LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. – The stars of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series invaded Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park on Saturday to wrap up the 2013 season and crown new champions.
Carl Renezeder had already locked up the Pro 4 Unlimited class championship entering Saturday’s finale, leaving him open to focus on winning at Lake Elsinore.
Eric Barron grabbed the lead at the start after starting on the second row, with Greg Adler running second, Kyle LeDuc third, Renezeder fourth and Rob MacCachren fifth. LeDuc got by Adler for second early on lap three, and while Barron was at this point holding a comfortable lead over his pursuers. LeDuc began to slowly reel Barron in once he’d gotten past Adler.
On lap five, Renezeder got by Adler for third at turn two, and three laps later MacCachren also passed Adler, this time at turn one, as MacCachren moved up to fourth. Up front, LeDuc was now within striking distance of Barron and was given an even better shot at the lead when a full course yellow was thrown to allow safety crews to clear debris from the track in turn two.
On the restart, LeDuc’s shot at the lead was dashed as Renezeder spun him as the two exited turn two. This dropped LeDuc back to eighth, while MacCachren got by both LeDuc and Renezeder to take over second spot. Renezeder remained third, while Ryan Beat was now up to fourth and Jerry Daugherty ran fifth. LeDuc quickly began to fight his way back, and on the next lap, he was already up to fifth after passing Daugherty out of turn three.
Nearer the front of the pack MacCachren suddenly put in a hard charge to close the gap on the leader Barron on lap 14, but just as quickly, his truck suddenly went up in flames at turn four. MacCachren managed to skillfully guide his truck safely to the infield before quickly climbing out to safety, and track safety crews were right on the scene to get the large fire extinguished almost immediately.
The race was briefly red flagged but resumed quickly, with Barron, Renezeder, Beat, LeDuc and Daugherty running in the top five. On the restart Daugherty was forced wide in turn one and dropped back to seventh, with Adler moving up to fifth as a result. On the final lap Renezeder tried hard to get by Barron, and even did a deep slide into the final corner in a last-ditch shot at the win. Barron drove brilliantly though and held the lead from the first lap to the last as he picked up his second win of the season.
Renezeder was a close second, with LeDuc taking third after passing Beat out of turn three on the penultimate lap. Beat finished fourth, and Adler rounded out the top five.
In Pro 2 Unlimited, Brian Deegan did everything he could to score his third-straight class championship by winning the season finale. However it wasn’t enough to claim the championship as Rob MacCachren was crowned class champion by just 17 points. It wasn’t all bad news for Deegan, who captured the Pro Lite Unlimited class championship while R.J. Anderson scored the victory in the class season finale.
In Pro Buggy Unlimited Steven Greinke celebrated his 2013 championship with a dominant class victory. Other race winners on Saturday included Myles Cheek (Modified Kart), Ricky Gutierrez (Junior 1 Kart) and Hailie Deegan (Junior 2 Kart). Cheek, Gutierrez and Hailie Deegan also locked up class championships with their victories.