Author: Brian Binkert Photos: Brian Binkert/Bink Designs
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series rounds 13 and 14 were billed as the Loctite Fight Under the Lights. It turns out that the race was aptly named. Not only did the competitors bash each other on the track but mother nature took her own shots; buffeting everyone in attendance with strong winds that delayed the start of racing on Saturday night. This weekend had competitors with championship hopes scrambling for every last point and the rest of the field going all out for the win.
In Pro-4 Kyle Leduc knew he had to win in order to have a chance at the title but points leader Carl Renezeder was just as determined. Kyle and Carl battled door to door on Friday night and after an intense back and forth it was Carl who edged Kyle out for the win at the stripe. On Saturday Rob MacCachren took the victory, his first in the new Pro-4. Kyle Leduc was in the mix but a late race black flag for punting Eric Barron in turn four dashed his chances for the win. Carl finished second behind MacCachren to wrap up the season title; his ninth career championship.
The Pro-2 championship was just as tight going into the race weekend. Rob MacCachren was leading with Brian Deegan 14 points behind and Carl Renezeder just two points behind Deegan. Friday’s race went to a spoiler Marty Hart. He proved once again he is tough to beat once he gets out front. He battled with MacCachren and Robby Woods but neither could stay ahead of “The Cowboy”. Brian Deegan went out when he lost an engine in a fiery explosion; he escaped physically unharmed. At the stripe it was Hart, MacCachren and Renezeder in third. On Saturday Robby Woods lead most of the race. He and Carl Renezeder were fighting hard for the lead and most thought Woods would finally beat his nemesis and get his first victory but it was not to be. Woods suffered mechanical failure once more and coasted to a stop leaving the crowd aghast. Renezeder took the victory with MacCachren in second and Bryce Menzies third. The results dropped Deegan to third place in the championship and moved Renezeder to second trailing MacCachren by 18 points going into the final round of the season.
The Prolite class was a crash-fest. Friday night’s race had six caution flags and a couple of black flags to boot. They had to shorten the actual race laps run as the trucks were in danger of running out of fuel. No matter where you looked on the track there were intense battles, collisions and rollovers. RJ Anderson has been fighting with Brian Deegan all season to retain his number one plate, he crashed in the early going. RJ’s truck burst into flames but was extinguished quickly with the aid of his on-board system. Unfortunately, contact with the wall broke his front suspension; he was out. Deegan proved the veteran that he is; staying clean at the front and taking a wire to wire victory. Sheldon Creed finished second and Casey Currie third. On Saturday the carnage continued with six more caution flags during the race. RJ Anderson rebounded to take the victory but Deegan took second; increasing his points lead to 49, the biggest gap in any class this season. Sheldon Creed got his second podium of the weekend with the third place finish.
The Pro Buggy class is oozing with young talent and has had some of the greatest battles on the track. Dave Mason, Bradley Morris and Geoffrey Cooley have all had their moment in the sun but the defending champ Steven Greinke has quietly held a stranglehold on the points lead for most of the season. Even Dave mason’s streak of eight podiums in a row has fallen short of toppling Greinke; he led Morris by 47 points going into Vegas. Friday night saw the young guns all starting up front with Mason on the pole followed by Morris and Cooley, Greinke was fifth. After a couple laps, it was the two points leaders out front. First Greinke suffered brake issues dropping him to second behind Morris then Morris had a throttle cable issue himself. They both fought on with Morris taking the win; Greinke in second and Cooley third. As long as Greinke can keep Morris in his sights, a second Pro Buggy championship is in his grasp. Saturday night Greinke finished first with Dave Mason Second and Bradley Morris third but the post-race technical inspection has uncovered an issue that at the time of this writing has not been announced. Without knowing who or what is at issue it is pure speculation on the outcome of the championship but Greinke looks to be in control at the moment.
You could not ask for more drama going into the final round of the season October 25 – 27 at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park, Lake Elsinore, CA. With only one championship truly settled it will be an intense climax to an already incredible season in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.