E3 Spark Plugs Duel in the Desert
Over the weekend things got HOT at the E3 Spark Plugs Duel in the Desert for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at Speedworld Off Road Park in Surprise, AZ. In other corners of the world, people often say it’s “Africa Hot” but, under the searing heat for the LOORRS Rounds 11 and 12, it was “Arizona Hot”. As temperatures soared to triple digits, the action on track was getting even hotter as drivers in all classes were battling for precious points with only four races remaining in the 2011 series.
Located just to the northwest of downtown Phoenix, Speedworld has always been known for its fast but punishing layout. A tough course that typically takes a toll on both man and machine. This year’s event was no exception. After posting back-to-back wins in the last two rounds at Glen Helen, Rick Huseman had his Monster Energy/E3 Spark Plugs Toyota truck race ready for Round 11 and grabbed an early lead in Saturday’s event. But, the star of the day (and the big winner for weekend in Pro 4 Unlimited) was Kyle Leduc in the popular #99 Rockstar/Makita Ford truck. Leduc would finish four seconds ahead of Carl Renezeder with Huseman in third.
As the sun rose over the Arizona desert, Sunday morning brought new opportunities for the E3 Spark Plugs Toyota race team to claim a victory in the E3 sponsored event. This day it would be Kyle’s brother Todd Leduc who would start on the pole for Pro 4 main event with Huseman starting inside on the second row. Huseman quickly grabbed second place on the opening lap of Round 12 but began to slow on lap four as suspension gremlins damaged the driveshaft on the E3 Spark Plugs Toyota truck. Up front it was battle of the brothers as Kyle began to pressure Todd before a late-race yellow flag caused an inevitable restart.
When the green flag waved, it looked like bumper cars on dirt as Todd Leduc was pin-balled from first to fourth. Brother Kyle slipped by for the lead with Renezeder running in third place behind Adrian Cenni. The multi-time off road champion wasted little time and moved his famous #17 Lucas Oil/General Tire Ford truck into second place. Renezeder would lean on Leduc for the lead but to no avail. Leduc got to the checkers first for his fourth win of the 2011 LOORRS season and his first sweep of the Pro 4 class at Speedworld Off Road Park. Huseman would limp home to a disappointing eighth place finish.
E3 racing fans can watch all the action from last weekend’s clash in the desert on Oct. 15th on CBS. The LOORRS teams have a few weeks off before the series heads to Sin City for Rounds 13 and 14 at the Las Vegas Speedway on Nov. 5-6. See you there!