Corona, California (September 14, 2010)
- As the 2010 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series turns the page from summer into fall, drivers and teams are sharpening their focus on their championship hopes. Summer saw action in both Tooele, UT, and San Bernardino, CA, where many drivers really hit their stride, and helped the title fights to start taking shape. With two thirds of the season already in the books, just five rounds of racing remain for drivers to make a push towards the crown in their respective classes. With Rounds 11 and 12 at Speedworld Off Road Park in Surprise, AZ fast approaching, here's how the championships are looking.
Pro 4 Unlimited
Rick Huseman's #36 Monster Energy/Traxxas Toyota has been on a tear all year, taking seven wins from the first ten races. Other drivers have shown big potential, with bad luck falling disproportionately the way of Lucas Oil/General Tire driver Carl Renezeder and Rockstar/Makita man Kyle LeDuc. LeDuc pushed Huseman to the brink in both rounds at Glen Helen, and will be looking to do so again in the coming races. Renezeder and LeDuc, along with Adrian Cenni and Curt LeDuc, are separated by just 24 points in the battle for second, with Renezeder closest to Huseman at a more sizeable 79 points back.
Pro 2 Unlimited
finds Rockstar/MasterCraft Safety driver Rob MacCachren currently enjoying a 53 point advantage over second placed Bryce Menzies in the #7 Super Clean/Bully Dog Ford, and the late part of the season has often been when MacCachren has become nearly unbeatable in years past. Menzies, Rodrigo Ampudia, and Carl Renezeder are all within 26 points of one another, and must turn their speed into consistency in order to turn the tables on MacCachren. Menzies and Renezeder are both proven winners in Surprise, and Ampudia is lightning fast everywhere, so there is still everything to fight for.
Pro Lite Unlimited
has five drivers within one win of the championship lead, with just two points separating Marty Hart's #15 Stronghold Motorsports/Kolpin Ford from Chris Brandt in the #82 MavTV/Hart and Huntington Toyota. Just behind these two are Matt Loiodice and reigning champion Brian Deegan, just 26 and 29 points out respectively. Adam Wik, also in the hunt is currently fifth at 42 points back. Deegan and Brandt both have multiple wins at Speedworld, while Loiodice and Wik must take their consistency and add a little more speed in order to take the fight to Hart, who currently has three wins in a row.
Pro Buggy Unlimited
has proven to be anyone's class this season, with five different drivers taking wins already this year. Larry Job currently sits atop the standings, with Doug Fortin second and Cameron Steele third, and all three within just 13 points! Three more drivers sit just a bit further back, with Rich Ronco, Bobby PeCoy, and Jerry Whelchel all within striking distance of the championship lead. Whelchel has been the man to beat as of late, taking four wins in the last six races, and could be a spoiler despite missing the first four races this year.
The SuperLite Championship
has attracted a wealth of established crossover drivers and talented up and comers, all of whom have rubbed doors in some of the closest racing of the year. Five drivers lie within just 26 points of one another heading into Surprise, with rookie Chad George currently sitting atop the heap. Two more rookies are close behind, with CJ Greaves and Jacob Person locked together just ten points adrift. Crossover sensation Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg is fourth, three points back, with Dawson Kirchner fifth, 26 points behind George.
is becoming a battle of youth versus experience, with two past champions currently sandwiched between three LOORRS rookies. Off-road sensation Justin "Bean" Smith currently leads multi-time champion John Fitzgerald by just 14 points, with Quentin Tucker, another rookie, a bit further behind at 51 points back. The battle for fourth is lead by reigning champion Bruce Fraley, who has Dave Mason, Kyle Quinn, and Curt Geer all within ten point spread.
have been spiced up this season by the addition of the SR1 class. The races have become a challenge of strengths, pitting the acceleration and grip of the 4-wheel drive Unlimited UTVs against the straight line speed and higher horsepower of the SR1s. Austin Kimbrell heads the Unlimited UTV ranks, with his five wins propelling him to a narrow two point margin over Chad George. Robert Vanbeekum, RJ Anderson, and Tyler Winbury are within 21 points of one another, with Winbury just 48 points behind Kimbrell. SR1 leader Tyler Herzog has a bit more breathing room, as he currently sits 21 points clear of Corry Weller. However, Doug Mittag and Gary Thompson are also very close with just three points separating Weller, Mittag, and Thompson.
The Kart divisions
have shown themselves to be a viable proving ground for young drivers hoping to race in the big leagues, and the current crop of boys and girls is again providing some great races in 2010. Mitchell DeJong, Zac Hunt, and Bradley Morris all have multiple wins this season, with DeJong currently atop the Modified Kart standings. Hunt and Morris are just six points apart, with Morris some 44 points behind DeJong. Chad Graham currently leads Sheldon Creed by just four points in the Junior 2 class, with Paige Porter and Maxwell Ries a further 32 and 48 points back, respectively. Brock Heger has seven wins in the Junior 1 division in 2010, yet Preston Roben's consistency has kept him within just 22 points of the class lead after ten races.
With as many as 260 points still up for grabs for every driver, nearly everyone is still mathematically alive as the championship begins to wind down. Those drivers hoping to grab a championship must balance speed with discretion, as they fight for wins yet keep themselves out of trouble. Who will have the winning combination? Racing is a great display of surprises, and Surprise, AZ will almost certainly hold true to its name. You'd better get yourselves to Speedworld on September 25th and 26th to see the action for yourself. The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: this is short course!
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 LucasOilOffRoadRacing.com