LAKE FOREST, CA – Perhaps it was because of the bright lights on those warm summer nights, or the realization that the number of rounds of racing left in the 2011 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing season were quickly dwindling toward zero, or maybe it was just tough competition with an abiding desire to win – whatever the reason, the Pro-4 and Pro-2 classes left a lot of fiberglass on the track on the way to the checkered flag both days last weekend at Glen Helen. Fans saw close battles, tons of passing, tempers as hot as the midday August sun, plenty of drama, and an abundance of great racing. Some drivers ended up on the positive side of it all, some incurred the negative, but the majority left the track on Sunday night with both.
“We definitely didn’t have a great weekend, but it could have been a lot worse,” expressed Carl Renezeder, driver of the number 17 Lucas Oil/General Tire/Team Associated Ford F150s in Pro-2 and Pro-4.
With both trucks in serious need of quality time with their respective lead mechanics come Monday morning, it’s remarkable that Renezeder was able to turn such carnage into respectable results. He was knocked sideways in the air, landed on, rode the k-rail for several feet, traded paint on both sides of both trucks, yet somehow managed to stay rubber-side down, with the nose pointed forward at the end of all four races. He missed the podium in both of the Pro-2 races, which meant he took a hit in the overall points, finishing sixth on Saturday and fourth on Sunday. He climbed on the podium both days in Pro-4, but never on the top spot, which also hurt him in the points. He made a last-lap pass to finish second on Saturday, and then limped a right-rear flat around to a third-place finish on Sunday.
Renezeder was the first driver is short course history to win the Pro-2 and Pro-4 championships in the same season (2009), and he’s looking to repeat this year. If Glen Helen is any indication of how the rest of the season will play out, then it’s definitely going to be a tough fight to the end. Unquestionably, Renezeder and his crew are up for the challenge.
Five rounds of racing remain in the championship chase this season, and the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup will round out the year. Two thirds of the races are in the books, and the teams have a seven-week break to think about how they’re going to attack the remaining third of the season. Rounds 11 and 12 will take place the weekend of September 24-25 at Speedworld Motorsports Park in Surprise, Arizona, then the series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway November 5-6 before rounding out the season in Chandler, Arizona at Firebird International Raceway the weekend of December 10-11.
(photos © HighRev Photography)