ORR LOORRS WheatlandPreview

3rd Annual Lucas Oil Off Road Shootout: Event Preview

After natural disasters caused heavy damage to the track that forced last year’s event to be cancelled, Lucas Oil Speedway is back in full force on the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series calendar for 2020. This weekend’s Lucas Oil Off Road Shootout presented by General Tire is just the second of five events on the pandemic-shorted schedule, and with the sport’s biggest names raring to get back in action, expect some exciting racing throughout the week.

Lucas Oil Speedway is the easternmost facility on the LOORRS calendar, as well as one of the newest short course tracks in America. The Wheatland, Missouri-based course joins a dirt oval and artificial lake for drag boat racing as part of one of the country’s premier motorsport playgrounds. Ground broke on the 1.3-mile short course in 2016, with the inaugural LOORRS race hosted the very next year.

ORR LOORRS WheatlandPreview

Jerett Brooks kicked off his Pro 2 championship defense in last month’s season opener from Glen Helen Raceway, earning a weekend sweep in spite of a deep field that added names like defending Pro Lite champion Ryan Beat (who swept the Pro Lite races here two years ago) and former Pro 4 racer Doug Mittag over the offseason. Add veterans like RJ Anderson and Brian Deegan to the mix, plus youngsters like Ricky Gutierrez—who scored his first career Pro 2 podium at Glen Helen—and it’ll take a huge effort for Brooks to keep the winning streak alive this weekend.

The Pro Lite field is similarly deep, even with Beat’s departure, as Christopher Polvoorde and Cole Mamer split the victories at Glen Helen. Multi-class talents Brock Heger and Ronnie Anderson, who each split their time between these trucks and UTVs on LOORRS weekends, will make the battle up front a tough one after scoring podiums in the opener. But don’t count out Pro Lite rookie Madix Bailey, who scored third place finishes in both of the opening rounds, as a potential breakout star this season.

ORR LOORRS WheatlandPreview

Speaking of breakouts, it was first-time winners in both Pro Buggy classes at Glen Helen, as Matthew Brister and Trey Gibbs denied defending champion Eliott Watson and the return of Darren Hardesty Jr. victories in the opener. Heger and Myles Cheek split the wins in the Production 1000 UTV opener, setting up another intense head-to-head season-long battle, but top honors in both Turbo UTV races went to Corry Weller, who already seems just out of reach for the field as she pursues her third straight class championship. After a pair of runner-up finishes at Glen Helen, Ronnie Anderson will be her biggest challenger, although midwest regular and 2018 race winner Kyle Chaney could play spoiler this weekend, a week after scoring two podiums in Championship Off-Road action from ERX Motor Park.

For those looking to attend the race in person, tickets for the Lucas Oil Off Road Shootout presented by General Tire are still on sale. Live streams of the action kick off at 1PM ET/10AM PT on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on Lucas Oil Racing TV.

Chris Leone

A veteran of the motorsports industry (both physical and digital), Chris Leone contributes coverage of race events of all types to Off-Road Racer. Elsewhere, he is the marketing/communications manager at iRacing, media director of Jim Beaver's Down & Dirty Show, and a frequent contributor to UTV Underground.