Brandon Arthur got a whole season’s worth of experience in only two rounds at the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series season opener at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona. Brandon has a ton of familiarity with short course racing from his years of competition in the Trophy Kart class. He earned a M4SX series championship before heading to the desert for a couple of years to race an unlimited Trophy Truck. Unfortunately, in the ultra-competitive Prolite class, all that experience gets no respect. In fact, being the current points leader or defending champion will still get you kicked to the curb now and then when the traffic gets thick and the passing lanes are non-existent. It’s dog eat dog but that’s just what attracted Brandon to Prolite in the first place.
It would have been nice to have a little more track time before the opening rounds but his truck was just finished a few weeks before the race. Without any set-up notes or enough tuning to work all the bugs out, the Pro Traffic Services / Competitive Metals / Rigid Indsturies LED Lighting team did an outstanding job against a hungry Prolite field stacked with talent. Brandon rolled the truck in qualifying but landed back on his wheels. Without hesitation he continued on putting in his fastest lap of the session. It’s important to find the limit of the truck; the rollover was just an indication that Brandon was holding nothing back.
Round one went well for Brandon; he got a feel for his Toyo Tires gripping the dirt and was able to figure out what adjustments the truck needed to gain speed. There are as many races won in the pits as there are out on the track. The most successful drivers can also tune their trucks to get that last ounce of speed, traction or handling that it takes to win. Brandon’s extensive automotive knowledge will be invaluable racing in Prolite where the rules keep the trucks on a relatively level playing field. The winning difference is gained by figuring out the perfect set-up and a driver’s talent and instincts. It also helps to be lucky. After finishing in 12th place, he was able to take what he learned and apply it in round two.
“We are very happy with our weekend,” says Brandon, “For being only the second time driving the truck, we felt we were pretty competitive for round two. We made a couple of changes and the truck made a big improvement.” Unfortunately, Brandon did not have a chance to apply his improvements on the track. In a first lap skirmish, he got piled into which broke his front suspension; taking him out of the race. Brandon was still upbeat after the incident.
“We are excited to get back out there in rounds three and four in Lake Elsinore to see what we can do. We hope to put on a good show for the fans and our sponsors Pro Traffic Services, Competitive Metals, Rigid Industries LED Lighting, Toyo Tires, Magnaflow, Aeromotive Fuel Systems, Trailready Beadlocks,FOX Racing Shox, Wirefab, Summers Brothers, ECP Powder Coating, F&L Racing Fuels, Maxima Racing Oils, FiberwerX, graphics by Bink Designs and Mastercraft Safety Equipment,” says Brandon, “We will be testing there in two weeks so the truck will be ready to go.” When asked about the huge jumps on the Lake Elsinore track Brandon responded, “Yes, very big jumps! I can’t wait!”
Brandon will be back in Prolite competition April 25-26 at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park in Lake Elsinore, California. Come check out Brandon in high flying action.
Photography By: Brian Binkert
Bink Designs - www.binkdesigns.com