It seems the Pro Lites took the nomenclature “Sin City” a little too much to heart when the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series hit Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a pair of events after dark. Friday night's Pro Lite race at the Loctite Fight Under the Lights Presented by LoanMart saw a caution nearly every lap. But Brian Deegan could happily ignore all the incidents, as he was cruising up front and extending his Pro Lite points lead. Sheldon Creed finished second, and also moved into second in the points.
Casey Currie finished third, but his truck, like so many of the other Pro Lites, looked like it had been through battle. Some attributed it to a tacky track that caught a lot of drivers out, but Currie had a different take.
“That was the gnarliest race I've ever been a part of,” said Currie. “Lucas needs to do something about these drivers that go out there and just don't care. There was some stupid driving going on out there tonight. It makes you have to drive differently, which is just not racing. I can't believe the people that were trying things in Turn 1 and over in the right-hander. That was pitiful as a race”
Even Creed made mention of getting pushed around. Apparently the officials took note, because there were a couple of black flags thrown on Saturday night, and not quite so many yellows, although there were still plenty and they started on the first lap. But up front, Bradley Morris looked like he was solidly in control, leading Creed and RJ Anderson…until he went up on the bike and then over in Turn 2. But he landed on his wheels and kept going, losing only two positions in the process. Then Anderson got inside Creed in Turn 6 with a little door banging to take the lead.
On a restart, Kyle Hart (ABOVE) made an audacious move into Turn 2 inside Kyle Lucas and Jimmy Fishback, but it was a bit too optimistic. By the time the field exited the turn, Lucas was on his side and Fishback had gone for a rail ride. Hart was black flagged, after Jerrett Brooks had been parked earlier for another incident.
Anderson cruised to the win, making up for the night before when he only completed one lap. Creed scored his second runner-up finish of the weekend, and Deegan was third. Finishing behind Creed meant that Deegan didn't wrap up the title and will have to wait until the final round at Lake Elsinore to celebrate.
Steven Greinke moved closer to a title, winning Pro Buggy on Saturday and finishing second on Friday. Bradley Morris's tough luck in the second Pro Lite race may have been tempered by winning the Pro Buggy event on Friday. Both were largely flag-to-flag affairs.
Neither Pro 4 race was a romp, although the same might not be said for the season as a whole. Kyle LeDuc appeared firmly in control of Friday night's race. Rob MacCachren had pulled out of second with a mechanical issue, leaving Carl Renezeder to chase LeDuc. A caution helped close things up, and Renezeder went into full stalk mode. As the laps wound down, Renezeder pulled outside of LeDuc in Turn 5, the fast right-hand sweeper, putting him inside for Turn 6. Still, it took a full lap and a bit of door banging to complete the pass. Once in front, Renezeder ran to the end, with Kyle LeDuc coming home second and Todd LeDuc in third.
Kyle started out in front again on Saturday, but a bobble dropped him back to third, leaving MacCachren in the lead. For 13 races since returning to the Pro 4 category in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, he has pursued a victory and come oh-so-close. This time, in front of his hometown crowd, he would not be denied.
“It took us 14 rounds to get here and we made it finally,” said MacCachren. “It's a big relief, a weight off my shoulders. You start wondering, questioning if you built the truck the right way, used the right components. This is definitely putting a stamp that we're making the right choices and doing the right thing.”
Renezeder finished second but, more importantly, in conjunction with his win the night before, he sealed up his ninth championship in short course racing.
“I'm absolutely happy to wrap it up. But unprepared is more the reaction. I didn't get my mind set to win the championship with one race to go. I didn't even want to think about that. It's kind of weird. It hasn't settled in at all,” he said.
Earlier in the evening, Renezeder won Pro 2, moved to the beginning of the night thanks to a schedule change resulting from a delay due to high winds. Renezeder started up front, but was passed by Robby Woods. Woods looked firmly in control and headed to his first win, but it was not to be. His truck slowed on the back straight on the final lap and he pulled directly into the pits while Renezeder sailed under the checkered flag.
The night before, it was all about Marty Hart. A year ago at Las Vegas, Hart pulled off one of the most amazing drives, starting in the back, working his way toward the front, getting black flagged then working back up, with only a podium and a narrowly missed championship to show for it. This time it was a flag-to-flag dominating performance.
“There were a lot of ruts out there, and they watered the crap out of it, and all the guys that had their cars set up right were pushing. I was pushing the first half of the race, sliding up to the wall. But I just kept thinking, 'dry out, dry out!' so I'd have something at the end. That's what we've been lacking all season long. We'd have a good car for the first half, then these guys would just reel me in and take me. So we set our car up for the end of the day and it pulled us through,” Hart said.
Pro 2 is one of three Pro championships that are going down to the wire at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Complex on Oct. 27, along with Pro Lite and Pro Buggy, although the leads in each of those – MacCachren, Deegan and Greinke, respectively – are significant enough that basically each leader needs to start to clinch. The finale will be followed the next day by the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup races, where Pro Lite and Pro Buggy drivers will square off before the combined Pro 4 and Pro 2 race.
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Results
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Pro 4 Carl Renezeder
Pro 2 Marty Hart
Pro Lite Brian Deegan
Pro Buggy Bradley Morris
Mod Kart Myles Cheek
Pro 4 Rob MacCachren
Pro 2 Carl Renezeder
Pro Lite RJ Anderson
Pro Buggy Steven Greinke
Mod Kart Gavin Harlien