WHEATLAND, MO. (August 23, 2020) - After being oh-so-close for two days at the Lucas Oil Off Road Shootout Presented by General Tire, Doug Mittag hoped to climb one notch higher.
The veteran southern California racer did just that on Sunday at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Mittag, of Temeculah, California, passed points leader Jerett Brooks with three laps remaining and went on to capture the finale of a Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series tripleheader weekend at Lucas Oil Speedway.
“This truck is bad to the bone,” Mittag said after his first win of the season. He said the rebuilt truck was outstanding all weekend, with two runner-up finishes before the Sunday breakthrough.
“We took an old truck, cut it apart and made it a good truck - and we did it in 20 days," Mittag said. "You can spend all the money you want, but if you don’t have a good team that cares as much as mine, you’re not going anywhere.
“I am so stoked. We had high expectations (coming into the weekend) but this overtakes them all, for sure.”
Brooks, as he did a day earlier in victory, set a blistering early pace. He had a 2.1-second lead over Mittag as the mandatory caution waved after lap five, with Mickey Thomas third and RJ Anderson in fourth.
The race took an eventful turn two laps later as Mittag pulled alongside Brooks in the s-curve and made the decisive pass.
On the next circuit, Brooks’ truck lost power entering almost the same part of the course. It rolled to a stop, steam coming from under the hood and the points leader was done for the day. He settled for 10th place.
Mittag held on from there, holding off first-day winner Anderson by 1.6 seconds with Thomas completing the podium.
As for Brooks' mechanical issues, Mittag felt he had the winning formula regardless.
“We were pushing (Brooks) all weekend and we qualified first for this race,” Mittag said. “I know he’s fast and that truck’s quick and he’s a hell of a driver, but we got by him before (the mechanical failure).
“It felt really good. It’s been a long, hard road. At any time I come to a race track, I’m ready to win and my team is ready to win.”
Watson completes Pro Buggy sweep: Eliott Watson got the proverbial broom out and completed the weekend sweep of the Pro Buggy division, scoring another dominating victory. He finished 9.7 seconds in front of Brady Whitlock.
“I have not,” Watson said, when asked if he’s ever won three races in a weekend. “Even to top that off, this is my first tripleheader. This whole Lucas Oil Speedway track is so awesome.”
Watson said being smooth and consistent is the key on the 1.2-mile, nine-turn course.
“That’s what this track is all about, eliminating mistakes,” Watson said. “It’s just hit your marks, hit your marks, hit your marks. It’s important that you do that the whole race.”
Watson, of El Centro, California, started on the pole and made it look easy. He opened a nine-second lead by the mandatory caution on lap five, as Whitlock and Darren Hardesty battled it out for second place.
It was more of the same when the race went back to green, with Watson again pulling away. Hardesty held second until the final lap when he had a tire go flat, helping Whitlock secure the runner-up position.
Heger takes another Pro Lite win: Brock Heger’s truck was missing much of its sheet metal by the end of his victorious run in the Pro Lite division, his second triumph in three days at Wheatland.
“It’s definitely good to come away with the third round,” Heger said. “We’ve never been out here for three days. It was interesting. We started fourth and we had a fast truck. We had a fast truck all weekend.”
Heger bounced back from a third-place run on Saturday. This was the first tripleheader weekend in series history.
“Yesterday, I kept making mistakes," Heger said. "I knew today I was gonna have to clean it up. These guys are all fast and on the same level. It’s cool to come away with the win, for sure.”
Heger, of El Centro, California, took over the lead from pole-starting Madix Bailey on lap six and held on to win by about six truck lengths. Christopher Polvoorde finished third to complete a third-straight podium finish.
Chaney picks up another Turbo UTV win: Kyle Chaney took command on lap six and drove away for a five-second victory over runner-up Derek Tidd. Chaney also won the weekend opener on Friday.
Weller opened up a big lead just after the start as Chaney and Ronnie Anderson got their wheels hooked, spotting the leader about four seconds. But by the mandatory caution after lap five, Chaney had closed in and was right behind Chaney.
Chaney, of Millersport, Ohio, passed Weller in the s-curve just after the restart, on lap six. Weller clipped a tractor tire and fell back to fifth. Chaney had it easy from there, pulling away from the field. Tidd enjoyed his second podium of the weekend and Trevor Leighton came home in third.
“The first corner Corry and I were on the inside and Ronnie jumped to the inside and we got tangled up,” Chaney said. “I hit the brake and stayed calm. We wound up having a good race after that. I knew I was faster than Corry through the loops. I put my pass on her early and after that, made sure my car stayed cool and I ran consistent laps.”
Weller, the two-time defending series champ, settled for fourth after finishes of seventh on Friday and first on Saturday.
Cheek takes two in Production 1000: Myles Cheek of Orange, California, picked up his second win on the weekend, prevailing by 2.5 seconds over runner-up Dallas Nord in a Production 1000 UTV race plagued by four cautions.
Nord started on the front row and led the opening three laps before Cheek got past him on lap three. Cheek continued to set the pace until a caution on lap seven to set up a two-lap sprint to the finish.
Cheek, who won on Friday and was second on Saturday, pulled away to capture the win ahead of Nord and Robby Hornsby.
“It’s been a solid weekend for the whole team,” Cheek said. “Brock (Heger) got us yesterday. It would have been cool to sweep the first tripleheader at Lucas.”
