The Lucas Oil Off Road Series LOORS presented by GEICO finished out the season with rounds 15 and 16 held at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park in Lake Elsinore, Ca. Several of the class championships were close enough in points that the event was a must win in order to take home top honors. Round 15 decided the series championships while Sunday’s Round 16 was the Show Me the Money Challenge Cup that was broadcast live on MAVTV.
Going into Round 15 the Pro 2 series leader was Rob MacCachren holding onto 633 points and Carl Renezeder 613 while Brian Deegan had accumulated 595. Once racing started the event became one of the all time nail biters for MacCachren fans. Third in the series Deegan sat on the front row at the start and established himself the leader from the start. MacCachren’s main threat, Renezeder, had problems right from the get go as he spun in turn three and had to pit with a flat tire. MacCachren shuffled his way to second but had a hard charging Bryce Menzies pressing his every move. Within a couple of laps MacCachren had dropped back to a distant fourth as Menzies took second and Jeff Seifert sat in third. The racers were brought back together when Myan Spaccarelli’s truck caught fire causing a caution. During the caution Seifert entered the pits giving third back to MacCachren. When racing went green Menzies was pressing Deegan and the front two distanced themselves from MacCachren. After a couple of laps MacCachren was obviously having problems as Marty Hart drove by and then the rest of the pack picked him off one at a time. This all because MacCachren was babying a sick engine around in an effort to retain precious points. The engine couldn’t make the full 16 laps and expired with two to go. However his closest threat, Renezeder, had suffered suspension problems and retired a lap earlier. Brian Deegan went on the win the battle but Rob MacCachren (finishing 11th) held onto enough points to win the championship. Marty Hart finished third.
Going into Round 15 Carl Renezeder had already captured the Pro 4 championship title by earning 660 points over the second points totaled by Kyle LeDuc 601. Having the championship in hand Renezeder was just out to win the race. Before he could do that he would have to get by early leader Eric Barron who enjoyed a front row starting spot and led Greg Adler around turn one. Kyle LeDuc slipped into third and Renezeder was fourth. Early on Barron was able to distance himself from the pack. Then a couple of laps later LeDuc was able to get past Adler for second but had some real estate to make up between him and the leader. On the next lap Renezeder was able to fly further over the jump heading into turn two and take third place from Adler. Just as the pack was settling in a caution brought things to a halt to remove debris from the track. On the restart LeDuc was now within striking distance of Barron but Renezeder was also anxious to take on the leader and got into LeDuc’s truck spinning him in turn two. During the confusion MacCachren had passed Renezeder and focused on the leader. It took three laps before MacCachren had closed up on Barron but all was for naught as his truck caught fire. Not just a little fire but huge yellow flames spewing out the rear of the truck. He was able to pull off and exit the truck safely, and the fire crew were there to save the truck. This caution tightened up the pack again. Out front was Barron with Renezeder second and Ryan Beat third. With two laps to go LeDuc was able to get inside of Beat for third in turn three. Up front Renezeder had closed up on Barron’s bumper and on the final lap made a last ditch effort in turn four but Barron was able to keep his position for the win. Second was Carl Renezeder and Kyle LeDuc took the final podium spot.
Pro 2 vs Pro 4 Challenge Cup
When you put a total of 24 Pro 2 vs Pro 4 trucks on track and dangle a $30,000 check to the winner you can expect mayhem in the first degree. Attrition was the norm as the drivers limped into the pits or had to be towed off track. Starting with 24 then 15 and a few laps later only 13 running. Near the end only nine were running but not all were in top shape. As is normal for such a challenge the 12-Pro 2 got a half a lap start over the Pro 4 with their extra cornering ability due to the front wheel drive.
