Brooks Chases Another Off Road Title at Lucas Oil Speedway

by Lyndal Scranton

Jerett Brooks stamped himself as one of world’s premier off road racers with his Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro 2 championship in 2019.

Now, the 23-year-old southern California native is on a mission to do it again. Brooks brings his pursuit of a repeat to the Midwest this weekend for three rounds of racing at the 3rd annual Lucas Oil Off Road Shootout Presented by General Tire at Lucas Oil Speedway.

“That was rad,” Brooks said of his first title in the top division of short-course racing. “Winning the Pro 2 championship was something that I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been doing off road racing since I was around 10 years old. Pro 2 was always my favorite class to watch.

“When I first started I never thought I would be racing Pro 2. It was cool to win the championship because we put so much offseason work into it. For my team and all the hard work they did … it was cool to see it pay off in the end.”

The No. 77 team served notice that the championship was not a fluke by winning the first two rounds of the 2020 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series last month at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California. Now it’s on to Wheatland, where action begins with Thursday practice and three rounds of racing Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Brooks said he’s excited about returning to Wheatland for the first time in two years, calling it one of his favorite tracks on the circuit. He also points out that seeing a different part of the country, and the enthusiastic fans again, pump him up.

“Wheatland is by far one of the most unique tracks on the Lucas Oil circuit,” Brooks said. “It’s one of our biggest track, but you have all different obstacles.You have the big jumps, which I love, then it goes into wide-open big turns and then it goes into small, tight stuff. It’s pretty awesome. We have nothing that’s like it. We have either tight tracks or pretty wide-open tracks. This is a mix of both.

“It makes setting the truck up a lot different. You have such tight spots, then the long straightaway speeds. It’s almost like, which one do you want to give up, be faster in the tight stuff or faster on the straightaways? It’s a fun track and I’m looking forward to going back there.”

One of the highlights of the 1.2-mile, nine-turn course is the 20-foot high, 120-foot long table top jump on the back side. Trucks are launched higher than the tops of decades-old trees adjacent to the jump. Brooks said the sensation can be intimidating.

“When you go on your track walk, you’re like ‘holy crap.’ You’re driving around and ‘wow.’ It’s intimidating,” Brooks said. “Once you’re in your truck and you hit it a few times, it’s really not as bad as it looks. It’s hard to judge exactly how far you’re going to go, especially when you’re battling. Sometimes you’ll over-jump it, it’s so gnarly. But that thing is awesome.”

The two-time LOORRS Pro Lite champion said this weekend will be an endurance test, both for man and machine.

“Three straight days of racing is something we mostly don’t do,” Brooks said. “I think it’s going to be pretty extreme. It’s going to be hard on the trucks. Hopefully we can keep a good truck all weekend and keep it working. The humidity and heat, that’s gonna play a role on the drivers. I remember there two years ago it was pretty hot and humid compared to California where I’m from.”

Brooks’ path into off road racing is different than many, who follow in the footsteps of family members.

“None of my family ever raced or were ever into racing,” Brooks said. “They were all into sports. My mom played softball, my grandpa coached softball. I played baseball in my early years and never really was into racing.”

That changed when young Jerett started hanging out at a local go-kart track. As he started racing those, he saw some Trophy Karts, at the age of 10, and soon caught the racing bug after racing one for the first time.

“My family got me one and from then on, my family’s been hooked on racing and ever since we’ve been full-bore with it,” he said.

About 10 years ago, Brooks went all in and began as an entry-level novice racing simultaneously in the JR1, JR2 and Modified Kart divisions. Gaining seat time and experience has been the key to success for so many racers, and Brooks followed that model closely.

Brooks graduated to the Pro Lite class and earned his first championship in 2014 and added back-to-back Pro Lite titles in 2016 and 2017.

The only thing missing was his favorite number.

“My birthday is 7-27-97. I’ve always liked 7s. Back in the day when I used to race trophy karts, I could never have that number,” Brooks said. “When I got into Pro Lite days, I wanted 77. I think it’s lucky. That’s why I stick with it.”

The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Presented by General Tire features the top off-road short course drivers in the world. Classes in action will include Pro 2, Pro Lite, Pro Buggy, Production 1000 UTV, Turbo UTV, Mod Karts, JR 2 Kart and RZR 170.

