ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK / MAKITA TOOLS LEDUC RACING SURPRISES THE COMPETITION AT SPEEDWORLD
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORS) returned to Speedworld Motorsports Park in Surprise, Arizona last weekend for Rounds 11 and 12 of the world’s premier short course racing. The seats were packed as dedicated race fans flocked from nearby Phoenix and braved triple-digit temperatures. The spectatators were rewarded with non-stop action as teams battled through sweeping turns, two huge table top jumps, and the rugged moguls that Speedworld is famous for.
Figuring prominently in the premier Pro 2 Unlimited and Pro 4 Unlimited classes were the Ford F-150s of Rockstar Energy Drink / Makita Tools Team LeDuc. Looking to reward the devoted fans, Curt LeDuc installed a powerful new engine in his No. 43 Rockstar Energy / Makita Tools Ford and was looking to build upon his current season position of 5th place in the Pro 4 Unlimited class. Unfortunately fate had different ideas, and the engine failed after only five laps during practice on Friday. This required the LeDuc team to pull out their Makita tools and burn the midnight oil to get Curt on the track for Saturday’s race. Without being able to qualify, Curt started at the back of the 13 truck field but was able to skillfully work his way up to an 8th place finish during Saturday’s racing. On Sunday, Curt ran a consistent pace during the first half of the race, but after the mandatory caution an altercation with Josh Merrell got the two trucks hooked up, requiring them to exit the track. After freeing the No. 43 Ford from Merrell’s, Curt was able to stay on the lead lap and finished in 6th place for the day.
Curt’s son, Kyle, brought plenty of momentum into Rounds 11 and 12 at Speedworld after a big win at Glen Helen just a month earlier. Finishing third for Saturday’s race in his 800+ horsepower Rockstar Energy / Makita Tools Pro 4 Unlimited, Kyle got off to a rough start when his No. 99 Ford got tangled up with Travis Coyne during the first lap and forced a complete race restart. After settling down and finding a good pace, Kyle was able to get by Mike Johnson to claim the third place podium, finishing just 5 seconds behind the winner. Sunday's competition found Kyle qualifying third and starting on the second row. Claiming an early lead and setting the pace for much of the race, Kyle looked as though the victory was his for the taking. Unfortunately, disaster struck on the second to last lap when Kyle’s Rockstar Energy Drink/ Makita Tools Ford caught a rut and nearly rolled, allowing most of the field to pass as he recovered. In some of the most spectacular racing of the weekend, the No. 99 Ford was able to claim a second place podium afterall and finish Round 12 less than three seconds off the leader! After recovering from his two wheel ride, Kyle sucessfully avoided the chaos that ensued just a few turns after his misstep and was able to work his way towards the front of the pack. In a fateful turn of events, Mike Johnson crashed on the final lap causing a bottleneck that Kyle flawlessly avoided and allowed the No. 99 the second chance to take home the second trophy of the weekend.
Todd LeDuc was looking to advance his 7th place season in the highly competitive Pro 2 Unlimited as he headed into Rounds 11 and 12 at Arizona's Speedworld venue. The biggest surprise of the weekend for Todd was qualifying 10th for Saturday’s race. “I usually like to run about 80% to keep the truck together yet still qualify well, but I ended up tenth when the second through tenth qualifying times were all within one second of each other!” Never discouraged, Todd was able to weave the No. 8 Rockstar Energy Drink / Makita Tools truck through the traffic and was on his way to a podium finish before tangling with Robert Naughton. The contact cost Todd a few positions on the track and when the checkers finally came out, the No. 8 Ford F-150 had battled hard for a 5th place finish. On Sunday, Todd qualified fourth and with the inverted field, started on the front row. Once again, hard contact with another truck cost Todd valuable track position and resulted in a broken rear axle. After initially pulling off the track and into the hot pits to assess the damage, Todd was able to get back out on course and nurse the truck around the track for valuable season points, finishing in 11th place in his Ford F-150.
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is quickly coming to completion, with only three rounds of action packed racing remaining. Rockstar Energy Drink / Makita Tools Team LeDuc returns to Las Vegas Motor Speedway on November 6th and 7th for Rounds 13 and 14 of LOORS racing. Lady Luck has been kind to the LeDucs in Las Vegas as they have already been on the podium multiple times at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this season. Expect huge crowds and with some of the biggest names in the automotive industry in the stands, as the races are being held immediately following the SEMA Show. Rockstar Energy Drink / Makita Tools Team LeDuc Racing plans to make the most of the weekend and continue adding podium finishes as they march steadily towards their ultimate goal as series champions in the Pro 2 Unlimited and Pro 4 Unlimited classes. In the meantime, check your local listings for CBS Sports, Speed Channel, and Versus to see the excitement of LOORS racing from Speedworld Motorsports Park from the comfort of home.