One of the biggest challenges for a Pro Lite class rookie in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is the lack of set-up data on the varied tracks they race on. Every new track has to be studied by the driver and the crew. To the casual observer every track looks similar, it’s all dirt, but the reality is far different. Every track has unique features that have to be mastered. The more experienced teams have pages of set-up data to get their trucks dialed in and the drivers have many laps of experience to draw from.
In the Pro Lite class, fractions of a second separate the field. There are many talented drivers and crews all vying for the same patch of dirt. Brandon Arthur would be starting the weekend in the Pro Traffic Services / Competitive Metals truck with a blank sheet of paper. Engine tuning, gearing selection, suspension settings, damping adjustments to the FOX Racing Shox and tread grooving on the Toyo Tires all needed to be developed for the track in Tooele. Once dialed in, his truck is very capable thanks to 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. Getting everything set takes track time, something Brandon did not have.
“We qualified 5th in our group on Saturday which wasn’t terrible but not where we want to be,” said Brandon, “In the race we ran with the lead pack of 8 trucks and finished 6th.” Solid results in any Pro Lite heat race but especially considering it was Brandon’s first time at the track in Tooele.
In round 8 it got much tougher for Brandon. He was fighting the truck in qualifying and ended up 9th fastest in his group. That put him back in 17th on the grid during the race. Every driver knows; the safest place to run is at the front. Back in the pack you have to contend with crashes, bottlenecks and some very aggressive driving as everyone tries to claw their way to the front. “There was a lot of traffic,” said Brandon, “I couldn’t get anywhere. I ended up rolling the truck and going a lap down. I’m not sure where we finished.”
Brandon did go a lap down but he finished the race in 20th place. Not the results he had hoped for but any finish is much better than a DNF (Did Not Finish). Every one of those points will be critical at the end of the year. The series is now headed to Glen Helen, Ca. for the next night race August 1-2 a track Brandon has raced on before. It’s a tight technical track that offers few opportunities to pass. It will be another big challenge for Brandon as he battles in the Pro Lite class.
Photography By: Brian Binkert
Bink Designs – www.binkdesigns.com