Speedworld Off Road Park in Surprise, Arizona is a notoriously rugged track; particularly the stutter bumps in the infield that result in only one tire on the ground at any given time. While that made for exciting short course racing in Rounds 3 and 4 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) last weekend, when you are feeding 900 horsepower to all four Toyo Open Country M/T tires, like Team LeDuc’s three Pro4 Unlimited trucks, something has to give. “Every time we break something we learn from that,” explained the always humble Curt LeDuc. “We would just rather do our learning in practice that when we are racing.”
The weekend was off to an ominous start when the engine failed in Kyle LeDuc’s No. 99 Pro-Lite truck in qualifying on Friday. The ROCKSTAR Energy / Makita Tools team worked all night to get the truck running for Saturday’s race, where Kyle had quickly moved his way up to fifth in the 16 truck pack, only to have a broken throttle cable end his day. Fortunately throttle cables are easier to replace than engines, but more mechanical gremlins surfaced during Sunday’s race when a bolt came loose in the shifter. Kyle was frustrated that he was unable to finish the race, despite qualifying second for Round 4 and demonstrating that he is just as fast as anyone in the talent-rich Pro Lite class.
In Saturday’s Round 4 Pro4 Unlimited race, Curt LeDuc and his son Todd started in the middle of the 15 truck field in their Truxxx Lift and Level and ROCKSTAR Energy / Makita Tools Fords, with Kyle starting further back at 11th. The race ended early for Curt, whose engine let go, ensuring another long night fueled by ROCKSTAR Energy Drink and filled with the sounds of Makita Tools buzzing in the pit. Todd LeDuc was running strong in the No. 4 Ford, but an errant rock found its way into the fan during the second half of the race, putting it through the radiator. Knowing that the team already had one engine to change, Todd kept an eye on the temperature gauge. As it started to climb into the red, he shut the truck down to save the engine rather than risking further damage.
Meanwhile, Kyle patiently ran in the middle of the pack, working his way forward whenever the opportunity presented itself, but not overdriving his No. 99 ROCKSTAR Energy / Makita Tools F-150. “Finally everything was starting to click,” Kyle revealed after the race. “I had a great battle with Rick Huseman and could taste the win, but I had to drive smart and not throw away a podium finish.” When the checkers came out, Kyle had not only finished less than one second behind Huseman, he also set the fast lap for the race.
After working all night on Saturday to put a new engine into Curt’s Truxxx Lift and Level Ford, oil from a loose line caused a fire in his truck early in Round 4 of racing on Sunday. Fortunately Curt was unhurt, but he was clearly frustrated by the weekend’s results. Kyle started on the first row for Sunday’s race and pulled out to a huge lead early on, appearing as though he would run away with an easy victory.
Unfortunately a rear axle shaft had different ideas, and broke during the second half of the race. This required Kyle to limp around the track, his only solace being that he was not along. Only three Pro4 Unlimited trucks were running in what was certainly the most carnage ever witnessed in a LOORRS race!
Fellow racer Travis Coyne was generous enough to loan Todd LeDuc a radiator for Sunday’s racing, allowing Todd to qualify sixth. Todd quickly moved his way up to third place in the No. 4 ROCKSTAR Energy / Makita Tools Ford, but when the red flag came out as a result of his father’s engine fire Todd made contact with a hard braking Adrian Cenni, damaging Todd’s front suspension. Todd tried to nurse the truck around the track, but eventually a rod end let go and ended his weekend. “Our family pushes ourselves really hard to win,” Todd confessed. “But right now my goal at Glen Helen is to finish both races and earn some series points.”
The next round of LOORRS racing will take place at Glen Helen Raceway on May 21stand 22nd. Team LeDuc considers Glen Helen to be their home track due to its proximity to their Cherry Valley headquarters, and they have traditionally done very well at the facility. Last season Kyle had an overall victory and a second place finish at Glen Helen, and Curt set the fast lap during the same weekend. Over the next month, the LeDucs will be upgrading and preparing their Truxxx and ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Makita Tools Fords in order to keep up with their considerable driving talents and ensure the results that they demand of themselves. While the LeDuc family prepares their trucks, you can follow them and all of the LOORRS racing action on CBS, the Speed Channel , Versus, and MavTV.
ROCKSTAR Energy Drink / Makita Tools Team LeDuc Racing is Sponsored by:
ROCKSTAR Energy Drink • Makita Tools • Toyo Tires • Truxxx Lift and Level
KC HiLites • KMC Wheels • King Shocks • Circle K • Dart Machinery
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