The Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS) comes to Nevada once a year for the Silver State Showdown. This is the only opportunity to catch these pro trucks and buggies racing at the Wild West Motorsports Park and a great opportunity to justify a trip to Reno.
Fans were lining up at the gates to be the first to watch every moment of the action on Saturday morning and everyone knew it was going to be an action-packed weekend. The crowd was filled with shirts and hats from fan favorites like Jeremy McGrath, Rob MacCachren, Brian Deegan, Kyle Leduc and RJ Anderson.
Immediately after entering the venue the pro team trailers line the entrance and give fans the first chance to see the trucks getting their final preparations before taking the track. Just the sight of the trucks built to run 100 MPH in Reno already starts to excite the fans.
Then the roar of an engine in the distance leaves fans scurrying to the track to see what they are missing. It would be a busy weekend with racing on both Saturday and Sunday to complete Rounds 9 and 10 of the series.
Pro 4 Highlights
The televised racing starts with the opening ceremony and then the parade of the Pro 4 trucks rumbling on to the track. You better be in your seat when you hear them start their engines because this is one of the best races with some of the top drivers and teams from across the country.
Going into the weekend there were less than 50 points separating the Top 5 drivers with single digits separating the top two. On Saturday, Carl Renezeder would run the fastest lap of the day in Pro 4 with a 50.5 in Lap 14 to secure the win followed with less than two seconds behind by Kyle Leduc and Doug Mittag taking the last spot on the podium coming in third.
Fans returning on Sunday would see RJ Anderson making the adjustments needed overnight to run the fastest laps on Sunday with the only 50.2-second lap of the day to almost a half second a lap ahead of most competitors. RJ would secure his spot on top of the podium followed by Doug Mittag for his second podium of the weekend and with Rob MacCachren’s car driven by Bradley Morris finishing in third.
Pro Lite Highlights
Pro Lite is quickly becoming one of my favorite classes to watch as these rising young superstars of off-road racing rise through the Mod Kart classes as kids and end up in Pro Lite as young adults securing their spot in the TV spotlight. Pro Lite driver Jerett Brooks would start the weekend in first place in the points standings battling to keep his four point lead over Brock Heger.
Pro Lite is one of the biggest classes with 11 trucks on the track on Saturday and 13 showing up to race on Sunday. Saturday was a battle with Brock Heger and Jerett Brooks. Jerett Brooks would run some of the fastest laps but Brock Heger would end up with the win with a 1.7 second lead over Brooks followed almost 10 seconds later by Brandon Arthur.
Sunday would prove to be a better day for Brooks. Brooks would start side by side with Christopher Polvoorde followed in the third position by Brock Heger. Brooks would hold the lead the entire race with Heger only able to gain one position pushing Polvoorde down the podium one into third.
Pro Buggy Highlights
Pro Buggy has a battle this season going on between last year’s champion Darren Hardesty and Eliot Watson. With only one point separating them going into the weekend we knew that these two would be doing whatever it takes to get every point possible and they did not disappoint. The weekend however in Pro Buggy would belong to Sterling Cling running a perfect race on Saturday with the scorching hot lap times keeping him in first place and securely on top of the podium.
The battle was for second between Hardesty and Watson was as exciting as racing gets. Both would push it to the limit and finish only four tenths of a second apart with Hardesty taking second on Saturday and Watson finishing in third.
Sunday would continue to be a great day for Sterling Cling as he would run out front again the entire race being chased closely by Eliot Watson with and Darren Hardesty chasing in third just waiting for either of them to make an error he could take advantage of. In the final lap, before the long straightaway, Hardesty would push Watson wide in the corner to get past and sprint to the second place spot on the podium. The race would finish with Sterling Cling standing on top of the box in first for the second day in a row with Hardesty and Watson rounding out the podium again in second and third.
Pro 2 Highlights
Nobody leaves a LOORRS race before the Pro 2 trucks finish on the track. Fans line the rail and can hear the rumble of the trucks far off in the distance as they start their engines and line up behind the pilot truck.
Pro 2 has the biggest names in off-road racing competing over the weekend. Points leader Jeremy McGrath, fan favorite Brian Deegan, rock star RJ Anderson, young gun Jerett Brooks, and the legend Rob MacCachren just to name a few.
Some people like NASCAR, some like dragsters, and some prefer muscle cars. The fans in Reno love off-road racing. In a city surrounded by desert and mountains off road racing is clearly king. It was clear this is what they had come to see and the pits and vendor row behind the stands were empty as the Pro 2 races started each day.
Round 9 would be a battle between RJ Anderson and Brian Deegan pushing each other throughout the race to stay in front of the pack. Anderson and Deegan would tie for the two fastest laps of the race running twin 52.9 seconds to keep them in front. The race would finish with RJ Anderson in front, followed closely by Deegan with points leader Jeremy McGrath finishing a close third. Sunday would be a whole different story. Sunday started with Jeremy McGrath side by side with RJ Anderson, with Bradley Morris and Rob MacCachren’s car in the 4 spot.
Sunday started with Jeremy McGrath side by side with RJ Anderson, with Bradley Morris and Rob MacCachren’s car in the number four spot. This race would be full of contact with none of the cars starting with the fenders they started with.
Compare the pictures of the cars coming on to the track with the pictures of them coming off and you will see Sunday was a contact sport. The first casualty would be RJ Anderson losing a tire and having to hit the hot pits falling to the back of the pack.
Next, Brian Deegan would get caught up in the hairpin turn on the inside of the track getting turned around and ending up with a flat. Deegan would also make his way to the hot pits exiting a lap down. Many others would follow with three cars going through the hot pit and coming out a lap down.
Jeremy McGrath would escape all of the chaos coming out clean in front of the pack. For many being a lap down would cause some to accept defeat, but Deegan would emerge from the hot pit driving like someone possessed by a demon on a mission to get the lead. Deegan would battle his way through the pack passing Rodrigo Ampudia, Jerett Brooks, Bradley Morris, and finally challenging McGrath to try and get back on the lead lap.
McGrath never one to back down was doing everything possible to keep Deegan a lap down until the end of the race. Finishing a lap down would result in Deegan slipping even farther behind in championship points and would extend the lead McGrath has been slowly growing for the season.
It was an epic battle to watch and probably the highlight of the race weekend. McGrath would eventually have to back off as Deegan was willing to risk everything to get back on the lead lap. You could hear the fans yelling to let him go and not risk being taken out and losing the first place position.
Deegan would put in the fastest lap of the race on the 14th lap and be allowed to slip past McGrath getting back on the lead lap. McGrath would continue to drive flawlessly staying out in front of the pack finishing in first place by over two seconds.
The surprise of this race was the second place finish by Bradley Morris and third place by Jerett Brooks. These young drivers would race fast and avoid trouble to stay at the front of the pack. They simply ran a clean race and when others got tied up they quietly drove through finishing with both on the podium. This would be the second trip to the podium for both on Sunday.
Overall LOORRS put on another amazing show and it was a hit for all of the returning fans. We love to see these trucks and buggies race and are constantly amazed by the engineering that allows them to compete at this level.
The next race is September 15-16 at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California and we would highly recommend attending the race closest to you to see what all the excitement is about for yourself.