Opening Day of Golden State Off Road Nationals at Glen Helen Sets the Tone for Championship Saturday

Thursday, Oct 22 471

The final race weekend of the 2020 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Presented by GEICO got underway on Friday from Southern California’s famed Glen Helen Raceway. With the battles for each of the eight class championships coming down to the wire, it was imperative for the title hopefuls to get the General Tire Golden State Off Road Nationals Presented by Lucas Oil doubleheader off to a strong start, with the goal of reducing the amount of pressure entering Saturday’s finale.

 

Pro 2

Friday

The battle atop the Pro 2 standings was tight coming into the final weekend of the season, as Doug Mittag and defending champion Jerett Brooks were separated by just two points. Mittag’s consistency is what ultimately allowed him to carry the points lead into Glen Helen, but it would all come down to the final two rounds of action.

The opening race of the weekend saw Mittag start on the pole alongside Ryan Beat, while Brooks began the race fourth on the grid. When the green flag waved to get the racing underway Mittag was able to assume control of the lead but Brooks made quick moves from the second row and quickly moved up into second. Mittag held off the pressure for several laps but Brooks bided his time and made his move at the first opportunity. The two made slight contact and Brooks seized control of the top spot as Beat moved into second.

With the lead in hand Brooks dominated the rest of the way and took his sixth win of the season by 3.1 seconds over Beat in second, with Mittag coming in third. The win was enough to put Brooks back in control of the championship hunt.

Friday Pro 2 Results

  1. #77 Jerett Brooks
  2. #51 Ryan Beat
  3. #81 Doug Mittag
  4. #37 RJ Anderson
  5. #16 Cory Winner
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

Jerett Brooks (77) bested championship rival Doug Mittag (81) to take the Friday Pro 2 win. Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

Pro Lite

Friday

With four wins in the previous six races entering Glen Helen, Pro Lite point leader Brock Heger found himself in a comfortable position coming into the final weekend, working with a 22-point lead. The extra cushion put Heger in a position to race conservatively, if necessary, as he chased a first Pro Lite championship.

Heger started the first race of the weekend on the pole alongside Ronnie Anderson and when racing got underway Heger asserted himself at the head of the pack right away. With a clear track ahead of him Heger was able to take advantage of picking the fastest lines around the track and it allowed him to build a lead he’d never relinquish.

Heger was dominant en route to his fifth win of the season, well ahead of Anderson in second, followed by Cole Mamer in third. 

Friday Pro Lite Results

  1. #12 Brock Heger
  2. #52 Ronnie Anderson
  3. #35 Cole Mamer
  4. #59 Jimmy Weitzel
  5. #94 Christopher Polvoorde
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

Brock Heger’s emphatic win on Friday moved him one step closer to the Pro Lite title. Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

Pro Buggy

Friday

No driver in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series was hotter coming into the Glen Helen finale than defending Pro Buggy Champion Eliott Watson. The current titleholder had gone on a tear since the opening round of the season, amassing a six race win streak that he was looking to extend at the finale. With a massive 50-point lead coming into the final two rounds, it certainly looked like it’d be a victory lap for Watson.

Fittingly, Watson’s quest for a seventh straight win on Friday began with the champ on the pole alongside Trey D. Gibbs. When racing got underway at the drop of the green flag Watson quickly jumped into the lead and controlled the pace of the race. The clear track gave Waston all the advantage he needed as he continued to hit his marks and ride smooth, consistent laps.

The defending champion went wire to wire to capture his seventh straight win and earn a long overdue first victory at Glen Helen ahead of Gibbs in second and Matthew Brister in third.

Friday Pro Buggy Results

  1. #1 Eliott Watson
  2. #15 Trey D. Gibbs
  3. #5 Matthew Brister
  4. #56 Zachary Drapkin
  5. #24 Bradley Morris
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

Eliott Watson's dominance of Pro Buggy continued with a win on Friday. Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

Turbo UTV & Production 1000 UTV

Friday

Each respective championship battle across the series UTV classes featured season long head to head battles between the each division’s top two racers. In Turbo UTV, defending champion Corry Weller and Ronnie Anderson traded momentum all season long, with Anderson carrying a slight seven point edge into Glen Helen. In Production 1000 UTV, a late season hot streak by Myles Cheek had given him the upper hand on two time class champion Brock Heger, with the duo separated by 25 points coming into the finale.

