Former Champ Jeremy “Showtime” McGrath Steals the Show at Rockstar Energy Golden State Off Road Nationals from Glen Helen

Former Champ Jeremy “Showtime” McGrath Steals the Show at Rockstar Energy Golden State
Off Road Nationals from Glen Helen
Championship Battles Tighten Up Even More Heading into Season Finale
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (October 11, 2019) – On the heels of a brief summer break from competition, the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, made its anticipated return to action to kick off the stretch run of the 2019 season. Just two events and three rounds of racing remained as the world’s most talented off-road racers made their second visit to famed Glen Helen Raceway, where a doubleheader was on deck at the Rockstar Energy Golden State Off Road Nationals, presented by General Tire.

The two-day showcase during this incredibly crucial period of the championship across all nine classes featured the trademark competitiveness that makes the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series stand alone in the racing world. While the drama continued to mount in the chase for each respective division title, it’s hard to ague that no driver enjoyed themselves more than former champion Jeremy “Showtime” McGrath. After stepping away from full-time competition for the 2019 season, the 2017 Pro 2 Champion decided to dust off his helmet, racing suit, and driving shoes for a one-off appearance at his home race. The “King of Supercross” showed absolutely no rust from his time away from the door-banging action of short-course off-road, and emerged triumphant on both Saturday and Sunday in the Pro 2 class to capture the weekend sweep.

Jeremy McGrath’s return to the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series was a memorable one.

Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
Pro 2

All season long, the battle at the front of the Pro 2 class has been exceptional. Entering Glen Helen, four different drivers had broke through for victory, and all four of those exceptional talents – Jerett Brooks, Rodrigo Ampudia, Brian Deegan, and defending champion Rob MacCachren – were in the thick of the hunt for this season’s title thanks to those victories. With his trio of wins, Brooks carried a slight edge and much-needed momentum into San Bernardino, but no one was ready for McGrath to come in and spoil the party.

A record number of seven trucks were equipped with the new Pro 2M engine at Glen Helen, and in his first race with the next-gen motor McGrath grabbed the pole ahead of Ampudia for Saturday’s opening race. To no ones surprise, Brooks paced the group of open engine trucks, but with a much deeper field of Pro 2M trucks to deal with, Brooks and the rest of the open engine drivers were going to have their work cut out for them.

When the Pro 2M lineup took off from the standing start it was McGrath to jumped out to the lead over Ampudia and Andrew Carlson. When the open trucks launched a short time later, Brooks easily paced that group and immediately went to work on closing the deficit. Out front, McGrath had his truck dialed in and he opened up a significant gap over Ampudia, who continued to fend off Carlson. It was likewise for Brooks, who looked to definitively be the class of the open field and ran all by himself in catching the tail end of the Pro 2M lineup. By the time the competition caution flew at the halfway point of the race, Brooks had fought his way up to third as the lone open truck sandwiched in between a slew of Pro 2M trucks, led by McGrath and Ampudia.

When racing resumed on the staggered restart, Brooks’ ability to race into the top three proved to be a significant advantage in his quest to catch the leaders as he enjoyed a clear track. As McGrath and Ampudia continued with their shrinking advantage out front, Brooks was on a mission to track them down. With a handful of laps to go the caution flew again after Deegan and RJ Anderson got stuck together on the track. On the staggered restart, McGrath and Ampudia held a slight advantage of about six seconds over Brooks, and that lead was minimized a bit more after McGrath’s truck hit a rut and lost some momentum, briefly halting the progress of the top two. Another caution halted the field one final time, but on this restart Brooks was right where he wanted to be as he had successfully passed Ampudia for second. As he tracked down McGrath, Brooks’ hopes for victory were dashed when he suffered a flat rear tire and was forced to come into the pit. That handed second back to Ampudia, with Brandon Arthur in third. A short time later, Arthur took advantage of a bobble by Ampudia to move into second. A wild final lap saw Ampudia lose another spot to Cory Winner, only to have Winner spin in front of Ampudia on the final turn and halt both drivers. That opened the door for Anderson to steal third. McGrath went wire to wire to take the win, with Arthur second and Anderson third

Saturday Pro 2 Results
#2 Jeremy McGrath
#6 Brandon Arthur
#37 RJ Anderson
#38 Brian Deegan
#36 Rodrigo Ampudia

McGrath kicked the weekend off with a dominant wire-to-wire win on Saturday.
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
If Saturday was any indication, the battle for the Pro 2 win on Sunday was destined to be exciting. Jeremy McGrath shocked everyone with his dominant performance, and he was in a position to do it again after he posted the fastest lap time of the Pro 2M trucks and started at the head of the field, while Brooks did the same for the open trucks. When the Pro 2M trucks took off on the staggered start to get the action underway, McGrath assumed his spot at the head of the field, followed by Andrew Carlson and Cory Winner. When the open trucks launched off the line, Brooks controlled the head of the lineup over RJ Anderson. An early caution forced a restart, from which McGrath easily maintained his control of the lead, while Cory Winner jumped up into second. As everyone kept an eye on the open trucks, Brooks and Anderson started to close in near the halfway point. Brooks broke into the top five and then into the top four right at the halfway mark of the race. The caution flew again with just six laps to go.

When they restarted, a handful of seconds separated Brooks from the trio of Pro 2M trucks ahead of him and he went to work on tracking them down. While McGrath continued to lead, Winner kept him honest from second, while both Brooks and Anderson made their move around Ampudia to take over third and fourth, respectively. The caution flew a couple more times in the final laps, which ultimately worked into the favor of both McGrath and Winner. The pace of the top two, combined with Brooks’ inability to get into a rhythm to close the deficit, ultimately resulted in the first 1-2 finish for Pro 2M trucks in series history. McGrath completed the perfect weekend, going wire to wire in both races, by taking the checkered flag 1.7 seconds ahead of Winner. Brooks followed in third.

While Brooks’ third-place finish on Sunday salvaged a tough weekend, his 12th-place effort on Saturday ended up costing him control of the Pro 2 point lead as Ampudia’s pair of fifth-place finishes was enough to put him in control of the standings heading into the final round. Just five points sit between the two, setting the stage for an epic finale.

Sunday Pro 2 Results
#2 Jeremy McGrath
#16 Cory Winner
#77 Jerett Brooks
#37 RJ Anderson
#36 Rodrigo Ampudia
Pro 2 Points
#36 Rodrigo Ampudia – 378
#77 Jerett Brooks – 373
#38 Brian Deegan – 353
#37 RJ Anderson – 347
#21 Rob MacCachren – 336

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