After a much longer wait than expected to start the season, the 2020 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series finally kicks off this Saturday and Sunday at Glen Helen Raceway. With fans unable to attend and some major changes to this year’s championship, this year’s LOORRS opener will look very different from the last time we saw the series compete at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park last fall.
In spite of the adjustments and cancellations forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, LOORRS has still managed to put together a 10-round championship, plus the annual Challenge Cup at Wild Horse Pass that caps off the season. As is the norm, Glen Helen and Wild Horse Pass will each play host to two events. Lucas Oil Speedway in Missouri also makes its return to the schedule in August with a tripleheader, after damage from a natural disaster forced the cancellation of last year’s event. Planned events at Wild West Motorsports Park and Utah Motorsports Campus were abandoned for 2020, while only the Lucas Oil Speedway round currently has tickets on sale.
Other than the fans, the biggest thing that’ll be missing when the green flag drops at Glen Helen will be the Pro 4 trucks. After multiple seasons of declining attendance as top drivers have switched their focus to Pro 2, LOORRS axed the division in order to focus on the still deep entries in both Pro 2 and Pro Lite. That’s no matter for fans of drivers like RJ Anderson and Rob MacCachren, who ran Pro 4 in recent years but can be expected to line up on the Pro 2 grid against names like defending class champion Jerett Brooks, Brian Deegan, and Ryan Beat, who made the move up from Pro Lite for 2020 as part of a full national schedule.
In fact, it was Brooks who beat Deegan and Anderson to the finish line in last year’s Pro 2 opener from Glen Helen, his first of four wins on the way to the series championship. Beat accomplished the same feat in the Pro Lite season kickoff ahead of Christopher Polvoorde and Ronnie Anderson, who enter 2020 as two of the Pro Lite championship favorites. Ronnie Anderson also scored a Turbo UTV win here in the fall, but just like the returning Pro Truck classes, it was Corry Weller who converted a win in the season opener from Glen Helen into a series title, successfully defending her 2018 crown as well.
Alongside the veterans, the LOORRS talent pipeline is deep, thanks to a talented roster of young drivers who have made their way through karts and UTVs to climb into the trucks this year. Trevor Leighton and Cody Gill will join Beat as Pro 2’s rookie threats for this year, while Pro Lite will welcome four rookies, including Matt Brister, who will pull double duty in the class alongside his Pro Buggy commitments.
Fans looking to follow along with this weekend’s Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series opener from Glen Helen Raceway will welcome the return of live streaming for the entire 2020 season on Lucas Oil Racing TV. Live coverage will start at 1:30PM PT/4:30PM ET on both days. For those waiting for the race to come to TV, Pro 2 and Pro Lite coverage will air on CBS on August 30 at 2PM ET, while the CBS Sports Network will air broadcasts from all of the professional classes once a week afterward, starting later that night at 8PM ET and running through the month of September.
Images via Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series