The Monster Energy Off-Road Racing Team was in full force for the opening rounds of the 2012 season for the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, AZ. Featuring seven members of the Monster Energy team in multiple class, the team brought home a number of podium finishes for the weekend.
In the premier Pro4 class, newest team member, Kyle LeDuc, in the #99 Pro4 dominated the weekend with first place finishes on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Kyle ran away with the race as the competition could not keep up with him. Sunday was a trickier race, as Kyle almost crashed his truck on an attempt to pass for the lead. He managed an amazing save to keep the vehicle on all-four wheels, without losing a position to the racers behind him. After that he quickly took the lead and ran away with the victory. Expect to see Kyle on the top of the podium all season long.
In the Pro2 class, Monster Energy team members Jeremy “Showtime” McGrath and Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg both had rough weekends as they adjusted to new vehicles and finished out of the running both days. On Saturday, McGrath managed to hold on for fifth place, while Twitch finished in 8th. Sunday was tougher with a slick track and high winds, McGrath finished 10th while Twitch managed to hold on to 11th place. Look for the motocross superstars to find their way at the next race later this month at Lake Elsinore.
The Pro Lite class had the most entries, with 26 total vehicles on the track. The Monster Energy team for Pro Lite featured Casey Currie, RJ Anderson and Shannon Campbell. Saturday’s race had a lot of new faces in the field and the inexperience showed, with multiple crashes and long waits for the racing action to resume. Casey Currie got tangled up with a rookie early in the race and had to pull off with mechanical issues. Shannon Campbell, star of the rock-crawling world, made his debut in the Pro Lite class and held on for 8th place. Meanwhile, the newest member of the Monster Energy team RJ Anderson, hot off his championship in UTV in 2011, proved he’s one to watch as he quickly took the lead and held it for most of the race. Unfortunately, his inexperience in Pro Lite cost him, as he made a mistake allowing the top three finishers to pass him as he held on to 4th place. Sunday was a whole different story as RJ and Casey battle with Chris Brandt in an exciting race. RJ used the hard-earned experience from Saturday to take the lead on Sunday, and this time he didn’t make the same mistake and held on for the win. Casey finished close behind him in 3rd place, but was closing fast as he posted the fastest lap of the day in the final lap of the race. There should be some great battles ahead for the deep Pro Lite class.
Look for the entire Monster Energy Off-Road Racing team as they head to Lake Elsinore, CA on April 21st and 22nd for Rounds 3 and 4.
Photography by Vincent Knakal of Mad Media