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Renezeder Back to Form in Arizona

Seven-time national short-course champion Carl Renezeder has often said, “It’s all about the battle.” This past weekend in Surprise, Arizona at Speedworld Motorsports Complex, that’s exactly what he got. With the bad-luck gremlin seemingly gone from his pit and his trucks back on the top of their game on Saturday, Renezeder was given the opportunity to focus on driving to the front, which is just what he did in both classes.  While fighting triple-digit temperatures, he secured wins in both Pro-4 and Pro-2, bringing his career short-course win total to 91.

“There are two things that got me here today,” explained a rather relieved Renezeder from the top spot on the podium after the Pro-4 win on Saturday, “my team and my sponsors.  I wouldn’t be here without them.”

The crowd saw action on the track that made the Arizona desert heat seem tame. After qualifying third in his Lucas Oil/General Tire Pro-4, then starting outside second row because of the three-row invert, Renezeder settled into his groove and showed patience, which allowed him to stay out of the tangle-up in turn four that resulted in a complete restart.  At the second drop of the green, he got a better start and was able to settle into third place behind Mike Johnson and Travis Coyne.  Renezeder got around Coyne when he got sideways coming out of turn five, then great battles with Johnson ensued.  Adrian Cenni kept him honest from the third-place position, but Renezeder made the pass on Johnson stick before the mandatory yellow.  The restart found his front left tire going flat, but it hung on for the remainder of the race, as did Renezeder, to record win number 90 in the books.

Less than an hour later, Renezeder climbed into the #17 Pro-2, ready fight the good fight again.  Fresh off the Pro-4 win, confidence was high as he lined up on the inside of points leader Rob MacCachren on the third row.  The two had to get around Mike Johnson, Bryce Menzies (row one) and Rodrigo Ampudia and Greg Adler (row two) if they wanted a shot at winning round 11 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.

Renezeder found himself in fifth place at the completion of lap one and worked his way to fourth behind Menzies, Adler and MacCachren before a full-course caution bunched up the field.  The green flew again and Renezeder got around MacCachren in turn three to put himself in third for the mandatory caution.  The second half of the race was some of the best action the class has seen all season.  Renezeder worked his way around Adler and Menzies, as did MacCachren, setting up a three-lap dogfight to the checkers.  Renezeder held his ground and found himself in winner’s circle one more time, relishing in all the things he loved about off-road racing.

That was fun.  Great job guys,” commented Renezeder on the radio just after the checkered flag flew.

After the elation of Saturday, a second-place finish to MacCachren in Pro-2 on Sunday felt less celebratory than it should have been.  And when Renezeder lost front-wheel-drive in the Pro-4 on the last lap, forcing an eighth-place finish, the team lost a little wind out of their sails.  But with the best results overall of the season for the team, they headed back to the race shop with the confidence that the program was headed back in the right direction.

Three more rounds of racing are left in the points chase, followed by the second annual Lucas Oil Challenge Cup on December 12th at the new Firebird Raceway venue in Chandler, Arizona, to close out the 2010 season.

(Attached photos courtesy of Jeff Nemecek)

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