Broken leg won't keep Rockstar Makita Team LeDuc leader sidelined when CORR returns to Chula Vista this weekend
CHERRY VALLEY, Calif. -- Leave it to Curt LeDuc to find a unique way to commemorate the Labor Day weekend. None of those backyard barbecues or trips to the Colorado River or RV sites at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for him.
Instead, the leader of Rockstar Makita Team LeDuc went off-road racing in Crandon, Wis. -- and came home with a broken left leg, his first serious injury in 35 years of desert and short course racing.
"I should be fine by Saturday," LeDuc said Wednesday morning as the team prepared to depart for Chula Vista, Calif., and this weekend's (Sept. 13-14) rounds of the Championship Off-Road Racing series.
The second trip to the track built in a rock quarry south of San Diego will be for the sixth of eight events overall and Rockstar Makita Team LeDuc will go into it with all four of its drivers in the top 10 in the points standings.
Todd LeDuc, at 29 the oldest of Curt's two sons, is third in the Pro 2 class standings, 60 points behind leader Rob MacCachren and 4 behind second-place Carl Renezeder. Kyle LeDuc, 27, is fifth and Curt eighth in the Pro 4 class and they trail leader Scott Douglas by 79 and 132 points, respectively. Both Todd and Kyle have the most points in their classes for leading races when the mandatory yellow caution flag is waved at the halfway point.
The rookie member of the team, freestyle motocross legend Brian Deegan, is ninth in the Pro Lite standings, 156 in arrears of defending class champion Robert Naughton.
Todd, who last weekend teamed with Ron Whitton for a third in the Trophy-Truck class at the SCORE Primm 300, finished fourth and third in the two races run during CORR's initial visit of the season to Chula Vista in late July. Those finishes were sandwiched by a pair of wins at Pomona in June and a pair of seconds at Pomona in August, giving the former mountain biking national champion six straight top four finishes and eight of 10 overall, and Curt said the team's "main focus is on Todd for the championship."
Kyle isn't conceding the Pro 4 title, though.
"You've just got to win races to win the championship," he said, and he has done that once so far -- taking round nine at Pomona in August -- his rookie season in the class. He will take a streak of four straight top 10s into round 11 of the season, which will be televised live on SPEED Channel at 2:30 p.m. PDT Saturday.
Kyle, who accompanied his dad to Crandon and won the Pro 4 class (fourth overall) in the Borg Warner Cup Shootout, said the trip gave the team "a pretty good testing weekend. We got to run the trucks at a higher speed than normal and picked up a couple of things to try out here."
One thing the team definitely will try is to avoid incidents like the one that resulted in Curt's injury at Crandon. Curt said that on the final day of racing he was right behind Johnny Greaves when Greaves lost control and spun. The resultant contact was unavoidable and the impact on the driver's side of the truck left the elder LeDuc with a leg that was both broken and required about two dozen stitches for a wound that he said "looks like a shark took a bite out of me."
LeDuc said he "knew the leg was bad because I couldn't get my foot up onto the brake pedal," but he drove the final seven laps of the 10-lap race with the injury and might have won the class were it not for battery failure on the last corner of the last lap.
Curt said he went to the hospital in Rhinelander, Wis., Sunday night and was treated and released, then helped drive the team's tractor-trailer transporter home. Once home, however, he discovered that his helmet bag had been stolen out of Kyle's truck at his home in Beaumont.
"I really want to thank Simpson," Curt said. "They stepped up and they're supplying me with new gear and a new driver's suit for this weekend."