"It's all about the battle." That's seven-time national short-course champion Carl Renezeder's mantra. Battling the searing heat of Surprise, Arizona at Speedworld Motorsports Complex, and on track scuffles that paled the triple-digit inferno by comparison, Renezeder managed to win in both Pro-4 and Pro-2, bringing his career short-course win total to 91. The two wins also announced that the bad-luck gremlin that had beleaguered his pit and truck most of the season had been vanquished.
With the checkered flag in hand once again, the AEM sponsored Renezeder thanked his team and sponsors for helping him win.
Notching two more wins at Arizona's Speedworld Motorsports Complex, Renezeder now has 91 wins in the record books.
"There are two things that got me here today," remarked a relieved Renezeder from the top spot on the podium after the Pro-4 win on Saturday, "my team and my sponsors. I wouldn't be here without them."
After qualifying third in his Lucas Oil/General Tire Pro-4 truck, then starting outside second row because of the three-row invert, the AEM induction systems sponsored driver settled into his groove and showed patience, which allowed him to stay out of the tangle-up in turn four that resulted in a complete restart.
Renezeder's epic battle with points leader Rob MacCachren produced some of the best action the Pro-2 class has seen all season.
After the second drop of the green, Renezeder was able to get around third place Travis Coyne when he got sideways coming out of turn five, that's when great battles with first place Mike Johnson ensued. Renezeder made his pass on Johnson stick right before another mandatory yellow. The restart found his front left tire going flat, but, it hung on for the remainder of the race, as did Renezeder, to ink win number 90 in the books.
Less than an hour later, Renezeder climbed into his number 17 Pro-2 truck, poised and ready for more combat. Fresh off the Pro-4 win, confidence was high as he lined up on the inside of points leader Rob MacCachren on the third row.
Renezeder shot into fifth place by the end of lap one, and then worked his way to fourth before a full-course caution bunched up the field. The green flew again and Renezeder got around MacCachren in turn three to put himself in third for the mandatory caution.
The second half of the race delighted the fans with some of the best action the class has seen all season. Renezeder worked his way around second and third place, as did MacCachren, setting up a three-lap dogfight to the checkers. Renezeder held his ground and earned winner's circle rights one more time, relishing in all the things he loves about off-road racing and battles.
"That was fun. Great job guys," commented Renezeder on the radio just after the checkered flag flew.
"We actually like the weekends that have extreme weather - we seem to work really well in adverse conditions," understated Renezeder. "But, it was definitely hot, and it took some extra time to recover. It felt really good to have a positive weekend and get back on top of the podium. My battles with Rob MacCachren were a lot of fun and holding him off for that win on Saturday was definitely memorable."
With 91 wins now securely locked up, it's not unreasonable to wonder if Renezeder has taken a peak ahead to the century milestone?
"We don't take any win for granted because we never know if it will be our last. One hundred career wins would be an amazing achievement, but we'll keep focusing on one race at a time."
"I'm pretty sure we've been mathematically eliminated from both championships this year," added Renezeder. "It's unfortunate. We've earned a championship every year since 2005, but it looks like the streak will end with our double in 2009. We had a few bad races in both trucks this year, and with the way the points system is structured, it's really hard to make up any points just by doing well. You have to rely on others having a bad weekend to make up much ground. We're focused on finishing out the season strong in Vegas next weekend and then at Firebird in December."
Three more rounds of racing are left in the points chase, followed by the second annual Lucas Oil Challenge Cup on December 12th at the new Firebird Raceway venue in Chandler, Arizona, to close out the 2010 season.
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