Bestop CEO John Larson creeps down a ledge on Strike Ravine in Area BFE.

Bestop CEO John Larson creeps down a ledge on Strike Ravine in Area BFE.

It’s not everyday you get to hop in the passenger seat of a living legend’s Jeep, but that’s what happened when I grabbed a ride in Off-Road Hall of Fame member Curt LeDuc’s Skyjacker JK today at the Bestop trail run at Area BFE. It was a very full house today at Area BFE, as multiple trail runs were scheduled for the off-road park just outside Moab. Luckily for us, Bestop invited us to join their run and we were the first on the trail.

BITD-12-16-11Casey Folks announced today that 254 entries, including 41 Trick Trucks, 29 Class 1500 cars, and 30 Class 1000s are signed up for the General Tire Mint 400 presented by Polaris. Plus, he said only a limited number of spots remain to enter the race. Hundreds of race teams from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia and Europe will converge on Las Vegas, Nevada for “The Great American Off-Road Race” and to compete in twenty-one different classes of off-road desert race vehicles at this year’s General Tire Mint 400, which will take place from March 20th – 24th, 2013.

So who’s coming? Only the top off-road racers in the world! Names like Rob MacChacren, Cameron Steele, BJ Baldwin, Adam Householder, Steve Olliges, John Swift, Shawn & Ray Croll, Jason Voss, Curt LeDuc, Kyle Conlon, Brandon Arthur, Bryce Menzies, Kevin McGillvray, Ryan Poelman, Jesse Jones, TJ Flores, Steve Strobel, Mark & Gary Weyhrich…and the list goes on and on.

Mint-400-2013-Logo-3-19-13Over 250 off-road race teams, and tens of thousands of off-road enthusiasts are about to converge on Sin City…Las Vegas, NV for “The Great American Off-Road Race”! Drivers and crews representing 14 different countries, and spanning every continent – will complete in 21 different classes of vehicles during The 2013 General Tire Mint 400 presented by Polaris. The world famous Mint 400 will kick off Wednesday March 20th with the first ever “4wheel Parts Off-Road Vehicle Parade”, at 3:15pm near Circus Circus Hotel and Casion, and will feature more than eighty custom built off-road trucks and buggies parading down Las Vegas Boulevard. Festivities will continue Thursday afternoon and all day Friday on Fremont Street East, and culminate with the most challenging and brutal off-road race in America on Saturday, March 23rd. The Mint 400 festivities and race spectating are completely free and open to the public.

CORONA, Calif. – Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels has renewed with Team Lucas through 2014 with a partnership package in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.

Founded in 1963 by the legendary Mickey Thompson, a pioneer in short course off road racing, the Stow, Ohio-based company will have a highly visible presence at the tracks and on the television broadcasts on CBS, SPEED, CBS Sports Network and MAVTV American Real. Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels will also have an active hospitality program.

“First of all, the company wants to get back to its roots of off-road short course racing, something Mickey and the company have done in the past,” Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels Vice-President of Sales and Marketing Ken Warner said. “Second, we like to race. We drag race, we race in the salt flats and we race in off-road. We believe in the Team Lucas program. It’s strong.”

With an impressive 2012 season in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, Kyle LeDuc was in a make or break situation going into Round 15. LeDuc had a couple freak mechanical failures mid way through the season and was forced to perform under the gun in Arizona.

Sitting in first place by just 16 points ahead of the rest of the competition, Kyle knew he had to not only finish the race, but finish well. LeDuc once again qualified at the front of the pack in Round 15. Tragically, moments before the green flag dropped, LeDuc discovered a mechanical problem that would prevent him from running at 100%. Not wanting to wreck anybody else’s race or spoil his chances at earning a championship, LeDuc voluntarily moved himself to the rear of the field and positioned himself dead last.

Fort Mill, SC – August 29, 2012 –  Wild West Motorsports Park, in Reno, Nevada, provided plenty of wild west racing during rounds 11 and 12 of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) competition.  It was a brand new track that some drivers took to quickly while others struggled to conquer.  Team GT fared well as up-and-comer Ryan Beat posted his first career LOORRS win in ProLite.

“This weekend was such a great weekend for us,” said Beat after the race.  “We officially moved into second in the points standings and captured our first win in my rookie season.  Huge thanks to General Tire for all the support.”

