LeDuc first season win

Lena, Wis. ~ The AMSOIL Championship Off Road series bookends its season with historical tracks like Crandon, Bark River and Antigo. In the middle of it all sits two of the newest venues in off-road, short-course racing: ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minn. and the Dirt City Motorplex in Lena, Wis. ERX had its moment in the sun two weeks ago, meaning this weekend the loud pedal was being brought to Lena.

Besides their relatively young age, both tracks were built with the same principles in place: create an off-road racing complex that caters to edge-of-your seat excitement and features a mix of high-speed symphony and bare-knuckle brawling.

Lena delivered on its promise once again in round seven. With a track this tight and technical, the recipe to win is stay out of trouble early, keep the tires moving forward and hold on for a nail-biting finish.

Kyle LeDuc takes Pro 4 win at Lena, WI.

LeDuc Lifts Monkey, Leads Pro 4

Kyle LeDuc has been a factor in every single Pro 4 race in 2022. Unfortunately for the past class champion, the final score sheets have shown his impact. He has battled out front in nearly every race but has yet to find himself atop the top step of the podium. In fact, it has been exactly one year since LeDuc stood in the first position. It just happened to be in Lena after he conquered the Dirt City track in 2021.

By the time the Pro 4’s took to the tight track, it had been beaten and abused after a full day of racing. LeDuc, who started outside of the top five after the invert, was patient early. A first lap spin that collected several trucks allowed LeDuc to move in the top four. He waited for another opening to get around Adrian Cenni and then Scottie Lawrence before the mandatory caution.

Heading towards the restart, he sat right behind Cole Mamer, who led from the start. Off the start, LeDuc was less patient as he flew across the finish line jump and maneuvered around Mamer for the lead. From there, he found clean air, kept the truck together and was flawless on his way to his first win, one that keeps his championship goals within reach.

“It’s definitely tough to keep your chin up when you keep getting knocked out like that,” said LeDuc. “It’s been tough, we put on some awesome races in, and we’ve got the speed and then the truck to do it, but it just hasn’t worked out. After the halfway point I was just trying to be cool and calm and I saw CJ (Greaves) went backwards and, you know I’ve been there, so I tried to capitalize as much as I could. We do this for a living, and we love it so thank you fans for coming. Hopefully that was a good race and we’re gonna do this again tomorrow. Hopefully we’re on top again.”

Greaves was making his own push towards the front after the restart but found himself caught up with Mamer while running in third. Mamer, meanwhile, but in his best race of his rookie season. After his early lead, he first held off CJ Greaves and then didn’t allow either Jimmy Henderson or Johnny Greaves from gaining the runner-up spot. Johnny Greaves, meanwhile, was able to make a pass stick on Henderson late in the race for his third straight podium finish.

Thomas Takes Third Win in Pro 2 

If you have been following Pro 2 racing over the past few seasons you already know this: Mickey Thomas is wicked fast.

Thomas has proven that if given an opportunity to win, he’s going to get the job done. He consistently put himself in position to finish atop the podium this year, and he finished first for the third time after engaging in another out-front sprint with Jerett Brooks.

Thomas was able to stay out of trouble early on as the rush out front caused trucks to spin, smash into race barriers or pull off into the hot pits. After starting fourth, Thomas was clean of the carnage, and they found some clear air out front. He and Brooks never broke apart from one another. Like his other two wins this season, Thomas had his hands full with Brooks, who never let the race leader out of his sight. But in the end, Brooks never found enough room to get back in front of Thomas, who now sits third overall.

“There was a lot of shuffling around there in the first half and I was just trying to stay out of all the chaos and get through there cleanly,” said Thomas. “From there I just put my head down and wanted to run some nice clean laps and hit all my marks. I’m just super stoked. It’s my third win of the year and we’re on fire right now.”

Brooks continues to keep pace with overall points leader Cory Winner, sitting just 11 points behind in the standings. Winner did his part by finishing on the box on Saturday after an intense battle with Kyle Kleiman. As the race wore on, the pair pulled them away from the pack. Kleiman dug deep into his bag of tricks trying to get around the points leader, but there wasn’t enough real estate or time to make a pass stick as Winner stayed out front by half-a-second at the finish line for his fourth podium of the season.

Heger Hangs it All Out in Pro Lite

Championship racing has rounded into form in the newly intense Pro Lite class. The favorites have floated to the top, but as they have risen, so has a new group of challengers. All were on display at Dirt City.

From the get-go, even a casual fan could see where the battle line was going to be drawn on Saturday. On the front row were the two fastest qualifiers, and the one-two in overall points, Kyle Greaves and Brock Heger. Combined, they had won four of the first six rounds. While the ending looked a lot like the start, it was a winding road to get there.

Greaves grabbed the early lead, but pressure came from one of the up-and-comers. Trey Gibbs has been mixing it up with the veterans all season long and Saturday was no different. Gibbs got past Greaves on lap four and held the position for the next four circuits. But a spin gave the position back to Greaves, as well as second place to Heger. Greaves and Heger would dice for the top spot for the next two laps, but Heger was able to slip past the points leader, securing the lead and his third of the season.

Greaves was undeterred as the round five winner never left Heger’s company until the final lap. Despite falling off Heger’s pace at the end, Greaves had enough momentum to hold Gibbs to a third place finish. Just eleven points separate Greaves and Heger, while Gibbs has jumped into the mix thanks to two straight podium finishes.

Kelsey Kept Charging to First Pro Turbo Win

It’s been more than two decades since a racer from New Zealand has won an off-road race in the United States, but Hamish Kelsey put a convincing end to that streak.

