The regulars in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series faced a new Glen Helen track that proved challenging for many and downright diabolical for others. An altered layout that left drivers no time to rest with six turns and constant features was part of the test. Lots of new dirt formed big ruts and holes as the races went on, while heat and dust made things especially trying for the drivers fighting hard on the last double race event of the year in which to garner championship points.
Sunday’s Pro Lite contest was a perfect example. With a six-place inversion after qualifying — fast qualifier Brock Heger started sixth while Ronnie Anderson started on pole — the stage was set for drama. At the start, Anderson slid back while Christopher Polvoorde claimed the point, followed by Cole Mamer, Ryan Beat, Mickey Thomas and Heger.
It looked like Polvoorde might have an easy go of it, but then things began to get dicy. By the time the first caution waved for Kyle Knott’s rollover, Mamer was in the lead. Potential challengers kept hitting problems: Thomas had a flat, as did Ryan Beat, putting the two at the top of the points well back in the order.
Mamer looked ready to run to the finish until he hit a rut in Turn 4 that sent him into the k-rail and ended his day. Polvoorde was back in front, but now Heger — by this time already a two-time winner in Production 1000 UTV for the weekend — was all over him.
Another caution interrupted the battle, but when it resumed for a one-lap shootout, Heger was primed and ready. He got by Polvoorde in a move that started around Turn 2 and wasn’t complete until Turn 5, taking the victory in the Maxxis Tires Pro Lite followed by Polvoorde and Anderson.
“Towards the end, it was super dusty, so you couldn’t see any of the holes,” said Heger on the podium. “I was in second and thought, ‘I’ve got to get by Christopher so I can see those holes.’ It was a long race. I started sixth and wasn’t sure I was going to make it back to the front with all the carnage. We made it somehow. That pass on Christopher was pretty gnarly; I don’t think I could do it again, but I’m sure I would try.”
Thomas had taken the win on Saturday in his Stovall Pro Lite, with Jimmy Weitzel second and Heger in third. With points leader Beat having a weekend to forget, the points race is now tightened considerably, with Thomas, Beat and Heger all having a good shot at the championship in the single-round finale at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in three weeks.