A total of five rounds of Pro 2 racing remain in the 2019 season, with the summer showcase from Wild West Motorsports Park in Sparks, Nevada, looming at the end of July. The addition of the Pro 2M engine this season has provided another layer of intrigue to an already deep division, and the entire field of drivers has adjusted to the competitive changes in the best way possible. At this critical junction of the championship, a mere seven points separate the top five drivers in the standings, setting the stage for even more fireworks during the season’s stretch run.
Three different drivers have emerged triumphant through the first four rounds of the season, with only Jerett Brooks able to collect multiple wins, at Glen Helen and Estero Beach Resort. That distinction, combined with three podium results in four races, has given Brooks a slight edge in the championship standings. The action at the most recent stop of the season in Ensenada, Mexico, was arguably the wildest to date, and it’s where Brooks was able to seize control of the points following first and third-place finishes over two days of action.
A slim margin of just four points separates Brooks from veteran Rodrigo Ampudia. The Mexico native is still in search of his first win of 2019, but a switch to the Pro 2M engine prior to Ensenada appears to have altered the course of his season in a positive way. Ampudia has finished in the top five in every race thus far, and his hard-nosed mentality behind the wheel all but guarantees that he’ll be a factor in the battle for victory from here on out.
Former champion Brian Deegan knows exactly what it takes to win in Pro 2, and that experience, combined with his unparalleled resiliency, has him sitting just five points behind Brooks. The highlight of Deegan’s 2019 campaign was his victory at Arizona’s Wild Horse Pass, but collectively he’s been the most consistent performer in the division with a season-worst result of fifth. If he’s able to maintain that level of performance, it could end up being the difference maker at season’s end.
While it hasn’t quite been the title defense he’d hoped for thus far, reigning Pro 2 Champion Rob MacCachren is still very much alive in his quest for back-to-back titles. Things started off slow for the most successful off-road driver of all time, but he came on strong in Ensenada to generate some much-needed momentum. MacCachren narrowly missed out on a clean sweep at Estero Beach Resort, but a runner-up finish, combined with his first win of the season, were enough to gain valuable ground in the championship standings. He’s seven points out of the points lead heading into the next round.
The Pro 2 class is in the midst of one of its most competitive title fights in recent memory, and with each passing round the intensity between this group of title hopefuls is sure to ramp up. With just a handful of rounds remaining, it’s still anyone’s guess who will prevail in Chandler, Arizona, at the end of October.
The most dynamic and powerful vehicles in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series are all but guaranteed to put on a spectacle of off-road prowess every time the gate drops. Thus far in 2019 the action has been incredibly unpredictable, and while the division’s biggest names have made their presence felt on a regular basis, very little has separated them. As a result, just four points separate the top three drivers as the season reaches one of it’s most critical periods, with five rounds of racing left and the annual visit to Wild West Motorsports Park in Sparks, Nevada, awaiting at the end of July.
It’s been no surprise to see former champions Kyle LeDuc and RJ Anderson duke it out, but the emergence of Doug Mittag into a consistent threat to the dominance of his more experienced counterparts has made for an exciting title fight. LeDuc’s strong start to 2019, in which he captured back-to-back victories at Glen Helen and Wild Horse Pass, has proven to be the difference maker thus far. What’s been even more impressive is how LeDuc has gone about obtaining those wins. It hasn’t been easy, but the second-generation racer refuses to quit in the face of adversity, and it’s paid off up to this point, giving him a three-point edge over Anderson.
The reigning Pro 4 Champion has done exactly what he needs to do in 2019, establishing an unparalleled level of consistency that has seen him finish on the podium in all four rounds. Anderson’s first win as champ came at the previous round in Ensenada, Mexico, and he continues to build more confidence with each race. While he’s surely not satisfied with every result this season, he’s put himself in a position to successfully defend his crown.
Mittag showed he’s more than capable of going door-to-door with the big guns last season, but he’s taken another big step towards becoming a potential champion so far in 2019. While a tough opening round got things off to a bit of a slow start, he’s rebounded nicely with a pair of runner-up finishes and a victory over the past three races. His win to cap off the weekend at Estero Beach Resort was emphatic, and it brought him to within four points of the championship lead.
Given how unpredictable and competitive the battle for the Pro 4 championship was a year ago, we’re in store for an unbelievable fight through the end of the season. Despite asserting themselves as the elite trio in the division, LeDuc, Anderson and Mittag have only gone 1-2-3 twice thus far. They say anything can happen in racing, and it’s a sentiment that’s particularly true in Pro 4.