Lake Elsinore, California (September 24, 2016) – With one of the most exciting rounds of racing so far this season having gone down here at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park last night in Round 13, things were looking good for another night of great racing here this evening in Round 14. Fortunately, the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, rose to the challenge with another batch of great races, as the jam packed grandstands played witness to some truly spectacular driving skill by some of the top off-road racers anywhere in the world. With some of our championship battles coming right down to the wire, there was a real palpable sense of tension here tonight, and even for those whose championships seem all but decided, there then came the freedom of being able to throw caution to the wind and really push hard for an individual race win. The drivers were indeed pushing hard here tonight, as evidenced by huge pace they were showing in class after class, and tonight’s results paid big dividends to those who could stay both quick and clean.
The young guns of Modified Kart got things kicked off on a beautiful evening here at Lake Elsinore, and after a botched first attempt at the start, it was defending champion Christopher Polvoorde who led the way in his #594 The Palms River Resort/Horizon Solar Power Racing machine, ahead of Trey Gibbs, Conner McMullen, Hailie Deegan, and Cole Keatts at the end of lap one after the field got things right on the second try. Deegan got by McMullen going into turn one to move her #538 NOS Energy Drink/Traxxas kart into third on lap two. Further down the order, last night’s winner Nathan Barry closed right in on Keatts on lap four, before getting past Keatts at turn two to take over fifth on the next lap. Deegan got right up to Gibbs’ back bumper at the end of that same lap, but couldn’t get by before the Competition Yellow came out. On the restart lap, Trevor Briska moved past Barry and up to fifth coming out of turn one, while further up the running order, Deegan got past Gibbs to move into second. From there, the top five runners blazed around the final four laps without changing any positions in the running order, and at the checkered flag, it was Polvoorde who took his third win of the season. Second was Deegan, Gibbs was third in the #515 Kicker/KB Engineering entry, McMullen was fourth in the #588 Phoenix Commercial Electric/M&M Portable Toilets kart, and Briska was fifth in the #559 JH Sims Trucking Co., Inc./ITP truck. Briska did escape a late scare going into turn four on the final lap, where he swung into Barry and could’ve cost himself his fifth place, but he did just managed to hold Barry off by 0.032 seconds at the stripe!
Pro 4 Unlimited
With just four points separating championship rivals Carl Renezeder and Kyle LeDuc after last night’s Round 13 race, things were looking very interesting coming into tonight. LeDuc gained another point by qualifying first this afternoon, cutting the gap to three points, and with the two starting alongside one another on the front row, there was bound to be a great race. Renezeder led LeDuc, Rob MacCachren, Doug Fortin, and Doug Mittag at the end of the first lap, but LeDuc got by going up the step-up into turn two on the second lap, with MacCachren also briefly passing Renezeder in turn two. Renezeder got back by MacCachren in the next turn, but the three ran very close to each other for several laps, setting a blitzing pace that was simply unprecedented. MacCachren and Fortin then touched while exiting turn four on lap eight, which forced Fortin to dive down the Pit Lane in order to avoid spinning out. This put Adler up to fourth and Bradley Morris to fifth, while up front, the top three were still running very even with one another. The field continued to pound out laps at simply blazing speeds, with no drivers making any sizeable mistakes, nor gaining or losing any major ground, as the field simply strung out ever so slightly. Morris nearly came to a stop at turn three on what would’ve been the final lap, forcing a full course caution. This gave Renezeder one last chance to try and get back by LeDuc, but it was not to be. LeDuc was again the class of the field, as he grabbed his seventh win of the year and the sweep this weekend in the #99 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford. Renezeder was a close second in the #17 Lucas Oil/Lucas Oil Racing TV Ford, with MacCachren third in the #21 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Power Tools Ford, Adler fourth in the #10 4 Wheel Parts/AMP Research Ford, and Fortin fifth in the #96 General Tire/E3 Spark Plugs Toyota. By leading at the halfway point tonight, LeDuc gained another point on Renezeder, and after beating Renezeder by one position in the race, LeDuc earned a further two more points back. All of that means LeDuc and Renezeder are now level at 642 points apiece going into the final race at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park next month- this is gonna be crazy! MacCachren and Fortin are also still in contention, and the pair are 30 and 48 points back, respectively.
Pro Lite Unlimited
In Pro Lite Unlimited, point leader Jerett Brooks got the early lead in his #77 Rigid Industries LED Lighting/Bilstein Shock Absorbers Nissan, ahead of Ryan Beat, Brock Heger, Cole Mamer, and Brandon Arthur at the end of lap one. As the field streaked around lap after lap, Brooks gradually began to open up a gap over the pack, but the top five drivers all held their positions through the Competition Yellow, which fell at the end of lap seven. Those drivers still held their positions through laps eight and nine after the restart, but on lap ten, the action was again put on pause after a getting together between Casey Currie and Ray Griffith in turn two forced a full course yellow. On the restart lap, Heger got by Beat heading up the step-up jump into turn two. Beat got back by briefly at turn one on the next lap, but Heger was back past coming off the corner, with Mamer then passing them both at turn two to jump from fourth to second in the #35 Support Childhood Cancer!/Mad Graphix Nissan. Brad DeBerti then passed Arthur for fifth coming out of the next corner, and while Heger then briefly got back by Mamer at turn one on lap 12, Mamer passed him right back when Heger scraped the inside burm as he exited turn two, which slowed him slightly. Arthur got back by DeBerti later that same lap to re-take fifth, and when Heger suffered a major right rear flat tire on the final lap, he dropped clear back to tenth by the checkered flag. Up front, Brooks had a sizeable lead as he crossed the line first to take his seventh win of the season, ahead of Beat in the #51 Rockstar Energy Drink/Maxxis Tires Chevrolet, Mamer, Arthur in the #6 Competitive Metals/Pro Traffic Services Chevrolet, and DeBerti in the #70 Mickey Thompson/QA1 Ford. Brooks’ sweep of the weekend has extended his championship lead to 36 points over Arthur, the only other driver who still has a mathematical chance at the title this year.
