His rookie season in the pro-buggy class of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series started out like many rookie’s in sports…with trials and hardships. But Dave Mason Jr. and his team have been working hard to improve. Race by race they have been changing and adjusting on the #65 Competitive Metals/JAMAR Alumi Craft Pro Buggy. Those efforts shinned at an all new track, where Dave Mason Jr. performed like a seasoned veteran. He started the event by beating out the field and posting the fast qualifying time on Friday. After the inversion he started 6th for Saturday’s round-11 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at the newly built Wild West Motorsports Park in Reno, Nevada. Mason wasted no time getting to the front and was a contender for the race win. He was shuffled to a hard fought fourth place finish. Starting 5th for Sunday’s round-12 Mason again was contending for the race win. He battled wheel to wheel lap after lap with many of the series most veteran drivers. In the final lap it was a pass around one of those veterans [Jerry Whelchel] to gain his first podium finish in the pro-buggy class.
“It was great to finally put this Competitive Metals car where it belongs…on the podium,” said Mason. “There are a lot of people who helped us this year and believed in me. And you want to run up front for them. But our year just didn’t start out great. We had motor and other issues, but we’ve never given up. We kept working to improve like this weekend we put on a new brake hub setup from Jamar and it made a huge difference. It feels great to get up on the podium and especially with these veteran racers. We have some good momentum going and want to continue to build upon it the rest of the season.”
Teammate Geoffrey Cooley had a roller coaster of a weekend. It started out with an up- swing when he qualified just behind teammate Dave Mason Jr. posting the second fastest time. But shortly after the race start Cooley would get hit from behind and his car went airborne flipping upside down. His team and the Reno fans were amazed that Cooley was able to continue. With heavy damage his never give up effort gave Cooley a 13th place finish. With a repaired car Cooley came out fast for Sunday’s qualifying again posting the second fastest lap time. But Cooley was again caught up in an incident that dropped him way back in the field in the early laps of Sunday’s race. Determined to have a solid finish Cooley drove back up through the field to finish with a top five.
Justin Smith had a rough weekend in the #19 Competitive Metals/Alumi Craft Pro Lite. On Saturday’s race Smith had a power steering issue that dropped him back to a 16th place finish. His crew worked hard to prepare the truck for Sunday’s race and those efforts paid off as Smith was up to 6th place. But after contact left his truck with a bent lower trailing arm Smith dropped back to salvage a top ten finish.