Menzies Motorsports EARNS 5 Trophies at Lucas Oil Glen Helen Raceway Extravaganza
Justin Smith, Larry Job REACH Top Position of Podium Box in Limited Single Buggy & Unlimited Super Buggy
LAS VEGAS, NV -- In front of a standing room only crowd, Menzies Motorsports donned their blazing red uniforms for the opening of the Lucas Oil Off Road Series dirt-fest held for the first time ever at the glorious Glen Helen Raceway in Southern California. With short course off road racing returning to California for the first time in 9 months, Menzies Motorsports capitalized on the mayhem, earning five trophies in front of a sold out venue at Glen Helen Raceway, also home to the United States Grand Prix motocross championship.
The fleet of Menzies Motorsports support tractor trailers and chase trucks arrived midday Wednesday as the crew of the well-known "Big Red Machine," established their race headquarters for the next five days. By late Sunday night, some 10,000 fans rolled through Glen Helen Raceway over the 3-day event with many of them visiting the posh headquarters of Bryce Menzies and his race team.
Oneill brought in a bevy of gorgeous beauties, which tempted many to join them in the waters of the pool set up between the two race haulers. With the erection of the Big Red Machine's tent city, the fun soon gave way to the serious racing business at hand.
Five amped up professional race car drivers, six race vehicles equaling a combined 2200 horsepower, 52 race tires, two race haulers, an executive chef hospitality trailer, 100 family, friends and crew members all led by team owner, Steve Menzies.
"The coordination of the team while on the road is a well-orchestrated dance," said the smiling Kingpin of the Big Red Machine.
"We tend to be fast paced, but I can assure you that we have fun in the process."
Friday morning was fast and furious as practice and qualifying began immediately after the all-important drivers meeting.
"Steve mentioned 'fast paced,' that's an understatment," said race team manager, Ian Beaman.
"While we have two race cars pulling off the track, we've got another two pulling onto the track and the truck crew and Bryce preparing to run the Pro 4 and then he has to jump out and practice in the Pro 2. Honestly, we wouldn't have it any other way. The crew has once again done a fantastic job at prepping the trucks and cars and when we arrived to the track, we were ready to roll right into practice. These guys are some of the best in the business."
Friday Qualifying Results:
Lucas Oil officials limited qualifying for this weekend of racing to a single session, which kicked off after the final practice session Friday afternoon. The qualifying session saw a fair amount of fans in the stands as Menzies Motorsports took to the dirt in search of top qualifying times.
Single Buggy driver, Justin "Bean" Smith, started things off right by earning one of the top two spots in the competitive Limited Single Buggy division. Teammate Toby Bost would start in the 14th position, which put him mid-pack after the mandatory inversion.
Driving the #916 Unlimited Super Buggy, Cameron Steele, set the mark at 49.186 before being bested by a micron of a second, thus also earning the second starting spot amongst the elite Super Buggy drivers. Larry Job drove to a solid top ten qualifying effort in the blazing red open wheel machine. Once again, Bryce Menzies would tackle racing both the Menzies Motorsports Unlimited Pro 2 and Pro 4 in search of victory. Bryce climbed into his familiar Pro 2 race truck and qualified in the 3rd position after he had already qualified the newly debuted Pro 4 race truck in the 5th position overall.
With the team having successfully earned starting spots in the first three rows in each class entered, the focus was turned to Saturday night's Round 9 race.
With the sun setting behind the mammoth Glen Helen Raceway ridge, Justin Smith and Toby Bost set off like bullets across the green flag of this newly constructed race track. Smith dodged some nervous traffic before charging towards the front, but in the end, he had to settle for the runner-up spot. On the other hand, Bost had to fight his way through the packed field and could never get the momentum going as he battled car handling issues before finishing 21st overall. Smith commented, "The crew gave me a great car in fantastic race prep condition. I clearly made some early mistakes that I won't make tomorrow." Standing on the podium, Justin Smith cracked a smile while accepting the first Menzies Motorsports trophy of the weekend.
In the Unlimited Pro Buggy Class, Cameron Steele and Larry Job qualified excellent, placing them in the first three rows and as the green flag dropped, the two red machines shot towards the lead. After a solid 18-laps of wheel-to-wheel racing, which saw both drivers overcome adversity, the #916 earned another quality second place finish. In addition to his runner-up position, Cameron earned the fast lap award with a time of 48.187 around the .8-mile short course race track. Steele's 2nd place finish extends his overall Unlimited Pro Buggy championship point's lead with only three race weekends left on the schedule.
Larry Job, raced the #907 Menzies machine to an impressive fifth place among a stacked field of 21 highly competitive racers.
Steele commented on both, "Both Larry and I had a good race, but neither one of us are really happy unless we are in the top spot. I am focused on the season championship and the reality of it is, I just need to continue charging for the top spot and making these podium appearances each and every race."
