LAKE ELSINORE, California – This weekend (May 17-19) the largest crowd in the history of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series presented by Geico is expected to pack Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park for the fifth and sixth rounds of this year’s 15-round series.
That doesn’t surprise the drivers at all.
“Elsinore is built on the concept of showing what a short-course race truck can really do,” reigning Pro 4 Unlimited class champion Kyle LeDuc said. “These trucks are made to fly, to do unbelievable things, and I think the Elsinore track really shows it.
“We’ll be 18 or 20 feet off the ground and in the air for 150 feet or so. Distance-wise, it depends on how much testosterone you’ve got. It’s up to the driver. And you’re doing it six inches from the guy next to you who’s doing the same thing.”
Rob MacCachren, the 2010 Pro 2 Unlimited champion, has been racing the desert and various short-course venues for 30 years, and he recalls that when he got his first look at the jumps on the Elsinore track last year he said “Really? We’re doing this?
“The first time you go out on the track in practice you’re usually by yourself so you hit the jumps at a certain speed you feel comfortable with,” he said. “The next thing is qualifying and you try a little harder and you end up flying a little bit higher and a little bit farther.
“Then the race comes and now you’re (trying to be sure you are) hitting them faster than the guy next to you, so if he’s going to hit them wide open you’re going to hit them wide open plus. Last year it was unbelievable how high and how far we had to fly. And I say that we had to because once somebody does it everybody has to do it.”
RJ Anderson, the 2012 Prop Lite Unlimited champion, said Elsinore is his favorite track because of the jumps and the speeds and the access it affords spectators. MacCachren said it is “a neat track. It’s probably the best track we have for spectators.”
The track also is wider than most and MacCachren said that as a result “they also may be the highest speeds that we go (on any track). The backstraight between (turns) 1 and 2 is pretty long and it’s leading into the biggest jump we have on the track – I believe it’s been dubbed the Matterhorn. It’s like a step up leading to a table top, so it’s one place that you definitely want your brakes to be working because you need to hit it hard enough to clear the step up, but you’ve got to slow the truck down to not overjump the table top going into turn 2.”
Then you have to do it again, and again and again.
Spectator gates at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park will open at 9 a.m. all three days. There is practice and qualifying on Friday and racing on Saturday and Sunday The three Kart class races are scheduled to get under way beginning at 12:30 p.m. each day and Pro 4 Unlimited will kick off the four Pro events at 2:15 p.m., following the opening ceremonies.
A weekend pass, good for all three days, is $50 for adults. Single days tickets $10 for Friday and $30 Saturday and Sunday. Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult. Tickets may be purchased in advance and further information on the series is available at www.LucasOilOffRoad.com.