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Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series – Round 7 at Wild West Motorsports Park
July 24, 2020 - July 25, 2020
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series – Round 7 at Wild West Motorsports Park
July 25th, 2020
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) pits the top short course off-road racing drivers against each other across an ever-expanding series of fan-friendly, pulse-pounding tracks. Born from the long-standing traditional home of midwestern short course off-road racing, and enlivened by the fast-emerging west coast short course movement, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing is the premier series in the world off short course off-road. Driven by Lucas Oil and the company’s founder and CEO Forrest Lucas, both of whom have been long-time passionate supporters of this sport, the series continues to progress and evolve, carrying on the heritage of short course, as well as pushing its limits into the future. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: This is Short Course!
Before the advent of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, there was already a rich and deep history surrounding the sport of short course off-road racing. From the early days at Crandon International Raceway back in Wisconsin, whose events began in 1969, SCORE International-sanctioned races at Riverside Raceway back in the 70s and 80s, the incredible action of the MTEG stadium series, and even the Flannery family-led SODA series of the 90s, short course continued to evolve across the decades. SODA then became Championship Off Road Racing (CORR), with Marty Reid at the helm, in 1997, and continued as such until 2005, when Reid sold the series to Jim Baldwin. By 2008, two large race series existed in the world of short course off-road: CORR, whose events were by then largely based along the west coast, and the World Series of Off Road Racing (WSORR), whose events encompassed the traditional midwestern home of the sport. Both series were struggling, and as both CORR and WSORR went away, The Off Road Championship (TORC) emerged to take its place; while out west, former CORR staff members Tony and Sherry Vanillo began a new racing series. With backing from long-time short course supporter Forrest Lucas, the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series was born in early 2009. Both new series enjoyed great initial success, but as the divide between the two hubs of the sport continued, the sport as a whole suffered somewhat. As the TORC series fell away, Lucas Oil stepped in to absorb the series, creating the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League. In addition to keeping the traditional availability of racing closer to home, wherever home might be, for drivers across the sport, this new progression also brought about a new possibility, one that fans and drivers alike have been awaiting for far too long: the possibility of dual series events.
Behind The Scenes
When you come out to see one of our Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series events, the racing you’re watching is the culmination of a tremendous amount of work and dedication on the part of many people. Any driver out on the track has sacrificed a lot to be where they are. They’ve likely competed in other forms of motorsports, or honed their short course skills by climbing the ranks of classes in both our Regional and National level series. Moreover, behind each driver is a talented team of tireless, hard-working pit crewmembers, all of whom have put in countless hours just to get their driver’s vehicle out on the track.
After each race weekend, teams take their tired and battered vehicles back to their home race shop, and begin the process of bringing the truck, buggy, or UTV back to life as you the fan knows it. Once the bodywork has been pulled off and cleaned, it is assessed and repaired or replaced as needed. Underneath the body, the real work awaits, as the entire drivetrain (engine, transmission, driveline, axles, hubs, cv joints, and more) is pulled out and pored over with a fine-toothed comb. The shock absorbers are pulled off and re-built, the brakes get new pads and rotors as needed, and the entire chassis gets a thorough cleaning from top to bottom, as well as a fresh layer of protective coating. If the chassis itself is damaged, repairs are made, no matter how extensive they may need to be. Once the vehicle is back in racing condition, it is re-shod with a nice new set of tires, the bodywork gets a new wrap or paint job and stickering, and gets loaded in the trailer to make its way to the next round. All of this is work enough already- now imagine what these crews go through when their driver crashes in testing the day before a race, or during the first day of a two-round race weekend? Be grateful that they’re ready and willing to roll up their sleeves!
In addition to highly innovative race vehicles piloted by trained professionals, you’re also surrounded by the culmination of countless hours of hard work on details you may simply take for granted. While the grandstands remain in place year round, almost everything else at the venue itself must be brought in, assembled, and made to become the part of a professional race facility before a single spectator makes their way into the parking lot.
All of this work requires tremendous amounts of planning and preparation, and both pre-event and post-event meetings before and after each race weekend continue to help streamline and improve the entire process.
Once everything has been reviewed and approved, the real hands-on work begins a full week before the race. On the weekend before the race, and on into the following Monday, all of the rental equipment begins to arrive on site. Scissor lifts, Pettibones, tractors, graders, personnel UTVs, and more- they all come from somewhere. Once Monday begins, crews start to tear down any old banners around the track and replace them with new ones, and they will continue with this all the way until race day. At the same time, other crews are beginning to assemble things like the VIP and Tech Inspection Tents, all of which will need until Wednesday to be completed, and still more staff are put to work creating the start/finish line arch.
By Wednesday, crews turn their attention to traffic barriers and fencing, as well as placing and blocking off the Registration and Ticket trailers. By the next day, the race teams will have arrived at the track and gotten themselves set up in their designated pit areas, and as the drivers get their vehicles dialed in during multiple practice sessions on the day before the race, series staff continue to tidy up any loose ends around the facility. Come race day, the facility has been transformed, but even as our fans are beginning to make their way in, there are still some final touches to be made. If the event is to be a night race, the portable light trucks are brought in and positioned, while the vendors open their doors for the first time to make their products and services available to the public. The drivers themselves get their hero cards, posters, and apparel out, and all of this is done to create the best, most exciting and memorable experience for you: the fans. So next time you attend one of our events, stop and take a second to look around at the venue, and understand how important it is to all of us that you have a great day at the races.
Series Director, Bill Smith has been fortunate enough to participate in many diverse forms of motorsports during his extensive career, but he still counts himself lucky to have found off-road racing. “I’ve found the most excitement in off-road,” says Smith, “by far. Not only do our courses test the development of the trucks and the skills of the drivers, but our vehicles in turn challenge the abilities of our track designers to come up with bigger and better tracks. We’re pushing the limits and innovative abilities of everyone involved on all levels.”
Please visit LucasOilOffRoad.com for more info.