At first the leader of the Pro 2 was Jeff Geiser with Bryce Menzies trailing with Mike Porter third.. Back in the Pro 4 pack it was Eric Barron in charge with Kyle LeDuc second and Ryan Beat third. Up front Menzies was able to take over the lead from Geiser on the second lap. Back in the Pro 4 duel Barron had tangled with someone on the start and his hood flew up covering his windscreen. This didn’t bother him much as he was able to put some distance between him and LeDuc. About this time LeDuc was showing signs of mechanical problems and after spinning in a turn he retired. Also Rob MacCachren left the race on lap four. This put Beat in second to Barron and Greg Adler third (4WD). Austin Kimbrell stalled in the whoop section causing a caution flag to come out. While under caution Barron, gave up his position, when he ran into the pits to have the obstructing front fiberglass torn off. When racing again Menzies was still the overall leader but the yellow condition had bunched up the pack. Although Menzies did quickly distance himself from Robbie Woods and Brian Deegan. Once again Menzies lead was erased when a caution came out to remove debris from the track. On the restart Woods challenged Menzies for the lead and in turn two saw Menzies pull off with suspension woes. On the following lap yet another caution slowed up the action with Woods leading, Deegan second, and now Carl Renezeder was third (first 4WD). Once racing started again Woods held the lead but Deegan lost his spot to Renezeder. However Renezeder then spun in the next corner allowing Deegan, Beat and Barron to drive by. Wait, did I say Barron? Yes, he had managed to work back through the field to fourth. Once again a caution brought things to a stop when Greg Adler’s truck expired on track. When the white flag came out Barron passed Beat for the third spot. Barron was able to close up on Woods in turn three. In fact he came in hard into turn three slamming door to door with Woods. This allowed Barron to take the lead, and while stunned, Deegan drove past Woods. When it came time to stand atop the podium it was Brian Deegan even though Barron had actually crossed under the checkers first. Turns out the officials deemed Barron’s turn three action as Rough Driving giving the win and $30,000 to Deegan. Woods was handed a check for $15,000 for second and third was Ryan Beat winning $7,500 for third.
Pro Lite Unlimited
By Round 15 Brian Deegan would have to have some awful bad luck not to win the championship as he led the series with 51 points over Sheldon Creed. With Deegan starting up front and taking the early lead he just had to not get DQed for something to take home the title. By quickly distancing himself from Noah Fouch, and the 2012 Champion RJ Anderson, Deegan increased his odds. On the third lap a stalled truck brought out a caution, but once racing again Deegan held a comfortable lead. However, Deegan’s truck was putting out a stream of smoke so knowing he had the title in hand he headed to the pits. This handed Fouch the lead who now had Kyle Hart in second and Anderson was in third. Anderson applied pressure to Hart and those two pressed forward into Fouch. The three flew off the sky jump exiting turn two three abreast. The fans loved it but on landing Anderson was able to take over the lead. Fouch managed to salvage second but Hart saw Jerett Brooks and Creed drive by him exiting turn three. The next lap Creed, Fouch and Hart flew off the same jump side by side. This time Hart got sideways and barrel rolled down the long hill ending up off track. This stopped the race and a long caution occurred as Hart took some time getting out of the truck. He said he was OK but was taken by ambulance for observation. Reports on Sunday was that he was still under observation and his Dad, Marty, was at the hospital with him.
Once racing resumed it was Anderson out front with Brooks and Jimmy Fishback rounding out the top three. With one lap to go Brooks ended his race in turn one with mechanical issues. Now running out in the clear Anderson headed straight to the checkers. Crossing over second was Justin Smith and Jimmy Fishback took the final podium spot.
When the Pro Lite Unlimited field of 23 trucks came into the venue Sunday the race went live on MATV. Besides the added pressure of live TV audience the racers were also thinking about the $10,000 first place money waiting for the winner. To add to their stress the top ten qualifiers were inverted for the event. When the 15-lap race got underway Mike Lawrence came out of turn one first with Aaron Daugherty second and Justin Smith third. During lap two Smith moved to second and soon after RJ Anderson was in third. Smith was able to take the lead on lap three by out jumping Lawrence into turn two. Lawrence was moved back to third as Anderson drove by in the same corner. Two turns later Sheldon Creed took over third. Anderson was pressuring Smith throughout each lap and was able to take control once but Smith came back the following corner to retake the lead. With Anderson focused on Smith Sheldon Creed was able to slip under Anderson for second. Anderson wasn’t through and fought back for second. However Creed showed his desire and came right back to take second just before a caution slowed the action down. On the restart Anderson again traded position with Creed. Another yellow came out and during the restart the front four all got into each other in the final turn. The front three connections were worried but all were able to collect themselves for the finish. During the mayhem Creed was able to take second. Taking the $10,000 winner’s prize was Justin Smith. Sheldon Creed won $5000 for his second place finish and RJ Anderson took home $2500.
