Some racing drivers believe you can never get too much of a good thing. If one race is good, two is better. One truck? Good. Two trucks? Better. One win a day? Good. Two wins? Better.
Thus the propensity for drivers in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series to double up. Carl Renezeder has been racing Pro 2 and Pro 4 for years. Greg Adler joined him in the waning races of 2011. It happens in other classes, also – Brian Deegan races both Pro 2 and Pro Lite; Bradley Morris tackles both Pro Lite and Pro Buggy each weekend.
For 2013, Kyle LeDuc and Rob MacCachren have joined the Pro 4 plus Pro 2 party. LeDuc (LEFT) adds a Pro 2 to his championship-winning Monster Energy Drink/Toyo Tires program. MacCachren adds a Pro 4 to his Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita/BFGoodrich stable. While each driver has experience in a variety of vehicles, both are finding new things to learn as they attempt to win in a new class.
“The aggression…” starts LeDuc, whose most recent two-wheel-drive experience was in Pro Lite. “The Pro 2 guys will go in a standing water, splashing corner and go until they lean on something or someone. I've grown my whole life to learn not to do that. Sometimes they get away with it and it's just incredible. I've got to watch it because I'm trying to be nice and not spin out the car and be careful, and those guys just come sliding up and push their way through. Maybe that's how they drive, but I think there's a better way to do it.”
LeDuc has been observing as MacCachren tries to adapt to Pro 4 – a class where MacCachren started his short course career, but hasn't raced full time in in LOORRS since the series began.
“He knows how to get around the track, but times change. Pro 4s are going backwards like they never used to. Yeah, he can always be fast, but it's a matter of racing. We all race differently than he's used to. The cars rotate backwards and are up against the K-rails, and he's more used to being mid-line. It'll take him a while to adapt,” LeDuc explains before acknowledging the threat the MacCachren represents. “It's now or never to stay ahead of him as he advances. It's just a never-ending process of advancement in racing, and sometimes failure.
So far, LeDuc's title defense has been lackluster, thanks to some bad luck and mechanical failures. MacCachren has more points, but both are chasing Carl Renezeder, who has won every race heading into Round 7 at Miller Motorsports Park. Still, MacCachren notes his shortcomings in the way he races Pro 4 after a long absence.
“My old days in the Pro 4, the systems that we have now for four-wheel drive have changed, so I'm having to learn how to drive the system we chose,” says MacCachren (RIGHT), who raced Pro 4 in CORR from 1995 to 2001. “There are times that I question if I'm driving it the right war or not. And we also need to learn if we even have the right system to go out and win. The truck is pretty quick, but it's not dominant by any means.
“I also need to learn how to pass these guys. The way the Pro 4s go into corners, I'm still trying to grasp how to plan to be able to set someone up. I don't think that I'm there yet to figure out exactly how to pass. Especially [in Round 6 at Lake Elsinore] with Carl [Renezeder], I didn't know what to do. Multiple times I was close, but how do I do something more to get by him? I didn't have anything in my book at that point. So it's either making the truck faster or me learning how to drive the truck,” adds the 2010 Pro 2 titlist.
The two champion drivers are taking different approaches to adding a second program. MacCachren brought his Pro 4 into the fold of his Pro 2 program. LeDuc is working with Jeff Carpenter Racing, who is building and prepping the truck, keeping the chaos, as he describes it, of the two trucks separate. He is also taking a different approach than most Pro 2s with the transmission, going with a manual while most run automatics.
With four drivers now running the two big-truck classes, there's enough for a quasi-combined championship. “That should be our own little side bet, our own little challenge,” says MacCachren, while admitting that Renezeder is looking pretty good for the combined title at the moment. After six rounds of racing, Renezeder, who has won every Pro 4 race and been on the Pro 2 podium five times, has a combined 576 points, while MacCachren is at 532. Adler has 479 and LeDuc, thanks to getting a late start with the Pro 2 and the aforementioned difficulties in the Pro 4, is well behind with 391.
LeDuc realizes that it's a tough row to hoe, racing two trucks, but thinks he's up to the challenge.
“It's good that people think it's hard to do both. I'm happy to put myself, if I can, with those guys. We're kind of good enough to where we can get in a trophy kart and learn how to haul ass in it. It's just a matter of turning off and turning on different features of how you drive. Some guys can switch off quick, some guys take five laps, some may never get it. Is it hard? Absolutely. But it makes it fun.”