Racers thrill packed house at Glen Helen in Round 12

Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Round 12

San Bernardino, CA (September 16, 2017) – After an exciting and eventful evening of racing during Round 11 here at Glen Helen Raceway in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, it was, if possible, even better here tonight. Fans poured into the stands to enjoy a great southern California night of racing under the lights here at this legendary venue, and with favorable (albeit cool) weather, championships coming down to the wire, and high-flying action happening across eight classes, there was a lot to enjoy about Round 12 of the 2017 championship here tonight.

Pro 4 Unlimited

Pro 4 Unlimited

Following a very moving Opening Ceremonies, which included beautiful renditions of The Star Spangled Banner and America The Beautiful by Caroline Renezeder, it was time for Pro 4 Unlimited. Eric Barron led the way after lap one, ahead of Kyle LeDuc, RJ Anderson, Bryce Menzies, and Carl Renezeder in the top five. A full course caution fell early on lap two after a collision in turn four left Rob MacCachren, Doug Mittag, and Doug Fortin stopped there, and when racing resumed, Barron caught a rut in turn two and shot hard up to the outside wall, causing him race-ending damage. The field shot past as Barron sat stationary, and in turn three, Menzies got by Anderson down the inside to move up to second, behind new leader LeDuc. Barron still sat in turn two at the end of lap two, forcing another full course caution, and when racing resumed, it was now LeDuc in the #99 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford, Menzies, Anderson, Renezeder, and Bradley Morris in the top five. The top three began to pull away from the rest of the field on lap four, while further back, a solid battle for fifth began to develop between Morris and Adrian Cenni. On lap five, Mittag took advantage of that, as he shot past them both in the whoops while they were concentrating on each other. The next lap saw LeDuc run wide at turn five, and that allowed Menzies and Anderson to close right in and tighten up the race for the lead. The Competition Yellow then fell at the end of lap eight, and as the field drew back together for the restart, it was LeDuc, Menzies, Anderson, Renezeder, and Mittag in the top five.

On the restart lap, LeDuc over-rotated in turn two, and when Menzies collected into the back of LeDuc, the two briefly ran off track, with LeDuc managing to jump right back on surprisingly quickly. A bigger, multi-truck incident then went down in turn four, which forced a full course yellow at the end of the lap, and when the dust cleared, it was now Renezeder, Anderson, Mittag, LeDuc, and MacCachren in the top five. MacCachren dropped back under yellow with mechanical trouble, and that moved Greg Adler up to fifth for the restart. On the restart lap, Mittag spun at turn one (perhaps with some help from LeDuc), and three corners later, the leader Renezeder over-rotated and caught his truck against the inside rail. RJ Anderson shot into the lead in the #37 Rockstar Energy Drink/Polaris RZR truck, with LeDuc now second, Adler third, Cenni fourth, and Doug Fortin fifth in the #96 General Tire/Maxima Racing Oils Toyota, as the full course yellow then dropped as Renezeder remained stopped back in turn four. On the restart lap, LeDuc simply blasted past Anderson in the whoops to re-take the lead; what had looked like a night that had been thrown away mere laps earlier was now looking like a winner for LeDuc once again. Anderson then had to fend off Adler and Cenni, who were both charging up hard from behind, and Anderson managed to hold them off, before then starting to claw back some ground on LeDuc. Adler slowed with a major mechanical issue at turn five on lap 14, dropping him to fifth and then out of the top five soon afterwards, with Cenni in the #11 pHit Alkaline Rising/Maxxis Tires Ford, Fortin, and MacCachren moving up to positions three through five as a result. After that, no further passes were made within the top five, and at the stripe, it was LeDuc who scored the win and re-established himself as the championship favorite with just one round to go. Anderson had another strong showing tonight with his second place finish, Cenni had perhaps his best race of the year to round out the podium in third, Fortin was fourth, and MacCachren was fifth in the #21 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Industrial Power Tools Ford.

Pro 2 Unlimited

Pro 2 Unlimited

Rob MacCachren led the way early in Pro 2 Unlimited, ahead of RJ Anderson, Bryce Menzies, Bradley Morris, and Patrick Clark. Anderson and Menzies collected in turn four on lap two, dropping them to sixth and ninth, respectively, and that also moved Morris up to second, Clark to third, Rodrigo Ampudia to fourth, and Jerett Brooks to fifth. Lap six then saw Brooks break his entire right front tire and wheel off coming into turn four, and with nowhere to go, Anderson piled into him, forcing a full course yellow. The two trucks had gotten badly stuck together, which resulted in a very lengthy yellow flag period, but once Anderson’s truck was finally freed, he was able to continue, as was the race itself, with points leader Jeremy McGrath now sitting fifth in the #2 Maxxis Tires/Traxxas truck. On the restart lap, Ampudia started to loop out at turn four, and that allowed McGrath and Menzies to get by for fourth and fifth. Morris then came to a stop going into turn five on lap nine, forcing another full course caution, and on the return to green flag racing, it was now MacCachren, Clark, McGrath, Menzies, and Ampudia in the top five. These five held station until lap 13, when Anderson got alongside of Ampudia out of turn five, before getting by on the inside at turn two on the next lap to make the pass for fifth. From there, the top five again went unchanged, as MacCachren picked up what is, surprisingly, only his second win of the season in the class in his #21 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Industrial Power Tools Ford. Clark picked up second in the #25 Budweiser/Roush Competition Engines Chevrolet, with McGrath taking third and all but wrapping up the championship with just one race to go. Fourth was Menzies in the #7 Red Bull/Pennzoil Ford, and fifth was Anderson in the #37 Rockstar Energy Drink/Polaris RZR truck.

