It's where Rick Huseman got his start in short course. Ricky Johnson has battled Jeff Ward there before, only on two wheels. It's long been Southern California's home for motocross and short course off-road racing, and now the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is heading to Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif., this weekend for a show under the lights for Rounds 9 and 10.
Johnson and Ward battled on the motocross track, which hosted the U.S. Grand Prix round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in May; but now they'll battle again on the newly constructed short course.
“I spent countless hours practicing and knocking out moto after moto at Glen Helen,” says Ward. “I also had a chance to race a U.S. GP there during my career and took a second. The facility has a great history. It's nice to have the opportunity to be racing at home again in front of my family and friends.”
The Pro 2 Unlimited race featuring Johnson and Ward – along with races for Pro 4 Unlimited, Pro Lite Unlimited, Super Lite, Pro Buggy Unlimited, Limited Buggy, UTVs and karts – will take place on a new, purpose-built 0.8-mile course constructed within the 256-acre facility in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains. While some of the racers will miss the legendary hills of the motocross track, the night races on the new track shouldn't disappoint.
“Glen Helen has been the host of some of the greatest California Motocross events ever,” says Johnson. “I'm excited that short course off-road racing is back in the region. It's a great thing for the sport.”
Johnson and Ward (at left), split by Todd LeDuc, are chasing Rob MacCachren, Bryce Menzies, Rodrigo Ampudia, Carl Renezeder and Rob Naughton, the top five in Pro 2 Unlimited. MacCachren has been darn near unstoppable this season, but Johnson took the first two wins – with MacCachren second – at Las Vegas and Renezeder and Ampudia have each snatched a win from the Las Vegas star. Menzies has yet to score a victory this season, but has been consistently up front without DNFs. As a result, MacCachren holds a 369-332 lead over Menzies in the points.
In Pro 4, it's been all about Rick Huseman. Carl Renezeder has been his toughest challenger so far and has kept the points gap to 37 points. It's another 38 back to Adrian Cenni, winless so far in 2010. Curt LeDuc is fourth, ahead of son Kyle LeDuc.
Pro Lite this season has been a three-way battle between Chris Brandt, Brian Deegan and Marty Hart. Brandt holds a slim lead over Deegan, who has a tiny three-point gap to Hart. Hart is expected to have a new truck with him, which he predicted might level the playing field a bit.
Cameron Steele has been the most consistent player in Pro Buggy Unlimited this season, and leads the points as a result, 346-331 over Rich Ronco. Larry Job is one point behind Ronco and two points ahead of Doug Fortin, a double winner at Las Vegas to open the season. Bobby PeCoy is fifth in the standings with 318 points.
The gates at Glen Helen will open at 10 a.m. on Friday for practice and qualifying, and at 3 p.m. on the race days, Saturday and Sunday. Each race day features the full schedule, with every class racing. The racing will conclude under the lights, with most of the pro classes running after dark.
For more information, see www.lucasoiloffroad.com