Event: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, Rounds 4 & 5
Location: Lucas Oil Speedway — Wheatland, MO
Dates: Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24, 2018
Weather: Intermittent rain and sun
Finish: R3 qualified 8th- 7th overall, R3 qualified 3rd - 2nd overall
A lot has happened since Ensenada! Wednesday, June 6th Trevor graduated from High School. After a quick celebration, he flew out of LAX at 1:30 AM along with his Dad, and a buddy for a week long vacation in Costa Rica! The group had an amazing time, checking out the crocodiles, playing in the ocean, visiting Mount Arenal Volcano - and spent a full three days of riding motocross bikes through the jungle.
The rainy season has begun in Costa Rica, so we rode through a lot of slick red clay which was challenging but, oh so fun! We rode a lot of single track and fire roads, rode through the tropical rain forest, and spent a few hours riding the beach each day— it was just fantastic! The soil and the terrain was a lot different than it was in the states. We highly recommend Chris, Carlos and Terry from Costa Rica Unlimited Tours, they offer an incredible riding experience. We had the freedom to travel virtually anywhere. It was a terrific way to celebrate Trevor’s graduation!
We flew to Cali on Saturday the 16th, at 2am and spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday getting everything finalized and packed for Missouri. Monday we left at 11 o’clock, stopped along the way to get everything washed and then drove through to Gallup, New Mexico.
We made it to Oklahoma City on Tuesday to reunite with extended family and put in a few rounds at Top Golf.
Wednesday we arrived at Lucas Oil Speedway at 1PM. The weather was moody at best; raining in the am, then sunny, and at about 5 we had a thunderstorm with heavy rain for about 2 hours which saturated the track.
Thursday we received our credentials, entered the track and Trevor left with MAVTV’s Greg Cozzo for a visit to the Ronald McDonald house in Springfield, Missouri. It is always good to start a race weekend off by visiting these children and encouraging them, and Trevor makes it a point to participate as often as he can.
The Lucas Oil Speedway is a large and beautiful facility which makes for one of the best races of the season. The facility features a short course, beautiful dirt oval stadium, camping in the woods, two man made lakes stocked for fishing and off-road riding areas. Lots of people are camped out for days and the fans are fantastic – we talked to some that came all the way from Texarkana and Louisiana to see the races. Despite its population of just under 400, Wheatland is centralized between three major hubs and draws a great crowd from all corners of the state.
Friday tech inspection was early, drivers meeting at noon, then we did the customary track walk immediately following — with practice starting at 1PM. The track was heavy and sticky which provided lots of traction for the 1st practice, and Trevor was fastest on the track that run. 2nd practice we had issues with power steering, and found a broken coupler in the power steering pump. Third practice was off a little bit, the track conditions were not as good and our times were a little slower. As the the day went on the track became increasingly rutted and very slick.
Throughout the day we spoke with couple of kids that were diabetic that had searched Trevor out at the track to tell their stories. One 11 year old had been recently diagnosed, and he was really encouraged by Trevor.
Saturday another driver’s meeting early. Qualifying was a little slick. We lost power steering that run, qualifying 8th. The coupler broke again. We figured the power steering pump was going bad causing the coupler to break, so we changed them both out. Opening ceremonies began at 2, we were the 3rd race up starting in 8th position, 4th row outside in a field of 11 cars.
On the 1st lap, two cars spun out and collected Trevor in turn 2 pushing him back to 10th. Trevor caught the field pretty quickly advancing 5 spots to 5th by the halfway caution. On the restart Trevor moved right to 4th place, which he held solidly until a couple of the cars got together in front of him. He was able to avoid contact, navigate around and move into 2nd. Officials then threw another caution. Coming off that caution with 3 laps to go, Trevor was challenging for the lead. 2/3rds of the way through that lap he side loaded the left rear tire and the sidewall let go. He lost that left rear tire limping into the hot pits. The tire was replaced costing Trevor a lap— he managed to finish 7th. It was fun to watch from the stands, but Trevor felt a bit disappointed after running such a good race and battling to come back to 2nd then losing it due to a tire.
Sunday morning it started sprinkling, with the track getting a little slippery. We made no changes for qualifying and he finished that qualifier third. Inversion was 2, so he started in the 3rd position with 11 cars in the field.
After qualifying the rain really started, in a heavy downpour. Junior Karts and UTVs were cancelled from their earlier scheduled times and Pro classes were put on hold at the time. At this point it was a waiting game. Around 1:30 the weather started to lift and Lucas officials drove pace vehicles to determine if track conditions were suitable. They made the decision to run— with a few running order changes. They also shortened the lap count from 9 laps to 7 and put the 4WD's on first due to the sloppy conditions. The first UTV race was a holy mudsling and you could hardly make out one vehicle from the next, but the track conditions were incrementally improving. After watching that, we made a decision to change the rear tire setup and go with a more aggressive Mickey Thompson tire for Trevor’s run.
In the Pro Buggy final Trevor left the start in 3rd and moved to 2nd through turns 1 and 2. In turn 3 he had a car go underneath him. That driver couldn’t hold their line, pushing up track into the front of Trevor’s car. Trevor did a great job of saving it, re-entered in 5th and got back to work. At the halfway he was running 4th. Right off the restart a couple of cars got together, giving Trevor the window for 2nd. He had to battle to keep it though as 3rd place Trey Gibbs was hot on his tail throughout the rest of the race. Trevor maintained his 2nd place position through to the checkered flag giving him his third podium of the season! He had put on 50 tear-offs for his visor and ended using a little over half… what a mess, but what a blast!
Trevor currently sits 2nd in points— 15 points off the pace for first. This is his third podium out of 5 races. A podium every weekend!
Next up is Round 6 K&N Filters Silver State Showdown presented by Toyota at Wild West Motorsports Park – Sparks, NV on July 21st!
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We would like to thank the corporate partners who provide their resources and expertise to the team: JDRF, The Fab School, Mickey Thompson Tires, Lucas Oil, FOX Shocks, Funco Motorsports, Fortin Transmission, G & J Craft, Ebbco Motorsports, CBR Radiators, OMF Wheels, Eibach Springs, Action Gas & Welding Supply