2008 WSORR SEASON CROWNS NEW CHAMPIONS WITH RECORD SETTING PERFORMANCES
CRANDON, Wisc., (September 1, 2008) - The Lucas Oil World Series of Off- Road Racing (WSORR) capped its 2008 season with an unparalleled slate of racing that determined multiple Series champions, World Champions and Cup race winners all vying for a huge weekend purse of $175,000. Historic Crandon International Off-Road Raceway was filled to capacity to witness 72 hours of non-stop off-road action during the 39th annual BorgWarner World Championships(.
The biggest shock of the weekend came in the sports most prestigious race, the BorgWarner Shootout, when a race designed to crown off-road's fastest four-wheel drive truck was dominated by two-wheel drive competitors. For only the second time in the 14-year history of the race, a PRO 2WD racer claimed the top prize and both of those trophies belong to Scott Taylor of Belvidere, Ill. Taylor set a new PRO 2WD lap speed record in his Skyjacker BFG Ford while qualifying for the race and he used his starting position to full advantage leading from flag-to-flag. He was joined on the podium by two other PRO 2WD racers who also enjoyed the benefit of a handicap start of nearly a third of a lap, Ross Hoek in the Skyjacker Goodyear Ford and Dan Vanden Heuvel in a Maxxis Chevy. It marked the first time in BorgWarner Cup history that no four-wheel drive racer finished on the podium.
The showdown with the fast field of PRO 4x4 racers never materialized as pre-race favorites were all victims of either mechanical issues or race wrecks. Johnny Greaves had set the record for the fastest lap ever run at the historic track during his qualifying run in his Potawatomi Monster Energy BFG Toyota but ended up on his rooftop when he crashed trying to pass slower traffic early in the race. Kent Brascho, a race favorite in his Super Clean Lucas Oil Goodyear 4x4 Chevy, was also a victimized by a crash. Former BorgWarner champions Scott Douglas in the Amsoil Kumho 4x4 Ford, Curt LeDuc in the Rock Star Makita Toyo 4x4 Ford and Carl Renezeder, racing in his PRO 2WD Lucas Oil Skyjacker BFG Ford, all struggled through the race and finished well back in the pack. Kyle LeDuc's Rock Star Makita Toyo 4x4 Ford was the top PRO 4x4 truck finishing fourth and Ben Wandahsega was the top Super Truck finisher in his Potawatomi Toyo Chevy taking the eighth spot overall.
There was another Cup challenge race contested during the big weekend and Jeff Kincaid, of nearby Argonne, Wisc., won his second consecutive $20,000 Forest County Potawatomi Decision at Sundown title in his Potawatomi Traxxas( BFG Toyota. Kincaid was followed by Chad Hord in the Boss Plows Kumho Mazda and Randy Eller in the Maxxis Ford. Kincaid also clinched the WSORR PRO Light Pickup 2008 Series championship with his seventh win of the season on Sunday. Hord again finished second with Jon Probst in the E3 Spark Plugs Nissan third. Hord spoiled Kincaid's perfect weekend by winning the World Championship PRO Light Pickup race on Saturday with Eller second and Probst in third.
The PRO 4x4 World Series championship belongs to Kent Brascho of Pell City, Ala., who wrapped it up with his second place finish in Saturday's Round XI race behind World Championship winner Johnny Greaves. Kyle Leduc had his first World Series podium finish in third. On Sunday, Scott Douglas took the win followed by Carl Renezeder and Curt LeDuc. Brascho is one of nine new WSORR class champions crowned in 2008 of the 11 classes competing in the Series.
Dan Vanden Heuvel, Appleton, Wisc., clinched the World Series PRO 2WD championship by running a pair of safe, conservative races finishing fourth and sixth in Rounds XI and XII. Saturday's World Championship race was won by Ross Hoek with Renezeder second and Taylor in third. On Sunday, Taylor took the win with Mike Oberg in the Amsoil Kumho Chevy second and Rhonda Konitzer in the Konitzer Racing Chevy third.
PRO Super Buggy racer John Mason of Plymouth, Wisc., also played it safe in his Mendeola Goodyear Honda and his fourth place finish in Round XI clinched the Series title as he finished behind World Champion Tim Lemons in a Goodyear Toyota, Corry Heynen in a BFG Toyota and Ryan Mulder in a Nokian VW. In Sunday's Round XII, Heynen took the win with Scott Schwalbe's BFG Toyota second and Lemons in third.
In the WSORR SRT (Sportsman) Division, Keith Steele of Madison, Wisc., capped off a terrific year in the Super Truck class with two more wins, a World Championship ring, and a WSORR Championship. It was wins seven and eight on the season for the Monster Energy Goodyear Chevrolet. In Round XI, Ron Schreiner in his 9-Inch Floater.Com UWeld truck was second with Dan Baudoux's Mole Lake Casino BFG Ford third. Don Williams in the Revtek BFG Ford was second on Sunday with Ben Wandahsega third.
Eric Ruppel of Chetek, Wisc., in the Phil's Inc BFG Ford took all doubts out of the Stock Truck class championship as well by duplicating Steele's efforts with two wins and a World Championship ring during the weekend. Al Konitzer in the Mole Lake Casino Miller Lite Goodyear Dodge was second on Saturday with Don Demeny in the Super Clean Goodyear Dodge in third. Demeny again joined Ruppel on the podium on Sunday finishing second and Dave Schneider in the Raider Fiberglass Goodyear Ford was third.
The 1600 Buggy points race came down to the final day and Mark Steinhardt of Rhinelander, Wisc., prevailed by finishing second in the Round XII race which was all he needed to do to take the championship away from Mike Seefeldt. Seefeldt was the round XII winner in his BFG buggy with Bob Blaney in a BFG buggy in third. But Steinhardt grabbed the rest of the weekend glory with the Series championship and a World Championship win on Saturday in his Phil's Inc BFG machine.
Mike Vanden Heuvel duplicated his father's World Series championship by winning the 1600 Light Buggy Round XI race and thus clinching the Series title. A World Championship ring sweetened the pot on Saturday for the Toyo buggy driver who was followed by Jeff Virnig on BFGs and Jamie Kleikamp on Goodyears. Virnig got some revenge on Sunday with the win followed by Vanden Heuvel and Craig Paitl on Goodyears.
Dave DeMaegd of Mishawaka, Ind., was one of only two World Series points champions to retain his title for a second year as he secured his championship with a pair of second place finishes in his Goodyear Jeep. Jim Ridderbush won the Friday night race in his BFG Chevy with Jerry Bundy in a Goodyear Jeep third. Tim Moeller in a Goodyear Ford took the World Championship ring followed by DeMaegd and Brad Lamarche in a Ford. Rob Weiland was the other repeating WSORR title holder by finishing third in the Round XI Classix race in his Goodyear Chevy behind Justin Keehner in a Chevy and Kurt Shuch. Weiland grabbed the World Championship ring followed by Brent Anderson and Schuch. The WSORR Enduro title for 2008 belongs to Jim Van Rixel. Matt Dale won the World Championship followed by Brandon Rouse and Larry Manske. Sunday's winner was Craig Rogaczewski followed by Dale and Ben Wierzba.
With completion of 12 rounds of racing, the 2008 Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing Tire Manufacturer's Champion in PRO classes is Goodyear. The 2008 PRO class Manufacturer's Champion is Ford.