CHANDLER, Ariz. – Ricky Johnson scored his first victory of the young season in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro 4 Unlimited class Sunday afternoon at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
Eric Barron was the leader after lap one of the Pro 4 Unlimited feature ahead of Rob MacCachren, Greg Adler, Johnson and Todd LeDuc. On lap three class newcomer Doug Fortin got by LeDuc after the two hit door-to-door coming out of turn one. Out front, a lap one spin out by Carl Renezeder, which also collected Kyle LeDuc, left Barron wide open in the lead.
Behind him, Johnson was really battling Adler on lap four and using the high line in the either/or section, Johnson made the pass to take over third spot. On the next lap, a full course caution was thrown due to on-track debris. As the field re-grouped under yellow, it became apparent that Fortin now had a left rear flat. The issue hadn’t seemed to hamper him too badly, and Fortin remained on-track as the green flag waved.
On the restart lap MacCachren hit Barron hard door-to-door as the two flew into turn two, but Barron held the lead after the hit. Further back, Fortin passed Adler early in the lap and Adler then fell victim to Brandon Bailey later in the lap. Bailey then got squirrelly out of turn one on lap nine and collected Kyle LeDuc in the process. LeDuc’s truck was severely slowed by the subsequent damage and Bailey dropped out of the top five.
A few corners later MacCachren nosed ahead of Barron out of turn three, and as the two sped into turn four, Barron appeared to lose control, and suddenly speared off at the Hot Pits entrance. Barron hadn’t looked to have an issue, but he must have had one, as his trip through the Hot Pits wasn’t slow enough to have been a simple error.
MacCachren now ran in the clear out front ahead of Johnson, Todd LeDuc and Adler.
Two laps later, while appearing to have the race all to himself, a sudden mechanical issue forced MacCachren to the infield just out of turn five, and his race was done. Johnson inherited the lead, and with Fortin then being forced into the Hot Pits after his flat tire had become serious enough to cause him to spin at turn two, it was now Todd LeDuc in second, Adler in third, Jerry Daugherty in fourth and Bailey in fifth.
On lap 15 Todd LeDuc slowed coming out of turn one and as a danger on track, he brought out a full course caution. The field bunched back up under yellow and now it was Bailey with a flat, his on the right front. After the reset it was Johnson, Adler, Daugherty, Renezeder and Bailey in the top five as the race went back to green.
For the most part, it looked like the order stayed that way over the final couple of laps. However, at the line it was Fortin who was given fifth as Bailey received a DNF despite completing more laps than Fortin. Up front, Johnson got a big win on his return weekend in the series ahead of Adler, Daugherty, Renezeder and Fortin.
Other class winners Sunday were Bryce Menzies (Pro 2 Unlimited), Sheldon Creed (Pro Lite Unlimited), Bradley Morris (Pro Buggy Unlimited), Cole Mamer (Modified Kart), Madix Bailey (Junior 1 Kart) and Hailie Deegan (Junior 2 Kart).