The 2011 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series presented by Geico Powersports got off to a fiery start at Firebird International Raceway in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, AZ. this weekend. The first of the two-night event provided plenty of fireworks, including E3 Spark Plugs-sponsored Rick Huseman‘s hard-won defense of his Pro 4 Unlimited title.
The Dirt Sports magazine’s 2010 “Driver of the Year” started the race in the fourth position behind Carl Renezeder, Johnny Greaves and Adrian Cenni. Drivers traded leads several times, with Greaves spinning out in turn three, Cenni pulling off the track with a mechanical issue soon after, and Huseman (in the #36 Monster Energy / E3 Spark plugs Toyota) darting past Renezeder past the start/finish line and into turn one.
After the restart, Kyle LeDuc had a spectacular rollover out of turn five, bringing out a full-course yellow. Racing resumed with Huseman, Renezeder, Todd LeDuc, Curt LeDuc and Steve Barlow leading until Renezeder and Todd LeDuc hit going into turn four, with LeDuc colliding with Barlow, forcing him into the wall and ending his day on the track. LeDuc then developed a right rear flat with just a few laps to go. Still, he managed to pass most of the field before pulling into the hot pits. By this time, Travis Coyne had worked his way up the track in front of Curt LeDuc. When the smoke cleared, it was Huseman taking the victory, with Renezeder, Coyne, Curt LeDuc, Aaron Daugherty following.
Huseman joined the E3 Spark Plugs racing team under an associate sponsorship just last month.
“You can’t win out here if you’re not using the best,” Huseman said at the time of the sponsorship announcement. “E3 represents new technology, increased power and superior performance, that’s what we look for when selecting products for our race trucks.”
Next up for the 2011 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is Surprise, AZ’s Speedworld Off Road Park April 16-17. Huseman helps open the Traxxas TORC Series April 30 at Cycle Ranch in San Antonio, TX.