Steven Greinke, current class champion, was another driver going into the final points battle with enough points to clinch yet another class title by just starting the race. Throughout the season Grienke had earned 50 points over his closest competitor Bradley Morris. The two shared row one for the start and Morris was able to grab the lead. Second was Grienke and Garrett George had his Funco tucked into third. Before the pack could get a good rhythm set Eddie Tafoya stalled on track and, having to be towed off, caused a caution. Once racing again Morris had little trouble distancing himself from Grienke. About mid-race Dillon Reimer rolled in turn two causing another yellow. On the restart Grienke made his move on Morris for the lead. Morris had more troubles when George and he collided sending Morris up into the wall in turn two. This moved Geoffrey Cooley into second and Dave Mason Jr to third. In turn three Mason would spin out and John Fitzgerald was there to take over third. Taking his class win and season top honors was Steven Grienke. Second went to Geoffrey Cooley and John Fitzgerald finished third.
There were 15 entries in the Pro Buggy class on Sunday vying for a top prize of $10,000. Sterling Cling used his pole position to grab the early lead with Bradley Morris and Dillon Reimer his closet competitors. Cling’s lead on the slippery track was short lived as Morris was able to maneuver inside of turn one going into the second lap. When a yellow came out the pack was again bunched up and on the restart Morris spun and during the shuffling and Garret George stole the lead. His lead didn’t last long, as he had to retire with mechanical problems. Out front of the pack then was John Fitzgerald with Eddie Tafoya second. There was more shuffling going on for third place until Steven Greinke was able to put some clean air between him and Tafoya. The front two pulled some breathing room over the pack until Fitzgerald spun in turn three and dropped to fourth before getting things back to right. There was a lot of action going on when the yellow caution came out to clear debris from the track. Once racing again, Dave Mason Jr was in charge of the pack. Behind Mason was Greinke and Fitzgerald had managed to settle into third. Geoffrey Cooley managed to move up into third and Larry Job was moving up through the field. Another yellow came out . On the restart, the starter had been waiting until the pack leader was almost under him, but this time he threw the green just as the pack crested the hill. This caught Mason napping and Greinke was able to move inside and take the lead in turn one. On the final lap Fitzgerald rolled on the hill before turn three but the leaders were not affected. Taking the top prize of $10,000 was Steven Greinke with Dave Mason Jr holding onto second for $5000. Larry Job had avoided all the mayhem to earn $2500 for third.
The Limited Buggy class had been cut from the national tour but got their chance to make the bucks during this Challenge Cup event. During practice Zachery Hunt set quick time over Bruce Fraley and the other 12 contestants. When racing started Bradley Morris jumped out front with Zac Hunt a close second and Kevin McCullough third ahead of Lindsay Geiser. A caution came out after a turn one crash and when racing got back up to speed McCullough spun out in turn two. A couple of laps later Hunt drifted wide in turn one allowing Geiser to slip into second. While Hunt was trying to collect his thoughts Fraley got by also. These two got together later spinning out and giving the position to Kyle Quinn. The pack had strung out but a caution once again brought the pack back together. Throughout most of the race Morris had enjoyed a comfortable lead but Geiser closed the gap later on and focused on Mottis. Suddenly Morris pulled off with mechanical issues giving the lead and eventual win to Geiser. Not only winning her first national series win but Lindsay Geiser also collected $4000 for her win. Bruce Fraley crossed over second to earn the $2000 prize and Kyle Quinn took home $1000 for third.
Saturday’s Modified Kart race would decide the series as Myles Cheek had the points lead but also had five others in contention for the title. The race had some trouble getting started. First attempt at starting had a kart high centered on track. The next restart saw a pile up in turn one. As they say, third time was the charm as Brock Heger took the early lead. In second was Myles Cheek and Parker Steele grabbed the third slot. While leading Heger pulled off track handing Cheek the front running position. This put Steele in second and Travis Pecoy third. A caution came out and took a couple of laps before officials got them lined back up. I didn’t see when the pass was made but Cole Mamer was put into third ahead of Pecoy. Daely Pentico rolled on the last lap but it didn’t affect Myles Cheek taking the win and the championship for the second year running. Parker Steele earned second and Cole Mamer was third.
