The second year of the unified era of short course racing kicks off this weekend at Glen Helen Raceway, as the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series kicks off the 2019 season with the General Tire SoCal Shootout presented by K&N Filters. With a long offseason behind them, a new schedule kicking off this weekend, and a bright future ahead, it’s safe to say that the stars of short course are ready and raring to go this weekend.
With nine classes on the program, including the massive new Polaris RZR 170 class for youth drivers, the fans on hand in Glen Helen are in for one hell of a show on Saturday. Here’s a look at what to watch out for over the weekend:
Maybe the most exciting class in short course off-road, Pro 2 is led by 2018 LOORRS champion Rob MacCachren and top title rival RJ Anderson. Alongside them, talented veterans like Rodrigo Ampudia, Jerett Brooks, and Brian Deegan are joined by young guns like Daely Pentico, Cory Winner, and Brandon Arthur, each of whom is looking to make their mark after a recent move up from Pro Lite.
The all-wheel drive class may still have a smaller entry list than its two-wheel drive counterpart, but what Pro 4 lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. Defending champion RJ Anderson leads last year’s top five drivers in points as returnees, with Bradley Morris pulling double duty and Andrew Carlson coming over from the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League to join this weekend’s entry list.
Defending champion Ryan Beat returns to chase back-to-back Pro Lite titles in 2019, facing off with top returning drivers like Christopher Polvoorde, Mickey Thomas, and Brock Heger. Don’t be surprised if Hailie Deegan mixes it up toward the front, too: in addition to her busy stock car racing schedule, she’ll be making a return to off-road racing in Pro Lite.
Corry Weller (Turbo UTV) and Brock Heger (Production 1000 UTV) return to defend their respective titles from last year’s LOORRS action, with 34 combined entries between the two classes. Add the new RZR 170 class for young drivers, some of whom are as young as six years old, and nearly five dozen UTVs will be in action in Glen Helen.
With defending Pro Buggy champion Darren Hardesty not on this weekend’s latest entry list, 2018 title contenders Eliott Watson and Bud Ward will be looking to fill the gap with an early victory. The JR2 Kart entry list adds a little character, too, as Hudson “Huckson” Deegan becomes the third member of his family to enter a LOORRS event.