2016 LOORRS Round 2 Race Report


Jan 9, 2009
North County San Diego

Consistency rewarded in Round 2
With the cobwebs and nerves somewhat shaken out during yesterday’s opening round of the 2016 championship season of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, the drivers really buckled down and raced hard here in Round 2 at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park this afternoon. The Arizona sun really helped to heat things up here, just outside downtown Phoenix, and while some drivers perhaps showed greater speed than today’s race winners, the drivers who came out on top were those who stayed smooth and consistent from start to finish, letting mistakes and mechanical woes catch up to their rivals, while keeping their own pace high and their equipment together through the checkered flag. Over the course of this first race weekend, several drivers have already established themselves as real title contenders for this season, while others have been left with a lot of catching up to do.

Modified Kart
Kicking the action off for the afternoon were the young stars-in-the-making from Modified Kart. Conner McMullen and reigning champion Christopher Polvoorde started on the front row, and while Polvoorde got shuffled back several spots in turn one, McMullen was on a mission, flying at the front of the pack and leading the way in his #588 Monster Energy/M&M Portable Toilets kart at the end of lap one. Yesterday’s winner Hailie Deegan ran in second, with Trevor Briska third, Trey Gibbs fourth, and Polvoorde fifth. Chris Nunes came to a stop just at the exit of turn four on the third lap, which brought out the race’s only full course yellow, but with Nunes’ kart quickly cleared, racing resumed at the end of lap four. The top five drivers maintained their positions on the restart lap, but on lap six, Briska made a nice pass on Deegan down the inside at turn three to move up to second in his #559 JH Sims Trucking Co., Inc./Prolong Super Lubricants entry. The top five drivers were running in a very tight train, with a small yet noticeable gap back to the rest of the field. On the next lap, Deegan managed to get hooked onto Briska’s back bumper coming off the big ski jump out of turn two, and the two stayed hooked almost all the way down into turn three, which slowed the pace for both drivers, and cost each of them a several positions. By lap’s end, McMullen still led the way, but Gibbs now ran second in his #515 KB Engineering/Traxxas truck, with Polvoorde third in the #594 The Palms River Resort/Horizon Solar Power Racing kart, Cole Keatts fourth in the #553 Xtreme Machine & Fabrication/Peters & Keatts Equipment Inc. machine, and Briska fifth, with Deegan sixth. Briska drove past Keatts from turn five on lap eight to turn one on lap nine, and that moved him up to fourth, but he still had a gap up to the leading trio, who were running in a very tight little cluster. Within that group, Polvoorde then passed Gibbs coming out of turn two to take over second on lap 10, and by lap’s end, Deegan had passed Keatts to get back inside the top five in her #538 Dirt Princess/4 Wheel Parts entry. Over the final lap, the top five drivers held their positions, and at the stripe, it was McMullen who grabbed his first career Modified Kart win in the National Series- congratulations Conner! Polvoorde picked up a second place finish, with Gibbs third, Briska fourth, and Deegan fifth.

Pro 4 Unlimited
Greg Adler and Bryce Menzies started from the front row in the first full-size vehicle race of the afternoon, Pro 4 Unlimited. Menzies and Kyle LeDuc made big contact with each other in the second corner and ended their races very early (Menzies was able to limp around for the remainder of the race, but LeDuc was out), and at the end of lap one, it was Carl Renezeder in the lead, ahead of Adler, Rob MacCachren, Doug Fortin, and Eric Barron. The Menzies-LeDuc incident brought out a full course yellow at the end of lap one, as LeDuc was stopped in turn two with broken right front suspension, but once his truck was cleared, racing picked up again on lap three. MacCachren was immediately all over Adler, but Adler was doing his best to keep MacCachren at bay, which he managed to do until lap six, when MacCachren went hard down the inside of Adler at turn two to make the pass. Renezeder had put some distance between himself and the rest of the field while MacCachren struggled behind Adler, but when a full course yellow was thrown on lap seven to allow for the cleanup of on-track debris, Renezeder’s lead went back to zero. Adler had rolled in turn two on that same lap, but managed to get going again on his own, though he was now back in fifth. On the restart lap, Barron ran well wide in the final corner, allowing Adler to get by him on the inside for fourth. Up front, Renezeder was starting to get away from the pack once again, while just behind, Fortin was now all over the back of MacCachren. Fortin got by MacCachren on the inside at turn five on lap ten, but then had a scary-looking spin off the track between turns one and two thanks to a flat tire on the next lap dropped him well back. By lap’s end, it was still Renezeder in the #17 Lucas Oil/KMC Wheels Ford in the lead, ahead of MacCachren in the #21 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Industrial Power Tools Ford, Adler in the #10 4 Wheel Parts/Magnaflow Ford, Barron in the #32 Icon Vehicle Dynamics/Method Race Wheels Toyota, and Doug Mittag in the #81 Jhonlin Racing Team/Custom Off Road Design Ford in the top five. Two laps later, a full course yellow was finally thrown after Fortin had come to a stop just off track before the start/finish line after his shredded left rear tire had wrapped itself around his brakes, and when racing resumed on lap 15, the top five drivers were still in the same order. After the restart, Renezeder continued to run unchallenged at the head of the field, while further back, Mittag was gradually falling further and further behind Barron at the tail end of the top five. On the penultimate lap, Mittag’s entire right rear tire and wheel came off as he exited turn three, which allowed Curt LeDuc (filling in for Bradley Morris this weekend) to move up to fifth spot in the #24 K&N/Kicker Ford. After that, the top five drivers held their positions, and it was Renezeder who improved one spot from his second place yesterday to take the win here this afternoon. Yesterday’s winner MacCachren dropped one spot to second today, with Adler taking third, Barron fourth, and Curt LeDuc fifth.

