PATRICK CLARK gets comfortable on the podium and takes a bow for the fans all in one weekend of racing.
It has been a rough year for Patrick Clark to say the least. The season didn’t start out as most plan. But that is racing and you continue to show up to that start line and run your race hoping you can be faster than the guy next to you and make no mistakes. That’s exactly what Clark did this year and it has turned out in his benefit.
Coming off his high from getting on the podium two times in Crandon, Clark was bound and determined to keep the streak alive as he went into rounds 13 & 14 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. This time they would be racing under the lights of the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park. This course is mostly known for its massive jump called “The Matterhorn” where trucks launch over 100′ off the jump. Fans turn out in the masses and it is always entertaining for both fans and drivers.
Clark started out Round 13, Friday nights race with one goal, get back on that podium. The first few laps ticked down and he was still in the 6th place position that he started in. The competition was spread out and in order to make a pass something drastic would have to happen for everyone outside of the top 3.
The vehicles had just come off the front stretch to start lap 8 when Clark went out wide and ended up catching the outside wall and it sent his truck sideways and went end over end a few times. This was the last thing Clark had in mind and the last thing any driver or crew member wants to happen. The course went yellow as safety crews rushed to the severely damaged #25 Pro2. Safety helped Clark out of the truck and once he was on his two feet on solid ground, Clark turned to the fans and gave some very proud bows for the show he gave.
He was uninjured and knew that crashing is part of racing, and sometimes, what the fans want to see. Needless to say he delivered. The truck went back to the pit and the crew went right to work to be sure Clark could race round 14 Saturday night.
Saturday came quick and Clark was ready to go out and try again as most racers do. The crew had Friday late night and Saturday morning to work as a team to repair that truck and make sure it would run perfect. “We made it just in time to qualify” Stated Clark.
The first 3 races of the evening went as scheduled and the wrap up the weekend of racing would be the Pro2 race. Some drivers fighting for just a podium, so for a win and a few going for that championship. Everyone knew it was going to be a battle.
Clark started his #25 Budweiser/BFGoodrich Pro2 next to Eric Fitch and with 16 laps till that checkered he knew he didn’t want a repeat of Friday night. On the drop of the green flag, Clark was stuck in the middle of the competition with no clean way to pass. He was chasing down Carl Renezeder who was in the 5th position and he knew if he could stay with Renezeder, he would have a chance.
Clark and Renezeder would go door to door on lap 2 where Clark tried to make a run on Renezeder. Unable to complete the pass, Clark continued chasing Renezeder waiting for the perfect moment. Still sitting in 6th place, he knew the race would need to come to him. The top three were all battling and someone was going to make a mistake.
It happened just as Clark expected when Rob MacCachren tried to go on the inside of Deegan on the last turn of the course and ended up spinning himself out, but also took out others in the mistake. Clark moved up to 4th place and was getting closer and closer to that podium.
The “competition caution” came out, the racers all bunched back together and on the restart RJ Anderson lost his position falling back and Clark would now take over the 3rd place position. It was now time to protect that podium spot but also keep pushing forward to attempt to move up another position. This would be hard to do going after the veteran, Renezeder and the Deegan who had checked out on his lead.
Lap 12 came and went along with 14 and 15. The final lap was here and it was time to make something happen. That was everyone’s plan and you could see the top three pushing as fast as they could and again, something drastic would have to happen to create a change in the final podium positions. It was a clean last lap as Deegan took the win followed by Renezeder and Clark rounding out the podium with 3rd.
“This podium is for my crew guys” stated Clark as he was on the box. He knew it was a struggle and he wouldn’t be standing there if it wasn’t for those guys that made it happen by working endless hours.
Clark is continuing to show that he is one to watch and will go back to the shop in Las Vegas to prepare for the final round of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and also go out for the big bucks where he will race in the challenge cup October 23rd.