The Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Season is officially over. This season has been hard fought, but in the end, there can only be one champion. All of the drivers did their best to be left standing on top of that podium and the result was some great racing.
The race everyone came out to see was the Pro 4 race between Kyle Leduc and Rob MacCachren. With a less than 10 point difference between the two, their racing sure didn’t disappoint. After picking up an extra point to increase his lead over MacCachren, Leduc choose to start the championship race at the back of the pack.
After a mandatory yellow which left MacCachren and Carl Renezeder on the side of the track, Leduc quickly picked his way through the remaining racers and ended the race on top of the podium for the 4th time in a row. Leduc is now a 5-time Pro 4 Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing champion.
The Prolite race wasn’t any less exciting. The talk of the season has been the battle between Jerett Brooks and Brock Heger. After Brooks finished Glen Helen’s Round 11, he sat comfortably in the points lead. For Heger to take the championship, Brooks would need to finish at least 10 positions behind him. While not impossible, the race wasn’t going to be easy.
Heger ended up securing first place. However Brooks finished third, which means he became a 2-time Prolite Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Champion. The Pro Buggy battle between Darren Hardesty Jr. and Eliott Watson didn’t disappoint. Hardest is the defending Pro Buggy champion coming into this season. He’s been slowly increasing his point lead over Watson ever since the last round in Wheatland. By the end of the day, he secured his second Pro Buggy championship.
For the last seven years, you expected to see either the name MacCachren or Deegan up in lights. That all changed this year with Jeremy McGrath taking home the 2017 Pro 2 Championship. After consistently performing at the top of his game, McGrath came into the weekend with a comfortable lead. Sitting behind McGrath - Brian Deegan and Rob MacCachren.
Coming into this weekend, Brock Heger has already captured the Production 1000 UTV championship. Even so, there was plenty of great racing coming from these drivers. These drivers pushed their vehicles hard, resulting in some entertaining, albeit crash-ridden, racing. After several cautions, course restarts, and what seemed like a crash on every turn, Brandon Arthur took the class win, making it his third win this season.
After an exciting first day of racing, Sunday started off with a bang! During the opening ceremonies, a sincere and emotional speech given by Carl Renezeder was felt throughout the stands. After 120 wins and 9 championships across 19 years in the sport, Renezeder was retiring after the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup.
While the Production 1000 UTV race wasn’t as ridden with crashes as Saturday’s was, it was definitely one for the books. After a hard fought battle, Mickey Thomas finished first with a $1,000 prize. Brock Heger finished second, earning $500, while $300 going to Brandon Arthur in third place.
The Pro Buggy race was just as fun to watch. While a few restarts, course cautions, and several racers being forced out of the race, Kevin McCullough ended up taking home the win and $10,000 in front of hometown fans. Eliott Watson came in second and took home $5,000, with Darren Hardesty Jr. earning $2,500 for his third place finish.
During the Pro Lite Champion Cup race, there was excitement after Hailie Deegan, daughter of seasoned Lucas Oil Off-Road racer Brian Deegan, ended up with a rear flat tire on lap ten, after nine hard fought laps. In the end, Brandon Arthur captured first place and a check for $10,000. Brock Heger took second and a check for $5,000 and Ronnie Anderson took a check for $2,500 and third place.
The last race of the season was probably the most exciting. The Pro 2 versus Pro 4 Lucas Oil Challenge Cup started with both fields taking a standing start. With almost a full lap ahead, it looked like Kyle LeDuc was going to pick up an easy lead. After a full course caution, any leads the Pro 2’s were given was quickly erased.
By the end of the restart lap, Rob MacCachren had taken the lead. After another caution and restart, Renezeder was unfortunately forced to drop out due to a mechanical issue after coming into some contact with RJ Anderson. By the end of the race, Kyle LeDuc emerged as a 4-time Lucas Oil Challenge Cup winner, taking home $30,000. RJ Anderson came in second with a $15,000, and $7,500 going to Doug Mittag for third place.
An amazing finish to two exciting and action-packed days of racing. It was a great send-off to this season’s Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing. We can’t wait to see what next year brings.