Pro Lite Unlimited
Gavin Harlien put his pole starting position to good use in today’s Pro Lite Unlimited race, pulling right into the lead from the drop of the green flag, and holding that lead through the end of lap one in his #55 Mickey Thompson/VP Racing Fuels Ford. Ryan Beat followed in second position, with Brad DeBerti third, yesterday’s winner Brandon Arthur fourth, and Jerett Brooks fifth. A big rollover by Cole Mamer off the ski jump out of turn two on the opening lap saw a full course caution come out at the end of the lap, and after the wreckage was cleared (Mamer was ok, but obviously very frustrated, as his truck sustained heavy damage), racing picked up again on lap five. On the restart lap, Arthur went from fourth to second by passing both DeBerti and Beat on the inside at turn two, with DeBerti then passing Beat as well coming out of turn three. Brooks then also got by Beat, making the pass from turns four to five, but Beat then got back past Brooks going into turn four three laps later. On that same lap, disaster struck for leader Harlien, as his right rear tire came completely off the wheel as he exited turn five, dropping him right down the order in a hurry, and sending him into the Hot Pits for a replacement. The incident did draw a full course yellow, though, which helped Harlien to at least re-emerge from the Hot Pits on the lead lap, now tacked on to the back of the pack. Arthur inherited the lead in his #6 Competitive Metals/Toyo Tires Chevrolet, with DeBerti now second in the #70 Mickey Thompson/Method Race Wheels Ford, Beat third in the #51 Rockstar Energy Drink/Circle K Chevrolet, Brooks fourth in the #77 Rigid Industries LED Lighting/General Tire Nissan, and Jeff Hoffman fifth in the #47 Fox Racing Shox/Impact Safety Nissan. The field got back underway on lap 10, but almost immediately had to pump their collective brakes once again, as Sarah Burgess had stopped on track in turn five, forcing another full course caution.

Racing picked up again on lap 12, with Beat now all over the back of DeBerti in a bid to get back past. Just behind, Ronnie Anderson passed Hoffman for fifth at turn four on lap 13, with Beat then getting DeBerti for second at turn one on lap 14. Brooks got by DeBerti as well early on the same lap, while up front, Arthur began to pull clear of the field. However, his lead evaporated when a full course caution came out at the end of lap 15 thanks to on-track debris, and while the field circulated under yellow, it became apparent that Anderson’s luck had taken a bad turn, as his left rear tire was now flat. Anderson opted to stay out with only five racing laps left to go, but was quickly passed by Casey Currie for his fifth spot early on the restart lap. Further forward, DeBerti was now all over Brooks early on lap 18, and soon got by on the inside at turn four to re-take third. After that, the top five drivers made no further passes, and up front, it was Arthur who got the win and the sweep of the weekend, opening his season in about the strongest way possible. Second was Beat, third was DeBerti, fourth was Brooks, and fifth was Currie in the #2 Monster Energy/Spicer Jeep.

