We’re halfway through the 2018 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series coming into this weekend’s doubleheader at Utah Motorsports Campus, a constant presence on the series schedule since its days as Miller Motorsports Park. In fact, this weekend’s General Tire Utah Off Road Nationals presented by Optima Batteries will be LOORRS’ ninth visit to the Tooele-based facility, dating back to the series’ second season.
Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2018 LOORRS season will see all nine classes competing, as opposed to just six in last year’s event. That means, in addition to all the professional classes, Production 1000 UTVs, and Mod Karts, Utah fans will see both the JR1 and JR2 Karts and Turbo UTV series join the fray.
RJ Anderson (Pro 4), Rob MacCachren (Pro 2), and Ryan Beat (Pro Lite) hold the championship leads in the three pro truck classes coming into the Friday-Saturday showdown, with MacCachren the only one of the trio who didn’t win in last month’s action at Wild West Motorsports Park. Anderson took his first win of the year in Nevada to extend his points lead to 15 over Doug Mittag and 18 over defending champion Kyle LeDuc. MacCachren and Beat, meanwhile, both have leads of at least 30 points in their respective classes, while Beat comes into this weekend with a three-race winning streak.
The points leaders will face some serious challenges coming into Utah, though. Defending Pro 2 winners Bradley Morris and Brian Deegan come off a 1-2 finish at Wild West, and sitting at fifth and seventh in points, will both look to close the gap to the leaders. Jerett Brooks, who won the first Pro Lite round here last year, will also be in the mix as MacCachren’s closest pursuer in Pro 2 points. Same goes for Brandon Arthur, who sits second in Pro Lite points behind Beat and looks to defend the other win from last year.
Pro Buggy points leader Darren Hardesty split last year’s Utah wins with Bud Ward, and will look to rebound from a disappointing ninth place result in Nevada last month that broke a four-race winning streak. They’ll be joined by Trey Gibbs, one of last year’s Mod Kart winners, who moved up to a buggy for this season; meanwhile last year’s other Mod Kart winner, Ricky Gutierrez, will look to defend his victory. And in Production 1000 UTV, defending champion Brock Heger swept both of last year’s rounds, and will try to extend both a three-race winning streak and 47-point advantage over Jason Weller.
Of the three classes that didn’t race in Utah last year, Turbo UTV has the closest points battle, as Nevada winner Corry Weller holds only a two-point advantage over Paul O’Brien. But the JR1 Kart leaders are only separated by three points of their own, as a pair of fourth-place finishes in the past two races have shrunk Jake Bollman’s lead to three over Ayden Ford. JR2 Kart leader Connor Barry, though, has won all four of his starts this year, giving him a 27-point advantage over Ethan Ebert.
The General Tire Utah Off Road Nationals presented by Optima Batteries will stream live on LucasOilRacing.TV on Friday, August 24 and Saturday, August 25 at 9PM ET/6PM PT. From there, LOORRS will return to action next month at Glen Helen Raceway, but many of the series’ top drivers will head to Crandon International Raceway for next weekend’s Crandon World Cup/Amsoil Cup, the first to be held under Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League sanctioning after the unification of short course racing this past winter.