The week may be over, but the action under the lights is only beginning. Rounds 13 and 14 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series kicked off in Lake Elsinore, California September 23rd. This would be the last weekend of short-course racing in Southern California for the year.
Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park hosted the event, which would run Mod Karts, Pro Lite, Pro 2, and Pro 4, saw perfect weather for Friday nights races. Kicking off the evening would be Pro 4.
Carl Renezeder and Kyle LeDuc would come into this weekend’s races only separated by only six points. The action started as soon as the race started with LeDuc having to fight through the field to ultimately take the win and move within four points in the championship battle.
Rob MacCachren placed third and Carl Renezeder in second. “You really had to work on your lines and figure out the fast stuff,” said MacCachren after the race. “This race was a pretty awesome race,” Renezeder explained. “I knew I had to push it. I could not really protect my lines with these guys behind me.”
It has been a rough season for the Monster Energy sponsored driver, LeDuc, but things have turned around, allowing him to win six out of the last eight rounds. “It’s a battle,” Leduc said. “This is what everyone comes to see. No one wants to see us just cruise around. We are racing for blood and to win.”
LeDuc and Renezeder will surely put on a show tomorrow night. It is possible we have a major change in the Pro 4 points lead.
Jarett Brooks has been dominating the Pro Lite field, but Brandon Arthur is still within striking distance this late in the season. The Pro Lite race had the largest number of entrants, which makes racing even closer because at the blink of an eye everything could change.
After a tough battle, Jarred Brooks was able to stand on the podium once again taking Round 13. The Rigid Industries and Bilstein backed driver made a late pass to move into the lead, from where he never looked back.
Arthur placed third, with Brock Heger getting second place. “Despite everything this was still one of my best races,” Heger said. “We lead the majority of the laps until the yellow flag came out.”
“That was for sure one of the best races I have ever had,” Brooks said atop the podium. “I have never been able to stop someone like that. I just kept going for it giving Heger everything I had in the corner.”
This win pushes Brooks further in the points lead, but things can still change.
Pro Buggy had some of the wildest action of the night. These open-wheeled vehicles can easily get tangled up. Darren Hardesty Jr. was leading the race when he came over the back the back table top into Turn 3 when he clipped a vehicle stopped on the rail and get sent into a wild rollover accident. His rear wheel was ripped off the vehicle, ending his night. With the restart and the field wide open, but it was Bud Ward getting his first win.
“First thing my spotter said was ‘Be patient,’ night races always turn into that,’” Ward said. “Qualifying did not go as planned, but we were able to better that in the race and take home the win.”
Mike Valentine and Sterling Cling rounded out the podium. “I got black-flagged early in the race,” Cling explained. “I served my penalty and I pushed forward from there.” Making excellent passes he was able to climb through the field and land in third place.
“It is so close that we have to continue to race,” Valentine explained. “I have to get a better qualifying position tomorrow. We need to start a little more towards the front.”
Pro Buggy may be the race to watch come Saturday night.
With enough action to get anyone’s heart rate up, it was time to end the night with the Pro 2 trucks. Points leader Rob MacCachren would be on the front line to start the race with Brian Deegan. These two battled all night for the lead. At one point Rob MacCachren made a perfect pass on Deegan in Turn 1, but the yellow flag reverted the field back to the last completed lap putting Deegan back up front.
MacCachren would later catch Deegan and take the win with Deegan placing second, and RJ Anderson rounding out the podium. “I love racing here,” Riverside native, Anderson said on the podium. “Three straight podiums here, but I need to qualify better tomorrow.”
“In the end, it is the back and forth, cat and mouse battle that everyone loves,” Deegan said. “It was an awesome race, I had fun all the way until the end.”
“I got in front of Brian in Turn 1 then heard ‘Yellow, yellow, yellow’ on the radio, I hoped Greg Foutz would forget about positioning to keep me up front,” MacCachren said. “That didn’t happen, but it was still a great clean race with Brian and RJ.”