Kelsey and CJ Greaves were neck-and-neck for the first half of the race, but Kelsey kept the former class champion in check and was able to retake the lead with only 30 seconds remaining on the clock. He would charge hard over the last two laps, keeping Rodney VanEperen in his roost through the finish line.

It marked just the fourth podium of the year for the defending champion VanEperen, who also was making his first trip to the box since round four in Crandon. Not to be outdone, Randy Kleczka put in an amazing drive on Saturday. After starting 24th, Kleczka worked his way into third after a last lap pass on Adrian Cenni for his first trip to the box in 2022.

PRO STOCK SXS: The intensity is picking up in Pro Stock SxS, especially between the classes heavy favorites, Brock Heger and CJ Greaves. Altogether, the two have one six of the seven rounds this season, and they are coming off a split at ERX.

As expected, Heger and Greaves stole the show with a great head-to-head battle on Saturday. Both started well behind the leaders, but Greaves struck first by taking the lead on lap five. Heger was right in line with Greaves and took over the top spot three laps later. While Heger increased his lead on Greaves in spurts, Greaves always reeled him back in. The final few laps, which included a restart, showed the pair as close as .263 of a second at the line, with Heger taking his fifth win of the season, with Greaves just a car length behind the points leader.

Owen VanEperen also found himself in the mix for the win on Saturday. The round four winner worked his own magic early on to put himself right behind Greaves for the second half of the race. His third place finish marked his fourth straight race he has finished on the podium.

PRO SPEC: Chris Van Den Elzen kept clear of the chaos for his third Pro Spec win of the season. Once Van Den Elzen grabbed the lead he never looked back, but if he did, he would have seen a great race-long rumble between Nick Visser and Easton Sleaper. 

Visser and Sleaper did everything in their power to catch the race leader, and in doing so, the pair swapped spots constantly throughout the 11 lap final. When the dust settled, it was Visser holding down the runner-up spot, with Sleaper less than half-a-second behind.



SUPER BUGGY: Mark Steinhardt snapped a four race winless streak with a dominant win in Saturday’s Super Buggy showdown. Steinhardt worked his way through some early congestion and picked up the lead on the second lap, motoring to his second win of the year and first since round two in Antigo.

Billy Buth is finding more speed and cleaner racing as the season progresses. Buth worked his way through several mid-race showdowns to finish second, his fourth podium finish in the past five rounds. Mike Kirkman held off Dale Ebberts over the final two laps to notch his first trip to the podium this season by finishing in third.

PRO AM SXS: Jake Jorgenson won three Sportsman SxS races in 2021, but he hasn’t been able to find the top of the box this year in Pro AM SXS. The rookie took care of business thanks to a pass on Mike LeTourneau with two laps remaining.

LeTourneau, who was also looking for his first Pro AM SxS win, led from the start of the race but couldn’t keep a hard-charging Jorgenson in the second spot. Derek Liebergen made a last lap pass for third.

1600 LIGHT BUGGY: One round after picking up his first podium of the season, Tyler Roloff took home his first win of the 2022 campaign. Roloff led from start-to-finish but had to keep current points leader Colin Schulz off the lead spot for the entire race. Vincent Jaeger worked his way through the crowd for his first trip to the box this season, finishing third behind Schulz.

MOD KART: Chase Moeller is chasing down Porter Iglesias for the overall points lead in the competitive Mod Kart class. Moeller picked up his second win in the past three rounds by taking Saturday’s victory. After missing the podium at ERX, Hunter VanZile returned to the podium by finishing second ahead of Troy Johnson.

STOCK TRUCK: It was another close race in Stock Truck on Saturday. This time it was TJ Ewert holding off points leader Cory Holtger for his first win of the year. Holtger, as well as Diesel Shanek, kept the pressure on Ewert in the last few laps. Holtger has not missed the podium in 2022 after finishing second in Dirt City. Shanek’s third marked his fourth straight trip to the winners circle this season.

170 SXS: Kody Krantz swept the Dirt City rounds in 2021 and he put himself on track in 2022 by winning Saturday’s 170 SXS race. It was Krantz’s second straight class win. Points leader Wyatt Olson crossed the line in second, ahead of Ray Deininger.

1600 SINGLE BUGGY: John Fitzgerald returned to the top spot in 1600 Single Buggy on Saturday. Fitzgerald opened the season with three straight wins but had been searching for win number four ever since. Dylan Parsons kept pace with Fitz, just missing out on his first win of the season but picked up his fifth podium of the year. Travis Trelstad took home third place honors.

SUPER STOCK TRUCK: The Joe Maciosek Redemption tour continued in Dirt City on Saturday. After Maciosek crashed in spectacular fashion at Crandon, he has now gone three straight races with a podium finish, including a stellar win in round seven where he held off both Nick Byng and Trey Beauchamp for the final seven laps. Byng was a bit better than Beauchamp on Saturday, taking the runner-up spot ahead of Beauchamp’s third place finish.

SPORTSMAN SXS: Ben Berger went from third to first with three laps remaining to grab his first Sportsman SxS win of the season. The victory also pushed Berger’s overall lead to 17 over Saturday’s third place finisher Riley Marquardt.  Cody Jones pushed Berger to the end, finishing less than a second behind the race winner.

570 SXS: Dylan Rohloff cracked open the throttle on his way to his first 570 SXS win of the season. Rohloff took the lead on the second lap and cruised to victory lane. 

SHORT COURSE KARTS: Carter Zahara was credited with the win in Short Course Karts on Saturday. It marked the second win in the past three races for Zahara. Wesley Vande Voort set the quickest lap time of the day before finishing second ahead of Gavin Plummer.

AMSOIL Championship Off-Road competitors as the series returns to action on Sunday, July 31st at the Dirt City Motorplex in Lena, Wis.

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