Rounds 7&8 of the 2013 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series took place in Tooele, UT at the top notch facility of Miller Motorsports Park. Marking the half way point of the season, Stronghold Drivers put it all on the line to try to gain more points towards championships. As Bryce Menzies takes over the Pro 2 drivers seat, RJ Anderson would battle illness, and the rest of the team would face havoc come race time.
JR Kart 1 – Madix Bailey –
After numerous podium finishes this year, Madix Bailey was in the hunt for more. Chasing down a championship is in the works for young Madix, but the weekend would set him back more then he would have liked. After starting 4th in Saturdays race, Madix battled his #217 Loctite/Stronghold Kart between 3rd and 5th. At the competition yellow, Bailey went for the pass on Kinsman, but it was Nunley who would slingshot by both Karts and take over 3rd. Bailey continued to run on the side of Kinsman and after 10 laps of back and forth between positions, Madix would end round seven in 5th place.
Sundays race would lead to even more disappointment as the #217 Kart was inching his way to the front of the race and going back and forth with Prater for fourth place. Bailey would attempt a pass on Prater where contact would be made and both Karts would spin out. The two Kart gathered themselves up and continued on to the checkered where Madix would finish in 12th place.
PRO 4 – Brandon Bailey –
Driver of the #77 Loctite Pro 4, Brandon Bailey, has found himself on the podium already once this year. But with a race weekend full of carnage, a podium would be right out of reach for Brandon the weekend. Qualifying placed Brandon in the 7th place starting position both days. Ten Pro 4’s raged around the .9 mile track, all pushing towards the leader. During Saturdays race Brandon would go bumper to bumper with Ryan Beat and Jerry Daugherty. Pulling away from Daugherty, Brandon was now on the hunt to make a pass on Ryan Beat. With the 16 lap race quickly coming to an end, Brandon would push the #77 truck to a 7th place finish.
Saturday night the team would make some minor changes to Brandon’s Pro 4 and after qualifying they realized the changes would benefit the truck with a quicker lap time than the previous day. After the conclusion of opening ceremonies, the first race of round 8 was underway. All Pro 4’s were laying it all on the line for their last race of the weekend. Race positions would change all around the course and Brandon raced his way up to 4th place. After a full course caution on lap 12 the track went back to full racing and Brandon was in battle with Saturdays winner, Carl Renezeder. Going wide on turn 2, Brandon would be passed by Carl and MacCachren, but he didn’t stop pushing and after 16 laps he crossed the checkered flag in a solid 5th place. Brandon’s lap times consistently improved and he looks forward to continue improving as they go into Rounds 9 & 10 in Glen Helen,CA.
PRO Light – RJ Anderson –
RJ Anderson has been on a winning streak this season with 3 wins going into rounds 7&8. Along with his wins, RJ also went into the race weekend severely ill. Battling being sick all week long left RJ and the team wondering if he would even be able to race. With plenty of rest and lots of fluids, RJ strapped into the #1 Loanmart/Stronghold Pro Light and fought not only being sick, but 25 other Pro Lights. Round 7 had Anderson starting in fourth and immediately started fighting for his position with Casey Currie. While their battle ensued, Deegan managed to sneak past both Pro Lights and take over fourth place. After a full course caution took over the race Anderson was prepared to push forward and hunt down a podium. The last lap of the race would devastate many drivers, but it would be Anderson in the #1 Pro Light who would capitalize on the other drivers errors and come home with the win in Round 7.
Round 8 started off with Anderson and Currie starting side by side to continue their battle from the previous day. Anderson would hold his third place position for several laps till a mistake by Brooks opened up second place and Anderson moved up a position. Now chasing down leader, Sheldon Creed, who had put a large gap between first and second, RJ was determined to finish up top. Anderson would go wide into turn 5 and Morris managed to pass Anderson. With one lap to go Morris would over-rotate in turn three and give full advantage to RJ to take back over 2nd place where he would finish the race just behind Sheldon Creed.
PRO Buggy – Larry Job –
OffRoad Racing Veteran, Larry Job was the fastest Pro Buggy in both of Fridays practices. Qualifying wouldn’t bring Larry the same luck, starting both rounds of racing in the middle of the pack. In round 7 Larry job raced the #7 Loctite Pro Buggy up to the 4th place position where he would then battle for 3rd place, in hopes to get his first podium of the year. With just 1 lap to go until the finish, Larry’s race took a turn for the worse as he rolled in turn 4 and watched the leaders continue to the checkered flag.
Round 8 would have a similar outcome as the #7 Pro Buggy would have another competitor driver up and over the top of him right off the start, into turn 2. This accident would cause the front left arm of the buggy to break. Larry finished the weekend with a 7th and 8th place.
PRO 2 – Bryce Menzies –
With an open seat in the Stronghold Pro 2, Scott Bailey brought on board for the weekend, Bryce Menzies, 2 time TORC Pro2 Champion. “This truck is fast” said Menzies “with a few minor changes and getting familiar with the set up, I know that this truck has the potential to make it to the podium.”
Qualifying for the weekend would set Bryce as the 6th and 7th fastest out of 16 trucks in the Pro 2 class. Going into turn one in round 7, contact was made with the back of the #7 Stronghold Pro 2 which would cause Bryce to spin out. Coming out of turn one now in last, Bryce gathered himself back up and continued to chase the race that was in front of him. Picking his way through the pack, Bryce made his way back towards the middle of the class where he ended his race in 7th place. Sunday wouldn’t show Bryce the same outcome as he fought hard but while going on the inside of Brian Deegan for the pass on lap 11, part of the suspension would give way and Bryce would pull into the hot pit. Not able to get the truck fixed in time, the #70 truck and driver would not cross the checkered flag for a finish.