Anderson Captures Pro 2 Victory at Lucas Oil Off Road Shootout

by Lyndal Scranton

The 3rd annual Lucas Oil Off Road Shootout Presented by General Tire opened a three-day marathon weekend at Lucas Oil Speedway on Friday and an old pro stole the show in the featured Pro 2 division.

RJ Anderson of Riverside, California, a five-time champion in various classes during an illustrious career, took command just past the midpoint and went on to prevail as off road racing return to south-central Missouri for the first time since 2018.

Anderson beat Doug Mittag to the finish line by 2.06 seconds to score his first win of the 2020 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Season. Ryan Beat finished was and defending series champ Jerett Brooks, winner of the season’s first two events, wound up fourth.

Brooks started up front and led five laps, but saw Anderson and Mittag slip past him on lap six, after the mandatory mid-race caution. Brooks later pitted under caution for a flag tire with two laps remaining and rallied to salvage a decent finish.

“Those guys have a fast truck, obviously and won those first two rounds,” Anderson said of Brooks. “I knew with the yellow I could tuck in. He made a mistake going into turn six and I was able to just keep my cool and slide right inside.

“This one feels good. At the beginning of the day if you’d have told me I was gonna walk away (first) I’d have told you it was like winning the lottery. I have to give it to my RJ 37 team. They never give up on me. They gave me an awesome truck.”

Round two of the weekend fires up at noon on Saturday with the RZR 170, JR 2 Kart and Mod Kart divisions. Opening ceremonies are at 2 p.m. with the pro divisions following.

Here’s a roundup of Friday’s action:

Cheek wins Production 1000 UTV: Myles Cheek outdueled fellow front-row starter Brock Heger, leading all nine laps for the Production 1000 UTV win.

Cheek, of Orange, California, held off a strong challenge from Heger just before the lap-five mandatory caution and went on to prevail by 1.9 seconds. It was his second series win in three attempts this season.

Cheek also denied Heger a double-victory day after Heger had captured the Pro Lite win earlier on the card. Dallas Nord finished third, also earning a spot on the podium.

“It was some closing racing,” Heger said. “We’ll come back tomorrow and give him another run.”

Watson earns Pro Buggy win: Defending division champion Eliott Watson took the lead with two laps remaining, going from third to first in the Talladega turn, to earn a hard-fought Pro Buggy victory.

Watson, of El Centro, California, started on the pole but fell back to third in the early going. But he was never far off the lead as a hot battle ensued.

Brady Whitlock rocketed from fourth to the lead at the start, which he held for two laps as the top four were separated by less than a second. Trey Gibbs took over the lead on lap three and held it until Watson made his move on lap eight, going around Gibbs and Darren Hardesty.

Watson finished with a three-second gap over runner-up Gibbs as Matthew Brister, the points leader entering the weekend, rallying late for third.

Chaney leads all the way in Turbo UTV: Kyle Chaney led all the way to prevail in the Turbo UTV division, finishing four seconds in front of runner-up Ronnie Anderson. Trevor Leighton finished in third.

Chaney, of Pataskala, Ohio, started on the pole and took command from the drop of the green. He led by more than six seconds at the mandatory caution, five laps into the event.

Two-time reigning division champ Corry Weller, winner of the two previous rounds this season, had a rough afternoon. Weller started outside of Chaney on row one, but faded to finish seventh.

Heger distances field in Pro Lites: Brock Heger of El Centro, California, started on the pole and went on to score a dominating victory, leading all nine laps for the Pro Lites win.

Heger, 20, already has Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series championships in four different divisions. He lists Lucas Oil Speedway as his favorite track and his drive on Friday surely did nothing to change his mind after his first series victory of the season.

“I think in this class consistency is going to be a key and we’re off to a pretty good start,” Hegar said. He entered the weekend third in points, 10 behind Cole Mamer.

Christopher Polvoorde was a distant second, 6.4 seconds behind the winner, while Madix Bailey edges out Ronnie Anderson by a few feet in a drag race off the final turn to take third.

Mod Kart win goes to Trey Eggleston: The Mod Kart race was a wild one, with six caution flags and a last-lap pass for the win. Trey Eggleston took advantage of a restart and went from third to first to earn the victory.

