|June 28th, 2012 – Corona, CA
Rounds 7 and 8 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at Miller Motorsports Park marks the third consecutive visit for the nation’s premiere short course series. The 2012 Utah race weekend will be one event to remember as the extreme weather conditions toyed with anyone left exposed to the elements. Dry and dusty 30 + MPH winds kicked up warm 100 degree temperatures for 3 days straight yet the fans came out in droves to fill up the venue to capacity. Everyone in attendance was treated to a full blown storm of off road racing action.
The Hart and Huntington Off Road Team has demonstrated the ability and talent to contend as top runners in every pro division entered. Despite major efforts to promote clean racing and consistent performance, Premiere Motorsports Group has suffered from its fair share of on track squabbles and mechanical failures. Attrition is a typical challenge in off road racing due to the rough nature, close quarters door-to-door competition, and heavy contact involved in short course.
The latest track record shows Hart and Huntington Off Road as a regular contender for lead positions. During Rounds 7&8, it was team driver, Ryan Beat who led eBay Motors and Premiere Motorsports Group to the podium in Saturday’s Round 7 with an official 3rd place in the PRO-4 event and a 2nd place finish in the ProLite race. “We are working really hard over here and we are all passionate about racing,” claimed Ryan. “The #51 Premiere Motorsports Group ProLite is a new program this year and I do not have a lot of seat time in the #46 eBay Motors Pro-4. So each time we make it out to the track, there is a lot to learn. To come out here and run this good makes me very proud of our performance and how far we have come this year.”
The #22 MAVTV PRO-4 of Josh Merrell seemed off the pace at the start of the weekend and that became evident 8 laps into the Round 7 race. A failed gear box forced an early withdraw for Merrell. “Whenever you get pushed to the sidelines, it gets very frustrating. The crew works extremely hard to get the truck prepared and race ready. I know I can run with these fast guys but it seems like there is always something taking us out. We could of had a possible podium in Round 7 and then to miss out on Sunday’s Qualifying Session was a huge hit. For Round 8, I knew I would be starting in the very back and I was going to have to be very steady to make it to the front.” The never give up / never give in attitude that Premiere Motorsports Group puts forth must have inspired Josh as he started from the last row and drove forward for 20 laps taking a well earned 5th place finish.
Robert Naughton, PMG Driver of the #54 Lunarpages.com PRO-2 was digging deep to catch a solid top 3 finish for the Hart and Huntington Off Road Team in Utah. Robert was able to put up a better than average run to claim a solid 4th place finish in Round 7, but during the second lap of Round 8, the #54 Lunarpages.com Truck got out of shape on the front stretch and spun out into the wall putting him at the end of the pack. Naughton would go on to recover 8 lost positions and potentially chasing down more, however the engine seemed to have lost power and finished in 7th.
Hart and Huntington Off Road is now back in Corona and currently preparing for the next Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Southern California event where they will return to world famous Glen Helen for Rounds 9&10. Until then relive the action on youtube.com/hartoffroadteam.
Utah Road Trip
Round 7 Highlights
Round 8 Highlights
Follow the Hart and Huntington Off Road Team at the races on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtubepages for updates all season.
For more information on short course racing, please visit www.LucasOilOffRoad.com