WHEATLAND, Mo. – After being oh-so-close for two days at the Lucas Oil Off Road Shootout presented by General Tire, Doug Mittag hoped to climb one notch higher.
The veteran southern California racer did just that on Sunday at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Mittag, of Temeculah, Calif., passed points leader Jerett Brooks with three laps remaining and went on to capture the finale of a Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series tripleheader weekend at Lucas Oil Speedway.
“This truck is bad to the bone,” Mittag said after his first win of the season. He said the rebuilt truck was outstanding all weekend, with two runner-up finishes before the Sunday breakthrough.
“We took an old truck, cut it apart and made it a good truck – and we did it in 20 days,” Mittag said. “You can spend all the money you want, but if you don’t have a good team that cares as much as mine, you’re not going anywhere.
“I am so stoked. We had high expectations (coming into the weekend) but this overtakes them all, for sure.”
Brooks, as he did a day earlier in victory, set a blistering early pace. He had a 2.1-second lead over Mittag as the mandatory caution waved after lap five, with Mickey Thomas third and RJ Anderson in fourth.
The race took an eventful turn two laps later as Mittag pulled alongside Brooks in the s-curve and made the decisive pass.
On the next circuit, Brooks’ truck lost power entering almost the same part of the course. It rolled to a stop, steam coming from under the hood and the points leader was done for the day. He settled for 10th place.
Mittag held on from there, holding off first-day winner Anderson by 1.6 seconds, with Thomas completing the podium.
As for Brooks’ mechanical issues, Mittag felt he had the winning formula regardless.
“We were pushing (Brooks) all weekend and we qualified first for this race,” Mittag said. “I know he’s fast and that truck’s quick and he’s a hell of a driver, but we got by him before (the mechanical failure).
“It felt really good. It’s been a long, hard road. At any time I come to a race track, I’m ready to win and my team is ready to win.”
Eliott Watson got the proverbial broom out and completed the weekend sweep of the Pro Buggy division, scoring another dominating victory.
He finished 9.7 seconds in front of Brady Whitlock.
“I have not,” Watson said, when asked if he’s ever won three races in a weekend. “Even to top that off, this is my first tripleheader. This whole Lucas Oil Speedway track is so awesome.”
Watson, of El Centro, Calif., started on the pole and made it look easy. He opened a nine-second lead by the mandatory caution on lap five, as Whitlock and Darren Hardesty battled it out for second place.
It was more of the same when the race went back to green, with Watson again pulling away. Hardesty held second until the final lap when he had a tire go flat, helping Whitlock secure the runner-up position.
Meanwhile, Brock Heger’s truck was missing much of its sheet metal by the end of his victorious run in the Pro Lite division, but he still took his second triumph in three days at Wheatland.
“It’s definitely good to come away with the third round,” Heger said. “We’ve never been out here for three days. It was interesting. We started fourth and we had a fast truck. We had a fast truck all weekend.”
Kyle Chaney took command on lap six in Turbo UTV and drove away for a five-second victory over runner-up Derek Tidd. Chaney also won the weekend opener on Friday.
Weller opened up a big lead just after the start as Chaney and Ronnie Anderson got their wheels hooked, spotting the leader about four seconds. But by the mandatory caution after lap five, Chaney had closed in and was right behind Chaney.
Chaney, of Millersport, Ohio, passed Weller in the s-curve just after the restart, on lap six. Weller clipped a tractor tire and fell back to fifth.
Chaney had it easy from there, pulling away from the field. Tidd enjoyed his second podium of the weekend and Trevor Leighton came home in third.
Myles Cheek of Orange, Calif., picked up his second win on the weekend, prevailing by 2.5 seconds over runner-up Dallas Nord in a Production 1000 UTV race plagued by four cautions.
Fourth-starting Braden Chiaramonte made his first weekend appearance on the podium a big one, overtaking Connor Barry on lap six and continuing on to capture a close Mod Kart victory.
Logan Leggitt passed race-long leader Rhyan Denney with one lap to go and went on to hold on for the JR 2 Kart win, the third winner in three days in the division.
And defending RZR 170 champion George Llamosas denied TJ Siewers a weekend sweep by taking Sunday’s victory, leading all eight laps to kick off the action.