Team ReadyLIFT Racing's Marty Hart Leads The Most Laps and Doubles Up on Podium Appearances at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park
04.24.12 After serving up an epic lesson in racing domination at the opening rounds of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing action at Firebird Raceway only three weeks ago, Team ReadyLIFT Racing's Marty and Kyle Hart rolled into the brand new Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park looking to keep the throttle of success pinned wide open. The Lucas Oil crew worked hard over the winter months to build what could be one of the fastest and most exciting tracks of the series. The 1.1 mile dirt course is high speed, high jumping and requires large amounts of talent to navigate it without going home on a wrecker or a bruised ego. With the broken sway bar replaced, the one which kept Hart from winning round 2 in Firebird, and no test time to evaluate how the new rear bar would affect the handling performance of the truck, Hart set out to spend the first practice sessions just getting a feel for the truck's attitude. It quickly became apparent this track didn't like the Firebird set up. Hart is one of the most seasoned and experienced off road racers in the series. His ability to diagnosis what his truck needs to go forward instead of backwards in competition is what sets him apart. After qualifying sixth on Friday for Saturday's round 3 race, Hart still wasn't happy with the truck. The truck crew consisting of Brad Vitter, Curtis Finn and Loren Duncan made the changes Marty wanted and with the luck of the inversion draw being a six, Hart found himself on the pole for the race.
Marty Hart leading Round 4 at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park
The changes worked and when the green flag waved on a sweltering hot Saturday afternoon Hart and his ReadyLIFT Off Road Suspension / Maxxis Tire / GearUp2Go.com Pro 2 took the lead and checked out away from the rest of the field. It was clearly a repeat of both races in Firebird where Marty had the entire pack in his rearview mirror. After every caution, including the mandatory mid-race recess, Hart would regain his lead gap over rival drivers trying with earnest to catch up. As the laps wound down Hart had such a large lead that he decided to lay up a bit and not beat up his truck. That decision to be conservative was enough for Brian Deegan to close the gap. Having lead from the start of the race, Hart looked to be unbeatable. On the second to last corner of the last lap a desperate Deegan threw up a hail mary move and it stuck. His bold move allowed Deegan to pull ahead of Hart in the rhythm section and take the checkered flag. Not satisfied with 2nd place, Hart acknowledged that he simply had too much of a lead and he inadvertently left the door open for Brian. Hart was quick to point out, "that will not happen again".
Marty Hart battling for the lead with Renezeder and Rob Mac.
When the dawn of Sunday's round 4 rose over Lake Elsinore Hart's crew was finishing up more changes to make the truck even better. Hart is a master at figuring out what his truck needs and where it wants to run the best. The test to see if the changes were in the right direction would be discovered in qualifying. The first of five laps of timing told Hart he made the right choices and he spent the rest of qualifying just finding the lines the set up liked. His fourth place qualifying position, the most coveted qualifying position to earn because of the inversion was perfectly scripted. The inversion drew a number four which once again put Hart and the ReadyLIFT Offroad Suspension / Maxxis Tire / GearUp2Go.com Ford Pro 2 dirt hot rod on the pole!
Cooler temperatures for Sunday afternoon's race held more moisture in the imported soil that makes up the race track surface. That translates into more traction - if your truck is set up for it! With all of the driver's now more familiar with the track lines and wanting to knock the series points leader off this throne, this race was destined to be a great one.
Team ReadyLIFT Off Road Suspension Marty Hart led the most laps of the weekend.
When the green flag dropped, Hart battled door-to-door with Ampudia, Rob Mac and Renezeder for several laps. The racing action was fierce as all of the top four drivers wanted that lead. After two laps it was Hart that pulled his ReadyLIFT/Maxxis/GearUp2Go.com Pro2 out front. The race was pretty much a repeat of the day before but with a few different challengers. Rob Mac and Renezeder replaced Deegan who was chomping on Hart's back bumper only the day before. The pair battled themselves as well as tried mightily to try and get Hart to make a mistake. Mistakes is not something Hart makes often. Championship drivers make very few. Hart made none.
With the laps winding down something a driver doesn't want to happen - happened. The hot rod motor that had kept his truck in the lead for all four races of the season so far started to go soft which translated into an increased push exiting the corners. Smelling blood on the water, the veteran Rob MacCachern put on a charge. For two laps Hart and Rob Mac battled door-to-door, swapping the lead several times on each lap. In the same corner that Deegan took the lead from Hart just the day before, Rob Mac took it away from Hart on the final lap. The souring motor in Hart's truck just couldn't retake the lead and once again Hart settles for a heart breaking second place finish.
A pair of 2nd place finishes and leading the most laps gives Hart a substantial lead in the championship points standings.
While Marty and the team didn't taste the sweet success of victory, two very important elements were established. The championship points leader increased his lead with the pair of 2nd place finishes which is very important when you are looking to be the guy with the big check and the shiny trophy at the end of the year. And equally as important is that after being the truck which has led 90 percent of all of the Pro2 race laps this year, it is clear that Marty Hart and his Team ReadyLIFT Off Road Suspension / Maxxis Tire / GearUp2Go.com is the team to beat this year!
Kyle Hart was a dominant force all weekend in his Modified Kart.
Not to be undone by his father, young Modified Kart driver Kyle Hart proved he too has a hot foot. In Saturday's race Kyle started his ReadyLIFT Off Road Suspension / Duncan Racing / Maxxis Tire Kart in the fourth position and soon found himself battling for the lead, something that seems to becoming a trend in the Hart camp. Unfortunately misplaced bumper timing by a fellow competitor sent Kyle into a violent roll. With a wounded kart all the young Hart could do was finish the race and regroup.
On Sunday's race the same race god's that have smiled on his father tossed a grin Kyle's way. A strong qualifying effort and inversion draw put the young Hart on the front row. Looking for vindication, Kyle battled with Myles Cheek and Bradley Morris for the lead position. Lines changed and positioned swapped throughout the race. In the end it was Morris who snuck by Hart for the win and you guessed it, a second place finish for Kyle. In a way it makes for a great story. Three second place finishes for the Hart camp for the weekend. I would say that is pretty impressive!
The next Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series rounds will be at Speedworld Off Road Park in Surprise, Arizona on May 20-21. Be sure and stop by the Hart pits to get an autographed hero card and pictures with Marty and Kyle. All of the Lucas races will be broadcast on SPEED Channel, NBC Sports Network, CBS Sports and MavTV. For more information about the 2012 LOORRS season check out www.lucasoiloffroad.com
For more information about the new ReadyLIFT Off Road Suspension product line please visit ReadyLIFT Off Road Suspension