Carl Renezeder in the 2012 Challenge Cup (Photo by Richard S. James)
Lucas Oil Challenge Cup to be telecast live
MAVTV has announced that it will air the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Complex live. The broadcast will be Sunday, Oct. 27 at 5 p.m. Eastern.
The Lucas Oil Challenge Cup races pit Pro 4 vs. Pro 2 in a post-season, no-holds-barred, big-money race. With the championships already decided and plenty of time to rebuild the trucks before next season, it usually gets wild.
The Pro 4s start behind the Pro 2s, with a gap based on lap time, and both fields are partially inverted based on points. If a Pro 4 driver wants to win, he or she will have to first work their way through their fellow Pro 4 drivers, then catch and pass the entire Pro 2 field – and it usually happens. Last year Carl Renezeder won it in a Pro 4. Rob Naughton won in a Pro 2 in 2011. Kyle LeDuc (Pro 4) claimed the big prize in 2010, and Renezeder won the first edition in 2009, the first year it was held at Lake Elsinore.
In addition, the Pro Lite and Pro Buggy competitors slug it out in a similar competition. This one is usually as good or better than the Pro 4 vs. Pro 2 battle, because while the Lites and Buggies find their speed in different places, the lap times are very similar.
The Challenge Cup races on Sunday, Oct. 27 follow the season finale on Saturday, where many of the championships will be decided. See https://secure.ticketsage.net/websales.aspx?u=lucasoiloffroad for tickets. For the full broadcast schedule for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, click here.
Brian Deegan at Reno. (Photo by Richard S. James)
A rare occurrence
It's unusual for neither Carl Renezeder nor Rob MacCachren to win a race on any given weekend. With MacCachren joining Renezeder in Pro 4, each of them has four chances each double-race weekend to win a race, or eight chances in all – pretty good odds.
But after Rounds 11 and 12 at Reno, that has happened not just one weekend, but two in a row including the Glen Helen rounds in August. How rare is it? In order to find a weekend where neither Rob MacCachren nor Carl Renezeder won a single race, you'd have to go back to Glen Helen in 2012. If you add Brian Deegan into that mix, the last time prior to Glen Helen in August that none of them won a race in a weekend was the 2012 season opener at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix.
Fortunately for Deegan, he didn't make it two weekends without a victory, scoring a win and a second in Pro 2, as well as two seconds in Pro Lite. Bryce Menzies took the other win in Pro 2 at Reno, and Kyle LeDuc doubled up in Pro 4 to keep Renezeder and MacCachren off the top of the box.
Championships down to the wire
While Pro 4, where Carl Renezeder has an almost 50-point lead, may be decided n Sept. 20-21 in the night races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the other classes will almost certainly carry over to the finale at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Complex in October.
Brian Deegan had a great weekend in Pro 2 at Reno, and not only closed the gap between himself and Rob MacCachren, but passed Renezeder by two points for second in the standings. Renezeder is 16 points behind MacCachren. Marty Hart still has a shot at the title as well, being only 20 points behind Renezeder and 36 behind MacCachren.
Deegan's two second-place finishes in Pro Lite, while RJ Anderson only made the podium once, in third, helped him stretch his lead in that class. Sheldon Creed and Bradley Morris are still technically in the hunt, but it's going to take one heck of a calamity at Las Vegas with both Deegan and Anderson for them to close the gap – Creed is 47 points behind, with Morris another nine back.
Steven Greinke pounded the Pro Buggy field at Reno with two victories. With part-timer Doug Fortin stepping into Eric Fitch's buggy for the weekend and finishing second both days, there was nothing but scraps left for those trying to prevent a second consecutive championship for Greinke. But with a 47-point lead over Bradley Morris and a 50point gap to Dave Mason, Greinke is sitting in a pretty good position heading into Las Vegas.
For tickets to the night races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, see https://secure.ticketsage.net/websales.aspx?u=lucasoiloffroad. Gates open to the public at 4 p.m. both Friday And Saturday, with opening ceremonies at 6:15.
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series point standings after Round 12 at Wild West Motorsports Park, Reno, Nev.
Carl Renezeder 562
Kyle LeDuc 516
Rob MacCachren 509
Rob MacCachren 535
Brian Deegan 521
Carl Renezeder 519
Brian Deegan 513
RJ Anderson 490
Sheldon Creed 466
Steven Greinke 575
Bradley Morris 528
Dave Mason 525