The first race weekend at this terrific new facility is now in the books, and more improvements being planned for the future of Wild West Motorsports Park, this is sure to be a track that will host big things in the world of short course off-road for years to come. Right now, though, the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series drivers are coming down to crunch time in the 2012 championship, and with just three regular season rounds left to run, everyone will be looking for every last valuable point as the season winds rapidly down. In just four weeks’ time, the battle will be on once again, as we return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Rounds 13 and 14, September 21 and 22. Tickets are on sale now, so get online and get yours today, because you won’t want to miss a minute!

TOOELE VALLEY, UTAH —One of the wildest events of the year is on tap at Miller Motorsports Park this weekend, June 23-24, as the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series makes its third annual visit to Utah.

The high-flying, non-stop, adrenaline-fueled action provided by the series’ trucks and buggies has proven to be very popular with Utah fans. There are nine separate racing classes, four for trucks, two for buggies and three for karts (small, truck-bodied off-road buggies). In addition to well-known off-road racing stars like Utah’s Jerry Daugherty, Carl Renezeder, Curt LeDuc and Rob McCachren, the series is enjoying an influx of action sports stars such as motocross legends Jeremy McGrath, Brian Deegan, Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg and Carey Hart. Skateboarding pioneer Danny Way will be making his off-road racing debut this weekend as well.

The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) season came to a close last weekend at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Arizona.  The grandstands were packed as fans watched Kyle LeDuc dominate the Pro4 Unlimited field in his No. 99 Rockstar Energy Drink / Makita Tools F-150.  Kyle had qualified first and ran away from the competition early and never looked back, setting the fast lap in the process.  Meanwhile, Kyle’s brother Todd was battling with rally driver Liam Doran for fourth place for much of the race, with both trucks shedding their body panels in the process.  Todd won the battle with Doran and finished just off the podium.  Todd finished third in season points in the No. 4 Rockstar Energy Drink / Makita Tools Ford and took home Rookie of the Year honors for the class in the pr ocess.  Kyle LeDuc finished just in front of his brother for second place this season, while his six Pro4 Unlimited victories were more than any other driver in 2011.  Father Curt LeDuc battled the flu in addition to his competitors, finishing seventh on Saturday in his No. 43 Makita Tools / TRUXXX Lift and Level Ford and eighth for the season out of 18 drivers in Pro4 Unlimited.

Last year Kyle LeDuc cleaned up at the end of the 2010 LOORRS season, winning both the Super Lite and Pro2 Unlimited versus Pro4 Unlimited cup races to take home over $40,000.  This year Kyle was hoping to take home the $15,000 prize in the Pro Lite Unlimited versus Pro Buggy cup race.  Kyle qualified second in Pro Lite Unlimited on Friday and set the fast lap on Saturday on his way to a second place finish for the final round of regular season racing, so it was clear that he had the speed necessary to win to the cup.  Kyle passed all of the competition in his No. 99 ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Toyo Tires Pro Lite and had gapped the field by the mandatory caution, but after 28 vehicles were bunched up, hard contact from behind damaged Kyle’s suspension, causing him to roll on Lap 18 and ending his day in Pro Lite Unlimited.

In the Pro2 Unlimited versus Pro4 Unlimited main event, Kyle was once again to repeat his win from last year and bring home another $30,000, but 24 other racers had plans of their own- including Kyle’s own brother and father.  Curt LeDuc started on the first row of the Pro4 Unlimited class, but the entire Pro4 field still had to make up half a lap on the Pro2 competitors in front of them.  Kyle LeDuc started all the way at the back but was passing competitors at will, seemingly picking off another truck as he accelerated out of each corner.  By Lap 8 Kyle had passed all of the competition and was on his way to yet another victory, but fate had other plans and the right rear tire came flying off of Kyle’s truck, taking his chances for victory with it.  Meanwhile Todd LeDuc worked his way up to second place and dove under Robby Woods in Turn 3, but when Woods rolled Todd received a  black flag penalty and was forced to move to the back of the pack.  In an effort to make up ground with time running out, Todd rolled in Turn 4, putting him on the infield as a spectator next to his brother.  Curt LeDuc stayed out of the carnage and managed to finish the race in eighth place overall and second amongst the Pro4 Unlimiteds.

