The stands at the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park were packed on Friday, June 27 and Saturday, June 28 during the fourth round of the Lucas Oil Regional Off Road Racing competition.
There were a number of different competitions that took place over the two day event that pitted a wide selection of vehicles against each other; that list included karts, buggies, trucks and more.
Experienced drivers and novice drivers alike tried their hand at Lake Elsinore Motorsports’ dirt track, which presented a number of daunting hills and curves for vehicles to maneuver.
The event garnered participants of all ages. Some were relatively young while others were adults who have been involved with off-roading events for a number of years.
One of the younger racers at the event was 12-year-old Hailey Deegan, daughter of motocross rider and Metal Mulisha founding member Brian Deegan. She competed in the modified kart class, which is the highest class for karts that people can compete in.
The younger Deegan said she’s been racing for a little more than three years now and that she started around the time she was an eight-year-old. During that time her father had recently started racing karts in off-roading competitions and she said she expressed an interest in also racing.
So on her birthday she received a Junior 1 (J1) Kart, the most basic form of kart to be pitted in competition. The karts are specifically geared toward younger drivers who are just getting into the sport of kart racing. She eventually moved on to the Junior 2 (J2) class more recently and within the last couple of competitions has ascended to the modified cart class.
Deegan explained that there are a number of differences between junior and modified karts. She said junior karts shift gears manually and have a clutch whereas modified karts are automatic and tend to go at a much higher rate of speed.
There’s also a difference in the driving style of the two karts, Deegan said.
“One’s more momentum and the other one’s more slipping and sliding,” she said.
Deegan finished sixth on the track for the weekend’s competition, only her second time competing in the modified kart class.
One of Brian Deegan’s associates at Metal Mulisha, Ronnie Faisst, was also at the competition, riding his Pro-Lite truck over curves and hills during the final race of the day on Saturday, June 28.
Faisst might have gotten his start in motocross but he said he’s been interested in doing offroading for a while now. The weekend’s event marked his second time competing in an off-road event. Faisst rounded the curves nicely and kept up with the other riders in his class with little difficulty during one of the competitions until his vehicle spun out and he was left trailing behind the others. He ultimately finished last in his class.
But it didn’t seem that way from the cheery faces and smiles of Faisst and the people that came with him at the event. Faisst said he was happy to be trying something new and was just looking forward to doing a little better each time.
“Beginners can’t come out here and expect to win without any formal background,” he said. “As long as I’m getting a little better and having fun each time, that’s all.”
Faisst and many others plan to return during the fifth installment of the Lucas Oil Regionals, which will take place at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino on Saturday, July 19.
“I’m going to do them all,” Faisst said of the remaining installments of the regional competition.
For more information about the Lucas Oil Regional Off Road Series, visit their website at www.lucasoilregional.com/schedule.