CORR: Las Vegas: Team LeDuc preview

Rockstar Makita Team LeDuc drivers 'feeling pretty good' about preparations for second weekend of CORR season PRIMM, Nevada -- Rockstar Makita Team LeDuc is heading into the second race of the Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR)...

Rockstar Makita Team LeDuc drivers 'feeling pretty good' about preparations for second weekend of CORR season

PRIMM, Nevada -- Rockstar Makita Team LeDuc is heading into the second race of the Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR) season this weekend with its confidence bolstered by some productive test sessions and a return to a familiar venue.

"We're all feeling pretty good about it," Curt LeDuc said at the race shop in Cherry Valley, Calif., as the team finished preparing its four Toyo-shod Ford trucks for the trip to Primm and two days of racing (Saturday, May 17, and Sunday, May 18) at the Las Vegas International Off-Road Raceway.

Friday's practice and the weekend racing will be conducted on a 1-mile track behind Terrible's Buffalo Bill's Resort and Casino. Gates will open at 9 a.m. and racing will begin at 2 p.m. each day.

Rockstar Makita Team LeDuc once again will field Pro 4 class Fords for Curt LeDuc and his youngest son, Kyle, a Pro 2 class Ford for oldest son Todd, and a Pro Lite class Ford for series rookie Brian Deegan.

Todd debuted a new truck with a pair of fourth-place finishes in the season opener at Pomona April 26-27 and is tied for third in the point standings. Kyle made his Pro 4 debut with fifth- and ninth-place finishes that have him tied for fifth in those standings. Deegan, a freestyle motocross legend, made his four-wheel debut with a pair of finishes that gave him valuable experience. But Curt's weekend was spoiled by an accident on the first day and a rear end fire on the second.

That's ancient history, though. Since that weekend the team has been testing extensively, much of it at Kal-Gard Motorsports Complex, the Lake Elsinore, Calif., facility that bears the name of team sponsor Kal-Gard Racing Lubricants, and the elder LeDuc has seen some benefits.

"Kyle and I made some pretty big suspension changes," Curt said. "We even changed some of the suspension on Todd's truck, and his wasn't that far off (at Pomona). Deegan bought a practice truck. He's tested there and he's excited to go see if it paid off."

Another factor LeDuc believes will improve the team's performance will be the presence on all four race vehicles of a Toyo project tire with a compound and tread design formulated especially for off-road racing.

"Everybody who tested at Las Vegas (Primm) with them said they're two seconds a lap quicker," LeDuc said. "I think it will make the whole team that much more competitive."

The track itself is the final reason for LeDuc's optimism. The Pomona facility was new. The Primm layout has welcomed CORR for both racing and testing and all four Rockstar Makita Team LeDuc drivers have made practice runs there.

Curt had a fifth-place finish at last year's finale in Primm and Todd was the runner-up in Pro 2. Kyle won the penultimate round, then broke early on the final day.

"It's the first time we'll go back to a track we raced on last year," he said, "and I think we'll be in good shape. It's not clay, it's more of a sandy soil. A sandy track gets more ruts and deteriorates faster, but it should be seasoned now. The track always seem to get better when you go back to them and I think this one will be a lot more predictable than it was last year."

This weekend's races will be televised by NBC and the SPEED Channel on a tape-delayed basis. SPEED will have two hours of coverage at 4 p.m. PDT May 24 and NBC will air 90 minutes of action at 9:30 a.m. PDT June 15.

-credit: tld

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Series Offroad
Drivers Curt LeDuc