STRONGHOLD MOTORSPORTS RJ ANDERSON SCORCHES ARIZONA WITH WEEKEND SWEEP
Riverside, California (May 23, 2012) – Nineteen year old short course off road racing phenom, RJ Anderson, torched Surprise, Arizona’s Speedworld off road park as he outpaced the ProLite field to take back to back wins in Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series competition. The weekend sweep of Rounds 5&6 give Anderson four victories on the season and helped him extend his lead in the chase for the championship in the ProLite division.
RJ Anderson captures two podiums in Surprise, AZ
Jeremy McGrath Goes For Wild Ride At Speedworld Off Road Park
Stronghold MotorsportsTeam Monster Energy/Walker Evans Racing.com
As Stronghold Motorsports’ RJ Anderson arrived at Speedworld for Rounds 5&6 of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing with Monster Energy/ WalkerEvansRacing.com teammates Jeremy McGrath and Cameron Steele, he immediately set his sights on establishing early dominance and quickly threw down the fastest lap times in practice and qualifying sessions. With the inversion placing Anderson on the second row for Round 5, it took him just one lap to quickly seize the lead. Once at the front of the twenty-three truck field, Anderson quickly distanced himself with his smooth and consistent driving style. The second half of the event took on a different tone as the largest field in the class battled behind him resulting in a number of violent crashes. One such crash late in the race resulted in a yellow flag that brought the field together nullifying his lead. On the restart, Anderson faced his only challenge of the afternoon, as the #82 truck dove underneath him to momentarily take the lead. Anderson fought back on the next corner, digging in and taking the favorable line as he retook the position and continued on to take the checkered flag and the win.
RJ Anderson #37 ProLite
An unfavorable draw for Round 6 resulted in Anderson beginning his pursuit from the third row. Again the crowded field powered through the first lap and immediately Anderson got caught up in the melee pushing him deeper in the field. Forced to mount a more aggressive attack, Anderson began picking off competitors one by one until he had worked his way into second position at the halfway point of the race. Once there, he pressured the leader into a catastrophic mistake and assumed the top spot where he continued on unchallenged for the remainder of the race.
RJ Anderson #37 ProLite
For Anderson’s teammate, Jeremy McGrath, the weekend provided an impressive display of his skill behind the wheel along with a spectacular crash during one of the most exciting Pro2 races ever. It didn’t take long for McGrath, starting midpack in the thundering herd of 900 horsepowered trucks, to find the right combination of traction and speed as he worked his way through the field and into the second spot. Once there, the seven time supercross champion diced with the #21 truck as the two weaved, slid and jumped, often times within inches of each other as they worked their way through the technical Speedworld course. The smooth, clean racing that was featured in the first half of the race was quickly supplanted by aggressive and questionable tactics that led to a significant number of yellow flags, pausing the action and tightening up the group. Once restarted, McGrath found himself in a dogfight for the podium as he was pushed back to fourth place. With just a few laps to go and a three way skirmish for second place underway, McGrath entered a blind turn just before the largest tabletop jump on the track. Forced to hold his position while surprisingly being challenged by a lapped competitor, the #17 and #10 vehicles directly in front of him collided causing both the #17 and #10 cars to slow considerably. As McGrath appeared to race through the collision while flying through the air over the tabletop, the #17 vehicle accelerated into the blind side of the landing. McGrath’s 4,000 LB. truck then landed directly on top of the #17 truck with full momentum. It took just a moment for McGrath’s Pro2 to catapult off of the #17 and initiate a spectacular crash that resulted in cataclysmic damage to his truck.
Jeremy McGrath #2 Pro2
Undaunted by the severity of the destruction, McGrath’s mechanics, joined by the entire Stronghold Motorsports crew, were up to the task of completely restoring his truck back to racing condition. Having burned the midnight oil between rounds working on the truck, the team had McGrath back on the track Sunday morning to test the completely repaired Pro2. Taking the grid to begin Round 6, a confident McGrath immediately returned to the same impressive form he had demonstrated the prior day. Picking off competitors almost at will, he drove his way from his mid pack starting position all the way up into second place where he continued until a late race stop in the action due to a yellow flag. Upon the drop of the green flag, the fourth place #21 truck illegally passed the #10 truck at the starting line which resulted in yet another restart to the race. This time, the competitors behind McGrath managed a clean break and the action resumed. With just two laps to go and maintaining the second position, McGrath’s truck drifted wide in a long sweeping turn and he relinquished two spots. Fighting back to earn a podium in the final lap, McGrath was forced to settle for a hard fought fourth place finish.
As McGrath was facing his challenges throughout the weekend, teammate Cameron Steele’s effort was an exercise in disappointment as the 2010 ProBuggy champion’s car was mired with mechanical gremlins. Steele began Round 5 with the same position on the pole where he took his first victory of the season at Lake Elsinore. Wasting no time at the drop of the green flag, Steele looked like the champion he is as he quickly distanced himself from the field of buzzing open wheel off road cars. Prevailing to the midway point in the race, Steele’s bid for the win came to a screeching halt as his front suspension suddenly gave way. Sunday, Steele was back on the grid with his newly repaired suspension prepared for battle. While Steele once again on his game at the beginning of the race , he was soon retired from Round 6 as his motor gave way forcing him to pull off the track and out of contention.
Cameron Steele #16 ProBuggy
The 2012 Stronghold Motorsports Monster Energy Off Road Racing Team
Jeremy McGrath (Toyo Tires)
Cameron Steele (Yokohama Tires)
RJ Anderson (Goodyear Tires)
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