Beat’s plan was to spend this season racing his Pro Lite truck and competing for a class championship in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series presented by GEICO after finishing second in 2012. He said that didn’t work out, however, because “we had some bad luck with parts failures and got a couple of black flags at the beginning of the season that really ruined the season for us,” and he is 16th in the standings with one round of points racing left.
The 26-year-old former Supercross racer from Menifee, California, also is 14th in Pro 2 and 10th in Pro 4 as he prepares for the final weekend October 25-27 at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park, and that’s the part of his season that wasn’t planned.
When the season began the numbers added up for the Premiere Motorsports Group. There were three trucks and three drivers competing in three classes, and it stayed that way through the first three events. But by the fourth weekend, at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, two of the drivers had departed.
Beat said he doesn’t know what happened. All he knows is that one week he was asked if he would like to drive the MAVTV Pro 4 as well as his Lunarpages Pro Lite, and having recorded three top 5 finishes in six starts in the class in 2012 he said he’d be happy to try it again. About a week later he added driving the Lunarpages Pro 2 to his resume.
Scott Demmer, one of the partners in the team, said “we looked at the opportunity to maybe bring someone else in.” They also looked at Beat’s dedication and work ethic and interaction with the others on the team and concluded that “no one else we knew of was more committed to success, to our program and to his program than Ryan and we felt he deserved the opportunity.”
There naturally were some concerns about the physical and mental demands on Beat, but Demmer said that thanks to “his training and the physical shape he’s in, he’s been able to do it with no issues at all.”
In fact, Demmer points out, “he’s finished every race in both Pro 2 and Pro 4 since he took over. That’s a huge accomplishment in this sport.”
Beat said with a smile that he has no trouble sleeping on a race weekend because each day is a non-stop affair spent driving and working on the vehicles. On the first day of the recent Las Vegas weekend, for instance, between practice and two qualifying sessions for each class he was on the track nine times. It’s just as hectic on a race day, when “I jump out of one truck and barely have enough time to get a drink of water before I get strapped in and go back out.”
Beat said there have been a few brief moments when he has had to remind himself which truck he is driving.
“There’s a lot going on,” he said. “You’re constantly thinking. When you go from one truck to the next you can kind of get mixed up, but it doesn’t happen often. I’m usually pretty clear in my thoughts on what I like in each truck and what adjustments I want to make after each session, so it hasn’t been too bad.
“The hardest one is getting out of the Pro 4 and getting into the Pro Lite. That’s the hardest one because you can be so aggressive in the Pro 4 and the Pro Lite you’re driving on eggshells, on pins and needles, and you’re tip-toeing around everywhere.”
The belief, the carrot on the end of the stick, is that all the hard work today is building a bridge to future success.
“It’s a lot of driving, it’s a lot of seat time, which is good,” Beat said. “It may not show up right now but I know it will.
“I’ve had a lot of people say ‘who do you think you are, Carl Renezeder?’ I say no, I’m not trying to be Renezeder. I just think I’m preparing for my future better than anyone else. I’m taking an opportunity and I’ll do what I can with it.
“I’m like a sponge right now,” Beat said. “I’m soaking up everything, I’m learning everything I can from all three of these trucks, and I’m going to carry it into my future and see what it will get me.”
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series presented by GEICO is supported by a potent marketing concept known as “Team Lucas” whose members include Lucas Oil Products Inc., E3 Spark Plugs, General Tire, GEICO, Canidae All Natural Pet Food, MAVTV-American Real, Speedco Truck Lube and Tire, Optima Batteries, Toyota, iON Cameras, LoanMart and Protect The Harvest.
Additional sponsorship is provided by Rockstar Energy, 4 Wheel Parts, Lunarpages, ReadyLIFT, Mickey Thompson Tires, Team Associated and Magna Flow.