Estero Beach Resort, Baja Mexico (August 2, 2015)– It was a perfect day for racing on the sands of Baja at the Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada, Mexico and to start the races off right, the Mayor of Ensenada came by to greet all the fans and teams. Round 11 brought a lot of excitement to a whole new fan demographic…with desert racing being the norm, shot course has made it mark in Baja Community! it was received to cheers in the packed stands. It was a day of racers continuing to dominate their classes. There were dramatic wrecks and exhilarating passes. Overall the fans here in Baja are some of the most enthusiastic supporters, and Rockstar Energy and Lucas Oil will be bringing more to them for Round 12.
The Pro 2 class started off the day with fast qualifying times putting Bryce Menzies and Rob MacCachren on the front row with Sheldon Creed and Jeremy McGrath right at their heels. The track was prepped and ready, but within the first few laps, Jeremy McGrath and Eric Fitch had a couple issues, Fitch pulling off and Mcgrath continued to circulate around the track salvage his championship run. Not much longer after the restart, Jesse Jones went off-track at turn 5 but made it back on without damaging his truck. Menzies and MacCachren were out front battling for the lead. Brian Deegan made an impressive run and finished third after starting sixth. After 10 grueling laps the track was in rough shape, but each pass and every near-wreck had the fans on the edge of their seats. A successful first running of the Pro 2 class finished with Bryce Menzies in first, Rob MacCachren in second and Brian Deegan in third – three names that the Baja fans know well, and were happy to see reach the podium.
1) Bryce Menzies
2) Rob MacCachren
3) Brian Deegan
The fans knew that the Rockstar Energy Pro Lite Battle South of the Border, presented by Lucas Oil, was going to be an exciting one from this morning’s qualifying session. The rhythm section proved to be the most technical part of the track for the Pro-Lite trucks – Qualifying was just a taste of what was to come in the race. Sheldon Creed was the top qualifier with RJ Anderson, Brandon Arthur and Brock Heger finishing out the top 4. To start the race however, there was a 4 truck inversion meaning, Heger and Arthur went to the front row to start. The green flag dropped, but it wouldn’t stay green for long as a tangle in the rhythm caused a caution. As a result of the incident Justin “Bean” Smith was unable to continue. Though dejected about his truck and being out of the race so early, Smith was alright. The race went green again and saw 6 laps of incredible passes, near-wrecks and door-to-door racing. Sheldon Creed had made his way back to the front after starting in fourth, but right after he passed the start finish line, he went off a jump and nosed his truck into the ground, flipping him end-over-end and ending his race weekend. He too was not hurt and also was unable to continue the race. After the restart Brad DeBerti and Cole Mamer got into each other in the rhythm section and sent each other tumbling into turn 4. Two more trucks were now out of the race, but once again, the trucks did their job and kept the drivers safe. All in all, it was a dramatic race the Baja fans will remember with a new winner, Brandon Arthur, a first-time podium finisher and the youngest Pro-Lite driver Brock Heger, and the consistently solid driver RJ Anderson finishing out the top 3.
1) Brandon Arthur
2) Brock Heger
3) RJ Anderson
The Pro Buggy class was another that saw a lot of firsts today both in qualifying and in the race. Rounding out the fastest qualifying times were Kevin McCullough, Eliott Watson and Darren Hardesty, with Sterling Cling and Mike Valentine right behind them. A 2 car inversion was pulled so Watson sat on the pole to start the race with McCullough in second. Early on, Dave Mason had issues with his buggy and had to pull off the track causing the first, and only caution flag of the race. But after the restart, Garret George continued to make his way though the field while issues forced Hardesty to go to the hot pits for a quick fix. The fans cheered as the drivers got side-by-side down the front stretch and through the corners. In the end it was the Funco’s Garret George back on top, with first-time Pro Buggy podium finisher, Eliott Watson in Second and the championship points contender Mike Valentine in third.
1) Garret George
2) Eliott Watson
3) Mike Valentine
With this brand-new track and very little time to get the trucks set up, it was a test to see if someone would be able to over take Kyle Leduc’s domination in the Pro 4 class. But in qualifying it was clear that there was still a lot of ground to be made as Kyle Leduc took the top qualifying time. Even though he rolled his truck in qualifying, Brian Deegan took the second spot, and Greg Adler, Bryce Menzies and Rob MacCachren finished out the top 5. The Rockstar Energy Pro 4 Battle South of the Border was a fan favorite with the trucks, drifting into the turns, near rollovers, and battling door-to-door through the sand pit and rhythm section and they did not disappoint. Brian Deegan nearly rolled it early on as he bicycled in turn 2. Soon after, Doug Fortin brought out the first and only caution when he hit Deegan and had to go off track to remove his hood. Greg Adler had a few close calls, but was able to save it from flipping. In the end, Kyle kept his grill clean and came across the finish line first, with repeat podium finishers, Bryce Menzies and Rob MacCachren behind him.
1) Kyle Leduc
2) Bryce Menzies
3) Rob MacCachren
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