Kyle LeDuc holds off defending Pro 4 champion to post his second win in three races in CORR's return to Chula Vista
CHULA VISTA, Calif. (Sept. 13, 2008) -- Rockstar Makita Team LeDuc's Kyle LeDuc held off defending class champion Carl Renezeder over the final five laps to win Saturday's Pro 4 race in the Championship Off-Road Racing series' return to The Quarry in Chula Vista.
It was the second win in three races for Pro 4 rookie LeDuc, 27, a former Pro Lite champion, and moved him up one spot to fourth in the point standings after 11 of 16 rounds in the eight-race season. LeDuc is 61 points behind Renezeder, who regained the championship lead when Scott Douglas was unable to drive after suffering a broken left leg in a practice accident Friday.
Kyle LeDuc started the 15-lap race with his Toyo-shod Rockstar Makita Ford fifth on the grid, two spots behind father and team leader Curt LeDuc, and the son followed the father to the front early in the first lap. They completed the initial circuit of the 0.8-mile course with Kyle first and Curt second, and Kyle never relinquished the top spot.
When the competition yellow waved after 7 laps, Kyle was 2.8 seconds ahead of Renezeder, with Rick Huseman third and Curt in fourth. But when the green flag waved to start lap 10 and Kyle and Renezeder began their battle, Curt pulled over and slowed, the transmission in his Rockstar Makita Ford stuck in gear and the ring and pinion gears in the rear end gone.
Curt, who was driving with his left leg still on the mend after being broken in a race at Crandon, Wis., Aug. 31, finished last in the 15-truck field.
Renezeder appeared to draw even with Kyle several times over those closing laps but never could get a nose in front, Kyle taking the checkered flag about 1.2 seconds ahead.
"We're running up front now. We're one of the big boys," Kyle said. "This is one of those dreams come true. When you try hard and get the right people and the right team and it all works, it's a great feeling."
The keys to victory, according to the Beaumont, Calif., resident, were the perfect preparation work by crew chief Daniel Llewellyn and his group and the calming influence of older brother Todd LeDuc as his spotter.
"The first half of the race was easy, it was a really smooth race," Kyle said, "but after the caution it was a hard battle, a hard race. Todd was doing a great job of keeping me calm. He could see Carl trying to pass me and show me a fender, but he didn't tell me, he just kept me calm.
"We've learned how to win and the guys worked their butts off on this truck. The truck was fantastic. The bodywork is fine, the transmission and everything worked great. We're ready to go (for round 12) tomorrow."
Todd LeDuc had a mediocre day in the Pro 2 class, starting his Rockstar Makita Ford 16th in the 25-truck field and finishing seventh after a mid-race collision let him with a bent shaft on one of the front shock towers. That broke a streak of six straight top four finishes, but Todd remained third in the standings.
The fourth member of the team, Pro Lite rookie Brian Deegan, had his best race of the season spoiled by a black flag for rough driving late in that 14-lap event. Deegan, one of the pioneers of freestyle motocross, started 11th and was running fourth when he was black-flagged with four laps to go. He finished 14th and is 10th in the point standings.