|April 22st 2012 – Lake Elsinore, CA
Round 3 is complete. The Lucas Oil Off Road Pits have melted the night away and a few hundred hard working guys are burning the candle at both ends. It is time for the chore of rebuilding what has been busted, crunched, and or destroyed. It is expensive. It is time consuming and it is hard work that requires fortitude and precision.
With that being said, don’t show up to race without bravado and a solid study on how to do it better and faster than your opponents. In the Hart and Huntington Off Road Compound, it is a lot of discussion, review and consultation that makes up the strategy. Premiere Motorsports Group has provided the tools and equipment for Josh Merrell to apply his will out on the race track.
PRO-4 racing kicked off with a fabulous opening ceremony that reflects the impressive creation at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park produced by the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. When the green flag dropped a furious frenzy of fire breathing 4WD monsters let loose. Merrell emerged with the #22 MAVTV Truck in front. He made quick work of a fast driving Eric Barron in the #32 Truck and brought it up even further to 4th place by lap 2. From that point on it was a battle for Josh to control the truck and retain position and forged for more. “That really was a struggle. We started with brand new brakes, and almost right away the front right had locked up, commented Josh. The glowing hot calipers were clearly visible from any seat in the house. “It was pushing so hard in the corners, I practically had to do a repetitive combination of maneuvers to rotate the truck. These corners are really tight and the track is super technical. When I can drive at a 100%, we are going to put this truck on the top of the podium.”
Merrell was not only able to hang on; he raced through adversity and claimed a 3rd place finish despite a late lap miscue and even a later 3 truck tangle spin out with Corry Weller and Todd Leduc. Josh came out on top thanks to the General Tires gaining traction before the others.
For Round 4, Josh Merrell will start on the pole.
PRO-4 Team Mate, Carey Hart started off strong and maintained with the pack racing for track territory. The pace soon fell off a bit as the #46 eBay Motors Truck performance suffere as a fuel pick up issue starved Carey’s chances of being a factor in Round 3. Hart did however keep the truck together with no serious harm. The Premiere Motorsports Group has addressed all possible symptoms and is looking forward to the Hart and Huntington PRO-4 Team challenging the division.
Driver of the Lunarpages #54 PRO-2, Robert Naughton efforts in his new ride were surrender by a mid race mechanical failure. He literally drove the truck till the gas pedal broke in half. While he was in the race, Robert showed great speed and promise. Naughton was in a spectacular back and forth battle with Jeff Geiser also including MacCachren, Greg Adler and Robby Woods. Robert’s crew have re-adjusted as they continue to make changes adapting the truck to Naughton. “We are going to get this truck to where I like it. After that, look out is all I can say.”
ProLite Driver, Ryan Beat is feeling accomplished but hungry for more. “This Premiere Motorsports Group/Black Rhino truck is brand new and I now have completed 3 races. I am feeling pretty good knowing that we are this fast right off the bat. I plan to go even faster and I can drive around these guys clean. If we can get around some of the yahoos and break free from the wild cats, I just need to break through and than we are in the top 3 no problem. It is on for Round 4.
Tune into Hart and Huntington Off Road YouTube page for regular updates throughout the weekend and you can also follow the live timing and scoring on www.LucasOilOffRoad.com.