Cheek and Leighton Win Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Season Opener
Chandler, AZ (4/15/2018) –Myles Cheek in his Walker Evans Racing / Polaris RZR XP1000 and Trevor Leighton in his KRYPTEK / Walker Evans Racing Polaris RZR XP Turbo, won the opening UTV rounds of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. Cheek won the Production UTV race, while Leighton finished first in the new Turbo Production UTV class.
The race became the season opener when the original round one at Glen Helen Raceway in Devore, CA was postponed due to rain to make the fall round at Glen Helen a doubleheader on September 21-22.
The Wild Horse Pass track is one of the shorter tracks on the circuit, and also includes a unique mixture of high- and low-speed sections, as well as one of the series’ best opportunities for passing in turn one.
In the Production UTV race, Cheek took the lead with a hard inside move into turn one on the second lap and dominated from there. Paul O’Brien finished second in a Yamaha, scoring his second of two podiums at the race, ahead of defending champion Brock Heger, who was also in a Yamaha.
“The past few times we came to this track I got second, so it feels good to finally get a win,” said Cheek. “We were second in qualifying and the invert was zero. I followed Josh for the first lap, he made a mistake in turn one, I went inside and took the lead from there.”
O’Brien started on the third row in his Weller Racing Yamaha and showed great patience during the race. He took second early in the race and followed Cheek to the finish. “There were a lot of chances out there to pass, so I stayed cautious and just worked my way to the front,” said O’Brien. “You have to be smart out there or you can get into trouble really quickly.”
After trouble in qualifying, Heger knew he had a lot of work in front of him. After starting 10th, Heger moved his way through the field, taking third from Mickey Thomas at the end of the hard charge and nearly took second on the final lap.
“We had a lot of work to do, but we had a fast car so I put my head down and charged,” said Heger. “It feels good to get a podium right out of the gate. We’re off to a good start and we just have to fine tune it a little bit. I’m pumped on the whole race. We’re coming. It’s going to be a good year.”
In Turbo Production UTV, Leighton started third. He dived into turn one hard and passed O’Brien for second, and then took the lead from Ronnie Anderson to score his first Lucas Oil victory. Anderson finished second in a Polaris, ahead of the O’Brien’s Can-Am Maverick X3 Turbo. After taking the lead, Leighton explained that he was in uncharted territory.
“I got on the radio with my dad for him to help me because I had never been up front before,” said Leighton. “This is my second year racing UTVs and this was my fourth race ever. I’m really excited to be running this new RZR. The track is unbelievable.”
Anderson’s car popped out of gear early in the race moving him back to sixth. He turned up the wick and made up five positions to finish second to his teammate.
“I’m stoked for Trevor Leighton,” said Anderson. “He’s brand new to the dirt stuff and I’m glad to be helping him out. Polaris RZRs just dominated. I came from the back to the front and Trevor held it down all race long. This sets the tone for the whole season.”
O’Brien started sixth and moved his way all the way to second before Anderson nosed him out of position to take the spot. O’Brien is running a Can-Am in Turbo in a unique arrangement with his Weller Racing team, since Yamaha doesn’t currently produce a production turbocharged YXZ.
“The track was super slick and everyone was running hard,” said O’Brien. “Ronnie poked his nose in there pretty hard into turn one. That’s racing. I know that’s coming next time and I’ll do the same.”
The Lucas Oil will be back in action as the series heads to the Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada, Mexico. That race is scheduled for May 19-20.
We want to extend a huge thank you to Walker Evans Racing for supporting our 2018 coverage from the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series!