With that, our one and only night race weekend of the year has now come to a close. Only one race weekend remains in the 2017 race season, and furthermore, only one round of competition is left to decide the 2017 championship winners, with the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup races following our thirteenth and final round of the championship. All of that will take place in just five weeks’ time, as the series comes full circle and heads back to where it all began this year: Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, AZ, just south of Phoenix. Join us then and help us crown our 2017 class champions, as well as our Lucas Oil Challenge Cup champions.

Pro Lite Unlimited

Pro Lite Unlimited

Ryan Beat had control of the field after lap one in tonight’s Pro Lite Unlimited race, but his mirrors were filled by a packed field, as points leader Jerett Brooks sat in second, Brock Heger ran third, Ronnie Anderson fourth, and Christopher Polvoorde fifth. A full course yellow fell on lap two after Justin Peck rolled in turn one, and when racing resumed, Heger ran wide at turn two on the restart lap, dropping him back to sixth, and moving Anderson, Polvoorde, and Mickey Thomas up to third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. Heger got back by Thomas at turn three on the next lap, and just ahead, Anderson got by Brooks between turns three and four to move up to second. Two laps later, Brooks closed right back in on Anderson, but couldn’t quite get back by. The next lap then saw disaster strike the leader Beat, who lost his entire right rear tire and wheel in turn five, ending his night in sickening fashion. At almost the same moment, Anderson was a bit slow in that corner, which allowed Brooks to get past him, and with Beat’s departure, Brooks now ran first in the #77 Rigid Industries LED Lighting/General Tire Nissan. On the next lap, Heger got past Polvoorde into turn four to move up to third in the #12 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Ultra Xtreme Race Wheels Toyota, and in the next corner, Anderson over-rotated and dropped to fourth. The Competition Yellow fell at the end of this lap, and as the field lined back up for the restart, it was now Brooks, Heger, Polvoorde, Anderson, and Cory Winner in the #67 Fabtech/General Tire Ford in the top five. Winner got by Anderson coming out of turn three to move up to fourth on the restart lap, but Anderson got back by two corners later. Lap nine then saw Brooks balk uncharacteristically into turn five, and Heger seized the opportunity and dove deep into the corner to grab the lead, which he cemented with an unbelievable outside line at turn one on the next lap. From there, Heger began to slowly pull clear of Brooks, and at the finish, Heger got his fifth win of the season, ahead of Brooks, Polvoorde in the #94 The Palms River Resort/MTRV8 Nissan, Anderson in the #52 Walker Evans Racing/South Point Chevrolet, and Winner.

Pro Buggy Unlimited

Pro Buggy Unlimited

Points leader Darren Hardesty Jr. led the field in his #99 Bilstein Shock Absorbers/Racer X Motorsports Alumi Craft after lap one in Pro Buggy Unlimited, ahead of Eliott Watson, Sterling Cling, Trevor Briska, and Sammy Ehrenberg. These five held their positions over the first three laps, with the top three running pretty close in the race for the lead. Matthew Brister and Brady Whitlock had stopped on track, forcing a full course yellow at the end of lap four, and after racing resumed, a spin by Ehrenberg at turn four on lap seven (he was trying to miss an over-rotating Briska; Bud Ward also spun there when trying to miss Ehrenberg) dropped him out of the top five, and moved Mike Valentine up to fifth. Ehrenberg and Ward stayed stopped in the corner, forcing a full course yellow, and when racing picked up again, Watson was all over Hardesty Jr. Cling then closed right in to make it a three-way battle for the lead on the next lap, and by the middle of lap 11, Briska had also tacked himself onto the back of this speedy train. Further back, Ward had moved back up the order, and now sat fifth in the #17 Horsepower Ranch/Ramona Tire Funco. From this point, the racing was fast and furious up front, but nobody was able to make a pass inside that tight front four, and so it was Hardesty Jr. who got the win. Watson finished second in the #3 Fox Racing Shox/BFGoodrich Tires Alumi Craft, with Cling third in the #77 Cling’s Aerospace/VP Racing Fuels Alumi Craft, Briska fourth in the #59 MTRV8/Prolong Super Lubricants Funco, and Ward fifth.