The opening Turbo UTV race of the weekend began with Weller and Anderson on the front row, with Weller on the pole. When the green flag waved to get racing underway the championship rivals ran side by side for half a lap before Anderson edged his way into the lead. Anderson quickly built a lead of several car lengths as Weller came under fire from Trevor Leighton in third. As the laps wore on Weller started to close back in, but both the race and championship took a turn when Anderson lost pace. As Weller carried on with the lead in hand, Anderson did all he could to make his UTV survive, hoping to salvage points and his dwindling title hopes before ultimately pulling off track. Out front, the champ carried on to take her fourth win of the season by 2.2 seconds over Trey D. Gibbs with Chance Haugen in third. With his heartbreaking DNF Anderson finished in seventh, suffering a major blow to his championship aspirations.

The first Production 1000 UTV race of the weekend also saw the championship contenders on the front row, with Heger on the pole alongside Cheek. As the field came to life to take the green flag Cheek pushed hard on the outside line to clear Heger and take control of the lead. Cheek dropped the hammer in the early laps to pull away by about a half second, which he was able to maintain the advantage through the halfway point. When the second half of the race got underway Heger was there to take advantage of a slight bobble by Cheek and move into the lead. Cheek hounded Heger for the remainder of the race, often giving his rival a nudge on the rear fender, but Heger fended off the challenge to take his third win of the season by less than a car length over Cheek. Dallas Nord finished third.

Friday Turbo UTV Results

  1. #1 Corry Weller
  2. #715 Trey D. Gibbs
  3. #718 Chance Haugen
  4. #703 Trevor Leighton
  5. #777 Chelsea Haugen

Friday Production 1000 UTV Results

  1. #912 Brock Heger
  2. #957 Myles Cheek
  3. #974 Dallas Nord
  4. #923 Jim Price
  5. #918 Braydon Beatty
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

Corry Weller (left) prevailed with a big Turbo UTV victory on Friday, while Brock Heger (right) kept his title hopes alive with a Production 1000 UTV win. Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

Mod Kart, JR2 Kart & RZR 170

Friday

Each junior class championship was still up for grabs coming into the Glen Helen finale. In Mod Kart, a late season surge by Connor Barry put him in the driver’s seat in pursuit of his first title as he carried a 23-point cushion into the weekend. In JR2 Kart, the top three drivers in the championship came into the doubleheader separated by just 13 points, with Talan Martin on top. In RZR 170, the season long battle between TJ Siewers and defending champion George Llamosas was set to come down to the wire, with 11 points between the pair.

Friday’s Mod Kart race began with Trey Eggleston on the pole with Barry lining up alongside on the front row. When the green flag waved Barry valiantly fought his way into the lead over Ethan Ebert and Eggleston. Some early misfortune shuffled Barry deep in the field and allowed Ebert to claim the lead, but a hard charging David Gasper soon put himself out front. With the lead in hand Gasper charged to his second straight win by 1.7 seconds over Eggleston in second, with Braden Chiaramonte in third. Barry battled back to finish sixth.

The front row for the first JR2 Kart race of the weekend saw Dane Culver on the pole with Lake Adler in second, while Martin started the race from third. When the action got underway Culver asserted himself in the lead while Martin and Adler made contact and lost several positions. A battle for the lead soon unfolded between Culver and Chaden Zane Minder, with Minder eventually getting the edge after patiently giving pursuit for several laps. As the second half of the race got underway Culver made his way back into the lead, but Minder battled back to take over the spot on last time and carry on to his first win ahead of Culver in second and Brodie Martin in third.

Neither of the championship contenders started Friday’s RZR 170 action from the front row. Instead it was Declan Shields and Zoe Easton who led the field to the green flag, with Llamosas and Siewers following from the second row. When racing got underway Llamosas made a quick charge to take the lead while Siewers followed along into second. The top two pulled away from the rest of the field, with Llamosas carrying on to his sixth win of the season by a half second over Siewers, with Shields in third.

Friday Mod Kart Results

  1. #576 David Gasper
  2. #590 Trey Eggleston
  3. #573 Braden Chiaramonte
  4. #514 Brody Eggleston
  5. #583 Karaston Hernandez

Friday JR2 Kart Results

  1. #415 Chaden Zane Minder
  2. #401 Dane Culver
  3. #413 Brodie Martin
  4. #460 Rhyan Denney
  5. #489 Truly Adams

Friday RZR 170 Results

  1. #188 George Llamosas
  2. #101 TJ Siewers
  3. #124 Zoe Easton
  4. #158 Declan Shields
  5. #190 Alixandra Easton
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing SeriesLucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

(Clockwise from left) David Gasper earned the Mod Kart win on Friday as Chaden Zane Minder (second in line) broke through in JR2 Kart, while George Llamoasas earned his sixth RZR 170 victory. Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

 

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Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

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