Corona, CA – September 12, 2012: Lucas Oil Racing announced today that Competition Director Tony Vanillo has decided to resign his position effective immediately. Vanillo has served in that role since the series was created by Lucas Oil and Forrest Lucas in 2009.

The series also announced that Administrative Director Sherry Vanillo also has resigned effective immediately.

“Tony Vanillo’s contribution to our series and the sport of short-course off-road racing have been both impactful and long lasting,” said Lucas Oil Executive Vice-President Bob Patison. “Certainly the same can be said for Tony’s wife Sherry as well. On behalf of our racers, sponsors and fans, we wish them well in their future business endeavors and thank them for helping make our short-course series the growing form of motorsports it is today.”

Lucas Oil’s executive management will explore a full range of options as it considers the Vanillo’s successors. The series has two more race weekends left on its 2012 racing season, including the LoanMart “Fight Under the Lights” presented by Las Vegas Events on Sept. 21-22 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“The staff at Lucas Oil is looking forward to executing next weekend’s big Las Vegas weekend with all the professionalism and experience that comes from putting on more than 300 races a year around the country,” added Patison. “While today’s news comes as a disappointment, the Lucas shows will always go on.”

STOW, OH – After an incredible debut season in 2011, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels has once again returned to the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series as a 2012 series sponsor. Through this strengthened program, Mickey Thompson is committed to bringing their legendary Baja tires and track-side support to the series racers, and will continue to work collaboratively with teams in the Pro-Lite Unlimited and Pro-Buggy Unlimited classes to test and prove their off-road tire products. Marking another major advance for 2012 will be the unveiling of the all-new “Baja Pro” short course race tire for Pro 2 and Pro 4 trucks. Jeff Geiser, of Geiser Brothers Motorsports, will be the first to debut the tires at the season-opening Firebird International Raceway round March 31.

“The 2011 Lucas Off Road Racing Series series was incredible,” affirmed Ken Warner, VP of Sales and Marketing for Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels. “Lucas Oil puts on the best short course race in the industry today and we are thrilled to be a part of the program. Seeing Mike Porter, who races on our Mickey Thompson Sportsman ST Radial’s, earn two wins, four second place podium finishes, and four third place podium finishes during the 2011 season, was an absolute thrill and we look forward to another great year.” Warner continued, “Jacob Person and Drew Britt, who competed in the Super Lite class and earned several podium finishes throughout the season on Mickey Thompson ATZ Plus tires, were also recognized for their 2011 series success.”

Tony Vanillo, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Competition Director, underscored Mickey Thompson’s renewed 2012 involvement. “As a new series sponsor last year, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels came in and campaigned aggressively, looking for teams to sponsor and asking all of the right Lucas Oil Off Road Series Logoquestions of all the right people. No beginner to Short Course Off Road Racing, Mickey Thompson was the Godfather! His name adds a level of integrity that will never be disputed.” Vanillo added, “The Company’s tire expertise in all forms of racing, continued off road tire development and dedicated trackside support brings an invaluable contribution to the series. They are great people to work with, special thanks go out to Ken Warner, Aaron Smith and crew, it was a great first year and we can’t wait to see what the future partnership holds!”

Effective immediately, the competition dates scheduled for the sixth and seventh rounds of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series race in Reno, NV have been changed from Labor Day weekend, September 1st and 2nd to one week earlier, the weekend of August 25th and 26th

The decision to move the race arose from lengthy logistical planning meetings with the Reno and Sparks City Managers and local Hotel and Casino owners. The decision was made in the best interest of the competitors, fans, city and the series.

“The moving up of the Reno rounds at the Wild West Motorsports Park will enhance the race experience for all of the parties involved,” stated Tony Vanillo, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Competition Director. “Changing the date from Labor Day weekend will also free up the holiday weekend to spend with friends and family and avoid overcrowded accommodations and facilities.”

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Tony Vanillo
Competition Director
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
Round 6 & 7
August 26th and 27TH

Wild West Motorsports Park
12005 East I-80
Sparks, Nevada 89434

Probably the most versatile racecar driver in the world, Robby Gordon is always racing. Whether it’s stock-car racing, open-wheel, or where he got his start in off-road, Gordon is always behind the wheel of some sort of automobile, ready to take on whoever will line up against him.

This weekend, at the Glen Helen round of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, Robby Gordon will be returning to his roots in short-course off-road racing, taking part in the premier Pro 2 Unlimited class.

“Robby’s from Southern California originally, and having him – a famous off-road and NASCAR racer – out on the track will only bring more fans and more competition to an already popular and competitive series,” says Tony Vanillo of the Lucas Oil Off road Racing Series. “We’re really excited to see how he fares out there against the best of the best in modern short-course racing.”

CORONA, CA – In off-road racing, there are limits: Limits to horsepower, speed, and even passing. But the most efficient way to push those limits out further is with traction. With better traction, you can apply more horsepower to the ground, you can go faster, and you can take the lines you need to take in order to get around your competition.

And that’s why it’s so important that the 2011 Lucas Oil Off Road Series has strong competition where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. We’re talking, of course, about the tire manufacturers, all of whom have returned for 2011, along with a new player in the game.