Jimmy Weitzel On The Hustle In Reno And Upping The Ante
Wild West Motorsports Park hosted the “Silver State Showdown” with Round 5 & 6 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) in Sparks, Nevada just outside of Reno. The area is rustic and untamed as a city known for abandoned mining claims. When the LOORRS Series came to town so did the wicked weather blowing sideways rain, lighting, and thunder forcing the race officials to cancel qualifying. Short Course Racer, Jimmy Weitzel pulled his hustle on the Pro Lite truck class to fend off his foes and fight back for a well-deserved 4th place finish.
Showing up to the track, Weitzel was feeling a bit lucky thanks to many hours of racing simulation on the new iRacing Motorsport Simulator. Planted in a racing seat, complete with a steering wheel, pedal controls, shifter, and 240 degrees of video screens, Weitzel was fully immersed in authentic racing simulation at the digital version of Wild West Motorsport Park’s official tack. “It is legit and pretty insane if you think about it,” Jimmy explained. “I can drive my #59 Weitzel Pro Lite for hours at a fraction of the cost, racing against the actual competition in special leagues, or just practice sessions. A lot of the field is taking advantage of this technology-based platform, and it will raise the level of competency across the board.”
With only a few practice laps burned, Weitzel was up to speed and feeling great. “Practice went well, and the truck is flying. We were topping speeds over 90 mph, and I am ready for qualifying!“ As mentioned, the qualifying session got canceled due to severe weather that lasted into the night. Race officials reverted to Pro Lite Championship Points standing to stack the starting line grid which put Jimmy into 6th position on the third row.
The Pro Lite competition is fierce as it gets, and there is no amount of gaming that can replace real-world door banging. Every driver on the track is pushing to advance through the field. The position you hold is also always under threat by everyone on the inside, on the outside, and behind. Every race is like a roller coaster with kamikaze trucks trying to get in your space. Jimmy started the race in 6th, and after ten laps he was able to hold on to a 6th place finish. “That was a wild one,” stated Weitzel. “During the race, we had some contact with other drivers, which lost us some positions. I had to gather my wits and fight them off. I was able to battle back up to a 6th place finish. The track here can be a bit tricky especially in Turn 3 with that tight corner and the raised fingers throwing every line off. I think I found a good way through it by keeping the General Tire & Ultra Wheels spinning over the roller and setting myself straight to get traction up the hill.”
Saturday’s Round 6 event featured clear blue skies and a perfect day for racing which brought out a big crowd to pack the grandstands. Weitzel would start in 8th place and on the fourth row which meant Jimmy was going to have to up the ante and pull out some wild cards if he wanted to better his finish from Round 5. Unfortunately, there was a bad draw to the race start which tangled up a few trucks in the opening laps. Jimmy got hooked up to another truck, and by the time everything got sorted out, the #59 Simon Performance Technology Pro Lite was pushed to the back of the field.
What a bust! Weitzel had no other choice but to double down and go for it. Luckily some green lap racing opened up and allowed Jimmy to race his way through the field. After being so far behind, Weitzel was able to move up into 4th position and nearly pressed his way onto the podium in 3rd place but just fell short as the checkered flag came out.
“That was an awesome race!” shared Jimmy. “I am so stoked for this 4th place finish. I am very grateful to have support from companies like Simon Performance Technology, General Tire, Ultra Wheel Company, FOX, Suspension Development Group, Weitzel Motorsports and Rigid Industries. It is a big help to our small team, and we are putting in a lot of hours to make it out to these races. I am constantly working to make the truck perform, and now it looks like we have the speed to get up on the podium. I cannot wait to get her torn down and put back together for Crandon.”
Jimmy Weitzel will prepare for the 50th Annual Crandon World Championship Off Road Races happening August 28th through the Labor Day Holiday.
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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