It was an absolutely gorgeous day here at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, UT, and the fans packed the stands in droves for Round 7 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO. All afternoon, spectators were treated to a succession of fantastic races, and were regularly screaming from the edges of their seats as they watched with excitement. With surprises and close racing abounding throughout, many of the usual suspects were up to their old tricks here today, but there were also a few drivers who’d either been down on their luck, lacking experience in a new class, or just plain new to the sport, who also tasted success in Round 7. For more on the goings on, read about some of the most exciting racing so far this season.
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.”
Nighttime off-road racing is back in southern California, as the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, makes its triumphant return to the legendary Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino. This is the home of off-road racing, and the once-a-year excitement of a packed house enjoying the balmy summer night and the hot action on the track make this race a fan favorite. With expectations high, the drivers didn’t disappoint, as they put on a performance that will keep those who played witness talking for a week. In case you missed it, read on to find out what so many got to enjoy.
A massive swarming beehive of a Limited Buggy field rolled out next, and was about to put on a great show as the day faded into night. Dave Mason grabbed the early lead in his #365 B&R Buggie/SR Performance AlumiCraft, with Curt Geer, Zac Hunt, Quentin Tucker, and Bradley Morris in hot pursuit. A brief full-course caution was thrown to allow crews to pull Kyle Lucas’ car off a barricade, and after the restart, Mason and Geer were still running first and second, with Sean Kennedy now third, Hunt fourth, and Geoffrey Cooley fifth. As a whole host of drivers jockeyed and crashed back and forth in a battle for third, Mason and Geer moved clear of the carnage in a close race for the lead. Following another full-course caution, this one for a rollover by Jeff Richards, the restart lap helped Tucker to move into third, with Hunt still fourth, and Bruce Fraley now fifth, as Mason and Geer still headed the field. The top two continued to battle, and after getting alongside Mason but failing to grab the lead, Geer made his move stick on the following lap, grabbing the lead after the briefest of contact coming out of turn two. Behind them, Hunt was now up to third in the #334 Speed Energy/BDI Bowden Development, Inc. AlumiCraft, while Fraley’s evening took a turn south as he rolled in turn two. Fraley’s misfortune moved Geoffrey Cooley up to fifth, and at the competition yellow, it was Geer in the #385 Green Army/Gatorwraps.com Lothringer, Mason, Hunt, Tucker in the #377 General Tire/Fox Racing Shox buggy, and Cooley in the #322 Competitive Metals/Fat Performance AlumiCraft running in the top five. On the restart lap, Mason dropped several spots after going wide in turn two, with Hunt also falling back after he and Tucker got together between turns four and five, which sent Hunt off the track. Tucker didn’t get away without incident, either, as he looked to have a flattening left rear tire. Tucker did well to keep driving despite his malady, and managed to maintain his second place, while up ahead, Geer was free to fly to the victory, his third of the year. Tucker took second, with Mason third, Lindsay Geiser a very impressive fourth in the #395 CANIDAE/Geiser Bros Design and Development Geiser, and Morris fifth in the #304 Lucas Oil/K&N AlumiCraft.
Pro 4 Unlimited
With all the stadium lights now shining bright, the monsters of Pro 4 Unlimited thundered out on track. After a six-position inversion of the qualifying results, it was Curt LeDuc and Greg Adler, filling in for the injured Travis Coyne, who started up front. Adler’s first foray into Pro 4 Unlimited started as well as it could have, as he took the early lead in his #5 ProComp/Lucas Oil Ford, ahead of Curt LeDuc in the #43 Rockstar/Makita Ford, Adrian Cenni in the #11 Atrium Payroll/Maxxis truck, Rick Huseman in the #36 Monster Energy/E3 Spark Plugs Toyota, and Todd LeDuc in the #4 Rockstar/Makita Ford. On lap four, Kyle LeDuc out-drove his brother Todd into turn three, moving up to fifth in his #99 Rockstar/Makita Ford. Ahead of them, Huseman also picked up a spot to take over third from Cenni. On the following lap, Huseman picked off Curt LeDuc to take over second, and on the lap after that, he easily out-charged Adler through the rhythm section, nosing ahead and into the lead into turn three. As Huseman began to quickly pull open a gap over the competition, Curt LeDuc’s truck suddenly slowed near the start/finish line, which caught out Cenni who rear-ended him before managing to get by. This allowed Kyle LeDuc to move into third, with Cenni now fourth and Todd LeDuc fifth. Huseman continued to pull away from those behind, and had a good gap over second-placed Adler by the competition yellow. With the UTI Toyota pace truck picking up the field, Kyle LeDuc drove by and into the hot pits to fix a flat tire, dropping him to the back of the pack. At the restart, it was Huseman, Adler, Cenni, Todd LeDuc, and Carl Renezeder in the top five, with Adler getting shoved wide at turn two, dropping him back to fifth. Huseman still held the lead, with a fierce battle for second going on just behind between Cenni and Renezeder. As Renezeder tried every move in his repertoire to get past Cenni, Huseman’s lead suddenly looked tenuous, as wisps of smoke began shooting intermittently from the back of his truck. Cenni and Renezeder seemed to smell blood, and started to close the gap on the leader as the smoke began to come out in bigger puffs. Huseman kept his cool, though, and as the smoke output began to level off, his lead evened out as well. Behind him, Renezeder was still trying his best to grab second place, and on the final lap, he made a great outside-inside pass on Cenni through turn three to grab the spot, much to the delight of a packed house. Up ahead, Huseman got back to his winning ways after a very unusual (for him) four-race winless streak, as he picked up his fifth of the season. Renezeder came home second to keep a good lead in the points, with Cenni taking third, Todd LeDuc fourth, and Adler a fine fifth.
