April 21st 2012 – Lake Elsinore, CA
Known as a hot bed for action packed motorsports, Lake Elsinore delivered lots of high octane exploits with a Friday qualifying session for Round 3 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. The heat was turned up as temperatures soared to triple digits and the off road teams launched big air on the new high flying short course track at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park.
Hart and Huntington Off Road is running hot with confidence steaming out of the Premiere Motorsports Group mega pit compound. Competing in four pro divisions with two PRO-4s, one PRO-2, and one ProLite means that there is a lot happening at all times throughout the days schedule. Luckily the energy is up for this hometown event, and the Hart and Huntingtondrivers are showing a lot of promise right off the start.
Carey Hart has acknowledged the learning curve transitioning from racing 2WD to 4WD trucks is no easy task. Seat time for any driver is crucial for adapting a successful race program. For Hart, it’s at an even higher premium and due to a charging system gremlin on the #46 eBay MotorsTruck, Carey was only to make a few laps during practice. Not all was lost as the FMX super star was able to communicate feedback and the team worked to make adjustments converting the setup to the drivers liking.
Hart went onto earn a qualifying lap time inside the top 10 and is quickly stepping back into the role as an off road short course racer. “I am excited to be back out here. I feel like I will be acclimated in no time. Premiere Motorsports Group is doing an awesome job prepping this eBay Motors Truck and I know we are headed in the right direction. It should be a great weekend.”
PRO-4 team mate, Josh Merrell and driver of the #22 MAVTV/Hart and Huntington Truck has proven himself as a top contender in short course off road racing’s fastest division. For Round 3 qualifying, Merrell pushed hard and earned a top five with the best lap clocked at 49.792 and less than a 1/8th of a second off the pole sitter, Carl Renezeder. “We have been working hard to get consistent,” stated Josh. “We are here to race. We are here to win. I am going to keep pushing till I put this truck in the winners circle.”
Perhaps one of the biggest stories in all of off road is the addition of Robert Naughton to the Hart and Huntington roster. This weekend marks Naughton’s first time behind the wheel of the #54Lunarpages.com Truck. “Premiere Motorsports Group and Lunarpages have made me feel like I am part of the family. I am super excited for this opportunity to run the rest of the season,” Shared Robert. “We got to do a shakedown on Thursday and ran all the laps today (Friday). We are loosening up this truck and stiffening the shocks. I have implemented a tire groove that I think will work real good and we are just going to continue dialing in this machine till we are the fastest truck out there. You thought it was hot today, just wait till I blaze around the track during Round 1.”
Hart and Huntington Off Road’s young horse, Ryan Beat just might be one of the hardest working guys in the pits. Unfortunately that might have been his un doing and his qualifying performance may have suffered. To much work and not enough rest seems like it goes hand in hand with off road racing, but sooner or later the mentality catches up. Regardless, Ryan has persevered and made it to the race weekend with a race ready machine. Using a 130% of his focus Beat qualified 10th out of 24 Trucks and within a truck length of the fastest qualifier.
The Trucks have all been stripped down, and reassembled. The plan from here is come out rejuvenated. The other drivers better do the same because Hart and Huntington Off Road is turning up the heat for Round 1.
Tune into Hart and Huntington Off Road YouTube page for regular updates throughout the weekend and you can also follow the live timing and scoring on www.LucasOilOffRoad.com.