Rookie Pro Lite racer Christopher Polvoorde knew he would face a big challenge during rounds 7 and 8 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at the newly constructed track in Wheatland, Missouri. The Lucas Oil Speedway track is unlike any other in the series. At 1.2 miles long, the track has 9 unique turns that include a bit of everything. Sections of the track are tight and technical while the Daytona style turn is wide open, and dwarfs the trucks. The jumps are huge and a section of whoops that should be called a non-rhythm section, adds to the amazing course.
Every team at the race had no set-up notes going into the weekend, and many struggled with their trucks on Saturday. Polvoorde’s set-up was close on Saturday, and he made all the right calls for Sunday. Although his results might not show on paper; he ran out front for most of the race in round 8 with a long list of the best Pro Lite racers in the world on his tail. It was a strong statement to the rest of the field. Since moving full time to the Pro Lite class this season, Polvoorde has been on the fast track to learn how to get the most out of his Palms River Resort, Toyo Tires truck. He has the skills and experience behind the wheel, once he masters tuning the truck he will be a force to be reckoned with. He grabbed his first podium at the last event, and backed that up with a strong showing in Wheatland.
“We qualified 5th on Saturday,” said Polvoorde, “The truck was good in the technical stuff but I struggled with a lack of forward drive out of the fast corners; the torque converter was off. We lost a couple spots, and were unable to move up through the pack.” With a heat race under their belts, it was time to take what they learned and apply it. Changes were made to the truck that they hoped would make it faster for round 8.
Qualifying for Sunday’s race was interesting. There were several delays that left only a single full lap to set a time. After the team made changes overnight, the Palms River Resort Pro Lite was a rocket. They ran the 2ndfastest time and after an inversion of 2 was drawn, they would start on the pole.
“I started next to Brandon Arthur who got the holeshot,” said Polvoorde, “The track was super slick on the first lap. I got up next to him and we went deep into turn 4. He slid wide and I took the top spot. I held the rest of the field off until the mandatory caution came out.
The track was drying out and I had a ton of bite from my Toyo Tires. I hooked a deep rut in a corner, and went up on the bike; Arthur got past me. I got right back on him and was working on getting him back. My truck was working so well through the whoops section; I made up a lot of time there. I noticed other trucks would get unsettled and have to back off. My King Shocks soaked the bumps up and kept my truck level and controlled; it was a huge advantage.
I finally saw a chance to get past Arthur in turn 4. I went in deep when he took the line away to protect his position. I had a split second decision to either spin out or punt him. I don’t like to punt anyone. I race clean and expect everyone to do the same. I spun out and dropped back in the field. The truck was still running strong so I battled back up to 5th. I was racing with Brock Heger and Ronnie Anderson. We were all trying to occupy the same spot, so we were all driving aggressively. I ran out of laps and eventually finished 7th. It wasn’t the result we wanted, but we proved that we could run up front with the best, and have the skills to get our truck dialed in.
We are super proud of our effort and can’t thank our sponsors Palms River Resort, Toyo Tires, King Shocks, Walker Evans Racing, MTRV8, Tomar, Rugged Radios, Fastway Trailer Products, Kicker, and CSD Racing Products enough for their support.”
Photography By: Bink Designs