LAKE FOREST, CA – The scorecard at the end of the opening weekend of racing for Carl Renezeder said three wins and one second out of four races. That kind of near-perfection doesn’t come around often, and the team was wise to pause for a moment on Sunday night to thank one another for the hard work, dedication and optimism during the off-season that paid off all weekend.
“You guys gave me reliable, fast trucks that I could put anywhere I wanted to on the track,” commented Renezeder to his crew at the close of rounds one and two of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series season at Firebird International Raceway this past weekend. “I’m really proud of this team.”
Friday opened with two practice sessions, and it was clear that the trucks were fast straight off the trailer. All they needed was some fine-tuning for the evolving conditions of the track throughout the weekend. Saturday morning hosted the first qualifying sessions of the season and Renezeder obviously felt comfortable in the trucks. He was second quick in his Pro-4 and then fourth quick in his Pro-2. Both groups drew a zero invert, so the classes would start heads up.
In the first two races of the season, Renezeder’s trucks were competitive, but it took several laps for the track to come into his set-up. He wouldn’t get the chance to test the set-up in his Pro-4 because on lap four some sort of debris smashed his rear brake line, leaving him with just front brakes for the remainder of the race. He made the best of it, and when the leader had a problem with three laps to go, Renezeder took over the lead and posted his first win of the season.
The Pro-2 race started out on a pretty slick track, and Renezeder slid back to sixth place on the opening lap when he was turned sideways in turn two. He went to work and by lap 12 was up to the second position. He held onto that spot through the end of the race, running out of time to challenge Marty Hart for the win.
A little more work on set-up and fully functional brakes on the Pro-4 proved to be the magic combination for Sunday. Renezeder set quick time in the class, drew a six for the invert and then worked his way forward for his second win of the season, fast lap of the race and a sweep of the class for the weekend.
It was the Pro-2 race on Sunday that truly thrilled the team – it was classic Carl driving. He qualified third and started the race fourth with the six invert. It was a battle from the opening laps to the close with several different drivers, but it was the one for the lead kept everyone in the stands on their feet. Hart had the lead from lap one, but by lap seven, Renezeder had fought his way to second and started to close the gap. For the next several laps, the two veteran pilots drove flawlessly. Finally, on lap 16, Renezeder made a pass for the lead stick and he held off Hart for his third win of the weekend, and the 107th of his career.
The team was weighed down with new hardware for the trophy case for the drive home, and uplifted with the satisfaction of hard work paying off. Rounds three and four of the LOORRS season will be held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway the weekend of April 26-28, and the team will again be ready for battle.