Whether you’re more excited about the Bushwacker Off Road Nationals that decide this year’s champions, or the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup that ends the season on a high note, there’s plenty to look forward to in this weekend’s Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series action from Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. Two full days of race action await the fans who make the trek out to Chandler, Arizona, and all of short course racing’s top stars will be there to greet them.
Most of the championship battles are relatively close, and with Sunday’s race only for pride and prize money, it’ll take an aggressive move on Saturday to displace any of the points leaders. Here are nine racers to look out for before the dust settles on the 2018 season:
Doug Mittag (Pro 4): 11 points behind RJ Anderson for the championship lead, Mittag will need both a perfect weekend and a little help to steal the class championship. It’s still doable, though: the pole is worth five points, and the difference between finishing first and fourth is worth six.
RJ Anderson (Pro 2): Anderson knows Mittag’s second place pain in the Pro 2 class, where he trails Rob MacCachren by 28 points. But the Pro 2 field is large, and an 11th place finish at Glen Helen last month showed the world that MacCachren is (occasionally) vulnerable. Can lightning strike twice?
Ryan Beat (Pro Lite): An uncharacteristic DNF cut Beat’s Pro Lite points lead to 13 over Brandon Arthur, but the closeness of the battle isn’t reflective of just how dominant Beat has been this year. If he can just keep doing what he’s been doing all season long, he’ll lock up his first class championship.
Darren Hardesty (Pro Buggy): 13 points clear of Eliott Watson for the Pro Buggy lead, Hardesty took his worst finish of the season here in Arizona to start the season. What better way would there be to lock up the championship than by making up for it with a victory on Saturday afternoon?
Brock Heger (Production 1000 UTV): Heger’s lone missed podium of 2018 came at Glen Helen last month and allowed Myles Cheek to close the championship lead to 31. But Heger’s performance through the rest of the year has been nothing short of demoralizing in its dominance.
Corry Weller (Turbo UTV): Accidental contact with teammate Paul O’Brien at Glen Helen put a premature end to the Turbo UTV points battle, and she was exceptionally remorseful for hurting her teammate’s title chances. But make no mistake: with five wins in 2018, she’s earned her 25-point lead.
Mason Prater (Modified Kart): At only seven points clear of Brody Eggleston, Prater leads the closest points battle in LOORRS going into the season finale. But even with five points for the pole on the line, repeating his victory from the season opener at Wild Horse Pass would lock up the title no matter what.
Connor Barry (JR2 Kart): The dream of a perfect season finally went down the drain with three laps to go in the second Glen Helen race, but Barry basically has this one locked up already. He’s 49 points clear of Ethan Ebert, and the maximum a driver can earn by winning from the pole is 55.
Jake Bollman (JR1 Kart): A massively expanded JR1 Kart field at Glen Helen prevented Bollman from extending his points lead over Ayden Ford by too much. But as with Prater, Bollman comes to Arizona as the most recent class winner here, and will look to repeat on the way to clinching a championship.