They weren’t both points-paying rounds, but both days of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series action at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park this weekend provided plenty of excitement. From the conclusion of all nine championship races on Saturday to the $30,000 Pro 2 vs. Pro 4 Challenge Cup race on Sunday, the LOORRS season finale took the sport of short course into its offseason on a high note.
Eight of the nine incoming championship leaders, from RJ Anderson in the premier Pro 4 class to a dominant Connor Barry in JR2 Kart, were able to hold onto their leads to clinch titles in Arizona. The only exception was the Mod Kart class, where Mason Prater gave up the smallest incoming championship lead (seven points) after brushing the K-rail early in the event to eventual race and title winner Brody Eggleston. Only Eggleston, Turbo UTV’s Corry Weller, and JR1 Kart’s Jake Bollman were able to clinch their respective championships with race victories.
Anderson looked to become the first driver since Carl Renezeder in LOORRS’ inaugural season in 2009 to sweep the Pro 4 and Pro 2 titles, and did everything he could to help his cause in both. Winning the Pro 2 final was the best he could ask for, but Rob MacCachren placed sixth to lock up his fifth LOORRS Pro 2 title. In the Pro 4 race, Anderson initially hung back as Doug Mittag charged to the front to try and steal the crown, but Mittag had to pull off course in the race’s final stages, rewarding Anderson with a podium and his first Pro 4 title. Ryan Beat (Pro Lite) and Darren Hardesty (Pro Buggy) were the remaining Pro class champions.
Sunday was a new day, and with only cash prizes on the line, the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup offered racers a fresh opportunity to finish the weekend—and the season—on a high note. It should be no surprise, then, that only two racers were able to sweep their classes on the weekend: Brock Heger in Pro Lite, and Eliott Watson in Pro Buggy. Barry returned to the front of the pack in JR2 Kart, while Paul O’Brien and Mickey Thomas took the two UTV class wins.
The highlight race of the Challenge Cup pitted the Pro 2 and Pro 4 trucks against one another, with both classes going green after a standing start separated by roughly half a lap. Brian Deegan showed that he was the class of the Pro 2 field in the $30,000 showdown, leading the class from the first lap forward and never relinquishing that spot, even as Pro 4 drivers Kyle LeDuc and Mittag got by him.
But fortunes can change in an instant in short course racing, and so they did for all involved in the race’s final stages. LeDuc spun into the infield from second place with two to go and relinquished the spot to Deegan, before taking heavy contact from Greg Adler after the final restart. And Mittag’s disappointing weekend ended with even more heartbreak as his truck rolled to a stop just short of the finish line. Deegan held off a hard-charging MacCachren for the win and the largest share of the prize pool, with Randy Minnier completing the podium as the only Pro 4 racer to collect a bonus.