78 WINTER 2016/17
he final race for the Lucas Oil Off Road
Racing Pro 4 Championship was a
microcosm of the season as a whole –
and perhaps for the last seven seasons
of short course off-road racing.
A battle down to the last lap between
the most successful racers this class, this
series and perhaps the sport’s ever known.
And in the end it came down to a tie. A tie.
Fifteen races, with points for wins, leading
at halfway and fast qualifier. The infinite
combinations, and it came down to a tie.
But it wasn’t just that it was a tie,
because it wasn’t a tie until the final lap
of the final race. Sure, it was a tie heading
into the final weekend, but when Carl
Renezeder qualified his Lucas Oil/KMC
Kyle LeDuc and Carl Renezeder’s Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series title
fight came down to the final half-lap, despite different routes to get there.
WORDS & IMAGES Richard S. James
TO THE WIRE
Wheels Pro 4 fastest and led at halfway,
he had to be beaten to lose the title. Until
Renezeder hit the front-straight tabletop
at Wild Horse Motorsports Park to begin
the last circuit, until he hit it slightly off,
he was the Pro 4 champion, with Kyle
LeDuc the runner-up.
But as he has done so often in the past
few years, LeDuc was waiting for his
moment. He’d done it at Lake Elsinore
during the penultimate weekend, stalking
Renezeder until he found an opening in
which to insert his Monster Energy/Toyo
Tires Pro 4, and he was doing it again.
The error, and thus the opportunity, was
small; but it was all he needed. He beat
Renezeder by one position to tie the
points and claim the title on wins.
“He had to protect,” says LeDuc. “I like
to be the pouncer, and I would have hated
to be in his position. But it was perfect. It
was me looking at the back of the 17 and
thinking, ‘I have to pass him.’ I had to finish
in front of him, whether we were fighting
for sixth or first. He was super fast; I wasn’t
as fast, but we made it work.”
The two racers’ seasons could hardly
have been more different, nor could their
approach to the sport. Both had their
problems, but LeDuc’s came early in the
season, while Renezeder’s came late.
LeDuc, who came out strong last year
and started a 13-race winning streak in
Round 2 in 2015, struggled with a new
(ABOVE) started the
season strong, but
Kyle LeDuc chased
him down through
the later races.