Racing for the bucks on Sunday in the Modified Kart class a total of 22 determined racers lined up. Many of the nervous racers jumped the start causing a restart. Once racing was underway it was Travis Pecoy who moved from his second row starting spot into the lead after turn one. Behind Pecoy was the current Champion Myles Cheek with Shelby Anderson running third. A couple of caution flags came out during the early laps but the racers seemed to settle down mid-race. When the caution went green Brock Heger made his move from fifth to take third on the start. Out front was still Pecoy but as the laps passed Cheek closed the gap between himself and the leader. With two laps to go Cheek took the outside line around turn two for the lead and eventual win. On the last lap Heger tried to put a move on Pecoy in the whoop section but couldn’t hold the line and had to settle for third at the checkers. For his effort Myles Cheek earned $600 for first. Pecoy received a check for $300 and Heger took home $100.
Junior Kart II
There were 18 entries for the Junior Kart II title round. Coming into this final event Hailie Deegan was the points leader having 30-points over Broc Dickerson. So things would have to go terribly wrong for her not to win the series. On the start Parker Porter took control with Deegan in second and Parker Steele was third. Heading into lap two Deegan moved to the front but it didn’t take long before Dickerson had passed his way into second. At the competition yellow restart Dickerson moved ahead for the lead but Deegan came back the next lap to retake the lead. Soon after Dickerson had some handling woes and spun in turn two with several getting around him. Hailie Deegan was all alone and headed for the win and series championship. So, Deegan took the win and Ryan Carey took second ahead of Bryce McDaniel.
In the Junior Kart II racing class Ricky Gutierrez is a serious contender. So when he started from the front row it was no surprise for him to take the early lead once the green flag came out in the Junior Kart II event on Sunday. Taking the second slot was Mia Chapman who had Parker Porter challenging her in third. Then Porter was able to make a pass for second and soon after Bryce McDaniel also proved quicker. In the field of 18 karts the front three quickly distanced themselves from the pack. As the competition yellow came out the running order had changed, Gutierrez still had the lead but McDaniel had got around Porter for second. On the restart Parker Steele was able to cut inside of Porter to take away third. Before Steele could get comfortable in the position Hailie Deegan came up through the pack and cut inside of turn one for the position. The order would change again on the last lap as Deegan dropped out giving her position to Porter. Padding his bank account with $500 was Ricky Gutierrez for the win and Bryce McDaniel took home $250 while Parker Porter can thank Deegan’s troubles for his $100 third place finish.
Junior Kart I
The Junior Kart I class had the tightest championship battle of all the classes. Ricky Gutierrez had only a nine point lead over Blaze Nunley and there was a string of other contenders that could walk off with the title depending on the outcome of this race. Once the green flag came out a pile up in turn one brought them all back to restart. On the restart another incident occurred in turn one but this time they let them race. Mason Prater took the early lead with Gutierrez second and Daely Pentico third. Pentico got by Gutierrez but Gutierrez was quick to retake the position. Pentico and Gutierriez got together physically when Pentico made the pass again but Gutierrez held third. After a caution Gutierrez was able to get back around Pentico and went to work on the leader. It was on the final lap when Gutierriez got by Prater for the win and series championship title. Mason Prater earned his second placing and third went to Daely Pentico.
The Junior Kart I Challenge Cup event drew 13 contestants and when the gas pedal hit the floor it was Justin Wilson taking the early lead with Ricky Gutierrez ahead of Madix Briley. As they crossed over for the second lap Gutierrez was able to take the lead and soon after Wilson’s race was over as he pulled off course. With Wilson retired, Bailey took over the second position and Kali Kinsman moved up to third. After racing resumed from the competition yellow Kinsman was able to take the second position. Bailey would then loose third to Mason Prater, who then grabbed second from Kinsman, around turn one. Crossing the finish line first and earning $500 for the effort was Ricky Gutierrez. Mason Prater scored $250 for his second placing and Kali Kinsman pocked $100 for her third place finish.