Brandon Arthur, a Ramona teenager, went from the bottom to the top and back again in a wild race weekend during rounds 5 and 6 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series in Reno, Nev.
It was Arthur’s first time racing on the Wild West Motorsports Park track, which climbs to the top of a ridge before plunging back down again. The one-mile track offers 1,000 feet of elevation change and the gravity assist makes it one of the fastest tracks in the series.
During practice on Friday, May 30, it was discovered that the set-up on Arthur’s Pro Traffic Services Competitive Metals Prolite truck was a little off. With no time to fix it before qualifying, Arthur got what he could out of the truck, landing in the 20th starting spot. During the race he got tangled in traffic and spun out. Using every bit of speed from the huge downhills to his advantage, Arthur worked his way back to eighth place at the checkered flag.
In round 6 on Saturday night, May 31, Arthur ran the second fastest time in qualifying and, with the inversion, started on the pole.
“I have to hand it to the crew,” said Arthur. “The truck was on rails. After we took the green flag, I pulled out a four truck lead.”
Behind him, Brian Deegan was making a charge and soon was battling Arthur for the lead.
“I held Deegan off for several laps, not sure how many, then we got a caution flag. After the restart, we were side by side going into turn three,” said Arthur.
Deegan got past the Ramona teen in the corner, but Arthur passed him right back.
As the battle began to heat up, another caution flag slowed the pace. After the restart, Arthur hooked a rut in a corner and went up on two wheels. He saved it
but got passed by the pack. He had the truck under him for another charge but a wreck in turn one left him with nowhere to go; he got collected and his race was over.
Arthur and his team will be in Tooele, Utah, at Miller Motorsports Park June 21 and 22, when they will have another crack at the Prolite win. The 18-year old, who just graduated from Ramona High, has achieved two championships and rookie of the year.