Round 7 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing series proved to be a true test of Mother Nature and machine.
Built from the unpredictable lake bottom dirt, Miller Motorsports Park played host to some of the best racing we have seen all season long. Although racers weren’t able to put their finger on a solid setup prior to the race, you would have never guessed that after watching the race action at Miller Motorsports Park.
The Pro 4 Unlimited twenty-lap main event was unlike any Pro 4 Unlimited main event that we have seen this year. Point’s leader Kyle LeDuc was looking for his 7th consecutive win while last years champ Carl Renezeder was on a quest of his own to reach 100-career race wins.
It didn’t take long for things to heat up in the Pro 4 Unlimited division, due in part to the fact that arguably one of the best off road racers to ever live was sitting on the pole position. Rob MacCachren (standing in for Greg Adler) had everyone’s attention like an elephant sitting in a living room, there wasn’t anybody out there who didn’t think about the possibility of Rob Mac finally being the one who could take down Kyle LeDuc. Without wasting time, Todd LeDuc and Carl Renezeder found themselves in a head to head battle after passing Rob Mac and taking control of the race. Running a relatively clean race, Rob Mac found himself succumb to mechanical failure just before the mandatory caution at the half way point of the race. Rob Mac wasn’t the only person to go down with mechanical issues, current points leader Kyle LeDuc ended up going down on laps due in part to a wheel and lug-nut issue early on. This left the door wide open for that of Eric Barron driving the one and only Toyota powered Pro 4 Unlimited. Barron would take the checkered flag in the third position and leave Todd LeDuc and Carl Renezeder to fight it out to the bitter end. Although Todd LeDuc was able to lead most of the race, Carl Renezeder would find his way past LeDuc and win his 98th shortcourse victory, leaving LeDuc to settle for a hard earned second place finish.
The Pro Lite Unlimited race fielded the largest field of Round 7. With the young gun’s Sheldon Creed and Austin Kimbrell starting dead last; things were sure to heat up for the Pro Lite Unlimited Main event.
When the green flag dropped it didn’t take long to realize that Ryan Beat had something to prove. With Chris Brandt out on the second lap, there was a lot of room in the top of the field. It would be a tight tough battle all the way to the mandatory caution, allowing people like: Matt Cook, Brent Fouch, Bradley Morris and Rj Anderson plenty of time to plan an attack to make their move towards the top. Running just a little too hard in the third place position, Matt Cook would find himself upside down just before the rhythm section. Looking on the track, you’d find all of the usual suspects, but off in the distance you could see a little black and white truck driven by Justin “Bean” Smith hungry for a podium.
Deegan was checked out when the checkered flag dropped, and for the first time this season, luck would be on his side to take home first place honors. Ryan Beat would find himself finishing in the second place position while Bradley Morris and Justin “Bean” Smith would battle it out for the last spot on the podium. Justin “Bean” Smith would find himself victorious against the young blood Bradley Morris and round out the day in the third position.
The best was saved for last, the Pro 2 Unlimited’s took to the track ready to put on a show for the sold out crowd at Miller Motorsports Park. How do you contain an angry pack of wolfs from going after raw meet? You don’t! You let the pack eat. That’s exactly what the Pro 2 Unlimited’s did once the green flag dropped.
Starting at the very back of the field in his brand new truck was the number 99 of Robby Woods. With only 5 laps of real track time on his new truck, Robby Woods had to prove to himself and the rest of the Pro 2 Unlimited field that his year long project of building a new Pro 2 Unlimited was worth every waking hour spent working on the truck.
Keeping the carnage to a minimum for the majority of the first part of the race, Robby Woods would find himself (along with veteran racer Rob MacCachren) punching his way through the pack in order to get what they were looking for. Passing 15 different people, Rob MacCachren would find himself in the 4th position after the mandatory caution but would shortly get tangled with Jeff Geiser going into turn 1 and one lap later would find himself victim to a black flag given to him by Lucas Oil officials. Not feeling that it was justified, MacCachren refused to pull into the hot-pits for a mandatory stop-and-go pit stop and choose to hold his position all the way until the checkered flag. In doing so, if MacCachren would file a formal protest against his black flag and win, he would finish the race in the second place position. Definitely a risky move, but one that Rob felt necessary in order to maintain his battle for the point’s championship. The “official” finishing order would find Brian Deegan at the top of the podium with Championship points leader Marty Hart in the second position and Patrick Clark rounding out the top three. Until any “official” ruling is given, Rob MacCachren could be awarded a second place finish or a twelfth place finish, but in order to retain his points championship battle with Marty Hart, a twelfth place finish would not be something that Rob MacCachren would like to see anytime soon. Robby Woods would find himself sitting in the fifth place position when it was all said and done. His new truck looks to be living up to the hype that has surrounded it throughout the year. According to Woods, the technology and thought put into the new truck will change the Pro 2 Unlimited division forever. We’ll see if he has what it takes in Round 8 after the ability to qualify.
With the unpredictable track conditions and the unpredictable wind conditions at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele Utah, Round 8 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is sure to be another wild card race for the top contenders.
Words by Adam “Gunnslinger” Gunn
Photos by Jason Zindroski of HighRev Photography