Casey Currie and the Monster Energy/General Tire team showed they are a force to be reckoned with in the Pro Lite division by challenging for wins during the 2013 Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORS) visit to Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, last weekend. Currie debuted his brand new Monster Energy/General Tire Jeep JK at the picturesque facility, and was in the mix at the front of the field throughout each day of racing before some late misfortune hindered an otherwise impressive weekend. Nevertheless, Currie and his team left Utah with their heads held high and full of confidence heading into the second half of the season.
The weekend prior to the Round 7 & 8, Currie took advantage of the opportunity to get some early track time at Miller Motorsports Park in a LOORS regional event. The information the team gathered was applied to race weekend and it helped position the brand new truck design with the seventh and fifth-fastest lap time in the two Friday practice sessions.
Currie and his crew made some additional adjustments heading into the first race of the weekend on Saturday and qualified third that morning. As the green flag waved for the afternoon’s 14-lap Pro Lite Main, Currie positioned the Monster Energy/General Tire Jeep JK into sixth place. After a quick move into the top five, Currie suffered a little trouble and fell 10th early. However, he instantly began an impressive charge through the field over the next nine laps, moving back into the top five and into an intense battle for the podium. Currie attempted to make a pass to put himself in podium position with three laps remaining, and hit one of the K-rails lining the inside and outside of the track resulting in a broken front suspension. Currie was unable to complete the final laps and settled for 20th.
“I hate that I made a mistake there right at the end,” said Currie following the race. “The truck was flying and I knew we had enough to get onto the podium, so I tried to take advantage at the first opportunity I saw and just misjudged the inside of the K-rail by one inch. That’s not the way I wanted to end the first day, especially with how hard all of my guys are working, but we know we have a good truck and we’ll look to bounce back on Sunday.”
On Sunday morning, Currie kicked off the eighth round of the season with the third-fastest time in qualifying and showed there were no lasting effects from Saturday’s hard luck. As the race got underway that afternoon, Currie asserted himself in the lead pack and maintained a spot inside the top four for the majority of the 14-lap Pro Lite Main. As the final five laps approached, Currie stepped up his aggression and began to make moves towards the front in his Monster Energy/General Tire Jeep JK. As he attempted to make a pass for the lead on Lap 11, Currie was spun out after contact from another competitor. He got back on the throttle quickly and re-entered the race, salvaging a ninth-place finish.
“We’re right there, but we just aren’t having the luck we need at the moment,” said Currie. “I couldn’t be happier with my team and with the momentum we have right now, and we will be a force at the next round in Glen Helen.”