Round 5 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series proved to be another unpredictable round of racing in Surprise Arizona.
Opening ceremonies kicked off with a grueling dogfight between; Carl Renezeder and Kyle LeDuc in the Pro 4 Unlimited category. It was the battle we had all been waiting for. Fearless young blood Kyle LeDuc and the crafty veteran Carl Renezeder held nothing back as they both wrestled for the top spot. Round 5 wasn’t an easy one for Kyle LeDuc, LeDuc had older brother; Todd LeDuc hot on his trail as he battled with Josh Merrell for the majority of the race. In a matter of two laps Todd LeDuc took over the lead coming from the third place position and Josh Merrell went a blaze down the front stretch causing a full course caution. Needless to say, younger brother Kyle LeDuc (who sat in the second place position) caught a lucky break.
When the green flag dropped to resume racing, Kyle LeDuc made the decision to go for broke. “I had to earn it this race, they made me push it and I wasn’t able to just walk away with the race like in previous rounds.” Kyle LeDuc explained.
With just one lap remaining, Carl Renezeder proved to be no match for the LeDuc brothers; sending his Nissan end over end through turn four and letting Pro 4 Unlimited rookie Corry Weller take the third place position on the final lap. This makes it win number five for Kyle LeDuc while older brother Todd LeDuc struggles to find the top of the podium, ending round five in second place.
Pro Lite racing has always been notorious for tons of action, round five proved to be no different.
Leading the field to the green flag was Monster Energy Stronghold Pro Lite driver RJ Anderson. Anderson played the role of “ pace setter” throughout the majority of the race, forcing Chris Brandt to push his fire breathing four cylinder Toyota to the limits once again. Joining the duo at the front of the pack was past UTV racer; Chad George. George and company took the green flag with guns a blazing, setting a pace that all would have surrender to. It was apparent early on that the pace that RJ Anderson, Chris Brandt, and Chad George were setting was too much for some drivers in the field. The Pro Lite division saw the most carnage in round five, as many were simply driving way over their head in attempt to catch the leaders. George would soon fall victim said drivers driving over their head, causing George slip back a couple spots with just a few laps remaining. Monster Energy driver Casey Currie wound up in the third position with two laps remaining after George got tangled with another driver. Once Currie caught the leaders, it was an all out sprint to the finish for Anderson, Brandt and Currie. Unable to make a pass stick, the top three positions wouldn’t change when the checkered flag dropped, leaving Currie in third, Brandt in second and RJ Anderson standing on top of the podium once again. Anderson has yet to miss a podium in 2012 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.
Nobody expected a letdown for the Pro 2 Unlimited division as 2012 has seen nothing but the best racing action we have ever seen in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.
Eighteen trucks took the green flag and only seven remaining trucks took the checkered flag completing all laps. Carnage is an understatement. Rob “Fig” Naughton lead the pack of eighteen trucks to the green flag in his Lunar Pages Pro 2 Unlimited. “Fig” would continue to lead the pack all the way to the mandatory caution lap leaving the remaining seventeen trucks to beat and bang against one another. Joining “Fig” after the competition caution would be seasoned veteran; Rob MacCachren, seven time Supercross champion Jeremy McGrath, Carl Renezeder and the always fearless Greg Adler.
An impressive showing from “Showtime” Jeremy McGrath as he was able to run a clean race and within the top five positions for the majority of the race. Unfortunately “Showtime’s” luck would run out when Renezeter and Adler got into each other on the bottom side of a table-top jump causing them both to get out of shape while McGrath continued at full race speed. McGrath took flight off of the jump and ended up landing on top of Renezeder and quickly coming to a violent stop as he was cartwheeled through the air. This brought out a full course caution and allowed Renezeder and Adler to collect their trucks and emotions in order to reach the checkered flag.
Rob MacCachren would take the top spot on the podium, leaving none other than the bash brothers; Greg Adler and Carl Renezeder to round out the top three.
Round five of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series shakes the point’s standings up once again leaving no room for error for those who want to have a chance in catching RJ Anderson and Kyle LeDuc.
Words by Adam “Gunnslinger” Gunn
Photos by Jason Zindroski