It’s been a long time off for the Lucas Oil Off Rad Racing Series teams and drivers. With the cancellation of the planned double-header at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland due to tornado damage at the track, when the teams race at Wild West Motorsports Park outside Reno, Nevada this weekend, it will have been 10 weeks since they last met in Ensenada. Some of the teams filled that time racing Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League races at Crandon and ERX Motorsports Park, but many haven’t turned a wheel in anger for two-and-half months.
The Wheatland cancellation means that this weekend’s Reno event will be a Friday and Saturday night double-header, instead of the single event originally scheduled. The same is true of Glen Helen in October, which becomes a Saturday and Sunday double-header. With the one-day finale at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona, that means there are five rounds left, with four complete.
So, with effectively half the season over, it’s a good time to check in with the points as they sit heading into the OPTIMA Batteries Silver State Showdown Presented by GEICO. Kyle LeDuc is once again on top of the Pro 4 points with two wins and 206 points. But RJ Anderson and Doug Mittag aren’t far behind, with a win apiece and 203 and 202 points, respectively. LeDuc had a rough first race at Estero Beach that has hurt him, while defending champ Anderson and Mittag have finished on the podium every round.
It’s tough to remember the last time Rob MacCachren was fourth in the Pro 2 standings, yet there he is. He didn’t find the podium until the first race in Ensenada, and his first win came in the second Mexico race. Instead, Jerett Brooks sits at the top of the Pro 2 points with two victories. There’s only a seven-point spread between Brooks and MacCachren, though, with Rodrigo Ampudia second and Brian Deegan, with one victory in Chandler, sitting third. Brandon Arthur leads the points among the rookies, sixth overall.
Ryan Beat has shown every intention of defending his Pro Lite championship and came out swinging in the first round. But he hasn’t shown the dominance in demonstrated in the early part of last season, and thus leads the class by only three points over Round 2 winner Mickey Thomas. Ronnie Anderson is third and Christopher Polvoorde is fourth in the standings. Brock Heger is the only Pro Lite driver with two wins, but those came in Mexico after a rough start to the season. He’s fifth in the points with a 22-point gap to Beat’s 193. Trevor Leighton leads the rookie standings over Katie Vernola.
Pro Buggy has proven to be a class in which a deep field of drivers can win, even if one guy keeps winning the championships. But that driver isn’t racing this year, leaving the championship wide open. There have been four different winners so far in 2019: Chris Nunes, Trevor Briska, Elliot Watson (pictured, top) and Bud Ward. Briska had a disqualification in the first round in Mexico, so he sits sixth in the standings, while Watson is at the top with 203 and four podium finishes. Nunes is 17 points back, and Ward is another three behind Nunes. Matthew Brister and Trey D. Gibbs fill the gap back to Briska. None of the rookies in Pro Buggy have run every round, but so far Zachary Drapkin has proven the best of the lot, with one top-five finish to his credit.
Things are looking quite familiar in Production 1000 UTV: Brock Heger at the top of the standings with three victories. The fourth win belongs to Robert Stout, having his best season yet and sitting second in the championship, eight points back of Heger.
Corry Weller is leading the Turbo UTV points over Ronnie Anderson, while TJ Siewers is leading RZR170 in that class’s first season in the national series. Mason Prater leads Modified Kart, while Cade Martin is at the top of Junior 2, three points ahead of fellow race winner Broedy Graham.
The gates at Wild West Motorsports Park open at 4 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, and the pro classes will be broadcast live on LucasOilRacing.tv. Look for tape delayed coverage on CBS Sports and MAVTV. For more information, see www.lucasoiloffroad.com.