It’s official, the LOORRS 2020 season has started! While this season looked a little different from a scheduling standpoint, the drivers and teams were well prepared to battle for the first two rounds. Playing host to the season opener was a dusty Glen Helen Raceway. It gave all the Pro 2 drivers the competition they have been anticipating for months.
11 trucks made up the starting grid for the opening round. Ricky Gutierrez sat on the pole and was able to hold that lead until Lap 3, when defending champion Jerett Brooks mounted an all-out charge. Dominating the inside lane, the #77 K&N truck picked off the top three trucks in less than two laps. Lap 7 saw a caution brought out by RJ Anderson, giving Gutierrez and Brian Deegan a chance to close the gap going into the second half of the race.
As the race went on, Ryan Beat looked to play spoiler, mounting a huge mid-race push. But the hard charging cost him, as the truck started to smoke and caused some wide runs through several turns, slowing his progress. In the end, defending champ Jerett Brooks took the checkered flag, followed by a tight race between Gutierrez and Deegan in second and third, respectively.
“I’m super excited to get the season started, it’s been a long off-season and we have been working on a completely new truck for next year,” Brooks told us when we met up with him between rounds. “I actually haven’t been in a truck for six months, so I felt a little rusty, but after a few practice sessions, I started to feel really good.”
For Round 2, Ryan Beat looked to make up for the missed opportunity of the previous day. He had the top qualifying spot, but right next to him was Brooks, and Brooks was eager to clinch back-to-back victories. Right from the drop of the green, Ryan took off to set the pace, setting several fast laps. He carried all the way through the competition caution on Lap 8, which let the field form up again.
After the restart, it was the battle of the flats. Deegan was the first victim. Ryan Beat was next, losing the right rear tire a lap later, as well as his lead. From that point, it was all Brooks up front. Beat fought to climb back through the pack after returning from the pits and made an impressive charge. In the end, Brooks secured back-to-back wins. Doug Mittag finished in 2nd and Beat clawed his way back up to 3rd.
In the end, the weekend was dominated by one driver, but with the competition as close as it was in the field, there is no telling how the next rounds scheduled for mid-August will go.