NEW YEAR, NEW CLASS. ROUND 1 EXCITES AS DRIVERS FIGHT UNDER THE NIGHT SKY!
The 2019 Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series season kicked off it’s first race at Glen Helen Raceway on March 16th with a record breaking amount of entries! It was also the first race for Winner Motorsports Group and the newly acquired Pro 2 truck that will be piloted by Cory Winner this year!
Practice and qualifying went great for Winner and the rest of the team! The main focus on the weekend was to gather valuable seat time, practice, and knowledge about the truck. The Pro 2 they are racing this year has a motor package from the Midwest, which means it has almost 200 HP less than the traditional trucks in the class. It was the first time the series allowed the two different trucks to race for the same Championship. With a clear disadvantage, the two Pro 2 trucks with the smaller motor package would get a head start from the rest of the field. There were 11 trucks starting behind the #16 of Winner and #3 of Pentico, but they were up for the challenge of holding them off as long as they could!
The start of the race was hectic, as they had to red flag and restart the race before the first lap was complete do to a wreck. It was at this time that Cory also lost radio communication with his spotter and race control, meaning he would have no knowledge of any information going on behind him. They restarted the race and Winner jumped ahead of the #3 of Daely Pentico in the first few corners. With 16 laps in the race, Cory knew he had to be consistent and find the fastest way around the track in order to have a chance to take the win at the end of the race. The first caution happened on lap 3. The restarts were from a standing start, with a maintained time gap between the two different trucks from the previous lap. Cory got the jump once again and put his head down, knocking off lap after lap with no issues. The other Pro 2 trucks were continuing to slowly gain but Winner was patient and maintained the pace of the race. More caution flags came out on lap 9 and lap 12. Only 4 laps remained and Winner was driving at a great pace in his first race thanks to his General Tires and Ultra Wheels! He started to see where the rest of the trucks were on the track and noticed the #77 of Jerett Brooks was driving at a blistering pace. Cory took the white flag with the lead, trying to hold off the advances of Brooks in his traditional Pro 2. Brooks came into turn 2 behind Winner and gave him a shot in the rear bumper. Winner beat him out of the corner and dragged raced to turn 3. Not knowing where he was behind him, Cory took the protective line entering the turn but entered with too much speed. Cory was hard on the brakes and unfortunately had the motor shut off on him. He was unable to get it re-fired which then let the rest of the field drive by him. Cory ended up finishing in 8th place after leading the entire race with only 2 corners left. It was an amazing debut for him and the whole WMG team, as Cory was only .9 of a second off the rest of the Pro 2 trucks! They will now look to get ready for the upcoming Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League season in both the Prolite and Pro 2 classes!
Winner Motorsports Group would like to thank our sponsors for their support: