Underrated Underdogs Make Their Presence Known in Round 9 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
Eric Barron and the Pro4 Unlimited race ignited Glen Helen Raceway with a spectacular display of short course off-road racing. After a shakeup among the class due to technical infractions, series points leader Kyle LeDuc found himself at the rear of the field.
At the drop of the green flag, the dark horse Eric Barron quickly took his Toyota Tundra to the front of the pack before turn 2 on the first lap. Kyle LeDuc knew he had to make a move, and soon. Within no-time, the dog fight between Eric Barron and Kyle LeDuc started to take shape. The duo would go on to put nearly an 8 truck lead over the rest of the field until Greg Adler would bring out a full course caution due to a crash in tun 5. When racing resumed, it didn’t take long before Josh Merrell found himself going end over end pushing coming into turn 5; bringing out yet another yellow flag.
Yellow flags were no distraction for Barron as he kept his focus and continued to make Kyle LeDuc push until he broke. Suffering a DNF due to mechanical failure, the points leader Kyle LeDuc would have submit and leave the podium interviews to that of the race leader; Eric Barron. Todd LeDuc and Travis Coyne would go on to round out the podium.
Pro Lite Unlimited continued to electrify the compactly crowd at Glen Helen Raceway with a 18 lap race that nobody will ever forget.
Just like the Pro 4 Unlimited race, the dark horse would be would keep the crown on their feet. Although Bradley Morris (the Pro Lite Unlimited dark horse) has danced around the podium in previous rounds, he was determined to finish on top once he saw clean air early on. As Morris lead the pack of 23 other pissed off Pro Lite Unlimited’s, series points leader RJ Anderson and fellow Monster Energy teammate Casey Currie would put last years champ (Brian Deegan) to the test.
Early in the race, Supercross.com Pro Lite Unlimited of Matt Cook brought out the full course yellow flag with a lawn dart crash going into turn 2. This would bunch all 23 Pro Lite Unlimited’s back up and give Deegan a chance to make the move on Morris for the lead. After the restart, Deegan tried the veteran slide job on Morris but Morris would have nothing of it and returned the favor in the next turn and shuffles Deegan to the fourth place position. Approaching the competition caution, Morris would lead Casey Currie and RJ Anderson to the half way point.
As racing resumed, the intensity was turned up and the pressure was put on young Bradley Morris. Showing his maturity and ability to keep calm under pressure, Morris would go on to take his first Pro Lite Unlimited win while Casey Currie was able to hold off Brian Deegan for the second spot on the podium. Round 9 was some of the best racing that the Pro Lite Unlimited class has seen in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. I know it’s a saying that gets used often but just when you think the bar couldn’t be raised, an unexpected challenger heats up the competition.
Pro 2 Unlimited racing action continued just as the Pro Lite Unlimited and Pro 4 Unlimited class did; with a dysfunctional starting grid. With some of the fastest most intense racers towards the back of the field, it was sure to be an all out brawl.
The ReadyLift sponsored Pro 2 Unlimited of Marty Hart jumped out to a early lead in commanding fashion. Hart would lead the entire race and disregard the carnage caused by hard chargers behind him. Patrick Clark tried every angle he could to get around Hart, but with every attempt came a risk of Rob MacCachren passing for the second place position. With out a doubt the hardest chargers of the field were; Lucas Oil Slick Mist driver Robby Woods and Supercross.com Monster Energy driver Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg. Although Stenberg and Woods were clawing their way towards the front of the pack, Woods would wind up loosing focus and get tangled up with Stenberg exiting turn 5 causing both to fall to the back of the pack.
Hart would go on to win Round 9 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing series while Patrick Clark and Rob MacCachren had to settle for the second and third place position.
Words by Adam “Gunnslinger” Gunn
Photos by Jason Zindroski