Round five of the Glen Helen Shortcourse Racing Series had the same family friendly atmosphere, the same free overnight camping and inclusive “Run what ya Brung” format but the series now has a new name and a brand new pro-style track to race on.
Recent developments have seen the new track built for the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing series and the creation of two regional series one at the Speedworld track in Surprise, Arizona and the other at the Glen Helen racing complex in San Bernardino, California. The series has a new name and a new track but it hasn’t lost any of the fun or excitement the series is known for.
The Karts showed up in force and the battles on the track were downright fierce. The Jr 1 and Jr 2 Karts raced in the same heats which made for some interesting battles. Heat one saw Jr 2 driver Troy Grabowski in his # 427 hitched to the back end of Jr 1 driver Riley Herbst in his #219. The two battled for the entire heat with Herbst taking the win and Grabowski taking 2nd overall and first in class. Riley Herbst would run the table taking both wins and first overall in Jr 1 for the weekend and Grabowski would finish in second behind Jeremy Davis in heat 2 to take the overall title in Jr 2.
The Modified Karts were flying, literally. They ran the technical portion of the limited Kart course and then veered out onto the main track for some high flying action off the huge table-top jumps. The fearlessness and tenacity these kids exhibit makes one wonder just how incredible they will be by the time they are old enough to get their on-road drivers licenses. Alex Osborn #599 had the sole 250 Kart on the track but made a good showing against the bigger 450’s. The 450 Karts were dominated by “The Punisher”, Sheldon Creed who swept both races for the overall victory. It was no walk in the park however as second overall Mitch Guthrie Jr and third overall Bryan Osborn were not far behind. Honorable mentions have to go out to Bradley Morris and Trenton Briley who placed second in race one and two respectively but DNF’d (did not finish) in their other heats dropping them down in the overall standings.
In the Pilot/Revolts/Stadium lites/Odyssey class, first overall went to Jeff Pechtal after he posted a first place in heat one and second in heat two. Second overall went to Jerry Byerman (woohoo!) and third overall was Chris Borella. Art Williams won race 2 but a DNF in race 1 netted him 5th place overall.
The SR-1 UTV class was dominated by Chris Rosa who won everything giving him the overall victory. UTV Unlimited went to Ryan Beat and the Modified winner was Daniel Fernandez. The 4th group out on the track would be made up of the Limited and Unlimited buggies combined.
The unlimited buggy races were quite interesting. Shawn Gibson suffered a crash in practice that mangled the rear of his car. The rollcage was intact but the back end was beyond repair. He would line up in the rear and go one lap to get starting points. The first heat would be unkind to Phil Bollman who blew his engine and Myan Spacarelli who broke a rear trailing arm and to the eventual class winner John Holmes who bent a rotor causing damage to the left rear.
The limited buggy class was won by Gary Williams followed by Jim Sizelove and Curt Geer. In race 2 Bollman and Spacarelli could not make the call so again Shawn Gibson lined up in the very rear to take the green flag. With nothing to lose Gibson started clicking off laps and by the end of the race he was actually going at a good pace and having a little fun off the jumps. The gamble paid off netting him 3rd overall for the weekend, never give up! John Holmes took the class win and the overall with Malcolm Pointon claiming 2nd in both heats and the overall.
The limited buggy race was won by Curt Geer who must have been possessed after his disappointing 5th place finish in heat one. Not only did he beat all the other limited buggies but he finished ahead of the unlimited buggies also. Gary Williams took second and the overall win and Jim Sizelove finished in third, second overall.
Group five was made up of Jeff Musgrave in his Ford prerunner, Guy Savedra in a 5-1600 bug, Eric Fiorino in a Trophy Lite and Scott Wilson in a class 8 Chevrolet truck. Each would be competing in their own class which meant they were racing against the track. Nobody could have imagined how intense heat two would turn out to be. A true Davy and Goliath battle between Eric Fiorino in the Trophy Lite and Scott Wilson in the class 8 raged on with each driver overtaking for the lead several times each lap.
Fiorino tried every trick in the book to get past the faster truck of Wilson until the Trophy Lite tipped on it’s side in turn 5 when Eric pushed too hard. The roll caused Fiorino to go a lap down the Wilson and the Guy Savedra who was running behind the battling duo. The Glen Helen crew got Fiorino righted just as Savedra was going past which set up a battle between the two right down to the checkers. Jeff Musgrave had U-joint problems in heat one causing a DNF and was patiently nursing his prerunner around praying for a finish with the wounded truck which he received.
Round 5 of the Lucas Oil Regional series was a great time for the racers, their families and the lucky spectators who witnessed some great racing!
Check Lucas Oil for complete race results and points standings