This weekend, for the third time this season, the racers of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The track that awaits them will be familiar – the same 1.1-mile, 8-turn course they've faced before – but there will be a few surprises in store.
"We have two new confirmed drivers throwing their hats in the ring in the Pro 2 Unlimited class,” says Competition Director Tony Vanillo. “Metal Mulisha General Brian Deegan [left] will be doing double duty as he makes his first attempt at a Pro 2 podium and continues to fight for the Pro Lite championship in the Rockstar Energy Drink/Metal Mulisha sponsored machines. He will be joined by the always colorful off-road racing veteran Clyde Stout as he makes his Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series debut in the RPS-built No. 13. They both looked great at practice and are sure to add even more excitement to an already action-packed field full of talent. Also spotted practicing in a Pro 2 recently was Pro Lite driver Cory Sisler who may be joining the show in the Forgiven Energy sponsored truck, adding a third new driver to the mix.”
Jeremy McGrath, whose debut with Stronghold Motorsports was postponed from last month's rounds at Speedworld Off Road Park in Surprise, Ariz., is scheduled to run this weekend, as is Mike Vanden Heuvel in the Flying Dutchman Racing Pro 2. In addition to the new drivers, there will be some other activities surrounding the racing.
“We will also be showing the newest Metal Mulisha creation "Deegan vs. Deegan" as part of our opening ceremonies and look forward to seeing a very special child, Baydon Yundt of Monkton, Ont., enjoy a ride-along with the X Games superstar courtesy of the Make-A-Wish foundation,” adds Vanillo. “Leading up to the race, we will have a display track at SEMA all week and a pre-party and autograph session at Stoney's North Forty on Thursday night. It's definitely going to be an action packed week!"
Las Vegas is the last double-points-race weekend for the series in 2010, before the finale at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix. With 104 of a possible 156 points available up for grabs in Sin City, those in tight points races had better use these two races to make up ground or extend their lead. The tightest battles are in Pro Lite, Super Lite and Pro Buggy Unlimited.
Chris Brandt had a great weekend in Arizona last month, while Marty Hart would probably like a do-over. As a result, Brandt took the lead in the Pro Lite points, 17 over Hart's 524. It's not down to just these two, though. Matt Loiodice and Deegan are well within striking distance, 45 and 51 points behind, and with an exceptional weekend, leading rookie Adam Wik could even be in the fight.
The closest points tussle is between Chad George and Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg in Super Lite, with only three points separating them. The contest for third and fourth in the points is even tighter, with CJ Greaves leading Jacob Person by two. The points spread over the top four is only 23 points.
The top three in Pro Buggy are separated by even less, with Doug Fortin and Cameron Steele tied at 504, 10 points behind Larry Job. Steele has been coming on strong as the season has progressed and took his first victory in Surprise.
With the leaders having a big gap, the two big truck classes could come out of Las Vegas with the championships decided. Unless Rick Huseman and Rob MacCachren strike some serious trouble, they could easily go into Firebird with more-than-52-point leads. Huseman leads Carl Renezeder by 76 points in Pro 4, and MacCachren has a 61-point lead in Pro 2. The close battles in both of these classes will be for second, with Renezeder and Rodrigo Ampudia both having a chance to unseat Menzies in Pro 2. In Pro 4, Kyle LeDuc is facing only a three-point gap to Renezeder, and Adrian Cenni is 28 points behind LeDuc.
Las Vegas was the site of the season opener, and for some it could be the end of their title hope this weekend. Whatever happens, the track has produced four rounds of exciting action so far, and there's no reason to believe this weekend will be any different. For more information or tickets, see www.lucasoiloffroad.com.