Eggleston earned the win as his brother Brody, who was leading but fighting visibility problems as his hood kept flipping up in front of his windshield, slid high in turn two on the last lap. Two-time series champion David Gasper started 17th and drove to second with Brody Eggleston hanging on for third.

A scary moment on lap three saw Ethan Ebert’s car erupt in flames. Safety crews quickly extinguished the fire and Ebert crawled out safely.

Brodie Martin earns JR 2 Kart win: Brodie Martin passed Rhyan Denney with two laps remaining and held off his cousin, Talan Martin, for the JR 2 Kart victory.

Denney led six of the nine laps but saw Brodie Martin fight his way into the lead with a decisive move on lap eight. It was his second win in three rounds this season.

Irie Bailey had a strong run, going from a ninth starting spot to a podium finish of third.

RZR 170 win goes to Siewers: In the beginner class of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, for ages 6-12, T.J. Siewers led all the way to capture the RZR 170 victory.

Siewers, of Mesa, Arizona, started on the outside of row one. He finished comfortably in front of runner-up Ryder VanBeekum, who moved up one spot when second-running George Llamosas got caught up in a mishap with two laps remaining. Tatum Foerster finished third in the opening race of the weekend.

Friday’s unofficial results
Lucas Oil Off Road Shootout Presented by General Tire
Pro 2 – 1, RJ Anderson. 2, Doug Mittag. 3, Ryan Beat. 4, Jerett Brooks. 5, Trevor Leighton. 6, Adam Daffner. 7, Troy Cox. 8, Mickey Thomas. 9, Ricky Guieterrez. 10, Rodriguo Ampudia.
Production 1000 UTV – 1, Myles Cheek. 2, Brock Heger. 3, Dallas Nord. 4, Robby Hornsby. 5, Bradley Morris. 6, Anthony Santos. 7, Josh Luketic. 8, Bronson Chiaramonte. 9, Ben Booker. 10, Joshua Stephens. 11, Kenny Holt. 12, Billy Nichols. 13, James Jaramillo. 14, Jim Price.
Turbo UTV – 1, Kyle Chaney. 2, Ronnie Anderson. 3, Trevor Leighton. 4, Trey Gibbs. 5, Derek Tidd. 6, Keith Brooks. 7, Corry Weller. 8, Chelscea Haugen. 9, James Maki. 10, Robert VenBeekum. 11, Chance Haugen.
Pro Lite – 1, Brock Heger. 2, Christopher Polvoorde. 3, Madix Bailey. 4, Ronnie Anderson. 5, Jimmy Weitzel. 6, David Mason. 7, Carson Parrish. 8, Mason Prater. 9, Matthew Brister. 10, Katie Vernola. 11, Cole Mamer.
Pro Buggy – 1, Eliott Watson. 2, Trey Gibbs. 3, Matthew Brister. 4, Darren Hardesty. 5, Dale Ebberts. 6, Brady Whitlock. 7, Adam Gruender. 8, Zachary Drapkin. 9, Michael Moore.
Mod Kart – 1, Trey Eggleston. 2, David Gasper. 3, Brody Eggleston. 4, Braden Chiaramonte. 5, Luke Knupp. 6, Karaston Hernandez. 7, John Walls. 8, Jaden Uribe. 9, Cade Martin. 10, Talan Martin. 11, John Holtger. 12, Holden Heitritter. 13, Connor Barry. 14, Ethan Ebert. 15, Nick Piemons.
JR 2 – 1, Brodie Martin. 2, Talan Martin. 3, Irie Bailey. 4, Tyli Olsen. 5, Chaden Zane Minder. 6, Kaylee Federwisch. 7, Logan Leggitt. 8, Dane Culver. 9, Rhyan Denney. 10, Lake Adler. 11, Oliver Hoover.
RZR 170 – 1, TJ Siewers. 2, Ryder VanBeekum. 3, Tatum Foerster. 4, Ian Torfi. 5, George Llamosas. 6, Zoe Easton. 7, Declan Shields. 8, Alixandra Easton. 9, Lily Saunders. 10, Samuel Gibbs. NS – Koby Krantz.

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

Grandstand admission prices
SATURDAY
(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. The final dirt-track action of the regular season will determine season champions in all four divisions: Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models, O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks and Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods.

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

(photo courtesy Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series)

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