Short course off-road racing took to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Round 13 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. As the quest for a points championship draws closer to an end, one driver was on a quest of his own. Carl Renezeder stepped into a Pro 4 Unlimited for the first time in 1999 and in just 13 years he was looking to make it an even 100 wins in short course off-road racing.
Pro 4 Unlimited newcomer Corry Weller took the pole position next to Pro 4 Unlimited points leader Kyle LeDuc followed by the unpredictable Eric Barron. When the green flag dropped LeDuc stretched his legs and went straight to the front of the field immediately exiting turn 1. It looked as though Kyle LeDuc was going to run away with another race here in 2012 until a mechanical glitch on lap two quickly positioned the Monster Energy number 99 towards the back of the field. Weller suffered engine failure on the very next lap (lap 3) and although she was running up front like a seasoned vet, her day was short lived. With LeDuc and Weller out of the mix, the field settled into place with Carl Renezeder taking the lead followed by the Toyota of Eric Barron and Todd LeDuc. The remainder of the Pro 4 Unlimited race held little to no major moves but that didn’t stop the crowd from the edge of their seat as everybody in attendance watched Renezeder clip off lap by lap on his quest for win number 100.
When the white flag came out the crowd erupted in a roar the entire last lap as Carl Renezeder made his way across the finish line to claim the checkered flag and his 100th career short course win. Renezeder’s very first win also came in the town of Las Vegas under the lights. Eric Barron and Todd LeDuc would round out the podium here in Round 13.
Pro Lite Unlimited racing couldn’t have been anymore of a roller coaster than it was here in Round 13. Starting as a slow paced, non-action packed, follow the leader predictable race, quickly turned into an action packed drama filled showdown. The magic lap was that of the half way caution. Beyond the half way point, mayhem ensued as last years champion Brian Deegan drove his truck in hard on Casey Currie and sparked the fuse. From that point on it was an all out dog fight between Casey Currie, Brian Deegan and RJ Anderson as they pushed one another to turn lap times faster than we have yet seen. With a truck on its side the yellow flag was brought out and the field was bunched up and prepared for a green, white, checkers battle to the finish.
On the final lap Deegan caught an edge and bicycled his Ford Pro Lite Unlimited and nearly put it on its lid. Both Currie and Anderson were able to capitalize on the misfortune of Deegan and brought Ryan Beat right along with them. Anderson was nose to tail with Currie across the finish line but just didn’t have enough time to make a pass for the win. Currie would go on to take an impressive victory over RJ Anderson while Ryan Beat would be left to round out the podium in third place.
The night was finished off with what some may call “the main attraction”; Pro 2 Unlimited racing. With an inversion of 4 in the Pro 2 Unlimited qualifying, the battle to the front was bound to be a daunting task as the rest of the field would have to battle through the fastest qualifiers.
Being that Rob MacCachren reached his milestone of 200 race wins and Carl Renezeder reached his milestone of 100 short course wins, the pressure was off and the ability to perform was elevated. The battle between Carl and Rob Mac got under way instantly after the green flag dropped. MacCachren proved to be no match for Renezeder, Renezeder quickly checked out and put multiple car-lengths on the rest of the field (MacCachren included).
Shortly after the competition caution, exiting turn 5 Rob MacCachren came up short in his Pro 2 Unlimited and ditched his truck in the infield. After the dust cleared it was all about the battle between Robert “Fig” Naughton and Jeff Geiser. Carl Renezeder would go on to take his 101st career short course win and Rob “Fig” Naughton along with Jeff Geiser would see a well earned podium once again in 2012.
Words by Adam “Gunnsliner” Gunn
Photos by Jason Zindroski