Pro Buggy Unlimited
In Pro Buggy Unlimited, local driver Kevin McCullough was out to make the best of today’s race after failing post-race tech yesterday and getting stripped of his fourth place finish. Qualifying first this morning, McCullough shot straight into the lead in his #62 Stapleton Roofing/BFGoodrich Tires Foddrill, ahead of Eliott Watson, Darren Hardesty Jr., Taylor Atchison, and Dillon Ayers. McCullough quickly began to pull away at the head of the field, while behind him, yesterday’s winner Watson quickly fell backwards through the field while struggling with a lack of power steering. Hardesty Jr. got by Watson on lap two, with Atchison then getting by on lap three. Ayers then spun and had a spectacular near-rollover coming into turn three on lap three, dropping him well back and moving Sterling Cling up to fifth in his #77 BFGoodrich Tires/Q Stickers Alumi Craft. Cling then got by Watson early on the next lap, with Mike Valentine passing Watson coming into turn two on lap five, which finally dropped Watson out of the top five. At the Competition Yellow at the end of lap seven, it was now McCullough, Hardesty Jr. in the #99 Bilstein Shock Absorbers/Mickey Thompson Alumi Craft, Atchison in the #30 Tonka Off-Road/Funrise Alumi Craft, Cling, and Valentine in the #78 Full Throttle Powder Coating Inc./K1 Race Gear Funco in the top five. These five held their positions through the end of lap 11 after the restart, but now, Hardesty Jr. was at least keeping McCullough honest and running much closer to the leader. However, by lap 13, McCullough started to get away again, and on the next lap, Valentine then began to slow a bit back in fifth place, quickly dropping out of the top five, and allowing Robb Harvey to take over fifth in his #18 P.C.I. Race Radios/Fox Racing Shox Alumi Craft. From here, the top five held station through the checkered flag, with McCullough picking up a well-deserved win, ahead of Hardesty Jr., Cling, Atchison, and Harvey.

Pro 2 Unlimited
Closing out the action for the weekend were the Pro 2 Unlimiteds, and it would be Patrick Clark and Carl Renezeder starting alongside one another on the front row. Clark moved into the early lead, and held it through the end of lap one, with Brian Deegan, Renezeder, Rob MacCachren, and Bryce Menzies filling out the top five. Menzies drove by MacCachren on the outside at turn three to get up to fourth on lap two after MacCachren turned in too tight and had to correct for his mistake. On the next lap, Clark ran wide at turn one, before then slowing way down in turn two, as some kind of major issue was keeping his truck from being able to corner correctly. Clark got himself off the track and was out of the race, which put Deegan into the lead in his #38 NOS Energy/4 Wheel Parts Ford. On lap five, Menzies suffered broken right front suspension in turn one, which put him out of the race, and moved MacCachren, Doug Mittag, and RJ Anderson up to third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Mittag then got out of shape going through the rollers between turns four and five on lap seven, which cost him his fourth place, as Anderson got by for that spot after turn five. Up front, Deegan was starting to open just a small gap, but the Competition Yellow then came out at the end of lap eight, and the gaps within the field were brought back down to nil. On the restart lap, Anderson, Mittag, Myan Spaccarelli, and Eric Fitch had a mini melee from turns two to three, and while Anderson came out of it while maintaining his fourth place, Spaccarelli moved past Mittag to take over fifth in his #12 Tonka/Motive Gear Toyota. For the next six laps, things settled down a bit, and while everyone on track was moving along at a very quick pace, none of the drivers within the top five seemed to be able to make any ground on one another. MacCachren seemed like he may have been closing just slightly on Renezeder with about two laps to go, but on the penultimate lap, a small slip up from Deegan was all the opportunity Renezeder needed to make a move. With Deegan just a bit slow out of turn three, Renezeder got up alongside coming into turn four, where he put himself in the inside line and stuck the corner to take the lead in his #17 Lucas Oil Products/Lucas Oil Racing TV Ford. Perhaps a bit rattled by this, Deegan was a little out of shape through the rollers between turns four and five, and that allowed MacCachren to get up and make a pass for second down the inside at turn five. Further back, Mittag got back around Spaccarelli to re-take fifth in his #81 Jhonlin Racing Team/K&N Performance Filters Ford on that same lap, but after that, there were no further moves within the top five. Renezeder picked up his second win of the day, as he took both Pro 4 Unlimited and Pro 2 Unlimited today (something he hasn’t done in quite a while), ahead of MacCachren in the #21 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Industrial Power Tools Ford, Deegan, Anderson in the #37 Rockstar Energy Drink/Walker Evans Racing truck, and Mittag.

With that, the first race weekend of the 2016 season is done and dusted. In five weeks’ time, the series will head to southern California and the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park, roughly halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, for Rounds 3 and 4 of the championship. Get ready for an action-packed weekend April 23-24, and get your tickets now, as the racing is always great amidst the high-flying jumps at Lake Elsinore.

About the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series:
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is the evolution of the long-standing support of short course racing by Forrest Lucas and Lucas Oil Products. Steeped in the Midwest tradition of short course off-road racing infused with a West Coast influence, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing brings intense four wheel door-to-door action to challenging, fan- friendly tracks. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: This is Short Course. For more information, please visit www.LucasOilOffRoad.com.

Members online

Forum statistics

Latest member