The fifth and sixth rounds of the 2016 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series arrived in Toole, Utah last week ahead of the promise of rain weather and muddy racing action. Drivers of Modified Kart, Pro Lite, Pro Buggy, Pro 2, and Pro 4 classes all gathered before the stormy weather for a pair of weekend races. Thankfully, the promised storm never came to pass, allowing for a full weekend of racing action.
The Pro 4 Unlimited race on Saturday began with Bryce Menzies and Carl Renezeder in the front row, with Rob MacCachren, Eric Barron, and Greg Adler filling out the top five. But it was defending champion Kyle LeDuc who made moves early on after coming off an awful start to the season, slipping by Adler in turn two before briefly passing Barron inside of the third turn. Barron snuck past LeDuc once more, but LeDuc got in front of Barron a second and final time before turning his attention to MacCachren.
That was the best position LeDuc would see, though, and an error by Renezeder would relegate him to fifth place, with LeDuc falling back to fourth by the time the checkered flag fell. Doug Fontin used a caution restart to slip into third place, but Menzies kept his iron grip in first place through the whole race, with McCachren coming in second and Fontin rounding out the podium.
Finishing up the first day of racing was the Pro 2 class, and Rob MacCachren would take an early lead in the last race of Saturday. RJ Anderson followed in second, with Carl Renezeder third, Jeremy McGrath fourth, and Doug Mittag fifth. McGrath and Renezeder would end up swapping paint early on, giving both Mittag and Menzies a chance to get past the dueling past. Renezeder rolled his truck in the next corner and dropped to the back of the pack, drawing a full yellow. On the restart lap, Mittag and Menzies would swap positions, and McGrath got back by Menzies in the next corner before another full course yellow (for debris) canned the action again.
Menzies made a failed attempt to pass McGrath on the restart but spun out instead, and Menzies was spun again, this time by Eric Fitch, giving Patrick Clark a chance to move into fifth.
Up front, MacCachren was putting on a clinic, and with no drivers to challenge him, MacCachren was slowly pulling away from the rest of the field. Meanwhile, McGrath forced Mittag wide and moved ahead and into the second spot, which he would keep for the rest of the race. Back in place, Rodrigo Ampudia and Menzies were doing battle before both passed Mittag, who was suffering mechanical woes. This allowed MacCachren to take his second Pro 2 win of the season, with finishing in second, Clark third, Menzies fourth, and Ampudia rounding out the top five.
For the second day of Pro 4, Bryce Menzies would take an early lead with Kyle LeDuc following in a close second place after the green flag fell. Carl Renezeder, Rob MacCachren, and Doug Mittag rounded out the top five, though the action was stymied early by a third-lap caution after Greg Adler ended facing the wrong way in turn four, but the action resumed quickly.
The caution would force Renezeder to surrender third place to MacCachren. Menzies held off the defending champion, LeDuc, with some aggressive driving. Doug Fortin and Mittag got into it before Mittag bicycled into the outsider barrier, causing another full course yellow as Mittag hobbled to the back of the pack. On restart, Menzies inexplicably lost control and slammed into the scarred truck of Mittag. The frightening collision briefly red flagged the race as safety teams attended to the drivers, but the action eventually resumed with LeDuc in the lead, Mittag and Menzies both out for the day.
Renezeder had a handful of opportunities to pass LeDuc in the closing laps, but the defending champ fended Renezeder’s attacks off before crossing the finish line. Renezeder was relegated to second place, with McCachren, Fortin, and Adler rounding out the top five
The final race of the weekend, the Pro 2 Unlimited class, was led off by Jeremy McGrath, followed by Bryce Menzies, Rob MacCachren, Carl Renezeder, and Rodrigo Ampudia. Menzies, perhaps still shaken up by the accident earlier in the day, ran wide two turns in a row, giving MacCachren a chance to get past him, albeit briefly. Menzies rediscovered his confidence however, retaking second place moments later.
After a yellow flag restart, Patrick Clark slipped past Ampudia on the inside of the turn to take the fifth spot. Renezeder would end up smashing into MacCachren, and MacCachren would end up driving in the eighth, though, Renezeder third, with Clark fourth and Ampudia fifth. MacCachren worked his way back to sixth place and attempted to pass Ampudia but in instead spun the both of them out. This allowed Doug Mittag to move into fifth place and the top five would keep their positions through the checkered flag, giving McGrath his first win of the year. In second place was Menzies, followed by Renezeder in third, Clark in fourth, and a resurgent Mittag rounding out the top five.
Next month the Lucas Oil Offroad Racing Series will go south of the border for Rounds 7 and 8 of the Lucas Oil Offroad Racing Series in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.