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LUCAS OIL OFF ROAD RACING SERIES
The Lucas Oil Off
Road Racing Series
delivers double-header, multi-class
action at each event.
from each event air
on CBS, CBS Sports
Network and MAVTV.
Better still, see it for
real. The 2017 series
runs until October.
This year, it’s visited
Utah, Nevada, and
as well as taking in
an exciting addition
to the schedule,
Lucas Oil Speedway
For dates, tickets
and TV info, go to
GO CHECK OUT
here’s no doubt that Jeremy McGrath
knows how to win races and win
championships. The holder of seven
Supercross two-wheeled titles, his career
in short course off-road trucks has also
been peppered with victories. Yet
championships in the Lucas Oil Off Road
Racing Series have eluded him. 2017
may be the year that changes, however
– and if not for him, then perhaps for his
young charge in Pro Lite, Brock Heger.
After eight rounds, McGrath was
leading the Pro 2 points with two wins.
Heger had won the first three rounds in
Pro Lite, but a bad race in Utah left him
trailing defending champ Jerett Brooks.
Still, after a year of struggles in their
first season of partnership, both drivers
appear on the verge of a breakthrough.
After Trophy Karts and spending a year
running Pro Lite with his family, Heger
(MAIN) Flying high! The 2017 Lucas Oil Off
Road Racing Series Pro Lite season has
been a breakout campaign for rising star
with his young teammate Heger.
keeps me going is I always want to be
ahead of Jeremy in wins, or qualifying,
or anything,” Heger says. “I’m always
trying to push the envelope between us.
That way it pushes me to do better. He
probably wants to do the same – have
more wins and beat me. I think that’s
what keeps me going strong.”
Adds McGrath: “It’s a fun little friendly
competition between us and the teams.
It keeps us all motivated. The guys want
to outqualify each other. But at the end
of the day, we’re a small team and we
want the best for each other, too.”
For the record, Heger’s win total after
eight rounds stood at six, because he also
had three wins in Production 1000 UTV
and headed the points in that category.
“It makes me proud every weekend
when he’s kicking butt,” McGrath says,
giving clear indication that, rivalry aside,
he enjoys seeing Heger do well. But
beyond the friendly competition and the
motivation it provides, the partnership
is paying other dividends as well.
“We get to share information,”
explains McGrath. “And believe it or not,
a lot of the setup information crosses
over between the two trucks. In driveline,
gearing, rear ends and converters, we’ve
made a huge stride forward.”
Some of that step forward is just the
experience, and the greater knowledge
that running more than one truck
affords. Some of it is staffing. The team
had originally planned to forego a crew
chief after the last one departed, but
then Tanner Stephens, formerly with
Brian Deegan’s team, became available.
Put those elements together and the
formula is paying dividends. The final
ingredient, McGrath says, is simplicity.
“Last year we were working really
hard, trying to figure out what we
actually liked. You know, it’s weird to say,
but after five years of owning my own
team, I’m still trying to figure out what I
like on the truck. Last year we were
working all year to get that and then we
sort of let it slip in the middle of the
season. Now, we feel like we’ve got them
where we like them, so to make things
easier we simplified it so we didn’t have
to think so much – just drive,” he says.
“One thing that motivates me is that
I always want to be ahead of Jeremy
in wins, or qualifying, or anything”
joined McGrath’s JM2 team for 2016. He
came close to victory several times last
season, but could never quite seal the
deal. Then, in the 2017 season-opener
at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, he
not only got the monkey off his back, he
flung the primate into the stratosphere.
“His experience is building up and
he’s still getting better,” says McGrath.
“He’s winning races and he’s feeling like
he should go out there and win the race
and qualify at the front. Now, he believes
he’s going to win. He was creeping up
on it, creeping up on it, and now he’s
in the spot he really wants to be.”
And he’s pushing McGrath in the
process. Despite racing in different
classes, the two are definitely in
competition against each other.
“One thing that motivates me and