Fans of off-road racing are about to be in for a high-flying treat, as America’s favorite 4×4 race series prepares to get back under full throttle after a much deserved late-summer siesta. We are speaking of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, which returns to San Bernardino’s legendary Glen Helen Raceway for a double-header weekend on October 5th-6th. Also known as the Rockstar Energy Golden State Off Road Nationals, this two-day event marks the home stretch for off-road racing, as teams return to the venue that hosted the 2019 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series season opener on March 16th of this year.
Glen Helen Raceway is widely revered as the “off-road epicenter of Southern California,” a brutally fashioned dirt track that saw loads of nocturnal action during Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series’ season premiere. While a late summer break in the action has surely been appreciated by pit crews and drivers alike, these upcoming back-to-back double-headers for the championship have surely been weighing heavily upon everyone’s mind. With no more than two weekends and four rounds of racing remaining in 2019, things are sure to heat-up across all nine vehicle classes come October.
For those of you who have never been out to Glen Helen Raceway, the track sits right next to historic Route 66, at the base of a passage that separates the San Gabriel Mountains and San Bernardino Mountains. Equal parts scenic and extreme, Glen Helen Raceway has become a destination for off-road enthusiasts and race teams alike, as its torturous desert terrain and organic elevation changes make for some of the most challenging 4×4 racing on the planet.
Details on the track layout itself include a sweeping first turn, a suspension-snapping roller section, and a monolithic table-top jump in front of the grandstands, all of which are tied together by extremely tight 180-degree turns. This has generated over three decades of unbridled grandstand action for race fans, with the revised track design making Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series’ upcoming round of anarchy one of the venue’s most highly anticipated events.
This next round of racing comes after a summer packed with intensity could be felt across all three truck divisions. July saw Pro 2’s Rodrigo Ampudia take home his first win since 2010, placing the veteran driver within two points of leader Jerett Brooks, who emerged with his class-leading third win. While Brooks landed a win at the 2019 season opener at Glen Helen Raceway, it looks like the rivalry between these two is about to enter an even more fevered pitch.
Meanwhile, over in Pro 4, Kyle LeDuc has continued to dominate all season, with an 18-point lead bolstering his confidence ahead of the series’ final rounds of racing. While two of the six wins went to other drivers, Glen Helen has played host to some of LeDuc’s strongest driving, where he swept the season opener in March.
Over in Pro Lite, defending champ Ryan Beat has successfully defended his title all season, despite Mickey Thomas and Brock Heger bringing the heat at every turn. Although Beat has only missed the chance to stand on the podium once this year, his six-point lead over Thomas could be in jeopardy if things don’t go his way during these final events. That said, much like LeDuc, Beat was unstoppable during the Glen Helen opener in March, which foreshadows a potential sweep during the forthcoming race weekend.
Referred to as “…the four most critical afternoons of racing on the entire calendar,” Lucas Oil is quick to stress the significance of this double-header at Glen Helen Raceway. “The Golden State Off Road Nationals provides an opportune time for challengers to make inroads on the advantages held by each class’ point leader, and grab some crucial momentum heading into the finale at the end of October.”
If you plan on attending this year’s Golden State Off Road Nationals, be sure to come early, as there will also be live, local entertainment at the Fan Zone and during opening ceremonies. Being that Glen Helen Raceway is conveniently located just north of San Bernardino, attendees don’t have to camp out the entire weekend, even though there are plenty of people who do so. Tickets can be obtained at Lucas Oil Off Road website and for those of you who are unable to attend, coverage for both rounds of the doubleheader beginning at 5 pm ET / 2 pm PT on lucasoilracing.tv.
Rockstar Energy Golden State Off Road Nationals Presented by General Tire
October 5-6, 2019
Rounds 7 & 8: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
Glen Helen Raceway
18585 Verdemont Ranch Road
San Bernardino, CA 92407