For Immediate Release
LAKE FOREST, CA (April 3, 2012) – During the mandatory caution lap of the Pro-4 race on Sunday, 8-time champion Carl Renezeder summarized the team’s sentiment of the weekend perfectly when he keyed the mike on his radio and simply asked, “Can we just push the reset button on this weekend and start all over?” Unfortunately, the chain of events that led to that question wasn’t even the culmination of misfortune of the weekend – they still had one more race that afternoon to add to the disappointing results.
“Where would you like me to start,” asked Renezeder when questioned about the rough opening weekend for his team in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series’ 2012 season. “We had some great moments, like two number one qualifiers, which made the race results even more disappointing. When you feel like you’ve got the trucks that can win, DNFs are painful.”
The weekend opened well for Team Renezeder. The trucks practiced well on Friday afternoon, and he followed that up by qualifying on the pole in his Lucas Oil Pro-2 Nissan Titan and second in his Lucas Oil Pro-4 Nissan Titan. The Pro-4 division kicked off the racing on Saturday afternoon, and it was apparent in the opening laps that Renezeder’s truck was having problems. He radioed to his spotter, crew chief Bill Smith, that he’d lost front wheel drive. After that it was just survival mode. He salvaged a sixth place finish for points, but was frustrated that he wasn’t able to dice with the leaders.
The Pro-2 race followed, with the invert starting Renezeder outside row two.
He raced his way up to second by lap 13, then on the entry into turn one of lap 14, major contact with Robbie Woods finished his day.
The DNF equated to an 11th place finish and it was back to the drawing board for the team for Sunday’s events.
Renezeder was on crutches all weekend following a mountain biking crash that dislocated his right ankle. His limited mobility caused his foot to catch and break the ignition switches as he climbed into the Pro-4 for qualifying on Sunday morning – as if he needed anything else to go wrong. Lead mechanic Brett Repella “MacGyvered” the switches and sent him out for the first lap, but the truck kept cutting out. He brought the truck back in so Repella could try something else, and it worked (nothing a little duct tape can’t handle…). Renezeder rejoined the qualifying session and took the truck to number one. The team was finally feeling racy, but it was short-lived.
Pro-2 qualifying started with a brake problem. They finally locked up on the frontstretch, and him coming to a complete stop on the track brought out a full-course yellow. Three trucks cleared him on the inside, and then Woods plowed into the back of him, breaking a ton of stuff on the right rear corner of the truck, and it definitely didn’t make his ankle feel any better. The team got the truck back into race condition, and Renezeder managed to race from his 12th place start to sixth on lap ten. But at the start of lap eleven the truck lost all power, finishing his day early again, showing a 13th place result on the time sheets. And that followed a duplicate race in his Pro-4, where the same driveline issue from Saturday resurfaced, relegating him to a seventh-place finish.
“We’re one of the lucky teams that have had a lot of highs in this sport,” concluded Renezeder, “so a weekend like this is bound to happen sooner or later. We’ll go back to the shop, do our homework, and come back out ready to win in a few weeks. I feel bad for the team, our sponsors and all of our fans, but it’s all part of the sport. We’re looking forward to proving that this weekend was just an anomaly for us.”
Summary of results for Carl Renezeder at Firebird International Raceway – Chandler, Arizona – March 30-Apri 1, 2012:
Pro-2: Rnd 1 – Qualifying: 1st; Race: 11th. Rnd 2 – Qualifying: 12th; Race: 13th
Pro-4: Rnd 1 – Qualifying: 2nd; Race: 6th. Rnd 2 – Qualifying: 1st; Race: 7th
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