Production 1000 UTV

Production 1000 UTV

First out onto the full-length track were the Production 1000 UTVs, and after the first lap, it was Paul O’Brien leading the pack in the #911 Specialty Coatings/Slime Yamaha, ahead of Ronnie Anderson in the #952 Safecraft Safety Equipment/Holz Racing Products Polaris, Jason Weller in the #948 DragonFire/Lucas Oil Racing TV Yamaha, Mickey Thomas, and last night’s winner Brock Heger. Weller got by Anderson for second on lap two, and Heger got around Thomas for fourth soon afterwards. Lap four then saw a fantastic battle for the lead between O’Brien and Weller, with O’Brien narrowly holding off a very hungry Weller. A rollover by Pat O’Keefe in turn five forced a full course yellow on the next lap, and when the field restarted, another rollover in turn one, this one by Ray Bulloch, brought the yellow right back out. When the field took the green flag once again, Anderson passed Weller back at turn four to re-take second spot, before setting his sights ahead on the leader O’Brien. On lap seven, Anderson got halfway alongside O’Brien out of turn four, and pulled virtually dead even into turn five, but O’Brien still managed to come out of the corner ahead. A full course yellow fell again on the next lap after Jason Merrell had come to a stop in the exit of turn four, and when racing resumed, there was a ton of jostling for position amongst the top five (as well as those behind). However, within that top five, the only pass that stuck was Weller’s pass on Anderson in turn four, which put Weller back up to second. On the final lap, Anderson got back alongside of Weller in turn two, and the two ran even down towards turn three, before Anderson then made a very skillful move across Weller’s nose from the left into a right hand corner (turn three) to move back up to second. Further down the order, Brandon Arthur got past Thomas for fifth in the final corner, while up front, it was former virtual unknown O’Brien who made his presence known in a big way tonight by taking his first win in the National Series- congratulations Paul! Second place went to Anderson, with Weller finishing third, Heger fourth in the #921 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Airaid Yamaha, and Arthur fifth in the #906 Toyo Tires/Benchmark Performance Yamaha.

Modified Kart

Modified Kart

The pace then picked up dramatically in the next race, as the Modified Karts took to the track, with Ricky Gutierrez leading the way at the end of lap one, ahead of Koen Crawford, Cole Keatts, Mia Chapman, and points leader Trey Gibbs. Keatts got by Crawford between turns one and two to move up to second on lap two, while further back, Chapman ran straight on and well wide at turn two, dropping her to seventh; Gibbs and Brody Eggleston moved up to fourth and fifth as a result. Eggleston then passed Gibbs at turn four to grab fourth on lap three, before getting past Crawford and up to third into turn two with a very nice drive down the inside on lap four. A full course caution then fell on that lap after Jojo Masek suffered a rollover in turn one, and once she was righted and able to continue, it would be Gutierrez, Keatts, Eggleston, Crawford, and Gibbs for the return to green flag racing. These five held their positions on laps four and five, as well as lap six, with Gibbs closing right in on Crawford in the battle for fourth on lap six. Gibbs then got alongside of Crawford out of turn one on lap seven, before making the pass inside at turn two to move into fourth. Eggleston then lost ground in the middle of lap seven, which allowed Gibbs to get by for third. At almost the same time, Chapman suffered a big crash while exiting turn four, and that brought out a full course yellow. Under the Last Completed Lap rule, the running order was put back to what it had been at the end of the previous lap, meaning that it would be Gutierrez, Keatts, Eggleston, Crawford, and Gibbs in the top five for the return to green flag racing. On that restart lap, Gibbs was pushed wide as he exited turn two, dropping him to seventh, and moving Chris Nunes up to fifth. Gibbs got back up to sixth before the end of the lap, and when Eggleston then slowed briefly out of turn one on lap nine, Crawford, Nunes and Gibbs managed to get by and up to spots three, four, and five. Nunes and Gibbs were all over Crawford on the final lap, and Gibbs managed to get past Nunes briefly late on the lap, but a bicycle in the final corner by Gibbs allowed Nunes to get back by. Up front, Gutierrez got the big win, his third of the season in the #578 King Off-Road Racing Shocks/Driven Steering Wheels machine, ahead of Keatts in the #553 Xtreme Machine & Fabrication/Mod Kids USA kart, whose second place was enough to move him into the points lead with just one race remaining. Crawford scored his first National Series podium in third in the #548 Crawford Racing/Dynomite Performance truck, with Nunes taking fourth in the #502 Rebelcore/Newline Products entry, and Gibbs fifth in the #515 Kicker Audio/KB Engineering kart.

With that, our one and only night race weekend of the year has now come to a close. Only one race weekend remains in the 2017 race season, and furthermore, only one round of competition is left to decide the 2017 championship winners, with the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup races following our thirteenth and final round of the championship. All of that will take place in just five weeks’ time, as the series comes full circle and heads back to where it all began this year: Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, AZ, just south of Phoenix. Join us then and help us crown our 2017 class champions, as well as our Lucas Oil Challenge Cup champions.

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

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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