still running very close to one another at this point, with Nelson then getting by O'Brien for third down the inside at turn nine in his #994 Yamalube/DWT Yamaha on lap six. On the following lap, Arthur charged alongside Weller in the whoops, before moving ahead and into the lead at turn six. From there, Arthur got away ever so gradually, and grabbed the win, his third of the season in this class, ahead of Weller, Nelson, O'Brien, and Brooks in the #942 Chaparral Motorsports/Raceline Wheels Yamaha.

Modified Kart

Modified Kart

In the first race of the day, yesterday's winner Trey Gibbs led the way at the end of lap one in his #515 KB Engineering/Kicker Audio machine; Brody Eggleston ran in second, with Chris Nunes third, Ricky Gutierrez fourth, and Trey Eggleston fifth. Lap three saw a full course caution for on-track debris, and on the restart lap, both Nunes and Gutierrez got by Brody Eggleston down the inside at turn one to move up to second and third. However, Eggleston got back by them both before the lap's end, with Nunes falling to fifth, and Mia Chapman moving ahead of him for fourth. Cole Keatts, just outside the top five, was marching forward after falling victim to a spin by Gutierrez on the opening lap (Keatts piled into the scene and had nowhere to go after Gutierrez span in front of him, and that dropped Keatts to last). Thanks to the full course caution, Keatts had caught back up to the pack, and on lap four, he got by both Nunes and Chapman to move up to fourth. Two laps later, Gutierrez spun while trying to miss Brody Eggleston as the two charged into turn nine, but the spin didn't affect Gutierrez's position in the running order. Two laps after that, Gutierrez then breezed past Eggleston for that second place, making the pass look easy in the #578 G Brothers/King Off-Road Racing Shocks kart. On lap nine, Keatts and Chapman then collected late in the lap in one of the right handers and dropped well down the order, with Luke Knupp and Nunes moving up to those fourth and fifth positions. However, these two were then passed by Koen Crawford and Mason Prater on the final lap, while up front, Gibbs breezed to his third win of the season, ahead of Gutierrez in second, and Brody Eggleston in the #514 Above All Construction Inc./CSD Racing Products entry rounded out the podium in third. Crawford finished fourth in the #548 Xtreme Machine & Fabrication/Rugged Radios truck, and Prater was fifth in the #505 Rokblokz Rally Mud Flaps/Grizzly Coolers machine.

Our first venture to this spectacular new Lucas Oil Speedway is now done and dusted, and while the drivers almost universally spoke very highly of this place, they and their crews now set their sets to the west, and out to the high-speed and big elevation changes of the Wild West Motorsports Park in Sparks, NV, just outside Reno. That's where we'll be next, in five weeks' time, for Rounds 9 and 10 of the 2017 campaign, so join us then; you won't want to miss all the high-flying, hard-charging 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.

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

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All times are Eastern. Subject to change.
Saturday, October 21
2:00 PM
- San Bernardino, CA
Saturday, October 21
5:30 PM
- Chandler, AZ
Sunday, October 22
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- Wheatland, MO
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