TOOELE VALLEY, UTAH – The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series returns to Miller Motorsports Park this weekend, June 25-26, and will have a brand-new, permanent track on which to compete.
Following last year’s very popular debut at Miller Motorsports Park, track officials decided to build a permanent, high-speed off-road facility to host the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and other off-road activities.
“We have developed a great relationship with Lucas Oil,” said John Larson, General Manager of Miller Motorsports Park, “and their race last year was so well received and generated such positive feedback that we decided to make the commitment to build them a permanent home at Miller Motorsports Park that can also be used for our other off-road events and activities.”
The track was designed and built in conjunction with the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, and promises to provide fans with even more excitement and spectacular racing.
“Miller Motorsports Park is a first-class facility in every respect,” said Bob Patison, Executive Vice President of Lucas Oil Products, Inc. ”It is racer- and fan-friendly, with amenities typically not found at most race venues. The Miller group has made a commitment to the sport of Short Course Off Road Racing, as evidenced by the new purpose-built track. Our Series Director, Tony Vanillo, designed the track to challenge the racers and provide the fans with an up-close experience that will not soon be forgotten.”
“We can’t wait to see the Lucas Oil trucks and buggies on the track,” said Larson. “We think the fans in Utah are going to love this facility, and that the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series could well be the fastest-growing event that we offer.
The track is just under a mile long, with large banked turns and the fastest straightaways of all the Lucas Oil Off Road tracks, plus a Mammoth Table Top and a six-pack rhythm section. Covered grandstands will provide guests with shade and a view of the entire course. VIP packages are also available.
As was the case last year, the action will be fast and furious, with high-flying vehicles going wheel to wheel and door to door, fighting for every inch of track space. The paddock will be open to spectators at no charge, and fans can chat with the teams and drivers while they prepare their vehicles. The series promotes a family-friendly atmosphere, and last year a number of lucky fans got to take home discarded pieces of bodywork autographed by the various drivers.
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series event gets underway on Saturday, with a full schedule of practice, qualifying and main-event races for all 11 classes on each day. The gates will open at 10 a.m. on both days, with main-event races starting at 12:30 p.m. and on-track action ending by 6 p.m.
Adult tickets for this event are priced at $30 per day or $50 for a two-day pass. Tickets for kids aged 12 and under are priced at $10 per day or $15 for a two-day pass. Kids aged three and under will be admitted free of charge.
For more information on the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, visit their website at www.LucasOilOffRoad.com. For event tickets or information regarding Miller Motorsports Park, visit the track’s website at www.MillerMotorsportsPark.com or call 435-277-8000.
The strong finishes at Firebird put the talented Stephensen in second place in season championship points in the highly competitive Pro Lite Unlimited class, just five points behind the leader. “We made my nearly ten year old truck as new as possible in the off season with the help of Bruce Fraley and Kevin Avina, amongst others. We proved that we can run with the best of the best!”
The 2010 Lucas Oil Off-Road Series wrapped up last month, but race fans dying to get some action this weekend before football starts are in luck. The Lucas Oil Challenge Cup, presented by Rockstar Energy, will air on CBS Sports Spectacular this Saturday, January 8th, at 1:00 p.m. EST. (10:00 a.m.PST). Be sure to check your local listing, as airtime may be subject to change.
The Lucas Oil Challenge Cup was covered on Off-Road.com back in December, but seeing the action on video is definitely must-see TV. This race occurred after the final round of the regular season as the finale showdown of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing for 2010. Some of the major racers in the competition include Brian Deegan, Carl Renezeder, Rob MacCachren, Rick Huseman, Kyle LeDuc and more.