As drivers make the climb to reach the premier classes of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS), most will first make an effort in Pro Lite. This is the first step in gaining experience under a spec chassis, similar to the ones used in Pro 2. The four rookies will have a double-digit field to contend with, but all are seemingly up to the challenge.
Starting with the youngest driver in the class, Madix Bailey enters the Pro Lite ranks with an incredible 10 years of experience in his 15 short years. It’s a family affair for Bailey, who’s sister Irie also will be making her rookie debut in the JR2 Kart class. Bailey’s grandfather was the one who initially bought the first car that would ignite the passion for racing. Their father Brandon, however, received Rookie-of-the-Year honors in the PRO 4 class back in 2014, both Madix and Irie will look to follow in their father’s footsteps this season.
“I have goals for this season like getting Rookie-of-the-Year and shooting for a top five at every race. I want to have fun, but also become a more competitive driver. I like the fact that this class is very competitive and has way more to offer compared to other styles of racing. You have different types of jumps and dirt, which really adds to the excitement factor.”
With time well spent in the JR 1, JR 2, and Mod Kart classes, along with racing a Class 10 car in the desert, Bailey sees this as the perfect opportunity to make the move to Pro Lite.
One rookie that is ready to pull double duty is 24-year-old Matt Brister. The long-time buggy racer will also be lining up for the Pro Buggy competition, along with Pro Lite. Even though he’s enjoyed racing buggies, he’s finding out just how fun the Pro Lite trucks really are.
“The Pro Lite is an insane vehicle. It is very narrow, has very little suspension, and twice the weight of the Pro Buggy. However, my favorite part about driving the #55 Pro Lite is how competitive the field is. I’m very fortunate to be able to race as much as I do and I’m looking to give my team the same level of performance in 2020.”
Brister’s racing experience includes the previous eight years competing in various buggies, from desert ½ 1600 cars, to Limited Buggy, and now Pro Buggy in LOORRS. Even with the extra racing, Brister has his eye on Pro Lite podiums and going for Rookie-of-the-Year.
Dave Mason Jr. will be gunning for the Rookie-of-the-Year honors, setting the stage for an incredible season of racing. Starting out in the Mod Kart class and moving up from there. He’s been able to win races and be a fixture at the front. Mason is hoping to use the Pro Lite class as that stepping stone its intended to be with sights set on Pro 2, but is ready to contend for the Pro Lite title in 2020.
“My biggest goals for this season are to win Pro Lite races and contend for the championship in my eBay Motors sponsored truck, as well as become completely prepared to win in Pro 2 for a full season in 2021. This class is so competitive with everyone having the same sealed engines, that you have to push the limits every lap but still make it through the race without incident. I feel that this matches my driving style well as I have always tried to be a smooth and consistent driver, and I am not afraid to throw the car around and be aggressive with it when I need to.”
Along with Bailey, Brister and Mason, Carson Parrish will be ready to race in 2020 to round out a very competitive group of rookies. With most of his racing experience taking place in ATV competition, Parrish is making the full-time jump over to LOORRS this season and is ready to show the rest of the field he’s here to stay.
With drivers ready to prove themselves worthy of moving up the premier classes, competition in the Pro Lite class will be interesting when the first green flag waves. It won’t be too much longer as Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park is scheduled to host the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series season opener in Chandler, Arizona, with updated dates in early June.