2017 Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing RD 7 & 8
As the season progresses in the Lucas Oil Offroad Racing Series the competition in the Production 1000 UTV class only gets better. Veteran teams keep pushing the boundaries on what their UTV’s can do and the drivers newer to the class keep improving their laps times.
For Rounds 7 & 8 of the series the UTV’s raced on their largest track yet in Wheatland Missouri at the Lucas Oil Speedway. Lucas Oil showed that they are in short course for the long haul by investing a lot of money into this new track and they didn’t spare an expenses.
Starting with the grandstands, LOORRS built large covered grandstands that are estimated to seat up to 6000 people. On the 1.3 mile track there are some new features not seen at other tracks like a large over under jump, huge sweeping Daytona style turn, and the biggest table top that has the trucks flying close to 300’. And with nine total turns it has the most of any other track they race on.
Saturday morning started with a little drama as after qualifying it was determined that there was a malfunction with the timing system and times weren’t recorded correctly. With no reliable times to go off of LOORRS followed their rules structure and lined up the UTV’s by points.
For the drivers near the top of the points this wasn’t much of an issue, but for the few TORC guys who came over to play and the LOORRS regulars racing a UTV for the first time this season (RJ Anderson, Doug Mittag, Ray Griffth, Justin Beck, Corry Weller) this meant they would all have to start the race in the back.
Your current points leader was Brock Heger who’s been on a tear lately and he wasted no time in getting the lead starting up front and keeping it there. Heger held on to the lead letting the rest of the pack fighting for second place.
Dustin Nelson would take home the second after a great battle with Jason Weller and Mickey Thomas, and it would be Thomas who would sneak in for the final podium spot. Jason Weller would have to settle for fourth place followed by his wife Corry who start near the back of the pack.
In the battle of manufactures the Yamaha’s took the top 9 spots and 11 out of the top 12 with RJ Anderson being the lone Polaris. All in all the UTV class was the highest entry amount with 25 UTV’s in total.
Round 8 kicked off on Sunday in front of another packed crowd of cheering fans. After falling back a ways yesterday with a 6th place finish, Brandon Arthur had some work cut out for him if he was to close the gap that Brock Heger has him in points. Sunday proved to be Arthur’s day grabbing the lead early and never looking back.
Heger would flip flop positions with Arthur and finish 6th himself in Round 8, so the 1-2 in points will go into Reno with the same gap as before Wheatland.
Both Jason Weller and Dustin Nelson sporting the factory white and blue Yamaha colors were neck and neck most of the race with Weller taking the second position and Nelson taking another podium finish for the weekend grabbing some valuable points to try and keep with in reach of Heger and Arthur.
Next on the LOORRS schedule are Rounds 9 & 10 in Reno, Nevada at the Wild West Motorsports compound which is one of the more faster tracks with big elevation changes and high speed jump. As we are passing the halfway point in the series, teams will have to hammer down to try and race to the championship.