For several days now the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series advance team has been busy turning the Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s dirt track into a challenging short-course off-road racing venue complete with multiple high banked turns and jumps that are guaranteed to push the drivers and their vehicles to the limit.
Rounds 13 and 14 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series 2011 season will again feature their 11 racing divisions, ranging from youngsters in custom built karts to full sized trucks churning out 800-plus horsepower.
With the conclusion of the current season a little over one month away, championship points are more important than ever and the drivers are expected to push a little harder to collect podium points for finish positions one through three. Many of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series divisions are currently featuring championship battles that are still too close to call.
THE PRO 4 UNLIMITED DIVISION
This division is one of the reasons why the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series has so many hard core fans. It’s comprised of full sized, four wheel drive, trucks powered by V8 engines capable of producing 800 plus horsepower. The division is also where you will find the racing series’ high profile superstars.
It’s where you will get to see the legendary, multi time, champion Carl Renezeder who currently leads the division’s points standings. Renezeder’s 575 championship points is based on two feature wins and 11 podium finishes.
Sadly, it’s the name of the driver who is second in the Pro 4 standings that is going to garner the most attention this weekend. On the afternoon of October 15th, the short course racing world was stunned to learn that its 2010 champion Rick Huseman tragically perished in a private plane crash just outside of Barstow, California. Also losing his life was Jeff Huseman, a mechanic for his older brother’s team as well as a rising star driver in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro Lite division.
To this very minute the tragic loss of the 38-year-old driver still leaves a painful void among Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series competitors and officials. There is no telling how many races and championships this driver would have won in his career had it not been for this terrible tragedy.
THE PRO 2 UNLIMITED DIVISION
This division for two wheel drive full sized trucks also features V8 powered engines producing 800 plus horsepower. Like their four wheel drive counterparts, the Pro 2 also has a huge fan base and a full roster of short course racing superstars.
Fan favorite Brian Deegan leads the division standings with 544 points based on two feature wins and seven podiums. Rob MacCachren, a four time winner, is 47 points away from the leader in second but is only two points ahead of Carl Renezeder in third who has won two features this year. This battle for second in the division standings could get very intense this weekend.
THE PRO LITE UNLIMITED DIVISION
This division features compact or mid sized two wheel drive trucks powered by four cylinder engines that produces 300 horsepower.
The division also features a skin tight points battle between two drivers. Chris Brandt leads the standings with 559 points based on a highly consistent three wins and ten podiums. But Brandt will have to keep Brian Deegan in his rear view mirror during the Las Vegas weekend. Deegan, with seven wins and nine podiums, is only six points away from taking the lead.
THE SUPER LITE DIVISION
The division is comprised of two wheel drive, mid sized trucks with two seats, and 200 horsepower engines. This division is a spec class and is considered to be a very affordable entry level into the world of Lucas Oil Off Road short course racing.
The Super Lites also has a skin tight championship profile. Chad George’s two wins and seven podiums has allowed him to accumulate 532 points. But it’s just a four point advantage over Patrick Clark who has a feature win and six podiums. Still involved in the points profile for this division is three time winner R J Anderson who is 29 points out of first.
THE PRO BUGGY UNLIMITED DIVISION
Desert buggy racing is extremely popular with the Lucas Oil Off Road fans. Because they are smaller and lighter than a truck the, buggys can spread out three and four wide on portions of the race course. They are powered by 1650 cc water cooled four cylinder engines. Volkswagen Type One engines are also allowed.
Mike Porter, a two time winner with nine podiums holds a 30 point lead over three time winner Justin Smith in the division’s points standings.
THE LIMITED BUGGY DIVISION
A slightly smaller version of Lucas Oil Off Road buggy racing, these cars operate on 1600cc Volkswagen Type One power plants.
This division is also hosting a too close to call championship battle. Veteran Curt Geer leads the standings with 540 points based on three wins and six podiums. 16 points away in second is Dave Mason with one feature and eight podiums. In third, also 16 points out, is Quentin Tucker with four wins and five podiums.
THE UTV SR1 AND UNLIMITED DIVISIONS
UTV racing is the most recently added addition to the Lucas Oil Off Road racing line up. The SR1 class are heavily modified UTV’s powered by engines up to 1000 cc displacement. The weapons of choice are the Yamaha Rhino or the Kawasaki Teryx. The unlimited class is also a heavily modified UTV with 800 cc engines.
Corry Weller leads the SR1 UTV Division with 555 points based on a feature win and nine podiums. John Dempsey, with a feature win and seven podiums, is 12 points behind him in second while three time winners Doug Mittag and Code Rahders are third and fourth 22 and 27 points behind the leader.
R J Anderson leads the Unlimited UTV class with 582 points based on a very consistent five wins and ten podiums. Three time winner Chad George is 18 points away in second while two time winner Robert Vanbeekum holds down third 27 points out.
THE JUNIOR 1, JUNIOR 2 AND MODIFIED KART DIVISIONS
The race vehicles in these three divisions are single seat, custom built, mini race trucks for young drivers eight to 15 years old. These divisions represents Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series’ efforts to develop their next crop of short course racing stars who will power the sport into the future for many years to come.
Broc Dickerson leads the Junior 1 Kart division with 561 points based on two wins and eight podiums and holds a 37 point advantage over six time winner Eliott Watson. A September 24th race that only netted ten points is the reason why Watson isn’t leading the standings. It’s an example of how important podium finishes are in the LUCAS OIL OFF ROAD RACING SERIES points structure. Feature winner Preston Roben is third in the standings only two points away from second.
In the Junior 2 Kart class Myles Cheek has 548 points based on five wins and nine podiums. He holds a 21 point advantage over two time winner Chad Graham.
In the Modified Kart class Mitchell Gutherie Jr’s 544 points are based on three wins and seven podiums. The young man is 16 points ahead of five time feature winner Mitchell DeJong.
In addition to all of this short course racing action, there will be plenty of special attractions that makes a Lucas Oil Off Road weekend so very special. The Las Vegas weekend will include special presentations by the Rockstar Energy Drink FMX as well as a Ready Lift Monster Truck demonstration.
Also filled with special activities will be the Lucas Oil Off Road fully loaded fan zone featuring special static displays, a large variety of food booths and vendors presenting everything from race trucks to T-shirts.
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Las Vegas weekend is going to be packed with action and fun. But if you can’t make it to Las Vegas to see the show in person, there is another alternative. That would be the Lucas Oil Off Road television package. Highlights from rounds 13 and 14 from Las Vegas will be presented by CBS Sports on November 26 and on the SPEED Channel on December 3rd. Check your local listings or www.LucasOilOffRoad.com for more information.
Check back with Off-Road.com for coverage of this weekend’s races.