The first race with a new truck is never an easy task, even with the considerable talents of Rob MacCachren behind the wheel.  MacCachren has already racked up wins in the desert this season at Laughlin, San Felipe, and the Mint 400, but the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) short course season is just heating up.  Speaking of heat, it was an issue in qualifying where temperatures at Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix were in the 90s, revealing a cooling issue with MacCachren’s brand new Pro2 Unlimited truck.  This limited Rob Mac’s practice time on the several high speed sections, spectacular jumps, and unique dual split line of Firebird’s track.

Fueled by ROCKSTAR Energy Drink and armed with a full complement of tools from Makita Power Tools, MacCachren’s talented crew resolved the cooling issue and performed some fine tuning of the suspension before Saturday’s opening round of LOORRS racing.  MacCachren strapped into his MasterCraft Safety 3G seat and started on the inside of the third row for Saturday’s race. The action started hot and heavy as soon as the green flag dropped and didn’t stop until the checkers came out.  After a generous dousing from the water truck prior to the race, other Pro2 Unlimiteds with lesser rubber weren’t able to match the traction of MacCachren’s BFGoodrich Tires and the field nearly piled up on the first lap.  By the middle of the race MacCachren had patiently worked his way up to third place and was battling for second with Robby Woods in some of the best action of the weekend.  With only two laps left to go MacCachren dove under Robby Woods at the hairpin at Turn 3 and never looked back.  While he ran out of time to reel in the leader, MacCachren put ROCKSTAR Energy Drink and new sponsor Makita Power Tools on the podium in his first race of the season.

On Sunday Rob set the fast time in qualifying, hitting speeds in excess of 90 mph on the tight track.  The inversion put the ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Makita Tools / BFGoodrich Tires Pro2 Unlimited on the third row for Round 2 of racing, and during the first half of the race MacCachren made every effort to keep from getting tangled up with the 13 other trucks on the track.  LOORRS has instituted a new rule for the 2012 season where all competitors pull into the hot pits for two minutes at the midpoint of the race.  When this occurred on Sunday, the new car blues struck MacCachren’s team in the form of an electrical gremlin that severely limited power.

At this point a decision had to be made, and in an instant.  The ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Makita Tools / BFGoodrich Tires team decided to continue the race, albeit at a greatly reduced speed, in order to avoid a DNF and earn valuable season points.  Being a consummate professional Rob pulled to the side of the course to let the field pass him by.  What seemed like a cruel April Fool’s Day joke had snatched away Rob Mac’s chance of another podium finish, but the perennial champion was not deterred.  “Our qualifying time definitely raised some eyebrows and I think that we are just scratching the surface on the true potential of this truck that Dave Farruggia and Jim Blackmore have designed.”  The next LOORRS race for MacCachren will be at the all new track at Lake Elsinore in Southern California on April 21st and 22nd.  Meanwhlie Rob continues his quest for the SCORE International Trophy Truck championship when he gets behind the wheel of the No. 20 MasterCraft Racing Trophy Truck at the Baja 500 on June 1-3.  He will also compete in the TRAXXAS TORC Series and continue to share driving duties with Steve Sourapas in Best In The Desert.  Having trouble keeping up with Rob Mac’s busy schedule?  You are not alone.  For the latest updates follow Rob MacCachren on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/21RobMac.

Photography by Jason Zindroski

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