Baja shows to be brutal for PATRICK CLARK RACING.
For the second year now the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series has taken Short Course racing south of the boarder. It was so well received the inaugural year that there was no question that they would be returning back again for 2016 and ready to give the die hard fans some action worth talking about.
This past weekend teams made their way across the Mexican boarder and set up their pits just an hour away at Estero Beach, just outside of Ensenada. The course lays just right on the edge of the ocean where the breeze, views and racing make for standing room only conditions.
The fans of Baja love their off-road racing and now they can get closer than ever to the drivers and their teams. They flooded the pits in anticipation to get selfies and autographs of their favorite racer then made their way to the stands to catch the start of the weekends races.
The Pro2 race is always held last for each round since it provides some of the best door-to-door all out racing. Round 7 would present itself with the opportunity for Clark to start on the pole after a 6 truck inversion. This would give Clark the prime chance to run a clean and fast race in his #25 Budweiser/BFGoodrich Pro2. He would have this seasons top points fighters right on his rear bumper.
At the drop of the green flag, Clark laid down the hammer and immediately started to pull away from the rest of the field. The next truck back would be Mittag who for the time would hold off the roaring trucks from catching Clark, until he would lose a while in the whoop section the entire field would now be back in the hunt for Clark. McGrath and MacCachren made up time quickly and on lap 3 a parts failure would plague Clarks truck and he would pull of course and not be able to complete round 7.
Working hard, the team didn’t hesitate with getting Clark back out for Round 8 on Sunday. They triple checked the previously failed part and sent Clark out for the 12 lap all out final battle of the weekend. Clark would be holding up the back of the class and his tactic would be to let the middle half make mistakes and advance.
It seemed like a stretch but immediately the trucks pilled up in turn one and Clark made his way around unscathed and now chasing the front of the pack. Running in 6th place there was still an opportunity to gain on 5th until a full course caution took over. On the restart he was catching some heavy roost off of the rear tires of MacCachren who pulled away and Clark was left trying to hold his position against Anderson.
Clark stayed in 7th place for a majority of the race but as the laps wound down he gained another position as Renezeder pulled off course moving Clark into 6th. His plan was working as trucks were not able to last and mistakes were made. Another position was in Clarks sight as McGrath goes looses slight control and goes off course and Clark passed him, now in 5th. Right ahead was Anderson and MacCachren pushing the limits fighting for 3rd. Clark would try to pounce on the action but quickly realized it wouldn’t be beneficial.
On the last lap Clark tried to hold his ground but in the chaos of everyone just trying to make it to the checkered flag, Clark was caught in the mess of it and lost his gained positions, finishing out round 8 in 7th place.
Clark and team will go back to the shop and reprep the #25 Budweiser/BFGoodrich Pro2 as they head into the last half of the season. Round 9&10 will go down at the one and only Glen Helen Raceway.