If you're an off-road fan and missed Chula Vista, we feel bad for you because this race was phenomenal. There is just something to be said about the laid back atmosphere of Southern California and the San Diego environment. With the cool ocean breeze, it was never too hot, but defiantly not at all cold, it was a perfect weekend for high speeds, dirt, and awesome jumps!
I have to say that the racers were feeling this So-Cal vibe as well! I arrived at the track on Friday eager to watch practice and witness the qualifying rounds. Wow, everyone was in the best mood setting up their pits and getting their trucks, and buggies together. It was a wonderful site; all you could hear was the roar of motors everywhere with lots of smiling faces. I walked into the stand to start watching the drivers as one at a time they would go out onto the field, because only a small group was allowed on at a time. As I watched the suspensions move over the whoops it was hypnotizing, and observing the drivers handle their corners while setting themselves up for the huge sky jump was like a symphony of roaring motors as they accelerated. As the weekend continued to race day, crowds were swarming Chula Vista. People could not get enough of their favorite drivers. In fact, during races there was not even enough seating to accommodate everyone. It was truly a sold out event! My favorite event on Saturday, hands down, would have to be the Pro4 trucks. At the start of the race Steve Barlow flipped almost a full three times head over heels causing a restart. This gave Carl Renezeder the opportunity to pull into first place. Carl kept that spot the entire race, not giving Johnny Greaves a chance to pull into the front. Carl won, Johnny took second, and Scott Douglas a third.
Another awesome race on Saturday that stood out for me was the Pro 2 cat and mouse like race by Jerry Whelchel and Carl Renezeder. Jerry dominated the course the entire race until Carl, on turn two, took control of the inside line by sticking his nose in and not letting loose. He was able to push Jerry up and take the inside corner. Carl took the lead winning the race, giving Jerry second and Rob MacCachran third. Last, but definitely not least, were the Pro-Lites. After a mandatory caution flag the action really started when it was a wild race down the straight away with Robert Naughton in the middle and Marty Hart on the outside. It was not until turn one that Naughton got the lead for the first time today and kept it to go for the win. Bryce Menzies was second, and this was his first podium finish in the Pro-Lite class, coming up in third place was Rodrigo Ampudia after pulling an awesome pass.
All this excitement was leading up to Sunday, a day where war was breaking out for all the drivers that wanted to prove more and wanted to win. All of today's races were incredible and just outstanding. The pace car led the roaring Pro4's around the field then left in a heartbeat, letting the wild motors scream down the track, sending dust, dirt and thrills to the screaming fans. Johnny Greaves took control of this race from the beginning and held on for most of the race; while Rick Huesman, Scott Douglas and Carl Renezeder drove hard to keep up and to try to make a move for first. It was not until lap seven that Renezeder tried to pass Huesman , he ended up teetering on the k-rail waiting for assistance to be helped off. After Carl got back onto all four wheels he wanted nothing more than to get back to his old position and try to take Huesman again, Carl fought his way back up to third position. On lap fifteen Johnny broke an axle, giving the chase now to Huesman and Douglas. With patience and determination Douglas was able to take over the first position winning the race, Huesman came in second and Renezeder in third.
The Pro4's were a fun and exciting race but nothing would compete with the Pro2's on Sunday. It was a dramatic race with the crowd cheering in excitement! The race started with a fight for first position between Jeremy McGrath and Jerry Whelchel, each one pushing their trucks to be first. By lap seven McGrath lost speed and Renezeder was on the move. He flew past McGrath and then took Jerry's position over. Now the chase was on again for Jerry to reclaim the lead. Unfortunately, Jerry blew a tire and broke an axle, dropping him behind the others. Giving up his position McGrath, LeDuc, and McCachran, now stepped up their game. McGrath was holding on until lap fourteen when he blew a rear tire. The crowd now focused on Renezeder as the white flag came down for his last lap. But one of his tires also was shredded; however, with desire for that checkered flag he pursued on and took first only by.31 seconds, MacCachran took second with LeDuc taking third. This race was so power pack with excitement, the people were over whelmed, and every fan left saying that they just couldn't believe this race. It was just the edge of your seat excitement people came for you just never knew what was going to happen. It was now the Pro-Lites turn to have some fun at the race. Bryce Menzies, all fired up from his podium finish the day before, wanted to drive a little harder and take home that win, which he ended up doing, even though for most of the race Garit Wallace was in the lead. In the beginning of the race, Menzies and Rodrigo Ampudia where hot on Wallace's trail; unfortunately, Ampudia would not only flip, he then got stuck on a berm trying to enter the race. Menzies took full advantage over this and went into second position. On lap ten Menzies took an awesome lead over Wallace, winning the race, Wallace took second and Marty Hart took third.
Chula Vista was an awesome race but I can't wait to see what happens next. Pomona, here we come and I hope that the drivers have some time to relax and come back out to the field energized and ready for another exciting race! Hope to see you there race fans!