Curt and Kyle LeDuc poised to bring success to the CORR Lucas Oil Pro Series in 2002 Avon, Ind. (January 31, 2002)Curt LeDuc's success in Championship Off Road Racing includes 8 wins in 66 starts, plus the 1998 BorgWarner Challenge Championship.
Curt and Kyle LeDuc poised to bring success to the CORR Lucas Oil Pro Series in 2002
Avon, Ind. (January 31, 2002)Curt LeDuc's success in Championship Off Road Racing includes 8 wins in 66 starts, plus the 1998 BorgWarner Challenge Championship. In four years, LeDuc has not finished out of the top-three in the Pro-4 point standings. The only thing eluding LeDuc is a CORR championship.
"I believe we have the potential (to win a championship), we just haven't been able to get as many wins necessary," said LeDuc.
Although two-time defending Pro-4 champion Rob MacCachren has not been out of first place the last two years, LeDuc maintains that his team is not frustrated, but motivated in their attempt to compete for the Pro-4 championship in the 2002 Lucas Oil Series. LeDuc announced that Skyjacker Suspensions would join his team as a sponsor this year, which may give him more incentive to compete with the Trail Master Ford of MacCachren.
"To be able to take the Skyjacker truck and race against the Trail Master truck, that's what sponsors want to see. Will it build some rivalry? I hope it does," said LeDuc.
Since the end of the 2001 season, LeDuc has worked on improving his NAPA Skyjacker Ford, and making several changes that he hopes will help him continue his strong performance in the division.
"I know where we can improve our performance, and we need to do that. We've made gains, but not enough (during the last couple of years)," he said.
LeDuc is hoping for a strong start to the 2002 Lucas Oil Pro Series. Getting a win early in the year will help take a lot of pressure off the team, he said.
"It (winning) makes the sponsors happy, everybody is more relaxed, and it's easier to focus on maintaining."
Eight months will pass between the end of the 2001 season in September, to the first Pro race of the Lucas Oil Series in May of this year. Since he has been racing for several years, LeDuc downplays the fact that it is difficult to be reacquainted with the tracks in the CORR Lucas Oil Series once the season starts.
"Because we've been there so many years, I think we're competitive right out of the box," said LeDuc.
LeDuc is also hoping his teams' stability throughout the years will aid in gaining a quick start to the year. 2002 will be the fifth year NAPA will back LeDuc, while his crew chief, Larry Hawkins has been with the team for eight years. His confidence in his team and sponsors enables LeDuc to focus on the business side of off-road racing.
LeDuc utilizes some of his time in the off-season to chassis building and the development of off-road vehicles. His business includes the development of a Pro-Lite truck, which will join his team in the Lucas Oil Series this year.
LeDuc's 20-year-old son, Kyle, will drive the Pro-Lite Skyjacker Ford Ranger. Kyle LeDuc is familiar with Championship Off Road Racing. He spent a season helping his father prepare his truck and worked as a spotter. He has not had a chance to drive the new truck, but they plan to test it soon.
"I'm really looking forward to it (racing)," said Kyle. "I think it should be good. I believe I can run up front, as long as I do a lot of testing to get the truck right."
The younger LeDuc indicated the Pro-Lite division will be a great place to start, and he has always wanted to compete in short course racing, where he will battle with the likes of two-time defending champion Jeff Kincaid and Rick Huseman.
Curt and Kyle LeDuc will be the fourth father and son tandem to participate in the CORR Pro Series. Walker and Evan Evans, Jimmie and Jason Crowder, and Jack and Jamey Flannery have all competed in Championship Off Road Racing.
There is no doubt LeDuc's influence in Championship Off Road Racing has helped the series the last five years. With his drive, enthusiasm, and motivation to be the best in off road racing, LeDuc, as well as his son, will be a name to keep in mind at the start of the 2002 CORR Lucas Oil Series season.
The LeDuc's and the 2002 CORR Lucas Oil Pro Series begins May 25-26, 2002 in Edmeston, New York.