Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona hosted the “Duel In The Desert” and Round 2 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS), and it was proof that short course racing is alive and well. The off-road enthusiast came out in big numbers to pack the permanent dirt track located just outside of Phoenix were treated to high paced competitive door-to-door action. The Pro Lite division is always a crowd favorite and the V8 powered trucks did not disappoint with a stacked field. The 2018 Pro Lite Rookie of the Year, Jimmy Weitzel came out with a mission to finish well and move up in the points standings. Weitzel successfully achieved that short term goal with another 6th place finish in Round 2 which boosted the #59 up to 5th in the Pro Lite championship points ranking.
If there is one thing that sets Jimmy apart from the rest of the field, it must be him being a Weitzel. Weitzel’s by nature are all hands on and “do-it-yourselfers.” If you don’t know how to do it, you have to learn as you go. For the #59 program to excel, that means track time & testing which can be very costly. With that in mind, a few weeks ahead of LOORRS Round 1, Jimmy organized to come out to Arizona for the Lucas Oil Regional where the AZ “feeder series” would be hosting their first event of the year and at the very same track as the national event. Weitzel was able to gain some valued drive time, and critical data that would be very beneficial race day.
“The Regional practice day helped out a lot even though I had only gotten 15 laps,” explained Jimmy. “We drove from San Diego to Arizona for those 15 laps and it made a huge difference. I have not had much time with this LS3 motor at all, so we learned a lot. After the practice, we changed gears and our lap times were much faster. The information we extracted from our testing was all formulated into our race plan for Round 2. Simon Performance Technology has been instrumental in making sure the power plant is tuned up and fast. SDG has the FOX Shocks magically dialed. Dynamic Manufacturing advised us on the optimum gear selection, and we worked with General Tire on a grooving pattern best suited to perform on the Wild Horse Pass track. I feel like we are now ahead of the game and I am ready to give it my all!”
When the LOORRS Round 2 race weekend finally arrived, Weitzel unloaded the #59 and prepared the pit operation & base camp. The practice session allowed for more seat time and Jimmy improved with faster laps each time out on the tack. The qualifying round showed Weitzel with mid-pack results but still on the bubble of the division’s top teams.
“I qualified in 8th place after a tough go around the track,” Jimmy shared. “It is not where we wanted to be, but I will deal with it and drive the best race we can.”
The Pro Lite main event was another short course off-road spectacle. Lots of crazy racing, near crashes, and also spectacular saves were witnessed. From the start of the green flag, Weitzel maneuvered the #59 Pro Lite to better his track position. By Lap 2, Jimmy had moved two positions into 6th place. On Lap 5, he made a pass to secure the 5th position which was held through the competition caution & restart. With the field now bunched up and clean laps being clicked off the pressure was building up. A slip up in the notoriously difficult right-hand corner of Turn 3 sent the #59 up on two wheels and practically pointed in the wrong direction. Weitzel riding the bicycle, steered out of it, set it down, got it pointed the right way and back up to speed. It could have been much worse for wear, but after Jimmy managed to hang on without losing too much track position and then battled back to recover for a 6th place finish. Jimmy and the #59 Pro Lite moves up to 5th in the Pro Lite championship points ranking.
“We were doing great, and I was making my way through the field up to 5th place,” described Weitzel. “I got on two wheels and lost a couple of positions. It was insane but I am proud to say I was able to save it and battle through to come back for a 6th place finish. The General Tire Grabber X3 tires were hooked up tonight and providing awesome traction. I am not to happy about my mistake but I’m ready to head to my favorite track, down south to Estero Beach. With the beach sand, perhaps we will run the General ATX Tires.
Round 3 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series will head to Ensenada, Mexico for the Rockstar Energy drink Battle South of the Border at Estero Beach on May 18 & 19
Photography By: Bink Designs
About Jimmy Weitzel
Jimmy Weitzel is making his mark in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series driving the #59 Pro Lite truck. At only 17 years old he earned himself “Rookie of the Year” for the 2018 season finishing 7th overall in the championship against some of the best drivers in the series. Before racing the National series, Jimmy was running the Lucas Oil Regionals Series where he finished 4th overall in 2016 and 2nd overall in 2017 for the points championship. When Jimmy’s off the track you’ll find him working side by side with his dad at Weitzel Motorsports working on customer truck builds and learning everything it takes to keep his program running strong. Jimmy may be one of the youngest drivers on the track, but don’t underestimate him. He is smooth, consistent, and getting faster every time he gets behind the wheel. Jimmy Weitzel and team have their sights set high on wins and podium finishes in 2019.
About Bink Designs
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