After the first weekend of racing in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series was delayed due to weather at Lake Elsinore, it finally got underway on Apr 22 – 23 at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona. Brandon Arthur had big news to share after joining the Stronghold Motorsports team to race his Pro Lite truck under their banner. He is retaining his own crew, but is running the MAVTV, Stronghold Motorsports livery. Brandon was in a tough battle for the Pro Lite championship last season. He closed strong with a win but was just short of the title in second place. He was anxious to hit the track in Chandler, to keep his momentum going strong.
New to this season was the addition of UTV racing in the Lucas Oil Series. Always looking for some competition, Brandon put together his own Yamaha YXZ with the help of his sponsors Stronghold Motorsports, MAVTV, Toyo Tires, Pro Traffic Services, HRT Motorsports, KMC Wheels, Benchmark Performance, Yamaha Racing, bLU cRU & FOX. Brandon’s Dad Todd used to race a UTV in the CORR short course series racing his bright yellow Flying Banana car. Apparently, building fast UTV’s are second nature for Brandon and his Dad as they had their new Yamaha dialed in for both races. Brandon set the bar high winning both rounds and set fastest lap on both days.
The great results in the UTV class were a nice confidence builder for the team. The Pro Lite truck has a new engine package so it was important for the team to be deliberate in their tuning and get some good laps in during the heat of battle. They were second fastest during practice session 2 on Friday and qualified in the 6th spot the next morning. “We struggled a little in qualifying,” said Brandon, “We raced at our own pace on Saturday; getting the feel for what the truck liked and came home with a 5th place finish. It was not the finish we are used to, but with a new truck, and a new motor package, we are still learning right now.”
On Sunday, the team made some changes on the truck to see how it would respond. They qualified in the 7th spot which prompted them to try a few more adjustments before the race. “We had a solid race going on Sunday,” said Brandon, “With all the competition this year, racing is really tight. We were running around 6th I believe, and on a restart, we had some contact from another truck. I took a hard hit to the side of the truck and it caused us to go rolling through a fence and off the track. It was definitely not the race we wanted, and not the start to the year that we were looking for. We have our work cut out for us to get the truck fixed and ready to go down to Mexico. We will be ready and look forward to another battle. There will be a lot of good racing this year, and we hope to be back on top.”
Photography By: Bink Designs