Polvoorde doubles in Pro Lite at Baja

Image by Richard S. James

Polvoorde doubles in Pro Lite at Baja

Off Road

Polvoorde doubles in Pro Lite at Baja

Getting one’s first win is special, but getting that first win and following it with a sweep of a two-race weekend is even better. That’s what Christopher Polvoorde discovered as the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series held its first double-race weekend of the season, the Rockstar Battle South of the Border at the Baja International Short Course at Estero Beach in Ensenada, BC, Mexico.

Polvoorde had landed on the Pro Lite podium often in his rookie season last year, but never quite made it to the top step. That changed on Saturday, as he seized the lead from Brandon Arthur and kept his Steel-It/TIS Wheels truck clean and up front for his first victory. Just to prove it wasn’t a fluke, he did it again on Sunday. In fact, Sunday’s race looked a lot like Saturday’s, only with Brandon Arthur and Ryan Beat swapping positions – Arthur was second on Saturday, Beat on Sunday.

“This is my first Lucas Oil full sweep, my first win and second one right after it, I’m just so excited,” Polvoorde said. “It’s pretty awesome when you get to lead every lap of the weekend and don’t even have to use any tearooms on the gnarliest track for roost.”

First wins are exciting in their own right, but it was the race that followed on Saturday that provide the most excitement as the racers saved the best for last. Pro 4 featured all the chaos for which it has a well-earned reputation.

Kyle LeDuc was the quickest qualifier, but a four-place inversion left Greg Adler on pole, with Doug Mittag on the outside. The chaos started quickly, with Mittag rolling in Turn 2 on the first lap. That brought out a yellow flag and also removed one car from in between LeDuc and the front. LeDuc made quick work of RJ Anderson on the restart and set off after Adler; his cause was helped by another caution.

LeDuc was all over Adler’s bumper on the restart, and pulled alongside through the whoops section between Turns 3 and 4, got a better run out of Turn 4 and completed the pass on the subsequent straight. That looked to be the race until Anderson also got by Adler and started reeling in LeDuc. When LeDuc overjumped the big tabletop and hit a hole in the final turn while Anderson had a run, Anderson passed LeDuc as they headed toward the white flag.

LeDuc wasn’t done, and came back after Anderson. But he went too hard into Turn 4, hit Anderson’s truck and rode up on top of it. They were briefly locked together in the middle of the turn at a standstill, and Adler had nowhere to go, came to a stop and stalled. Anderson and LeDuc got going again with Anderson in the lead, but he slowed on the backstretch with an issue apparently related to the contact and LeDuc sailed past. Adrian Cenni, who had been quietly avoiding any issues during the race, moved into second.

“That’s the chaos of Lucas Oil Off Road,” said Anderson. “I put on a charge that last little bit and caught Kyle, who has dominated this class for a long time. To reel him in and put a clean pass on him coming to the white flag, I knew it was going to be a battle for the last lap, Bummer that it had to end like that. I really think I had that win in the bag. It’s always a bummer when you let one slip away.”

Adrian Cenni (Image by Richard S. James)

But it wasn’t LeDuc who ended up with the win. He was given a post-race black flag, and moved to the back. So it was Cenni, who hadn’t seen a victory in a very long time, claiming the win in his Phit /Maxxis truck with Anderson second.

“With Pro 4, thats what makes it the premier class – it’s just carnage and mayhem and you never know what’s going to happen until the last turn, so you always have to be there. This time it went my way, and I’ll take it,” Cenni said.

Sunday’s Pro 4 race was relatively tame by comparison. Doug Mittag jumped into the lead from pole position and was virtually unchallenged for the duration of the race in his Amsoil/Maxxis truck. Kyle LeDuc rolled in Turn 4 on the first lap and landed back on his wheels, but something in the front-wheel drive wasn’t working correctly and he was out of contention. RJ Anderson ended up with second again, with Rob MacCachren third.

Rob MacCachren (Image by Richard S. James)

Pro 2 on Saturday was another romp for Rob MacCachren, as he started on pole, led at halfway and kept his Rockstar Energy/Makita truck out front to score maximum points. RJ Anderson was second. Trouble for some of MacCachren’s key competitors, including defending champion Jeremy McGrath, left MacCachren with a hefty points lead going into Round 3 on Sunday.

“We got out front, and the truck was fast. We just had to make sure we didn’t make any mistakes and maintain a gap, and it worked out,” MacCachren said on the podium.

RJ Anderson (Image by Richard S. James)

Sunday didn’t quite go MacCachren’s way. Sliding backward from his front-row starting spot on the second attempt at a start – the first one ended up with Alan Ampudia hitting the Turn 1 fence and Kip Mickles getting caught up in it – while Anderson jumped into a lead he would never relinquish.

MacCachren and Jeremy McGrath would have a good battle for third until MacCachren over-rotated in Turn 4. Jerett Brooks came home in second, attacking Anderson’s Rockstar/RAZR truck every chance he got but coming up short.

Darren Hardesty Jr. swept the weekend in Pro Buggy in his Bilstein/Steel-It car, with Bud Ward finishing second both days. Brock Heger and Myles Cheek split the Production 1000 UTV wins.

The next two round of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series take place at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo., on June 23-24. Fans can watch it live on LucasOilRacing.tv.

Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Baja International Short Course at Estero Beach Ensendad, BC, Mexico, May 19-20, 2018

May 19 Results

Pro 4: Adrian Cenni

Pro 2: Rob MacCachren

Pro Lite: Christopher Polvoorde

Pro Buggy: Darren Hardesty Jr.

Production 1000  UTV: Brock Heger

May 20 Results

Pro 4: Doug Mittag

Pro 2: RJ Anderson

Pro Lite: Christopher Polvoorde

Pro Buggy: Darren Hardesty Jr.

Production 1000 UTV: Myles Cheek

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