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Speedway motorcycle star gets third in first race in LOORRS series
LAKE ELSINORE, California (May 18, 2013) – Jimmy Fishback isn’t big on moral victories as a rule. But Saturday evening, after his “first race, first anything” in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) presented by GEICO, he was more than pleased with a third-place finish in the Pro Lite Unlimited class.
“I can’t tell you what this means,” Fishback said after sharing the podium with race winner Sheldon Creed and guest driver Andrew Cadell, who was filling in for Brian Deegan on the first day of the Rockstar Energy Southern California Nationals presented by General Tire.
Fishback, 32, is the youngest in a family of famed Speedway Motorcycle racers and had been transitioning to off road racing by running the Lucas Oil Regional Series. He won the UTV SR1 championship last season and said he probably could have repeated this year, but decided it was time “to get up with the big boys, so we bought a used truck about two months ago. One weekend I drove it the regional series and then we had one day of testing at Glen Helen (Raceway Park) in nearby Devore, California.
Fishback, who actually is Jim III, is running a no-frills team with his dad, Jim Jr., as his crew chief and nothing more than contingency sponsor stickers on his truck. The Rancho Cucamonga, California, resident also ran Saturday’s qualifying and race on used tires that a friend had donated to him. But he qualified fourth quickest and raced in the top 5 throughout the 14-lap race at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park.
Creed, 15, of Alpine, California, said he was “dialed in the whole time” after setting the pace in qualifying on his favorite track, and showed that by simply driving away from the field to win by 2.7 seconds. Cadell, who was making his LOORRS debut, was 1.3 seconds ahead of Fishback. But Fishback had the biggest smile.
“I can’t explain how this feels,” he said before heading back to the pits to prepare for round six of the series on Sunday, May 19.
Carl Renezeder made it 5-for-5 in the Pro 4 Unlimited class this year with a 2.38-second win over Greg Adler in their 16-lap race. Renezeder started fourth in his Lucas Oil Ford, raced third behind Eric Barron and Kyle LeDuc until first LeDuc and then Barron had problems, but he said he wasn’t lying in wait so much as being cautious.
“Right now they haven’t been too clear on when or if they’re going to have a mandatory caution,” he said, “so you have to race the race as the track comes around. I have to take my time at the beginning of the race because I want to make sure my truck’s there at the end. If there’s an opportunity I’m definitely going to take advantage of it, but I’m not going to force anything.”
Adler, who was the leading qualifier, looked to be the fastest on the track at the end, too. But he had given himself a little too much of a handicap to overcome by killing his motor in Turn 3 on the opening lap and losing several positions, “so I had to work my way back up. The yellows helped us, and we got a couple spots on some attrition at the end, too. But the truck is fast.
“I feel good about it. It’s something to build on.”
Todd LeDuc didn’t have a good day in the Pro 4 Unlimited race, breaking a stub axle on his Rockstar Makita Ford just five laps into the contest. But he really enjoyed the Pro 2 Unlimited race as a substitute for Deegan, who is racing in Spain this weekend.
LeDuc, of Cherry Valley, California, qualified fourth, but started on the pole after the invert, grabbed the lead with an aggressive move in the first turn, and said he “couldn’t believe how soon the track went to a blue (worn) groove.”
LeDuc didn’t quite lead all the way, however. He said in the final moments of the final lap runner-up Rob MacCachren was ahead for about 6 feet, but couldn’t maintain his momentum.
LeDuc’s win in the Pro 2 Unlimited race and Cadell’s second in the Pro Lite Unlimited test both will be credited to Deegan in the point standings.
Steven Greinke got his second straight win in the 14-lap Pro Buggy race, but the winners in the other buggy categories were getting their first victories of the season – Brock Heger in Modified Kart, Ricky Gutierrez in JR2 Kart and Blaze Nunley in JR1 after Gutierrez broke while leading.
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series presented by GEICO is supported by a potent marketing concept known as “Team Lucas” whose members include Lucas Oil Products Inc., E3 Spark Plugs, General Tire, GEICO, Canidae All Natural Pet Food, MAVTV-American Real, Speedco Truck Lube and Tire, Optima Batteries, Toyota, LoanMart and Protect The Harvest.
Additional sponsorship is Rockstar, 4 Wheel Parts, Lunarpages, ReadyLIFT, Mickey Thompson Tires, Team Associated, Red Buck cigars, Kar-Tek Off Road, Eibach springs and Magna Flow.
Detailed information on the series is available at www.LucasOilOffRoad.com.