Team Associated and LOORRS Take On the Arizona Heat!March 21, 2013
Event Name: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
Event Location: Firebird International Raceway Chandler, AZ
Event Date(s): March 15, 2013 to March 17, 2013
This past weekend kicked off the 2013 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at the prestigious Firebird International Raceway in Chandler AZ. We are in our fourth year as a series sponsor and our team of drivers is stronger than ever! The Team Associated Factory Short Course Team consists of defending Pro-4 Champion Monster Energy / Toyo Tires driver Kyle LeDuc, 7-time national champion and driver of the Lucas Oil / General Tire Pro 2 and Pro 4, Carl Renezeder, the entire Hart & Huntington Off Road team consisting of MavTV's Josh Merrill in his Pro 4, Lunarpages driver Rob Naughton piloting a Pro 2, and Lunarpages / Rockstar Energy driver Ryan Beat in Pro Lite. Also, Robby Woods in his Slick Mist / General Tire Pro 2, Eric Barron in his Toyota/ LAT Oils Pro 4 and new to the team in the Pro Lite class, young gun Noah Fouch. Along with the pros, we are also proud to work the future of the sport, modified kart drivers Brooke Kawell and Gavin Harlien.
Saturday kicked off with the Pro 4 class and Kyle LeDuc was looking to continue the domination he showed in 2012. After qualifying, Kyle LeDuc and Carl Renezeder had front row starting positions and looked to take advantage of them. When the green flag dropped, Kyle, Carl, and second row starter Eric Barron gapped the rest of the field and began checking out. Kyle started to put some distance between himself and Carl, but late in the race he began to experience mechanical issues. Carl capitalized on Kyle's misfortune and moved into the lead. With Kyle falling back, Barron pushed hard to gain time on the wounded truck and gain valuable championship points but, ran out of time and finished with a third place for round one. The finishing order was Carl Renezeder, Kyle LeDuc holding onto second, and Eric Barron in third completing the Team Associated Pro 4 podium sweep.
The Pro Lite division is over the top this year with nearly 30 trucks lining up to take the green flag. Our drivers Ryan Beat and Noah Fouch are prepared for the challenge and ready for a hard fought championship battle. Both put in great drives but would fall short of the podium in both days. Both showed the speed necessary to contend for the win but, luck was not on their side. This was also the story in the modified kart class with our drivers Brooke Kawell and Gavin Harlien showing podium speed but falling victim to bad luck.
Pro 2 showed why they are the prestigious class in short course off road racing. Robby Woods qualified in the number one position securing a front row starting spot for the race. Robby used that spot to his advantage and put a huge lead on the rest of the field until drivetrain problems ended his race. Marty Hart inherited the lead and was in a heated battle with Carl Renezeder. Hart showed his experience and was able to hold off Carl for the win. Carl took home a second place finish and Rob MacCachren rounded out podium in third.
The crews burned the midnight oil to get the trucks ready for the next day's battle and once again, the Pro 4 class started the day. Carl Renezeder was hungry and looking to complete the weekend sweep in the class. At the start of the race, it was Eric Barron on the point with Renezeder and Kyle LeDuc once again checking out on the field. Barron held the lead for several laps before some miscommunication from the tower would cause he and Kyle LeDuc to checkup thinking a yellow flag was flying. This miscommunication would give the lead to the hard-charging Renezeder. The three truck battle was tight until LeDuc got into Barron in a late braking corner, spinning the pair. Carl stretched his lead continued on to take the win and the weekend sweep of the Pro 4 class. Rounding out the podium was Todd LeDuc and Rob MacCachren.
Next up was the Pro 2 class and Marty Hart, hot off his win from the day before looked to continue right where he left off. Renezeder was hunting Hart for many laps and was looking inside, outside, and waiting for his chance to make a pass. The opportunity arrived when Hart left the door slightly opened; Carl went in for the pass and made it stick. It wasn't over; Carl had to hold his lines tight as the attacks from Hart continued. Carl drove fast and tight not allowing Hart to get by and made it to the checkered flag to claim the Pro-4/ Pro-2 Sunday sweep and his third victory of the opening weekend. Hart finished in a close second with Jeff Geiser rounding out the Pro 2 podium.
The season is now in full swing and looks to be the best year of racing we have seen in years! The crews head back to the shop and prepare the trucks to head to "Sin City" for Rounds 2 & 3 at the famed Las Vegas Motor Speedway on April 26th to 28th.