In a season that initially seemed like it may never happen, the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series – Presented by GEICO defied the odds and persevered through uncertainty, to complete a successful and memorable 2020 campaign. Eight different classes, featuring one of motorsport’s most dynamic collection of competitors, did battle over the course of 10 rounds – from summer to fall. When all was said and done, the series welcomed five first time champions and a trio of repeat titleholders.
From the moment the season got underway in July, a heightened sense of motivation permeated through the paddock, during each race weekend, as drivers were more eager than ever to push the limits in search of victory. Each class showcased the incredible racing that has become a trademark of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and, as a result, every class saw multiple winners capture a checkered flag, as a total of 28 different drivers stood on the top step of the podium over the course of the season. Given the array of challenges every participant had to face throughout the 2020 season, it did nothing to deter the competitive drive of the racers, who once again produced exceptional levels of parity, which resulted in multiple championship battles that came down to the wire.
The collection of 2020 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Champions is led by back-to-back Pro 2 title holder, Jerett Brooks. The multi-time champion has been one of the sport’s ascending talents for several years and this past season cemented his status as a perennial title threat – with a class leading six wins.
In Pro Lite, it seemed inevitable that Brock Heger would eventually prevail with his first pro class title, given that he’d been one of the division’s leading drivers for several years. After six seasons of trying in Pro Lite, he emerged triumphant with a banner season that saw him capture a class leading five wins and seven podiums.
Following a breakout campaign one year ago that brought him the Pro Buggy championship, Eliott Watson put the off road world on notice with his successful 2020 title defense. A dominant run of eight consecutive victories set a new record for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and showed that he has a bright future ahead of him.
As one of the fastest growing vehicle segments in short course off road, the level of competition in the UTV classes reached new heights, during the 2020 season. In Turbo UTV, the impressive undefeated streak for Corry Weller extended to a third season, where she added to an already decorated career. She faced her toughest challenge to date, in achieving the three-peat, but still set the standard as the most consistent driver in the class and earned four wins along the way.
In Production 1000 UTV, the rise of Myles Cheek this past season was something to behold, as he captured his first championship in the class. He never finished outside the top two over the course of 10 rounds and put an exclamation point on his title run by grabbing seven victories.
The trio of junior classes are consistently where some of the most unpredictable action in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series unfolds, and the 2020 season was no different. In Mod Kart, a spirited fight for the championship saw Connor Barry emerge with his first title. While the division produced five different winners over the course of the season, it was Barry’s class leading five victories that ultimately gave him the edge.
The battle for the championship was even more thrilling in JR 2 Kart, which proved to be the most competitive class of the 2020 season – with six different race winners. While several drivers had a shot to grab the title, at season’s end, it was Brodie Martin’s impressive consistency that allowed him to both win the championship and earn Rookie of the Year honors – with three wins and six podiums.
Rounding out the list of 2020 champions is RZR 170 titleholder, TJ Siewers. He was determined to improve on his runner-up finish in the title fight (one year ago) and did just that, finishing no worse than third all season long, with a trio of victories, to earn the first championship of his young career.
“In the midst of what is arguably the most difficult times that we, as a series, have ever faced and that our drivers have faced, we want to celebrate the achievements of our 2020 champions. These eight drivers refused to let anything stand in the way of accomplishing their goal this season.
They successfully withstood every challenge that came their way, both on and off the track,” said Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Director of Race Operations, Ritchie Lewis. “The dedication and resolve they displayed this season should not be overlooked, and the same should also be said for every other racer who made the commitment to log a single lap this past season. We’re grateful for their passion and we could not be prouder to witness such an incredible season. They showed us what makes short course off-road so special.”
Together, these champions represent the culmination of more than a decade of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series’ cultivation of talent. From established names, to rising stars, and stars of the future, the contributions the series has made to the sport of off road and motorsports, as a whole, is undeniable.
Over the years, a diverse array of racing’s most successful names have strapped in to do battle in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, and the crop of hopefuls who have cut their teeth sliding through the turns and soaring off the jumps of short course off road has never wavered. Many have taken advantage of their dirt pedigree to accomplish big things in any number of other driving disciplines.
The impact of these 2020 champions, in addition to the impact of every single champion over the course of the 12 seasons of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, will leave a lasting mark on the legacy of the championship and the role it played in shining a spotlight on this passionate niche of American motorsports. In addition to the racers, the series could never have attained the prominence it did without the support of the collection of companies that invested in the sport of short course off road. The sponsors are what made it possible to go racing, while the diverse personalities and world class skill set of the drivers packed fans into grandstands, throughout the country and into Mexico.
While fans were unfortunately unable to be a part of the action for the vast majority of the 2020 season, their voices were louder than ever, albeit at a distance, and their support was felt every step of the way. This season, nor any other season in the history of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of the off road audience.
“While the 2020 season, unfortunately, signifies the end of a long and exciting chapter for both Lucas Oil Products and short course off road racing as a whole, there is nothing but fond memories and groundbreaking achievements to look back on,” added Ritchie Lewis. “The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series made a significant impact on the world of racing. It opened doors for aspiring racers of all ages to chase a dream of racing at a world class level and in a world class championship. As bittersweet as it is for our time to come to an end, we’re grateful for the impact we had and the loyal support we received along the way.”
This is now the closing of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing chapter. What will come of short course racing next?