Lucas Off Road Racing Series Rounds 9 & 10
October 17 - 18 Speedworld Off Road Park, Surprise, AZ
Unlimited 4 - Round 9
The first six spots from yesterday’s round of Unlimited 4 qualifying were inverted for the start of today’s race, putting the #5 Pro Comp/Toyo Tires Ford of Travis Coyne and the #18 Terrible Herbst Chevrolet of Tim Herbst on the front row this afternoon. Herbst made a perfect jump to take the early lead over Coyne, Adrian Cenni, Carl Renezeder, and Troy Herbst on lap one. Coyne was pushing the leading Herbst hard, and finally managed to get by and take the lead in turn one. Cenni followed suit in his #11 Atrium Chevrolet, moving past Herbst in turn four of the same lap. Cenni then lost it in turn one a few laps later, allowing several drivers to get by in less than one lap before he finally pulled off the track and out of the race. Up front, Coyne still led, but it was now Carl Renezeder in the #1 Lucas Oil/General Tires Ford who occupied second position. Tim Herbst was now third, with Alan Pflueger lying fourth in his #71 K&N/KMC Wheels Chevrolet and Bryce Menzies moving up to fifth in his #51 Team Associated Ford. This order stayed the same as the competition yellow came out, but as the second half of the race began, it was Pflueger who had a great jump to move up to third spot. The leader Coyne then bicycled in turn two, dropping him back to fourth after running so strongly in the first half of the race. Renezeder assumed the lead ahead of Pflueger and Tim Herbst, and although Coyne provided strong enough pressure on Herbst to eventually move into third, both he and Herbst pulled off the track with less than two laps to go. By the end of the race, only four trucks were still running, and it was Renezeder who came out on top, with Pflueger taking second, Menzies third, and Jerry Daugherty in the #23 Dixie Choppers/Racin’ Dirty Chevrolet finishing fourth
Super Lite - Round 9
The drivers of the Bully Dog Super Lite division were next out on track, and following an eight position inversion, #20 Joey Granatelli and #72 Brandon Bailey sat on the front row for the start of the race. As the green flag dropped, #16 Dawson Kirchner spun out before crossing the start/finish line, forcing a full restart of the race. Once the drivers had settled down again, it was Bailey who jumped into the early lead in his Lamb Energy/Stronghold Motorsports machine after the race got underway again. Chad George sat in second in his Independent/Blanco Basura truck, with John Harrah third in the #13 Speed Technologies truck, Brandon Ward (son of Unlimited 2 driver Jeff Ward) fourth, and Ricky James in fifth. James was on a charge, moving his #24 So Cal Supertrucks machine into fourth, then third, then second, and finally into the lead in just a handful of laps. Shortly thereafter, a bizarre combination of events nearly ended James’ chances of victory. Jason Patison rolled at the end of the mogul section, which brought out a full course yellow. Race directors decided to use this yellow flag as the competition yellow flag as well, and as the leaders slowed while passing by the start finish line, second placed Bailey seemed to not notice the yellow flags, and sailed off a jump and right into the back of the leader James. Despite the rough-looking collision, James’ truck wasn’t damaged severely, and as the green flag came back out, he held the lead ahead of Bailey and George. On the final lap, George made a desperate attempt to dive inside of Bailey in turn five, but he only ended up pulling Bailey and himself off the track and back to sixth and seventh places. Ahead and clear of this chaos, James took his third victory in a row, keeping intact his perfect record of three wins in three Lucas Oil series starts. Second place fell to the Speed Technologies truck of Kirchner, third to Chuck Dempsey in the #50 XDP truck, fourth to Kirchner’s Bully Dog teammate Harrah, and fifth to Ward in the #92 NOS Energy Drink machine.
Unlimited 4 - Round 10
The big, bad, fire-breathing beasts of Unlimited 4 were up next, and with only two rows being inverted from this morning’s qualifying, Alan Pflueger and Adrian Cenni started side by side on the front row this afternoon. Cenni led the field past the start/finish line at the end of lap one, with Pflueger, Renezeder, Coyne, and Tim Herbst in the #18 Terrible Herbst/Miller Lite Chevrolet in tow. Renezeder moved his #1 General Tires/Lucas Oil Ford past his teammate Pflueger to grab second spot, while further back, Coyne dropped out, which allowed Troy Herbst’s #19 Terrible Herbst/Coors Light Chevrolet into the top five. Action was fast but smooth, and Cenni was using an unusual line in turn four to great effect as his #11 Atrium Chevrolet was still running strong up front as the competition yellow flag waved. Behind Cenni still sat Renezeder, waiting to pounce should Cenni falter. Pflueger ran third, with the Herbsts, Tim and Troy, in fourth and fifth. After the track once again went green, the Herbsts both ducked into the hot pits with flat tires. Josh Merrell and Bryce Menzies briefly inherited spots in the top five, only to drop out of the race with separate issues. Up front, Renezeder was really turning the screws on Cenni, and with one lap to go, the crowd was on its feet to cheer on the underdog who they call “The Wild Man,” Adrian Cenni. Cenni drove brilliantly to hold off Renezeder and take the win, causing most all those in attendance to pump their fists and cheer in approval. Renezeder had to be satisfied with second place this time, while Pflueger took third in the #71 K&N/KMC Wheels Chevrolet. Troy Herbst eventually finished fourth, ahead of his brother Tim in fifth.
Super Lite - Round 10
Once again, Chad George was the top qualifier for today’s Bully Dog Super Lite race, going a perfect four-for-four in UTV and Super Lite qualifying this weekend. However, he was once again hindered by the inversion, which put Brandon Ward and John Harrah on the front row for the start of today’s race. Points leader Harrah jumped out to the early lead in his #13 Speed Technologies truck, followed by Brandon Bailey in the #72 Lamb Energy machine, George in his #42 Independent/Blanco Basura truck, Joey Granatelli in the #20 WD-40/Verve! entry, and so-far unbeaten driver Ricky James in the #24 So Cal Supertrucks machine. Bailey rolled over in turn two, and with Granatelli dropping back, Chad Leising and Dawson Kirchner were now running fourth and fifth. Up front, James was putting in another great drive, moving past Harrah and George through the long turn six to take over first place. George dropped out soon afterwards, leaving James, Leising, Harrah, Kirchner, and Granatelli in the top five as the competition yellow dropped. Once green flag racing resumed, several drivers had hiccups of varying degrees. Harrah was slowed by a hood that was coming off, Granatelli was black flagged for a reason unknown to this reporter, and Bailey had his second roll of the race, this time in spectacular fashion as he went backwards off the outside burm in turn five. Ahead of all the wreckage, the skills which Leising had put to such good use earlier this season were finally re-emerging as he took the lead in his #17 Geico Powersports/Lucas Oil truck. Leising ran strong through the end to take the win, handing James his first loss in LOORRS competition. James had to settle for runner-up, ahead of Kirchner in the other Speed Technologies truck, Chuck Dempsey in the #50 XDP truck, and Ward’s #92 NOS Energy Drink machine.