"That was so much fun," smiled Carl Renezeder as he pulled his Lucas Oil Skyjacker Pro-4 into victory lane for the second time in as many races this past weekend at the CORR opener in Pomona, California. Great racing was on display all weekend, but the Pro-2 and Pro-4 races on Sunday had the crowd cheering on their feet, while Renezeder worked his way past some tough competition.
Saturday's events seemed to go by in a blur as the three Pro divisions practiced, qualified and raced within a five hour window. Renezeder grabbed the pole in the Pro-4 division and the outside front row slot in Pro-2. He admittedly missed a bit on the set up in his Lucas Oil Pro-2 for the race, but still managed a third place finish. In Pro-4, the truck was flawless. He led from flag to flag and looked comfortable the entire way. During the live television coverage on SPEED Channel, both Bill Weber and Ken Stout talked about how significant a win it was after an off-season full of several changes to Renezeder's program – a new engine program and the retirement of his 11-year-old Chevy (the winningest truck in CORR history) being the two most drastic changes.
"We always knew this truck would be competitive," explained Renezeder. "We're glad we had most of last season to work all the bugs out, and we're excited to have a Pro Power motor under the hood this year. With the addition of Skyjacker to our program, and the reliability of our BFGoodrich tires, my confidence in this Lucas Oil Pro-4 is at an all-time high." And that confidence shined through on Sunday.
Renezeder's qualifying efforts were respectable on day two with a fifth and third place start in Pro-2 and Pro-4, respectively. But, it was the racing that caught everyone's attention. At the drop of the green, Renezeder spent the few laps before the mandatory caution feeling out the changes they had made on the Pro-2. As he idled around before the restart he simply commented, "I think we've got something for these guys." The green flag few again and he went to work. He held off a hard-charging Jerry Welchel and then made fantastic passes on both Todd LeDuc and Ricky Johnson. Unfortunately, he ran out of laps to battle with race winner Rob MacCachren and had to settle for second.
"I'm thrilled with two podiums in the opening two rounds," commented Renezeder. "Obviously, we want to win them all, but we know we have a great baseline for the season. We should be in the hunt every time."
The Pro-4 race was another display of smart racing and a flawless truck. Great battles throughout the race were just a precursor to the final lap. Rick Huseman had a three second lead on Renezeder as the white flag flew and he heard his spotter say, "this is your last lap...go get him." Renezeder caught Huseman over the table top jump, made a great move in the big bowl turn, drove perfectly through the rhythm section and then made a fantastic pass in the final turn to take the win.
"That's why I love racing," commented Renezeder after the race was over. It seemed to be the sentiment among most racers that day that did battle without ruining equipment. Driving the trucks onto the trailer and adding four more trophies to the case is a great way to start a championship campaign. Renezeder's got his fingers crossed that the next 13 rounds of racing have similar results.