LAKE FOREST, CA (March 10, 2009) – The neon glow of The Strip in Las Vegas paled in comparison to the star power that graced the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series’ 2010 opening rounds this past weekend at the brand new facility at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Defending Unlimited 2 and Unlimited 4 champion Carl Renezeder headlined a group of drivers that included familiar faces from the 2009 season as well as new drivers to the series, but veterans in off-road. Both fields were deep in talent, experience and desire to win, which magnified Renezeder’s run of bad luck throughout the weekend.
Both trucks practiced well on Friday morning, so the crew made a few small tweaks to go after the pole in both classes that afternoon. Unfortunately, the changes were the wrong direction, confirmed by a self-berating crew chief, Mike Seat, over the radio: “well, we dialed those trucks right out.” The team quickly went to work to dial the trucks back in for racing on Saturday, knowing they had to work themselves out of ninth and sixth place starting positions in U2 and U4, respectively.
The U4 race was first up on Saturday afternoon, which started out well for Renezeder. Then just after the mandatory caution flag at the halfway point, he got spun out in turn three and had to gather it up and work his way back forward from eighth place. He managed to salvage a decent third-place finish and some valuable points. Things went downhill from there.
In the U2 race, the entire goal for Renezeder at the drop of the green flag was to avoid the predicted melee that would result from the majority of the field trying to win the championship in turn one, on lap one. No such luck. A chain of events behind him had him turned around before he could even set the truck into the first turn. He got turned back in the right direction, but that wouldn’t last long. He and several other trucks got knocked off the track as they landed off the tabletop jump coming out of turn one. He then raced his way forward for eight laps before getting taken out for good on lap nine. A broken left front upright and a-arm finished his day in 17th position.
The team was looking forward to improving their performance during Sunday morning qualifying, but Mother Nature had other plans. Rain forced the cancellation of practice and qualifying, so the teams had to line up according to points. A 17th-place starting position wasn’t an ideal draw in U2, but at least Renezeder would get to start from the third position in U4.
There were a lot of great battles on the track in the U4 race, and Renezeder finished the race exactly where he started, giving him a pair of podium finished for the start of the season. He had his work cut out for him in U2 with 16 quick trucks ahead of him and only 14 laps of racing. The weekend ended on a good note as Renezeder methodically worked his way through the field to finish fifth; a much better result than Saturday.
The team’s next race is the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series event in Surprise, Arizona the weekend of April 17-18. Check local listings or the series website (www.lucasoiloffroad.com) for television dates and times.
About Carl Renezeder
Birth date: April 16, 1964
Residence: Laguna Beach, CA
Home Town: Montebello, CA
Family: Wife: Kelley; 4 Children
87 Career Short Course Wins (11 in Lucas Oil Off Road Series, 65 in CORR, 10 in WSORR, 1 in RJORGP)
7-time National Champion (LOORRS U4 – 2009; LOORRS U2 – 2009; CORR Pro-4 – 2003, 2007, 2008; CORR Pro-2 – 2005 & 2006)
2009: LOORRS Unlimited 4 Champion; LOORRS Unlimited 2 Champion; 8 Unlimited-4 wins including the inaugural Rockstar Energy Lucas Oil Challenge Cup; 3 Unlimited-2 wins
2008: CORR Pro-4 Champion; 4 CORR Pro-4 wins; 2 CORR Pro-2 wins; 2 WSORR Pro-4×4 wins; 2 WSORR Pro-2WD wins; 1 RJORGP GP4 win; Won Day 2 of SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge
2007: CORR Pro-4 Champion; 8 CORR Pro-4 wins including the Jason Baldwin Memorial Cup; 3rd in CORR Pro-2 points; 7 CORR Pro-2 wins; 3 WSORR Pro4x4 wins including the FCP Chairman’s Cup; 3 WSORR Pro2WD wins; Won 40th Annual SCORE Baja 1000 with Riviera Racing
2006: CORR Pro-2 Champion; 6 CORR Pro-2 wins; 2nd in CORR Pro-4 points; 4 CORR Pro-4 wins; Won SCORE Laughlin Leap (159’), Won Day 1, 2nd overall at the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge; 3rd in SCORE Las Vegas PRIMM 300
2005: CORR Pro-2 Champion; 9 CORR wins, including the Nissan Nationals in Pro-4; 2nd in CORR Pro-4 points
2004: 8 CORR wins; Governor’s Cup Champion; 2nd in CORR Pro-4 points; 3rd in CORR Pro-2 points
2003: CORR Pro-4 Champion; 8 CORR wins; Borg Warner World Champion; 2nd in CORR Pro-2 points
1994-2002: 9 CORR wins and multiple podiums in CORR; Won SCORE Baja 1000 (Class 1 – 1994); 2 podium finishes in SCORE Baja 500