Pro Buggy Unlimited
As was the case here last night, it was Darren Hardesty Jr. who led the open wheel race after lap one, and tonight, it was Garret George, Kevin McCullough, Bud Ward, and Sterling who filled out the early top five after lap one. New championship leader Mike Valentine wound up stuck on the inside k rail at turn three on the first lap, which forced a full course yellow, and after racing resumed, the top five drivers held their positions clear through the end of lap nine, when a second full course caution came out thanks to debris on the track. After the restart, Cling got by Ward on lap 11 to move up to fourth, with Valentine and Eliott Watson also getting by shortly afterwards, as Ward dropped back to seventh. From there, the top five went unchanged, and at the stripe, it was Hardesty Jr. who had the measure of the field and rebounded well after the bad luck of last night, when he was robbed of victory, to take the win here tonight in his #99 Bilstein Shock Absorbers/Mickey Thompson Alumi Craft. Second, and also scoring some big time redemption, was George, as he picked up second in the #1 Redline Performance/King Off-Road Racing Shocks Funco. McCullough finished third in the #62 Stapleton Roofing/Rigid Industries LED Lighting, with Cling fourth in the #77 Cling’s Aerospace/Fox Racing Shox Alumi Craft, and Valentine fifth in the #78 Royal Purple Synthetic Oil/Wiks Racing Engines Funco. George’s strong showing tonight has put him back out front in the title race, albeit by a single point, with Valentine now sitting in second; Hardesty Jr. is third, just six points out, and McCullough is another six points back in fourth. Mathematically, Ward and Eliott Watson are also still in the hunt, and the two sit 37 and 51 points out of the lead, respectively.
Pro 2 Unlimited
After getting bested by points leader Rob MacCachren last night, local favorite Brian Deegan was even hungrier to score the big win in front of his hometown fans here tonight. Deegan led the way after lap one in the #38 NOS Energy Drink/Traxxas Ford, ahead of MacCachren, RJ Anderson, Jeremy McGrath, and Carl Renezeder. These front five were flying in the early laps, with no drivers gaining or losing much in the way of appreciable ground. On lap six, though, MacCachren caught the inside burm at turn one and spun out, with McGrath then sliding into MacCachren; MacCachren dropped to the back of the pack, and McGrath wound up sidelined with severe damage. Two laps later, at the Competition Yellow, it was now Deegan, Anderson, Renezeder, Patrick Clark, and Myan Spaccarelli in the top five, with Renezeder then helping Anderson to over-rotate and drop to tenth as the pair exited turn one on the restart lap. The incident shuffled the order behind Renezeder, who moved up to second in his #17 Lucas Oil/Team Associated Ford, and it was now Clark third in the #25 Budweiser/Roush Competition Engines Chevrolet, Rodrigo Ampudia fourth in the #36 Monster Energy/Papas & Beer Ford, and MacCachren fifth in the #21 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Power Tools Ford. On lap 12, Renezeder closed right in on Deegan, and put some serious pressure on the leader for a few laps. Further down the order, Spaccarelli did the same with MacCachren in what turned into a good race for fourth, as the pair then caught right up to Ampudia on the final lap. Ampudia held MacCachren off by a nose at the line, and no further positions were changed amongst the top five. Deegan picked up a very well driven win, ahead of Renezeder, Clark, Ampudia, and MacCachren. By taking the start tonight, MacCachren scored more than enough points to secure this year’s Pro 2 Unlimited championship, and his lead now stands at a massive 85 points with one race remaining- congratulations Rob!
That wraps up the action from here at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park for the weekend. Up next, it’s our final race weekend of the 2016 season, which sits just four weeks away. Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park will bring the season finale back to the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, AZ on October 22 and 23, with Round 15 closing out the championship season on Saturday, followed by the big money Lucas Oil Challenge Cup races on Sunday. Many great Challenge Cup races have unfolded here in years past, and with some of the closest title races in years still to be decided as well, this weekend should be a very exciting one- we’ve even added a race for the highly popular Production 1000 UTV Side-by-Side class! Get your tickets now and make plans to join us, it should be a great weekend in the desert.
About the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series:
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is the evolution of the long-standing support of short course racing by Forrest Lucas and Lucas Oil Products. Steeped in the Midwest tradition of short course off-road racing infused with a West Coast influence, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing brings intense four wheel door-to-door action to challenging, fan-friendly tracks. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: This is Short Course. For more information, please visit www.LucasOilOffRoad.com.