The 2011 race season got off to an exciting start at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, AZ as the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series came to town. Here’s how the action went down:
Pro 4 – Featuring a deep field, Pro 4 kicked off the racing season with some familiar names at the head of the pack. 2010 season champ and top qualifier, Rick Huseman, started in 6th place and quickly made his way through the pack. Other front runners, Carl Renezeder, Kyle Leduc, Johnny Greaves, Adrian Cenni, and Ricky Johnson led the action for the early laps of the race.
RJ got bumped early on and was forced out of the race followed shortly by Cenni as he ran into engine troubles. Greaves was spun out and wound up finishing a lap down. Todd Leduc was a surprise addition to the front of the pack, as Kyle and Todd chased down Carl and Rick. Unfortunately, Kyle got off his line in turn 5 and flipped multiple times. This allowed Huseman to push the lead as Renezeder lost 4WD, and Todd Leduc got a flat. Travis Coyne managed to move up to third place and that’s how the race finished, much like the final Pro 4 race of 2010.
- Rick Huseman
- Carl Renezeder
- Travis Coyne
Pro Lite – The Pro Lite field was much deeper today than it’s been in a while, but had the same drivers on the podium as in the past.
Brian Deegan started out in front, and kept it that way for the remainder of the race. There was some excitement and bumping by Rodrigo Ampudia, Cameron Steele and Casey Currie which cost them a run at the podium. In the end Chris Brandt and Jimmy Stephensen managed to break from the pack and finish on the podium.
- Brian Deegan
- Chris Brandt
- Jimmy Stephensen
Pro 2 – The Pro 2 race ended with a major controversy for third place. The race started innocently enough, as Brian Deegan, Bryce Menzies, Carl Renezeder and Rob MacCachren all started in the lead and kept it that way through the mandatory caution.
Eventually Bryce and Carl managed to get around Deegan to finish 1st and 2nd, but that’s where the controversy begins for third place. Deegan and MacCachren got mixed up on the final lap, with Deegan overly leaning into MacCachren on turn 3. MacCachren didn’t appreciate Deegan’s free-ride and nudged him in turn 4 spinning him around. That allowed Robby Woods to finish in 4th place behind MacCachren. After the checkered flag, race officials reviewed the tapes and originally ruled that MacCachren and Deegan should switch places giving Deegan the 3rd place finish.
Upon further review they ruled that Deegan was also at fault, thus moving Robby Woods up to a third place finish. MacCachren, one of the cleanest racers out there, was not happy with the result, believing that if driver’s are going to use other cars to help them make a turn, than he’s going to have to change how he races. In the end, results won’t matter too much for the points race, as Bryce Menzies will not be racing in the Lucas Series as Red Bull has ordered the team to only race in TORC this year, so figure out for yourself how that effects the points standings.
- Bryce Menzies
- Carl Renezeder
- Robby Woods
Photos by HighRev Photography.