Lucas Oil Off Road Racing at Lake Elsinore

The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series has seen tremendous growth over the past few seasons, thanks in part to the talented roster of competitors across all divisions and the support of numerous sponsors. The excitement of the LOORS series is a breath of fresh air when compared to other racing and is the driving force as to why it has prospered in a time where many disciplines are seeing a decline in spectator turnout. We headed to Lake Elsinore’s new short course facility to check out the action..

Jeremy Stenberg is the most recent motocross addition to the LOORS racing series. Twitch began driving last season, but his X Games injuries set back his progress in the truck.

Carey Hart competes in the Pro 4 Unlimited division in a four wheel drive, 800 horsepower truck. With this being his final year as a professional freestyle rider, Hart's truck racing will increase in the next few seasons.

There are an array of sponsors that dip into both motocross and off-road racing, as Jeremy McGrath's truck shows.

The dash of a racing truck is much more complex than simple motocross handlebars.

To help cope with the changing track conditions, teams spend hours cutting extra grooves into the rubber. When the track is dry, tires with more cuts will be mounted onto the truck.

While some LOORS teams focus on just one or two drivers, there are massive efforts like Stronghold Motorsports. It is a constant buzz of activity underneath the team's Monster awning.

McGrath and Stenberg's involvement in short course racing has been a driving force behind the sport's growing popularity.

Due to a soft rubber compound and power of the trucks, a set of tires last for only one main event.

The massive rear ends of the trucks are built to transfer the power to the ground and absorb landings without failure.

Alex of AP Designs paints a number of helmets in the series, including Rodrigo Ampudia's Papas & Beer Mexican themed lid.

A second look at Ampudia's AP Designs helmet.

Racing action begins with a rolling start, much like NASCAR, and the trucks launch off the first jump in a tight pack.

Kyle Leduc handled the Pro 4 class with ease and won both main events of the weekend.

The track was tamed between Friday's practice and the weekend's racing, as the jumps and obstacles were determined to be too much for consistent racing.

Leduc's personality and dominance has made him favorite with fans of the series. Leduc is witty and excited on the microphone, which will help draw more interest to the sport.

Thanks to interactions with spectators from vendors and series officials, LOORS has experienced a surge in popularity. Short track racing of all disciplines have suffered in recent years due to an inability to draw a younger audience, but LOORS is working to bypass the same fate.

Much like motocross, series sponsor Rockstar deploys a crew of promo girls to every round.

Brian Deegan is the defending champion in the Pro Lites class, and charged from behind to take the win after a thrilling battle on Saturday.

Lake Elsinore was considered Deegan's home track, has he lives just down I-15 in Temecula. His fan base has followed the Mulisha leader to short course racing and the brand is a sponsor to many teams and drivers.

RJ Anderson is the young hotshoe in the popular Pro Lite division. Anderson powered around Deegan early in Sunday's 17 lap feature and went on to win the stacked class.

Deegan brings his trademark intensity and desire to the sport, and trains the same way many professional motocross racers do to cope with the heat. The Elsinore event's temperatures were in the mid 80's all weekend, which along with the wind, dried the track quickly.

Rodrigo Ampudia

McGrath currently competes in the Pro 2 class, but experienced a rough weekend at the Southern California Shoot-Out. MC stated that he was "too nice" during Saturday's race to make the necessary passes, and then was collected in numerous incidents on Sunday. MC charged back to the front and finished 6th in Sunday's race.

Close racing, like this battle between Carl Renezeder and Brian Deegan, takes place throughout the race. There were no blowouts or run away wins at Elsinore.

Deegan's speed in the rhythm section was the key to his Saturday Pro 2 win. He was one of the few racers to triple in the middle of the rollers, and put an impressive slide job on Marty Hart in the final moments of the race to take to the win.

As a personal sponsor to Deegan, DVS Shoes created this mudflaps for both of his trucks.

A number of brands, including clothing store Tilly's, lined vendor's row.

Skullcandy is another supporter of the series and wheeled this trick display to the event. The amount of industry support that LOORS has received in such a short time is an indication of the potential the series possess.

Stenberg front end is stamped with his "JS" logo.

Stenberg is already a fan favorite and had one of the longest autograph lines of the weekend. A number of fans picked up his team shirts, which are complete with the Famous Stars and Straps "F."

The Metal Mulisha has branched into various markets over in recent years, including their latest endeavor with truck exhaust systems.

Larry Linkogle is another rider that has begun racing trucks. Link competes alongside Ryan Hagy in the Super Lites class, the feeder series to the larger, more competitive trucks.

Linkogle's Super Lite truck.

Unlike motocross, where neck protection is up to rider preference, all racers must run a protection system.

Another similarity to traditional racing is that a number of racers, including the Stronghold team and Deegan, sell shirts adorned with the racer's name and sponsors.

Lucas Oil and Deegan have hired open wheeled racing legend Kory Kruseman to coach the still learning racer. Kruseman stated that Deegan is a natural when it comes to short course racing, as it allows him to be aggressive and intense.

The stands at Lake Elsinore were packed for the duration of the weekend.

Drivers are able to watch the track develop by watching the previous races, but unlike moto, talk with one another before the racing begins.

As defending champion in two classes and favorite to repeat, Deegan is one of the most popular drivers with the media. He was interviewed repeatedly over the two days by the TV crew and other outlets.

Racers blasted through this rhythm section, which is were a number of passes were made. The whoops were tamed after Friday when a few drivers wadded their trucks after mistiming the section.

Though he is involved in many business ventures, McGrath is focused on becoming a better racer. His ability to maneuver in traffic is one of the many skills that have carried over from moto.