TEAM RENEZEDER - LUCAS OIL OFF ROAD RACING SERIES - FIREBIRD RACE RESULTS
Without question, the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup race is billed as the most dramatic race of the season, and this year was no exception. The trick for winning the event is to make bold moves while avoiding all the drama – no small task, but it was exactly what Carl Renezeder did to get his name carved on the trophy for the second time in just four tries. He was at his best, replicating the driving style that has made him a legend of this sport during his 14-year tenure in his Lucas Oil short-course trucks.
“I’m pretty sure we could have had problems on all four corners of my truck during that race and I would have driven it the same way – I was in the zone,” explained Renezeder after passing 21 trucks on his way to his 104th career win and the $30,000 prize. “The truck was flawless in the opening laps. I could put it anywhere, and it worked. We did have a broken sway bar arm before halfway, but it didn’t ruin our day. I had so much fun driving today!”
Renezeder finished out the points season the day before with a convincing win in Pro-4 and a disappointing eighth-place finished in Pro-2, landing him third and fourth in the points championships, respectively. His win in Pro-4 was an excellent foreshadow for the race to come on Sunday, and he had confidence going into the infamous event.
The carnage in the Cup race is notorious, and this year didn’t disappoint – only 12 of the 24 starters finished on the lead lap of the 20-lap event. Fourteen Pro-2s led the field, and Renezeder was the eighth Pro-4 starter, with only two trucks behind him at the drop of the green flag. The Pro-2s were given a half-lap handicap start, and the first start had to be thrown out when two trucks got together in turn three on the first full lap. Renezeder was disappointed in having to do a full restart after a fantastic start in his truck, but he was able to restart well. In just three laps he was past all of the Pro-4s in the field. There was a full course yellow on lap four, and he was set to restart behind ten Pro-2s on lap six. Fans were awarded with witnessing classic Renezeder driving for the next three laps – the most spectacular pass was the leap up the step-up into turn four where he got around four trucks in a bold, calculated move. By lap ten he was in the lead with Pro-4 champion, Kyle LeDuc, close behind. Renezeder caught a lip on a jump out of turn one that just about ended his day and LeDuc as able to make a move around him for the lead. Unfortunately, on the very next lap LeDuc wasn’t as lucky on the same jump, going for a hard end-over-end ride that ended his day. Fortunately, he walked away from the wreck. Renezeder led the rest of the race, closing out the 2012 season with the big win.
“I’m so proud of our team,” concluded Renezeder. “My team, my family, my sponsors and all of the fans – they’ve been here every step of the way and this win is for them.”
The 2012 season didn’t start well for Renezeder, and by mid-season it didn’t show much hope for great improvement. But he’s an eight-time champion for a reason, and the final two events of the year showcased that. The team wrapped up the year with five wins in eight races, including the biggest race of the year, no doubt making the off-season much more bearable. They’ll look to pick up the 2013 season right where this one left off, with confidence and the ability to win.