Short course off-road racing has kicked off in northern Wisconsin at Antigo’s Lions Roaring Raceway. Championship Off-Road (COR) Rounds 1 & 2 featured impressive performances by Alumicraft racers, establishing them as the frontrunners. Mark Steinhardt took first place on Saturday, while Michael Meister triumphed on Sunday.
On Saturday, the COR Round 1 Pro Buggy race saw a field of fourteen Pro Buggies. Mark Steinhardt and his #31 Alumicraft car proved to be the one to beat. Steinhardt was a massive contender in the 2022 season and finished the year 2nd in points. He organized his program to come into 2023, firing on all cylinders and his hard work immediately resulted in a big win. Alumicraft racer and off-road racing wheelman Larry Job finished 2nd on the podium.
Mark Steinhardt stated “After qualifying third Friday, I started in the number six position after the inversion draw. At the drop of the green flag, I made some moves and worked my way up to third position. After catching and passing second place, I was able to close in on the leader before the halfway caution and challenge for the lead, settling for second at the caution. After the restart, I was able to make a move on the leader to take the lead. From there, I stretched out the lead and brought home the year’s first checkered flag with the Alumicraft, Argonne Lumber, Guaranteed Rate Pro Buggy.
Round 1 / Saturday Results
1. Mark Steinhardt
2. Larry Job
Round 2 on Sunday was a shake-up from the beginning. Last year’s Pro Buggy Champion, Michael Meister, struggled in Round 1 with an electrical gremlin that prevented him from making the race start. During Round 2, he sorted it out and the set up was on point. From the back of the pack, Meister began making moves and positioned himself in 2nd at the halfway mark. Shortly after the halfway restart, Meister took the lead and won. Alumicraft racers Billy Buth and Mike Kirkham finished on the podium in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.
After the race, Michael Meister commented, “What a wild and up and down first weekend of the 2023 season. We came to the track with the Alumicraft buggy all set and ready to go. I was able to set the fastest qualifying lap on the first lap there to gain a couple of points.
The Saturday DNF was a bummer, but we figured out the electrical issue and fixed it immediately. I was so happy coming into Sunday morning knowing the Alumicraft Pro Buggy was 100% and I couldn’t wait to race to see what could happen from starting in the back of the pack. I immediately started picking them off along the front stretch into the first corner. The track was super slippery from tons of water being put down.”
Meister continued “We chose an excellent tire pairing, had awesome grip coming out of the wet corners, and made good passes. I could move forward, find the right lines, and work to the front for the 1st place finish.
Brad, our crew chief, put a great setup in the car, even with us only getting a couple of laps before the race weekend. Our teamwork has become better every year. It’s going to be a super tough battle for the championship.
It’s my 7th season with the Alumicraft Pro Buggy and I have grown very comfortable and learned a lot in that time. I am thankful for Alumicraft always helping out when needed and putting together an excellent Pro Buggy chassis.”
Round 2 / Sunday Results
1. Michael Meister
2. Billy Buth
3. Mike Kirkham
In the super competitive world of off-road short course competition, it really is a driver’s class. However, racing door-to-door and wheel-to-wheel is incredibly demanding on the machines. The winning drivers understand Alumicraft race cars are constructed to stand above and remain the choice of champions. Call Alumicraft at 619-596-9841 or go to: http://drivealumicraft.com to learn more about our race products and services.