Three More Podiums for Renezeder in Vegas

All four of Carl Renezeder’s races last weekend at the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing event in Las Vegas had bright moments. One even had a stellar result: career win number 92. Unfortunately, one race that was on its way to being win number 93 ended in the final corner of the final lap in a flash of flames. The other two races rounded out the weekend nicely with podium finishes, but not on the top spot.

“After the race weekend is over, it’s easier to look at the big picture and see that the overall results were great,” reflected Renezeder this week. “But in the moment, second place doesn’t feel much better than climbing out of a truck that just lost a motor on the last lap. All three were victories that eluded us.”

The weekend began well with a pole in Pro-4 on Friday afternoon, followed by a third-place qualifying effort in Pro-2. With shortened daylight hours, the qualifying sessions were the last time the teams had a chance at the track until racing began on Saturday afternoon, so the drivers and crew chiefs had to prove their ability to read a track without laying down any additional laps.

The first race of the weekend for Renezeder was in the Pro-4 class on Saturday, where he would start outside second row, next to Adrian Cenni, after a two was drawn for the invert. Mike Johnson and Kyle LeDuc would lead the field to the green flag. Renezeder had a decent start but got turned around by Cenni in turn four in the opening laps, and the entire field went by before he could get the nose pointed back in the right direction. He showed patience and mettle as the laps ticked off, passing truck after truck, until he found himself in second place as the checkered flag flew. Renezeder definitely made the most of a less-than-ideal situation.

Next up was the first Pro-2 race of the weekend, with the hope that the track had come around as predicted to suit his truck’s set up. More than 24 hours had passed and several races had run on the track since the two-wheel drive truck had last thrown around some dirt. But Renezeder had confidence that they’d made the right set-up call. He was right. It was a three-row invert for the start, meaning he would start outside second row next to Todd LeDuc and behind Robbie Woods and Rob MacCachren. By the time he and Woods came around to complete the first lap, the battle that would last the entire race was already in place. Renezeder settled in behind Woods in second place and they left the rest of the field behind. Woods held his ground and kept the lead through the mandatory yellow and well into the second half of the race, but as Renezeder heard his spotter tell him there would be two to go at the stripe, he made the pass stick inside turn eight and took the lead. Both General Tire drivers put down their best laps of the race in the closing two laps, but it would be Renezeder that would post another win in his career notebook.

Sunday’s fields were set according the Saturday finishing orders, and the invert was drawn by the winners of each class. Renezeder lined up to next to Rick Huseman in row three and the first two rows were made up of Kyle LeDuc, Jerry Daugherty, Travis Coyne and Kent Brasho. The race itself didn’t pose much drama for Renezeder, and when he inherited the lead from a limping Huseman with two laps to go, it looked like win number 93 would be recorded. But unbeknownst to Renezeder, a hole in the radiator was going to take away that win with just a straightaway to go. It made itself know on the backstretch on the white-flag lap as the motor began to seize when it finally ran out of water, and then a final burst of flames in the final corner forced Renezeder to pull off the track, finishing the race one lap down in the fifth position. Disappointment ran through the team, but they rallied for the final race of the weekend.

A three-row invert in Pro-2 meant Renezeder and Woods would make up row three, while Robert Naughton and Rob MacCachren formed row one, and Rodrigo Ampudia and Brian Deegan made up row two. The race started, then restarted, and when the it finally settled into a rhythm, Renezeder found himself battling with Pro-2 first-timer, Deegan, and it took several laps to get around him. MacCachren took the opportunity to open up a lead that Renezeder was never able to overcome, thus settling for another second-place finish of the weekend. His two podiums moved him into second place by three points ahead of Bryce Menzies in the championship chase with just one round to go.

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