Lucas Oil Off-Road - Stronghold Motorsports Soars At Miller Motorsports Park
Riverside, Jun. 28, 2012: Pressed into last minute double duty, Stronghold Motorsports off road racing prodigy, RJ Anderson made his Pro2 debut while his 8th round podium finish allowed him to maintain his lead for the ProLite Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series championship. His Stronghold Motorsports teammate, Cameron Steele also returned to the podium in Round 8 as he battled to bring home a hard fought second place finish.
The picturesque Miller Motorsports Park setting in the heart of Utah's Tooele Valley gave way to the volatile energy of short course off road racing, and the capacity crowds were treated to some of the seasons most intense action as the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing series reached its halfway point of the 2012 season.Leading the charge for Stronghold Motorsports was 19 year old RJ Anderson, who along with his normal duties of piloting his 425 horse powered ProLite truck, was tapped to fill in for seven time supercross champion Jeremy McGrath in the series marquis Pro2 division. Undaunted by the prospects of stepping into competition against the most notable athletes in off road racing, Anderson made an impressive debut with a pair of top ten finishes including a 6th place result in Round 7. While his focus in the Pro2 class was to gain valuable seat time and complete each day with a solid result, the single minded objective in his customary ride was to continue along his path to the ProLite title. Through early practice and qualifying sessions, Anderson reinforced that he was the class of the field. At the onset of Round 7, Anderson was continuing to work his way to the front of the pack and contend for the lead. While Anderson has been fortunate throughout the season to avoid heavy contact, an incident with another driver left him shuffled back in the pack and fighting for valuable positions ultimately settling for a 9th place finish.
Round 8 was a much more familiar picture as Anderson quickly worked his way to the front of the pack and immediately became engaged in a dogfight for the lead. With the lead group quickly distancing itself from the rest of the field, Anderson continued his pursuit. As he found his opening late in the race, Anderson made a solid pass to take second place and had his sights on the leader only to lose his position by hard contact in the next corner. Recovering from the incident and still maintaining his pace, Anderson continued to fight until the checkered flag for a third place result. In taking home his sixth Lucas Oil Off Road racing trophy including four wins in 2012 ProLite competition, Anderson demonstrated his resilience and perseverance to the standing room only crowd at Utah's Miller Motorsports Park.
Also celebrating a podium result with Anderson was 2010 ProBuggy champion and Round 4 winner, Cameron Steele. While Steele has been plagued by unforeseen mechanical gremlins throughout the season, he and his car have been on pace with the leaders. In Round 7, Steele was once again bitten by the mechanical bug as an electrical issue cut off the fuel supply to the engine. Ever determined, the crew solved the issue and put Steele out on the track the next day for Round 8 with the objective of taking home the hardware. From the start, the front runners, including Steele distanced themselves from the buzzing pack. At the halfway point of the race, Steele was sitting in third position and advancing. Late in the race and hunting for a higher spot on the podium, Steele found an opening that gave him the second position which he held through the checkered flag.
Additional highlights for the weekend included freestyle motocross icon, Jeremy "Twich" Stenberg who continues to impress in this his first full season in the hotly contested Pro2 division. With XGames competition just around the corner, "Twitch" was a crowd favorite in Utah and made a number of appearances on local network television on behalf of the series and Stronghold Motorsports. Not disappointing the crowd, Stenberg fought for a pair of top ten finishes including an impressive sixth place result on the tight Miller course that left little room for error and few passing opportunities.
Stenberg's teammate, Matt Cook, made an impressive Round 7 showing among the enormous field of ProLite trucks. Battling his way into the lead pack, Cook established himself in third place position with just a handful of laps to go. While charging to the checkered flag, the truck caught a rut and in an instant halted Cooks podium hopes. Once again during Round 8, Cook was lighting quick while making his way through the crowded track. Unfortunately, Cook became wrapped up in the barrage of contact throughout the race which kept him from working his way to the front. Garrett Poelman continued to develop his skills behind the wheel of his SuperLite truck as he once again netted a top ten result in the tightly controlled spec class. Always solid in the ProBuggy category, Larry Job stayed consistent in the class title chase with a pair of top five finishes.