Check your check your local listings for insane LOORRS and Lucas Oil Challenge Cup action on CBS, the Speed Channel , Versus, and MavTV.  Next season brings changes for the LeDuc clan, but regardless of what happens in the off season all three ‘Duc boys will be back on the track for more LOORRS racing in 2012.  You can get the latest information on Team LeDuc on their Facebook page at:

Photo: Getsome Photos

Team LeDuc started the weekend at historic Glen Helen Raceway by tipping off their Facebook followers to the available discount tickets for the weekend’s short course racing.  This resulted in grandstands packed with LeDuc Racing fans for Rounds 9 & 10 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS).

A dark cloud fell over Glen Helen Raceway early on when Kyle LeDuc lost a transmission in the No. 99 ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Makita Tools Pro2 Unlimited F-150 during practice.  Not able to qualify, this put Kyle at the back of the pack for the Pro 4 race Saturday evening.  His brother, Todd, qualified 4th and his father, Curt, qualified 6th but there was little time to celebrate as the sound of Makita Power Tools was humming through the LeDuc pits in an effort to change Kyle’s transmission before Saturday’s race.

With the inversion, Curt LeDuc started in the pole position on Saturday in the No. 43 Makita Tools / Truxxx Lift and Level Ford with Todd right behind him in the No. 4 ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Matika Tools Ford.  Curt held steady in second with Todd in fifth the first half of the race, while Kyle worked his way up from the back of the field to sixth place by the fourth lap. Unfortunately it was Curt’s turn to have transmission woes and he bowed out of the race before the checkers were waved.

Just before Saturday’s mandatory caution, Kyle suffered a cut tire and had to go into the hot pits for a fresh Toyo Open Country M/T.  After working his way up to third place during the first half of the race he found himself at the back of the pack again.  Meanwhile, Todd kept running his own race, pushing hard into corners with his brake rotors glowing under the night sky.  Todd consistently kept pace with the front runners, and was rewarded with a 4th place finish, just  outside of the podium.

Sunday’s Pro4 Unlimited competition was reminiscent of the LeDucs’ earlier appearance at Glen Helen Raceway in May for Rounds 5 & 6 of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing action.  Kyle LeDuc and Carl Renezeder waged an all out battle that brought the crowd to their feet in some of the most action-packed racing witnessed all season long.   Sunday’s wild main event also saw Curt LeDuc’s No. 43 Makita Tools / Truxxx Lift and Level Ford pushed over the K rail and off the track, while Todd LeDuc rolled the No. 4 ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Matika Tools Ford and started an impromptu  pyrotechnics show for the fans.  In the end, Kyle bested Carl Renezeder to take second place in the No. 99 ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Makita Tools F-150 and retain his 3rd place seaso n standing with five rounds of LOORRS racing remaining.

In Pro Lite Unlimited, Kyle qualified 4th for Saturday’s race in his new Toyo Tires truck.  The first lap was not even completed before Kyle was spun out, resulting in a red flag restart.  Kyle was running a good pace and fighting for the lead when hard contact from a competitor cost him several positions.  Never one to give up, Kyle continued picking off other drivers, but when he was spun late in the race Kyle was only able to work his way back to 5th place by the end of the race.  On Sunday Kyle started on the third row his No. 99 Toyo Tires truck and took off like a shot, but unfortunately loose track conditions caused Kyle to spin out and end up at the back of the pack.    If the fans at Glen Helen learned one thing this weekend though, it is never to count out Kyle LeDuc.  He immediately went to work picking off com petitors until hard contact with Austin Kimbrell damaged a tie rod, making right turns nearly impossible and ending his hopes for another victory.  Still, Kyle was pleased with the speed of his all new LeDuc-built Pro Lite Unlimited and confident that with some fine tuning this truck will soon be winning races.

The LeDucs now prepare for the next rounds of LOORRS racing at Speedworld Off Road Park in Surprise, Arizona on September 24th and 25th.  Kyle LeDuc already had a podium finish at Speedworld earlier this season, and ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Makita Tools Team LeDuc Racing plans to continue their three-truck assault on the competition in Pro4 Unlimited. Check your local listings for door-to-door LOORRS action on CBS, the Speed Channel , Versus, and MavTV.  You can get the latest information on Team LeDuc on their Facebook page at: