At the halfway point of the season, there are no runaways in any class within the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. The closest thing to a dominant position would be either Kyle LeDuc's 33-point lead over his brother Todd in Pro 4, or RJ Anderson's 53-point lead in Pro Lite.
Kyle LeDuc earned his lead by virtue of winning the first six races. The gap narrowed at Miller Motorsports Park in June because Kyle had some mechanical difficulties. Anderson, on the other hand, has half as many wins in Pro Lite as Kyle has in Pro 4. But his lead is bigger compared to his fellow Monster-sponsored driver thanks to his consistency – in all but two races he's been on the podium – and the lack of same by his competitors. Brian Deegan was on top form at Miller, however, and if he carries that form throughout the rest of the season, he will be in good position to defend his title.
The other classes are much closer, and some such as Pro 2 and Pro Buggy are basically dead heats. Marty Hart's two-point lead over Rob MacCachren in Pro 2 could be gone in a race. So could Steven Greinke's one-point margin over Doug Fortin, both of whom have been incredibly consistent, each having been off the podium only once in eight races.
Sheldon Creed has been really strong as a rookie in SuperLite with four wins, even as he struggles a bit in Pro Lite. But he has only the narrowest possible gap between himself and Drew Britt in the points chase due to a couple of tough finishes.
A Kiwi in LOORRS
Drivers come from all over the country to race in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. But it takes a pretty hardcore lover of the sport to commute 6,800 miles to compete in short course off road racing.
Trevor Cooper has been doing just that. A New Zealander, he's familiar with off road racing, which has a big following in his home country. Even American short course racing has its share of fans there.
“It's a different sort of off road up here. More intense, more hardcore,” Cooper says. “Now I was in a position to do it, and now I've done it. I'll be able to go home and say, we've raced with the best of the best.”
Cooper made his LOORRS debut at Speedworld Off Road Park in Surprise, Ariz, in May in a truck he bought from the Geiser brothers. It was a pretty good debut considering his experience, as he finished seventh in a field of 18 trucks. His original intention was to buy the truck and ship it home to New Zealand to race there – it would be Class 8 truck in races such as his homeland's famous Taupo 1000 – where, he says, “It would give them a bit of a hurry-up down home.” However, he enjoyed racing LOORRS so much he decided to continue for at least one more event, and raced at Miller Motorsports Park as well.
Cooper got the opportunity to purchase the truck and try short course by winning the New Zealand lottery on April Fools' Day. So he decided to see what it was like to be a part of it. When he does ship his new acquisition home, he has a plan.
“We'll use it for our off roading as well as getting short course taking off in New Zealand,” the Kiwi says, noting people are already building Pro Lite-specification trucks there. “We run a format where we run short course one day and endurance the next. But we'd like to get a program of closed-course racing. It's good for the spectators.”
MAVTV, the Lucas Oil-owned network that will carry 30 hours of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series action in 2012, relaunched on July 4 with the tagline “American Real.”
“Our viewers can now look forward to an ‘edge of the seat' experience every time they watch the network,” says MAVTV President Bob Patison. “We chose ‘American Real' as our brand platform to highlight our new programming which includes high action adventure series, major movies, concerts and white knuckle sports – all aimed at making MAVTV a destination channel.”
Although motorsports will continue to be a big part of MAVTV's lineup, the network is also expanding its cinematic and music offerings, along with introducing several new original series this summer and fall.
“MAVTV comes from Lucas Oil and Lucas comes from humble beginnings, hard work, big dreams and bold moves. That's why we believe the ‘American Real' positioning for MAVTV is perfect,” says Forrest Lucas, founder and president of Lucas Oil Products. “MAVTV is entertainment for real people featuring real life, in all its sweaty, gritty, unapologetic blue jean and T-shirt glory.”
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing point standings
after Round 8 at Miller Motorsports Park
Pro 4 Unlimited
Kyle LeDuc 396
Todd LeDuc 363
Jerry Daugherty 324
Pro 2 Unlimited
Marty Hart 348
Rob MacCachren 346
Brian Deegan 332
Pro Lite Unlimited
RJ Anderson 381
Chris Brandt 328
Ryan Beat 304
Pro Buggy Unlimited
Steven Greinke 379
Doug Fortin 378
Geoffrey Cooley 326
Sheldon Creed 361
Drew Britt 360
Ryan Hagy 337
John Fitzgerald 388
Jordan Poole 349
Bradley Morris 325