If there was one word that describes the 2014 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) Championship best, it would have to be “dominating.” This year’s crop of champions all put up outstanding performances on their way to their titles but that doesn’t mean it was easy. Despite posting multiple victories and strings of podium finishes, most of the championship races came down to the wire. It speaks volumes about the level of competition that exists in the series. When the teams descended on Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park there was a lot of unfinished business to settle. They would run the final round (15), the Challenge Cup, and a make-up race on Saturday morning to settle round 14 that was rained out in Las Vegas.
Pro 4 Champion Kyle LeDuc was merciless. He won 12 out of 15 rounds during the season and swept all three races in Lake Elsinore. The Elsinore race was his fifth perfect weekend of back to back wins this season. At one point in the season he had a streak going of eight straight wins in a row. He was not always running out front during those races but somehow when the checkered flag flew, he was leading far more than any other. It was impressive watching him do whatever it took to take his wins.
Sometimes it was pretty; other times it was pure guts and determination paired with a bulletproof truck under him that made the difference. “Putting my name in the record books and having a season that was pure domination was beyond my dreams,” said LeDuc. “I’m amazed and pleased that it’s no dream, it’s reality. We had an amazing year with an amazing team and sponsors who put us on top and kept us there.”
LeDuc also went to Crandon for the TORC series fall race where he won back to back there too; earning a World Championship ring and the Amsoil Cup. That brings LeDuc’s total to 14 wins out of 17 short course races this season. His 12 wins in LOORRS set their single season win record previously co-held by Brian Deegan and Rick Huseman who each had 10.
When asked if his team ever discussed breaking the late Rick Huseman’s record, LeDuc was quick to correct the record. “I broke the record in LOORRS and have 14 total wins in a season but Rick won 15 short course races in one season, he’s still the man.” LeDuc also put a final stamp on the year with a win in the Challenge Cup race. No points and no tomorrow, the Challenge Cup race is an all-out checkers or wreckers race for big bucks. LeDuc got his name etched into the Challenge Cup trophy and walked off with a huge check for $30,000.
In Pro 2, Brian Deegan absolutely dominated the podium. He was there for every single round but one, six of them wins, on his way to the Pro 2 Championship title. Deegan won the Pro Lite championship last season and finished second in Pro 2. This year he flipped that; winning the title in Pro 2 and finishing first runner up in Prolite. Deegan captured the Pro 2 title back in round 13 but battled with Sheldon Creed to the very end in Pro Lite. In the end, Creed won by only a few points. “I have to give a big thanks to my entire team and my sponsors,” said Deegan. “Six years and six championships! We race to win!” Deegan will be racing in the Pro 4 class next year; maybe he will run for three championships at the same time in 2015.
2014 Pro Lite Champion Sheldon Creed hit the podium 11 rounds out of 15 to take his title. Pro Lite is arguably the most competitive class in LOORRS. Huge truck counts make it necessary to have two separate groups during qualifying. Those who don’t make the cut have to get through a last chance qualifier just to start the main event in the back of the pack.
Creed’s Pro Lite Championship adds to the impressive list of race wins and championships he has amassed throughout his racing career which began at age three. We were unable to reach Creed for a comment but with dirt track, short course, and Formula Off-Road Stadium Super Truck racing all on his schedule, he’s probably on a track somewhere going fast.
Pro Buggy Champion Chad George continued the dominating trend by amassing 13 podium finishes and six wins on his way to the title. “My name goes on the trophy but it’s not a championship for me, it’s a championship for my team,” said George.
“So much effort goes into winning a championship, I could not have done it without my team, my family and Funco Motorsports. We started the season out for wins. After a couple rounds, we knew a championship was possible but didn’t change our strategy. We go 100% for the win every time we hit the track. We are constantly looking for improvements to our tires, suspension, engine tuning, anything we can do to go faster. Winning the Challenge Cup was icing on the cake; we got paid in full for a long tough season!” George and his Funco Motorsports teammate (and cousin) Garrett, are already itching to get back on the track in 2015.
Brock Heger, who will be moving to Pro Lite next season, displayed the same domination in the Modified Kart class with five wins and 11 out of 15 rounds on the podium. Heger knew it was to be his last season in the Modified Kart class so he wanted to go out on top. His season began with a disqualification in round one. Behind the rest of the field from the start, it made Heger and his team even more determined.
Heger’s Championship run in the Modified Kart class was impressive but what really makes his season second to none is what he did in his Pro Lite truck. As mentioned, he planned to move up to the national Pro Lite series in 2015. In preparation, he ran his truck in two Lucas Oil Regional series’ – one in Arizona and the other in Southern California. He won Pro Lite Championships in both; that makes three Championship titles in one year for the 14 year old Heger!
With another year in the books, the racers can finally take some time off and reflect on their season. Judging by the fierce competition displayed all year, they will probably be back in the shop in a few days preparing for 2015. Check out the gallery below!