Las Vegas, NV – The LoanMart Racing Team underwent a major expansion in 2013 adding Austin Kimbrell’s Pro2, Corry Weller in Pro4 and Oscar Rodriguez, RJ Anderson and Ryan Beat in the Prolite class. The entire driver line-up has years of racing experience but it is also a season of firsts for the team. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Rounds 3 and 4 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway showed what they are capable of when they are firing on all cylinders.
After qualifying eighth for round 3, Corry Weller took her first Pro4 podium of the season by holding off a hard charging Eric Barron for the third spot. While Rob MacCachren and Carl Renezeder were fighting for the lead, Corry was in a tense battle; banging doors for two laps with Barron. The poise and determination she has demonstrated throughout her racing career was once again on display and her truck was hooked up despite the punishment. The crowd went crazy when she beat Barron to the line.
For Austin Kimbrell the first rounds of the series have been filled with frustration. In pre-season testing, he was very fast in his LoanMart Pro2 but ill-timed driveline issues have taken him out of the running on raceday. In round 3, he lost a motor causing his crew to work through the night to prepare for round 4 qualifying. The hard work paid off when Austin took the truck out and qualified third for Sunday’s race.
At the drop of the green flag, Austin was locked into a battle with Rob MacCachren who many say is the best off-road driver to ever turn a wheel. Austin held MacCachren off until lap eight when his brakes got a little too hot causing him to go wide in a corner. Austin backed down just a bit to allow his brakes to recover but maintained contact with the leaders. On the final lap, he and MacCachren closed in on Patrick Clark who had lead the race but was dropping back due to a flat rear tire. Neck and neck with MacCachren, they closed fast on Clark’s tail. MacCachren went low and Austin went high as they flew past Clark three trucks wide off the finish line jump. Austin edged out both of them taking second place over MacCachren in third and Clark in fourth.
“This weekend was made possible by my crew,” said Austin, “They are the real hero’s here. We’ve been right there in the first three rounds but had bad luck bite us every time. We have confidence in the truck and expect to run up front but we are still beyond excited to take a second place finish in our fourth race in the LoanMart Pro2.”
In Prolite action, RJ Anderson took his second victory of the season in round 4. RJ knows how to win and is continuing the consistency he had last season when he won the Championship.
Speaking of consistency, Oscar Rodriguez has made a big impression in his first season in LOORRS. Oscar is not new to racing on dirt but new to Prolite. He has kept his cool and avoided driving over his head, as most rookies are prone to do. Oscar was unable to finish round 4 but has been solidly around the top ten against 25 to 30 other trucks in previous rounds.
Ryan Beat was having a great race in round 3. He was battling up front with Brian Deegan and Sheldon Creed for the lead. Deegan jumped out front and Ryan was battling with Creed for second when Creed went up on two wheels entering the corner. Ryan did his best but could not avoid contact with Creed. Ryan drove over the back of Creeds truck when it rolled in front of him. Ryan was able to continue, setting off to chase down Deegan but was given the black flag for rough driving. The penalty dropped him all the way back to 19th. In round 4, he was running third when his ignition failed two laps from the finish. “I don’t think I should have been given the black flag in round 3,” said Ryan, “We were going all out, I didn’t cause Sheldon to roll, I just couldn’t avoid him. I guess that’s racing, we just have to keep our heads up and go get some podiums.”
Looking back at the Las Vegas race, it feels like a real breakout race for the team. Trucks are getting dialed in, crews are comfortable and everyone is running with the lead pack. Rounds 5 and 6 May 17 – 19 at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park in Lake Elsinore, CA is going to be incredible, don’t miss it!