In his final season of racing in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, (LOORRS) Carl Renezeder returned to Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri for rounds 7 and 8 of the series. It was a brand new event for LOORRS on a newly built track, but Renezeder is no stranger to Wheatland. He had amazing success racing there in the former WSORR series. In 2007, Renezeder flat out dominated in Wheatland. A severe storm blew through on day one of the event, forcing a postponement to the following day. The next day a new storm battered the track; a storm named Carl Renezeder. Racing in both Pro-2 and Pro-4 classes, Renezeder won all 4 races he competed in that day. The track back then used a portion of the dirt oval known as “the Diamond of the Dirt Tracks.” The new, purpose built offroad track certainly lives up to diamond status. Containing huge jumps, and 9 unique corners, the track is over a mile in length. Carl called it the best track he’s ever raced on.
“The track is very technical because of the surface changes,” said Renezeder, “There are about three different types of dirt out there. There are super tight track elements out there, and super big track elements, so it combines everything. I could not have thought up a better track to be built for how I like to race; it suited us well.” Everyone had to learn the new track, but the TR17 crew took to it quickly.
They did not qualify as well as they expected in the #17 Pro-4 Lucas Oil Products / RC10.com Ford, but once the green flag dropped on Saturday, Carl picked up right where he left off in 2007. He made a couple moves right off the bat, and a couple laps later passed Kyle LeDuc and Rob MacCachren in the same corner for the lead. MacCachren put in a late race charge to pressure Renezeder, but Carl held him off, and put a slight gap on him to take the win. Carl’s victory made him 5 for 5 in Wheatland races.
During qualifying on Sunday, the TR17 team set the fastest time but a glitch with the transponder did not record the time. They would have to start from the back but Carl was not worried; he knew he had a fast truck. “We were not too concerned with starting in the back but would have liked to get the extra point for qualifying first,” said Renezeder. The race was a crazy one for Carl who made three separate charges from the back of the pack. “I worked my way up to the front and got by the leader, LeDuc,” Renezeder continued, “Just as I passed him, I landed off a jump and hit the brakes hard to rotate the truck into a corner.
The engine died and while I tried to get re-started, the field went past me. I worked my way back up to third and was passing Fortin in midair when he got sideways and we made contact. We got locked together and slide into the wall. We were in the back again but made it up to 4th place before a caution came out on the last lap. I had Mittag, RJ, and Rob Mac ahead of me. Rob and I are racing for a points position so I really wanted to get past him. I dove inside Rob and RJ in a tight right hander to make a pass. When I tried to rotate the truck, I was touching another truck so I could not get the back to come around. I slide through the turn and made contact with RJ. We all crossed the line at the same time. I don’t know who won but they gave me a black flag for the contact with RJ. I was going for the win. I tried everything to make it happen but it didn’t work out.”
Although Carl did not keep his amazing winning streak in Wheatland alive, he gave the fans an incredible show of skill and determination. Many of the fans who stopped in to visit the TR17 pit during the weekend had driven for hours to see Carl race one more time; coming from as far away as Florida and the Northeast. Carl was in the pit talking to a TR17 crewmember when he felt a tap on his shoulder. Curt Greaves, crew chief and brother of longtime rival Johnny Greaves had driven down from Wisconsin, a 10 hour drive one way, to watch Carl race again. “I asked Curt and another friend Jay, who drove down together, who they were here with,” said Carl, “They said they weren’t there racing, they just came to watch. That meant a lot to me and I hope we gave them the show they were looking for.” If the buzz in the crowd was any indication, they got much more than they expected. With another win and solid performance in Wheatland, the TR17 crew is looking forward to their next race on Aug 26 – 27 at Wild West Motorsports Park in Sparks, NV. If you have a chance to attend the race in person, don’t miss the opportunity.
Photography By: Bink Designs