With the stadium lights shining brightly Bryce Menzies debuted the #7 Blanco Basura/Bully Dog/ BFGoodrich Tires Pro 4 on the track for the first time this season. Built and designed in house by Menzies Motorsports, the newest Pro 4 to take the field rolled onto the dirt as the Kroyer-powered engine was warmed up and readied for battle.
As the crowd stood on their feet cheering the Pro 4 field, Bryce mashed the gas pedal and carved an impressive first of many turns on this .8-mile short track. Over the first few laps, he put the bright red machine through the paces of Pro 4 battle and stayed in the lead pack, however after the mandatory yellow flag, the #7 Blanco Basura/Bully Dog Pro 4 lost the front wheel drive and Bryce was forced to compete against the competition in two-wheel drive.
Later in the pits Bryce commented, "We have solid test time on the new truck, but we still have testing to get through on this new truck. These are all obstacles that we'll overcome. It's unfortunate that the front wheel drove broke while we were having a good race, but our long-term race plan is to use the remainder of the 2010 season to get this new truck worked out and start peaking about the time the 2011 Lucas Oil season kicks off. We'll get there. Mike and his crew have built a great truck we just need to get through these first few race weekends."
Saturday's main event was the final race of the night the Unlimited Pro 2 field. Bryce qualified the Blanco Basura / Bully Dog Pro 2 in the second row and the truck has been dialed in all season long. From the drop of the green flag, Bryce was strong and weaved around the slower trucks to the second turn. As he reached the third turn he was side-by-side with MacCachren and the two former teammates danced through the turns for 20 laps. As the checkered flag waved signaling the end of the race, Bryce Menzies finished second among the 17 Unlimited Pro 2 racers.
The Lucas Oil Series Round 10 kicked off at 3:00 p.m. as the public flocked into the Glen Helen Raceway. It wasn't long before Menzies Motorsports created a flurry on the Southern California dirt track.
Standing in the top spot on the podium was Justin "Bean" Smith, after winning Sunday's opening pro race in the Limited Single Buggy class. Smith battled early and never let off the gas as he earned the solid win. He explained, "Todd from FOX Racing Shox came to our pit, tuned on the shocks last night and it really made a significant improvement. We were able to gain back some speed and grab the top spot on the box. This win goes to the guys in the shop. Without them working day in and day out, we couldn't have made this happen."
With the grandstands packed to capacity, the action in the Unlimited Pro Buggy class was spectacular, as 21 cars raced for position. Larry Job, a championship off road desert racer, was the man of the hour as he drove the #907 Menzies Motorsports car to victory against a stacked field of the nation's top talent.
"Today was good. The car was perfect and the crew did a fabulous job. We needed this win and both Cameron and I are 1-2 in the overall series points chase heading into the last three race weekends of the season. We've got some work ahead of us, but we're certainly in a good position," said the smiling Larry Job.
Cameron Steele's Sunday race ended with disappointment as the action-sport commentator and veteran desert racer finished in 18th position after experiencing a mechanical issue with his race car.
The #7 Blanco Basura/Bully Dog/ BFGoodrich Tires Pro 4 race truck took to the track for Sunday's battle in hopes of victory as Bryce Menzies wheeled his four wheel machine around the track. Bryce produced impressive lap times as he stayed in the lead pack during the first half of the race, but shortly after the mandatory yellow caution he had heavy contact with Mike Johnson resulting in race ending damage to the front end.
Bryce commented later, "That was not the result we were looking for. There is a lot of banging and bumping out there and the contact with Mike Johnson broke a front spindle, which ended our race. That's all part of racing short course off road."
Bryce continues to hold second place in the overall season point's leader board in the Unlimited Pro 2 Class, while teammates Cameron Steele and Larry Job have a stronghold on the top two spots in the Unlimited Pro Buggy Class. Justin 'Bean' Smith Sunday victory and Saturday runner-up spot increases his point's lead in the Limited Single Buggy Class.
Steve added, "It was another successful race weekend. The team earned 5 trophies out of the 10 races we competed in and we are making headway in our newly debuted Unlimited Pro 4 program. We lost a ring and pinion in the final moments of Sunday's Pro 2 race. That was unfortunate, because we ended up 7th instead of 2nd, but that's all part of the racing. We have an incredible crew that has done a great job on all five-race cars and we hosted about 100 family, friends and crew this weekend under the awning of our Big Red Machine. We can't wait until the next race at Speedworld."
Next up for Menzies Motorsports is the longest off road race in the United States, Best in the Desert's Vegas to Reno desert race. Contingency and technical inspection kick off on August 19 and race action starts August 20, 2010.
Following the BITD Vegas to Reno desert race, Menzies Motorsports will head to Rounds 11 and 12 of the 2010 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, to be held September 25-26, 2010 at Speedworld Raceway in Surprise, Arizona.