This will be the first visit to Wheatland for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series since 2018 as last year’s action was canceled due to storm damage to the off road grandstands.

Gates open at 10:30 a.m. with racing firing up at noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Along with daily tickets and three-day passes, Sky Box seating high atop the new, shaded grandstand remains for each day of action. Prices are $1,750 per day for 25 guests. Included are two drink tickets for each guest, a catered lunch with a different menu each day and a suite hostess.

There also are 25 individual “Eye In the Sky” seats per day available, at $70 per day, $140 for two days or $210 for all three days with two drink tickets and catered lunch included. Admissions Director Nichole McMillan said those are on a first-call basis with those interested needing to call her at (417) 282-5984 to purchase them.

Fans also can save on grandstand tickets by purchasing them in advance online, with single-day and three-day ticket options available. All tickets include access to the pit area, where fans can see the racing vehicles up close.

There’s also a Family Pass that consists of general admission seating for two adults and up to three kids (ages 6-15) for $70 per day. Those must be purchased at the gate the day of the event.

For information about the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series please visit LucasOilOffRoad.com.

Lucas Oil Off Road Shootout Presented by General Tire
Tentative schedule (each day)
9 a.m. – Qualifying
10:30 a.m. – Gates open
Noon – Racing begins
2 p.m. – Opening ceremonies

Grandstand admission prices
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, AUGUST 21-22
(Advance online tickets)
Adults GA/Pit Pass Combo (16+)* $25
Adult Weekend (3-Day) GA/Pit Pass Combo* $80
Senior (62+)/Military Military GA/Pit Pass Combo* $22
Senior (62+)/Military Weekend (3-Day) GA/Pit Pass Combo* $74
Youth (6-15) GA/Pit Pass Combo* $10
Youth (6-15) Weekend (3-Day) GA/Pit Pass Combo* $30
Kids (5 & under) GA/Pit Pass Combo* FREE

(Day of event tickets)
Adults GA/Pit Pass Combo (16+)* $30
Adult Weekend (3-Day) GA/Pit Pass Combo* $90
Senior (62+)/Military Military GA/Pit Pass Combo* $27
Senior (62+)/Military Weekend (3-Day) GA/Pit Pass Combo* $84
Youth (6-15) GA/Pit Pass Combo* $10
Youth (6-15) Weekend (3-Day) GA/Pit Pass Combo* $30
Kids (5 & under) GA/Pit Pass Combo* FREE
Family GA/Pit Pass Combo** $70

*All tickets include access to the Off Road pit area.
(All Saturday and 3-Day tickets include entry to the Dirt Track event on Saturday night)
**Family GA/Pit Pass Combo $70 Includes Admission for 2 Adults and Up to 3 Kids Ages (6-15) Can only be purchased day of event at the gate

SUNDAY, AUG. 23
(Advance online tickets)
Adults GA/Pit Pass Combo (16+)* $25
Senior (62+)/Military Military GA/Pit Pass Combo* $22
Youth (6-15) GA/Pit Pass Combo* $10
Kids (5 & under) GA/Pit Pass Combo* FREE

(Day of the Event tickets)
Adults GA/Pit Pass Combo (16+)* $30
Senior (62+)/Military Military GA/Pit Pass Combo* $27
Youth (6-15) GA/Pit Pass Combo* $10
Kids (5 & under) GA/Pit Pass Combo* FREE
Family GA/Pit Pass Combo** $70

*All tickets include access to the Off Road pit area.
**Family GA/Pit Pass Combo $70 Includes Admission for 2 Adults and Up to 3 Kids Ages (6-15) Can only be purchased day of event at the gate.

Dirt track action on Saturday night: A big Saturday will conclude on the dirt track with the Rempfer Memorial Season Championship Night Presented by Bill Roberts Chevrolet-Buick and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital-Springfield. Also, it is Public Safety Appreciation Night as all Police, Fire and Rescue Personnel are admitted free to the Speedway with ID.

Hot laps at the dirt track start at 6:30 with racing at 7:05.

Those purchasing Saturday tickets to the off road event or three-day off road passes will be admitted free to the dirt track action.

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