If racing were an exact science you can bet by now someone would have formulated a fizzy concoction for guaranteed victories. But that's precisely what makes racing so hugely compelling- fate is incorrigible, and completely out of our control. Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield.
Renezeder sits very near the top of the winningest off-road racers of all time with 96 career short course wins.
There is however one aspect of racing that has indeed been deciphered and controlled to a very certain degree - consistency - and an extremely short list of racers have steadiness down to a science any better than Carl Renezeder.
Although AEM sponsored Team Renezeder's weekend of racing at Miller Motorsport Park wasn't perfect, they still took home some new hardware and the points lead in both the Pro-2 and Pro-4 divisions of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS). Round eight on Sunday afternoon kicked off the start of the second half of the 15-race schedule, and for the team, that marked the proverbial line in the dirt to a fresh start on the season.
"We've basically held our ground up to this point in the season," explained Renezeder, "We've been working really hard on our homework, and it's great to see it pay off. We had some great moments in Utah, but we still have plenty of room to improve on these trucks."
The great moments included his 96th career win on Sunday afternoon, and a second-place finish on Saturday in his Lucas Oil/General Tire Pro-4, as well as moving from second to first in the points. Renezeder currently leads the Pro-4 division by 18 points and has finished on the podium in all but one race thus far, when he finished fourth.
In the Pro-2 division, Renezeder was able to salvage a fourth-place finish in Saturday's contest after losing his rear brakes early in the race. Sunday however, was a huge disappointment, as Renezeder's truck was hit by another competitor while he was airborne, which sent him into the track barrier, breaking several parts on the front left corner of the truck. The damage forced him to retire from the race and resulted in an eleventh-place finish. It was also a huge hit in the points, narrowing his lead to only three.
You mention that heading for your home track (Glen Helen) won't change your game plan- what is your game plan?
"We've made a ton of changes to these trucks since the last race of 2010, and we're continuing to fine tune all the new combinations. I wish I could give you some specifics, but the nature of this business requires us to keep much of the technical info to ourselves. However, we're learning more and more, and that it's always one change that makes a difference. It's about making the combination of our entire program work together - finding the sweet spot. The tracks are all so different these days from soil to technical aspects, to length, so we find that the perfect set-up on each truck is different for each facility. Our game plan at Glen Helen is to roll the trucks out of the haulers as close to perfect as we can (that's going to take a lot of homework over the next few weeks), then use practice and qualifying to find that sweet spot. It's game on after that!"
After 12 years of professional racing are there things that come easier for you now, or some that have become tougher, when it comes to leading and winning championships?
"All I know is that if it were easy, we probably would do it. I guess in some respects I've learned how to handle the mental part of this game a lot better as the years go by, but nothing about short course is easy, and nothing about competing at the top of our game has gotten easier over the years. The tougher it gets, the more we love it."
What do you feel will be your biggest challenge going into Glen Helen?
"The biggest challenge going into Glen Helen will be staying out of trouble. If we can avoid all the wrecks, then we have a chance to win every time. As we enter the second half of the season, we have to be careful of the guys that will try to make up four races worth of points in one corner. Let's hope we have the same success we did in May!"
Is there additional pressure on you with this being your home track?
"There are definitely more commitments related to racing at our home track, but no additional pressure. Whether we're six or 6,000 miles from home, once the engines fire and the belts are tight, we're ready to race and we're focused on winning."
"Our uncompromising dedication to this sport is directly related to the uncompromising dedication of our fans and our sponsors - the folks at Lucas Oil, General Tire, AEM, Team Associated, KMC, King Shocks- all of them have high expectations for us each time we hit the dirt. We're focused on never letting them down."
Team Renezeder is already back to work looking to make their trucks even faster and more reliable for their return to Glen Helen the weekend of August 5-7. "Hot August nights, indeed," adds Renezeder. "Stay tuned!"
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