With the season championships already decided, the final race day of the 2018 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series was all about Challenge Cup bragging rights, and Mickey Thompson-backed racer Brian Deegan walked away with the biggest win of them all.
Wrapping up the LOORRS Challenge Cup races at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona was the Pro 2 vs. Pro 4 shootout. Not surprisingly, the race came down to an epic final lap, with Deegan crossing the line first in his Pro 2 #38 Monster Energy/Mickey Thompson Toyota in front of newly crowned Pro 2 champion Rob MacCachren.
Deegan earned $30,000 for the victory, and MacCachren took home $15,000 for finishing second.
“What a great way to finish a tremendous LOORRS season,” said Ken Warner, Vice President of Marketing for Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels. “Congratulations to Brian for taking the win in the most exciting finish in Challenge Cup history, and to all of our Mickey Thompson-sponsored drivers for an incredible year of off-road competition.”
In the LOORRS Pro 2 vs. Pro 4 shootout, the four-wheel drives are given roughly a half-lap handicap, and this year both fields took the green flag from a standing start.
At the end of lap one, Deegan led the way over Pro 2 drivers Jeremy McGrath, RJ Anderson, MacCachren and Bradley Morris, while the top-five in Pro 4 were Adrian Cenni, Greg Adler, Kyle LeDuc, Doug Mittag and Randy Minnier.
After some terrific mid-race battles, with two laps to go the running order was Mittag, LeDuc, Deegan, MacCachren and Cenni. LeDuc then half-spun and shot into the infield at Turn 3, moving him back to fourth.
On what would have been the final lap, Cenni was stopped in Turn 3, which forced a full-course caution. Mittag, Deegan, MacCachren, LeDuc and McGrath lined up for a one-lap shootout with a rolling restart.
On the final lap, Adler got into LeDuc coming out of Turn 3 and drove up and over part of LeDuc’s hood, causing Adler to roll wildly. Then, in the final corner, Mittag suddenly lost power and rolled to a stop, mere seconds from the finish line.
Deegan and MacCachren swept past. MacCachren closed to within a half-car length, but on the final jump landed his right front tire on Deegan’s left bedside, allowing Deegan to drive to the win and a thrilling ending to the 10th LOORRS short-course season.