Brock Heger was pressuring Nord for the lead on lap three when he clipped a tractor tire in the s-curve and flipped upside down. Safety crews got him back on four wheels and Heger returned to the action, at the back of the pack. He rallied to finish fourth.
Chiaramonte earns Mod Kart victory: Fourth-starting Braden Chiaramonte made his first weekend appearance on the podium a big one, overtaking Connor Barry on lap six and continuing on to capture a close Mod Kart victory.
Chiaramonte, of El Cajon, California, finished just ahead of Barry and Trey Eggleston in a three-way battle that saw the trio separated by less than a second at the finish. Barry and Eggleston had posted wins in the first two rounds at Wheatland.
“It was a crazy race, me and Connor were battling back and forth the whole race," Chiaramonte said. "The yellow, I got past him and he was right on me. I knew I had to keep going. I had to stay to the inside. It was really close.”
Late pass lifts Leggitt in JR 2 Karts: Logan Leggitt passed race-long leader Rhyan Denney with one lap to go and went on to hold on for the JR 2 Kart win, the third winner in three days in the division.
Leggitt rallied from a seventh-starting position to move into third by lap two and right behind second-starting Denney by the mandatory caution after lap five.
“I had to make some moves because I was sitting third,” Leggitt said. “I just stayed patient. When I saw the yellow mandatory flag, I started doing some stuff.”
Brodie Martin finished third with Kaylie Federwisch in fourth.
Llamosas picks off RZR 170 win: Defending RZR 170 champion George Llamosas denied TJ Siewers a weekend sweep by taking Sunday’s victory, leading all eight laps to kick off the action.
Llamosas, of Riverside, California, briefly lost the lead on a restart after the race’s midway mandatory caution, as Ryder VanBeekum got past. But Llamosas was able to regain command before the lap was finished and held on for a close victory over VanBeekum, with Siewers third.
“That was a crazy race out there," Llamosas said. “I was able to get the pole and I was so nervous at the start. We were having a radio issue, but we got it figured out and here we are, in the top spot.”
Sunday's unofficial results
Lucas Oil Off Road Shootout Presented by General Tire
Pro 2 - 1, Doug Mittag. 2, RJ Anderson. 3, Mickey Thomas. 4, Ryan Beat. 5, Trevor Leighton. 6, Rodrigo Ampudia. 7, Ricky Guieterrez. 8, Adam Daffner. 9, Troy Cox. 10, Jerett Brooks.
Production 1000 UTV - 1, Myles Cheek. 2, Dallas Nord. 3, Robby Hornsby. 4, Brock Heger. 5, Josh Luketic. 6, Billy Nichols. 7, Bronsen Chiaramonte. 8, Kenny Holt. 9, Jim Price. 10, Ben Booker. 11, Bradley Morris. 12, Anthony Santos. 13, Joshua Stephens. 14, James Jaramillo. NS Jason Luburgh.
Turbo UTV - 1, Kyle Chaney. 2, Derek Tidd. 3, Trevor Leighton. 4, Corry Weller. 5, Chance Haugen. 6, Trey Gibbs. 7, Chelsea Haugen. 8, Keith Brooks. 9, Ronnie Anderson. 10, James Maki. NS - Josh True.
Pro Lite - 1, Brock Heger. 2, Madix Bailey. 3, Christopher Polvoorde. 4, Mason Prater. 5, Jimmy Weitzel. 6, Ronnie Anderson. 7, David Mason. 8, Matthew Brister. 9, Cole Mamer. 10, Carson Parrish. 11, Katie Vernola.
Pro Buggy - 1, Eliott Watson. 2, Brady Whitlock. 3, Darren Hardesty. 4, Dale Ebberts. 5, Zachary Drapkin. 6, Adam Gruender. 7, Trey Gibbs. 8, Matthew Brister. 9, Michael Moore.
Mod Kart - 1, Braden Chiaramonte. 2, Connor Barry 3, Trey Eggleston. 4, David Gasper. 5, Luke Knupp. 6, Holden Heitrigger. 7, Talan Martin. 8, Karaston Hernandez. 9, Jaden Uribe. 10, Cade Martin. 11, Brody Eggleston. 12, Nick Plemons. 13, Ethan Ebert. 14, John Walls. 15, John Holtger.
JR 2 - 1, Logan Leggitt. 2, Rhyan Denney. 3, Brodie Martin. 4, Kaylee Federwisch. 5, Dane Culver. 6, Lake Adler. 7, Chaden Zane Minder. 8, Olive Hoover. 9, Tyli Olsen. 10, Irie Bailey. 11, Talan Martin.
RZR 170 - 1, George Llamosas. 2, Ryder VanBeekum. 3, TJ Siewers. 4, Ian Torfi. 5, Declan Shields. 6, Zoe Easton. 7, Caden Hall. 8, Samuel Gibbs. 9, Alixandra Easton. 10, Lily Saunders. 11, Tatum Foerster.
# # #
Speedway is quiet next week: Lucas Oil Speedway will take next weekend off. Next up is the Diamond Drag Boat Nationals, featuring the Kentucky Drag Boat Association and Southern Drag Boat Association co-sanctioning a two-day event Sept. 5-6 on Lake Lucas.
Also on on Saturday, Sept. 5 on the dirt track will be the Lucas Oil MLRA Ron Jenkins Memorial Presented by Rugged Radios. Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods and O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks will join the Late Models on the Labor Day Weekend program.
For ticket questions or information for any event at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.