Team LeDuc Racing considers Glen Helen Raceway their home track for its close proximity to their Cherry Valley headquarters, and the bleachers were packed with LeDuc fans last weekend for Rounds 5 and 6 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS). The LeDucs even sponsored the second annual Racers for Christ raffle for Chaplain Steve Hansen, under the perfect Southern California weather. The good karma certainly didn’t hurt, as Team LeDuc Racing had their most successful weekend of short course racing this season.
All three LeDucs qualified well for Saturday’s Pro4 Unlimited race, with Kyle hitting speeds over 65 mph to qualify first. Round 5 started well with Kyle LeDuc in third place, his brother Todd right behind him in the No. 4 ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Makita Tools Ford, and his father Curt in fifth in the Makita Tools / Truxxx Lift and Level Ford. Unfortunately the race quickly took a turn for the worse when Kyle’s race ended when he experienced driveline failure. Todd and Curt held their positions for several laps, but hard contact from a competitor damaged a rear tire on Todd’s truck, forcing him into the hot pits and putting him at the back of the pack. Curt wasn’t immune from the carnage, and rear end issues pushed him back to seventh place by the end of the race. Todd never gave up and was able to make up enough ground in his ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Makita Tools Ford to finish in fifth place when the checkered flag came out.
Kyle LeDuc qualified first in not just Pro4 Unlimited, but Pro Lite Unlimited as well, despite the introduction of V8 engines to the Pro Light ranks. The inversion put Kyle’s No. 99 ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Makita Tools Pro Lite on the third row, but he picked off the competition with precision. The crowd was on their feet as LeDuc fought door-to-door with Rodrigo Ampudia and Jimmy Stephensen for second place. When the checkered flag came out Kyle finished in third place, less than four seconds behind the winner and ahead of all the new V8-powered trucks.
After the race the Makita tools were buzzing as the LeDucs mended their truck for Sunday’s races. Curt was unable to run in qualifying, but his truck was repaired in time for Round 6 racing. Sunday started much like Saturday, with the LeDucs running toward the front for the first half of the race. Fortunately their good karma paid off and they did not experience the same misfortune that plagued them on Saturday. By the mid-point of the race, Kyle was in the lead in his No. 99 ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Makita Tools F-150, while Todd was in fourth and Curt LeDuc was sitting in fifth place. Carl Renezeder slipped past Kyle for the lead late in the race, but Kyle was able to take back the lead in what was easily the best race of the weekend. The crowd erupted in cheers when Kyle crossed the finish line first, and his brother Todd finished just off the podium in fourth place. Curt LeDuc ended the race in sixth place in the No. 43 Makita Tools / Truxxx Lift and Level Ford.
In Pro Lite Unlimited on Sunday, Kyle was patient for the first half of the race, running fast but staying out of the fray that claimed several of the 17 competitors. After the mandatory caution half way through the race, Kyle pushed the No. 99 Pro Lite forward to battle for the lead, setting the fast lap in the process. He swapped the second place position with Chris Brandt for several laps, eventually besting Brandt to finish on the podium in second place.
If you missed the non-stop action at Glen Helen, keep an eye out for the LeDucs on CBS, the Speed Channel , Versus, and MavTV. Team LeDuc Racing now prepares for the next weekend of LOORRS racing at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah on June 25th and 26th. Last season at Miller Motorsports Park Todd LeDuc had two second place finishes, and his brother Kyle had a podium finish as well, so expectations are high coming into Rounds 7 and 8 of racing.
Photography by Art Eugenio