The start of the 2020 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series season may have been delayed by over four months due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, but a late start to the season wasn’t enough to stop two of the series’ defending champions from dominating the eventual season opener.
Jerett Brooks (Pro 2) and Corry Weller (Turbo UTV) were back on top form—and on top of the podium—in the championship opener from Glen Helen Raceway, kicking off their respective title defenses with back-to-back race victories on Saturday and Sunday. Brooks beat Ricky Gutierrez by nearly six seconds on Saturday, and Doug Mittag by over four seconds on Sunday. For Weller, dominance came in the form of two huge victories over Ronnie Anderson, who added a runner-up finish in Saturday’s Pro Lite race as well to his weekend haul.
With Ryan Beat moving up to Pro 2 this year, Pro Lite was wide open at Glen Helen, with Christopher Polvoorde and Cole Mamer splitting the victories and only rookie Madix Bailey taking home two trophies with a pair of third-place finishes. Myles Cheek and Brock Heger traded victories and second place spots in Production 1000 UTV, with Robby Hornsby third in both races, while Matthew Brister and Trey Gibbs were the Pro Buggy winners.
In the youth classes, six different drivers took the checkered flag over the course of the weekend. Connor Barry and Braden Chiaramonte split the Mod Kart victories, while Brodie Martin and Rhyan Denney topped JR2 Kart and George Llamosas and TJ Siewers split the RZR 170 class wins. Siewers’ win of .308 seconds over Ian Torfi on Sunday was the closest of the day, just two hundredths of a second closer than Heger’s battle to the line with Cheek in the larger UTVs.
The weekend action at Glen Helen was proof positive that, in spite of all the challenges of the past year, LOORRS’ current driver lineup should provide an exciting show for 2020. Despite the schedule changes, elimination of Pro 4 from the calendar due to a lack of trucks, and absences of names like Kyle LeDuc and Rob MacCachren, most of the dominant drivers of recent years are set to continue competing for the 2020 season.
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series season resumes on August 21-23 with its only trek outside of the southwest United States, as the series makes its return to Lucas Oil Speedway in Missouri after facility damage led to the cancellation of last year’s event. From there, it’s off to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Arizona on September 18-19, with return visits to Glen Helen (October 10-11) and Wild Horse Pass (November 14) set to conclude the current schedule.
Images via Jerett Brooks (1), Corry Weller (2), RJ Anderson (3)