RENEZEDER, KINCAID AND MOTHER NATURE STORM THROUGH WSORR OPENER AT LUCAS OIL SPEEDWAY
WHEATLAND, MO (June 2, 2008) Carl Renezeder and Jeff Kincaid swept their respective classes during the opening two rounds of the Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing (WSORR) but Mother Nature stole some of their thunder as plans for the first ever night time debut to a season were doused by severe weather. A major storm front that spawned tornadoes, hail, lightning and drenching rains through the Midwest and Great Plains states scored a direct hit on the opening ceremonies of the E3 Sparkplugs "Show-Me State Showdown" presented by Dixie Choppers at the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo.
For the first time since 1998, race officials were forced to cancel a round of races and then schedule double round action the following day after four hours of rain delays and multiple attempts at getting the track in safe racing condition for the debut. "The real heroes at this event were the track workers and fans who braved the elements and at times dangerous weather conditions to try and kickoff the WSORR season," said Kevin Greven, general manager, Lucas Oil Speedway. "We had sold-out skyboxes, executives from many of our major sponsors such as E3 Spark Plugs, Super Clean, Dixie Choppers, and Fatheadz Sunglasses were on-hand and we were anticipating a packed house but there was just nothing we could do to stay out of this serious storm's path," he added.
Track and Series officials huddled together during the weather delays and made plans to shorten the races and get both rounds of action completed on Sunday. Fortunately, the weather cleared and track workers used pumps to drain the soaked grounds and the WSORR season officially got underway under sunny skies by late morning.
>From that point on, Carl Renezeder, Newport Beach, Calif., in his Lucas Oil Skyjacker BFG PRO 2WD and PRO 4x4 trucks stole the show much to the delight of the enthusiastic fans as he took a huge bite out of the World Series $100,000 dollar weekend purse by winning four events. In Round I of the very competitive PRO 2WD class battle, Kevin Probst, who was sporting the E3 Spark Plugs Dixie Choppers Team Lucas colors shot to the front of the field when the green flag dropped but a spectacular roll at the end of the straightaway ended his race and Dan Vanden Heuvel in the Maxxis Chevy and Dave Waldvogel in his Bendix Toyo Chevy followed Renezeder to the podium. Probst crewmembers worked feverishly to repair his truck during the shortened schedule and it paid off as he fought his way to a second place finish behind Renezeder in Round II. Vanden Heuvel rounded out the podium.
In PRO 4x4 action, Kent Brascho, in his Lucas Oil Goodyear Chevy battled hard with Renezeder in both races but the WSORR points leader patiently waited for a spot to pass and found it each time and Brascho had to settle for second. Al Drews nabbed a pair of third place finishes.
Jeff Kincaid of Argonne, Wisc., piloted his Potawatomi Traxxas BFG Toyota to a pair of PRO Light Pickup wins. In Round I, Kincaid grabbed the lead on the second lap and Mark Oberg in his Goodyear Ford provided the hard chase finishing second, with Randy Eller in the Maxxis Ford third. Round II proved to be a more difficult task for Kincaid. With the starting order inverted, the points leader started eighth and battled his way through the field as they all chased PRO Light rookie John Fitzgerald in his new Water FX Ford. Fitzgerald, the defending WSORR 1600 Buggy Champion, proved he will be a contender in his new class by holding the lead around the technical Lucas Oil Speedway track for seven laps before Kincaid could make a pass. Lee O'Donnell in the Invisible Glass Hankook Toyota made a banzai charge on the newcomer on the final lap to finish second, dropping Fitzgerald to third.
The PRO Super Buggy class made its "Pro" debut in front of the SPEED TV cameras and in Round I, Canadian Gary Nierop of Aldergrove, British Columbia, picked up right where he left off in 2007 as the defending class champ grabbed the win in his Goodyear Toyota. John Mason in his Mendeola Goodyear Honda was second with Tim Lemons ensuring the Goodyear podium sweep by finishing third. Round II found Lemons, Harrison Twp., Mich., in the top spot with Mason again in second and Craig Biesik in a Hankook buggy finishing third.
In the WSORR SRT, or Sportsman Division, no single driver was able to sweep the first two rounds of racing, indicating another year of close driver point battles. In the Super Stock Truck class, Dan Baudoux, of Hemlock, Mich., sloshed his way to a win in his Mole Lake Casino BFG Ford during the only race that managed to be completed during the Saturday night deluge at Lucas Oil Speedway. Ross Hoek in his Skyjacker Goodyear Chevy was second and Keith Steele in the Monster Energy Goodyear Chevy completed the muddy and rain-soaked podium. In the Round II Super Truck race, Ben Wandahsega, of Bark River, Mich., won the race in much "cleaner" conditions in his Potawatomi Toyo Chevy with Baudoux in second and Don Williams in the Revtek BFG Ford in third.
The Stock Truck battle in Round I was won by Craig Metz of Rhinelander, Wisc., in his Able Distribution BFG Ford followed by Jim Van Rixel in his Goodyear Chevy and defending class champion Scott Beauchamp in another Goodyear Chevy. Round II winner was the first ever class win for young Dan Beauchamp, of Escanaba, Mich., in his Amsoil Goodyear Ford followed by Al Konitzer in a Goodyear Dodge and Eric Ruppel in his BFG Ford. Formula 4x4 Round I winner was Jim Ridderbush in a BFG Chevy and defending class champion Dave DeMaegd won Round II in his Goodyear Jeep.
The 1600 Buggy Round I winner was Terry Fitzgerald from Omaha, Nebr., on Goodyear's, Mark Steinhardt was second and Mike Seefeldt third, both on BFG's. Steinhardt moved to the class points lead with a win in Round II followed by Brad Erickson on Goodyear's and Fitzgerald in third. The 1600 Light Buggy race in Round I was won by Jeff Virnig of Oregon, Wisc. Craig Rabe was second and Greg Stingle third, both in Goodyear buggies. Round II winner was Mike Vanden Heuvel in his Toyo machine with Stingle second and Bill Kortens rounding out the podium.
WSORR Tour 2008 now moves to Crandon, Wisc., for Rounds III-IV and the Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run Races June 21-22. The weekend also features the 15th annual FCP Chairman's Cup Challenge with Carl Renezeder as the defending champion. For more information visit www.wsorr.com.