The series is now at its halfway point, and a lot is going on in the minds of the drivers and crews of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO. For some, the choice may be to start throttling back, going for more certain solid points finishes that will help preserve the high positions they’ve gotten up to in the points. For others, the more appealing option may be to go for the gusto, to try and score big as they try to make up ground they lost in the early going. And for a select few, the choice will be to go for it despite their good standings; to continue to hold the hammer down. Why slow down when going fast has been working so far? No matter the approach, it all made for great racing here at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, UT, as the crowd was treated to one of the most enthralling, and in some cases controversial, afternoons of racing in recent memory. The drivers really put on a show, and the fans voiced their approval with enthusiasm that was louder and more positive than this reporter has ever seen at a short course race.
LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Picturesque Thunder Valley MX Park hosted the third round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, on Saturday, producing two new winners for the 2012 season at the Toyota Thunder Valley National. Following back-to-back runner-up finishes to start the season, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., emerged victorious, capturing a 1-1 moto sweep to give the Austrian brand its first overall victory in the 450 Class. In the 250 Class, GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia, of Monroe, N.Y., ended a 27-race winless streak to capture his second career win.
In the opening moto of the 450 Class, James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., worked his way from a third-place start to take over the lead on Lap 2. However, just two laps later, the Team Yoshimura Suzuki rider went down as he looked to open a gap on the field, failing to finish the moto and appearing to favor his hand.
With Stewart out of action, Dungey took over the lead on Lap 4 and went on to take an easy moto win, his first of the season, and put himself in position for the overall.
The effects of his first moto crash forced Stewart to sit out Moto 2 as well, losing the points lead with no points recorded. As the gate dropped, Dungey grabbed the holeshot, quickly pulled away, and dominated en route to securing the overall victory.
“I hate to win like that,” said Dungey, who has won three consecutive races at Thunder Valley. “James and I have pushed each other to new levels and although he won the first four motos (this season), it’s been good. Hopefully he heals up and comes back (next week). My game plan is always the same, to take it one race at a time. You can’t focus on the end result and we saw that today. I just do my own thing, put my best foot forward, and never underestimate anyone.”