Team Renezeder Claims Bittersweet Victories After Challenging Weekend At LOORRS
Claiming three wins at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS) in rounds 5 and 6, Team Renezeder came into the seventh and eighth rounds of the series with confidence. However, the team was on track for a true test of character and professionalism, as their weekend of racing would become a 48-hour thrash to the finish line. Even with a baffling amount of disappointments, Team Renezeder not only completed the race but also maintained their first-place overall standing in both the Unlimited-2 and Unlimited-4 divisions.
In the Unlimited-4 class, the first eliminations race began well as Carl moved up in the ranks. Photo by Jeff Nemecek.
Driver Carl Renezeder managed to qualify both race trucks on the pole amongst a competitive lineup. Photo by Jeff Nemecek.
The weekend of short-course racing took place at the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Complex in Lake Elsinore, California on July 25th and 26th. As the initial qualifying races concluded in the Unlimited-2 and Unlimited-4 classes, things looked very positive for the team. Driver Carl Renezeder managed to qualify both race trucks on the pole amongst a competitive lineup.
In the Unlimited-4 class, the first eliminations race began well as Carl moved up in the ranks. During the first lap, there was an extremely hard impact between Carl and fellow racer Kent Brascho. Although there is a fair amount of contact during these races, something didn't seem quite right. Carl kept climbing through the competition until he reached the second place position in the race. It was then that the team realized how catastrophic the accident with Brascho really was.
As Carl fought to hold his second place position, the truck finally gave in with major tubing breaking loose from the center of the truck. The damage deepened as several oil lines and the oil filter were ripped from the chassis. Without oil circulating, the engine died and the entire drivetrain was crippled. The decision to repair the truck at the team's nearby raceshop was quickly given priority. However the crew had to remain at the track until Carl completed the Unlimited-2 race.
As Carl switched gears, he jumped into the Unlimited-2 truck and the race was on. It seemed that Team Renezeder's luck had turned around as Carl pulled away from the pack with a 10-car lead! As fate would have it, the huge lead promptly vanished on the last lap when the right rear tire shredded to pieces. Carl was driving aggressively and the tire couldn't hold up to the extreme pressure. With Todd LeDuc gaining on the injured truck, Carl skirmished for the lead until the final turn where Todd pulled away and took the win. It was a close race, but in the end Carl would take the second-place position on the podium.
As the LOORRS Round 7 came to an end, the team devised a plan of attack to repair the Unlimited-4 truck and restore the Unlimited-2 truck back to race-ready condition for the following day of competition. Half of the crew hauled the Unlimited-4 truck to the raceshop located in Lake Forest, California while the other half remained at the racetrack with the Unlimited-2 vehicle. The following day, the team had prepped the U2 truck and installed a fresh AEM DRYFLOW air filter. By 8am, all crewmembers converged at the raceshop to ensure the U4 truck was race ready. At 5pm, the team pulled into the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Complex just in time for a two-lap shakedown with only two hours before the start of the race.
A few laps into the eighth round of Unlimited-4 and Carl pulled ahead of the pack. It seemed that all of the team's efforts were going to pay off, however the excitement was short lived as the radiator cap blew off. As the Crew Chief, Mike Seat, attempted to communicate to Carl through the radio, it was apparent that Carl's radio wasn't working. It wasn't until the mandatory yellow flag that Mike was able to replace the radiator cap but it was too late and the truck DNF'd (Did Not Finish).
The Unlimited-4 DNF took a toll on the spirits of the already exhausted team. With one more race to go, the crew gathered themselves and made sure the U2 truck was staged for racing. In the Unlimited-2 race, the problems surfaced early on as the rear brakes gave out along with other underlying issues that ate away at the truck. The trained racer didn't forfeit however and did what he could with no braking power. Carl amazingly locked in the second-place win, but seized the engine as the checkered flag was waved.
After the race, Carl concluded "It's weekends like this that make us appreciate the good ones". Even though the team was put through the ringer during the weekend, it really validates the merits of the team and demonstrates what true championship teams are made of.
Amidst the hardships, Team Renezeder managed to maintain their reign over the championship point's standings. The two 2nd place finishes in Unlimited-2 moved Carl from 5th in points to 1st with a four point lead over Jeff Ward. In the Unlimited-4 division, Carl's 24-point lead was narrowed to only four points, however he still holds the first-place standing in points. Hopefully Team Renezeder's luck turns around in time for the next LOORRS race on October 17th and 18th at the Speedworld Off-Road Park in Surprise, Arizona.