Lake Elsinore, CA
There are no sick days in racing. You either show up with your best or get left behind. When Darren “HotSauce” Hardesty Jr. lined up for round 5 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, he was not at 100%. Not one to give in to adversity, he kept it from the crew and went out and did his job as a driver. He may be young but the third generation driver knows what it takes to be successful in racing. His Grandfather Earl and Father Darren have passed on the work ethic that earned them both race wins and championships. Due to the excellent guidance he has been given and his years of racing experience, Darren has maturity beyond his age and a certain ease behind the wheel of his Competitive Metals, Bilstein, ORW, Mickey Thompson Tires, ReplayXD, SPY, Lucas Oil, Bink Designs Alumi Craft Pro Buggy.
“We had a new gear ratio so I was taking it easy in practice,” said HotSauce, “During qualifying I was doing ok but then I cut a tire and had to pit.” Despite the setback, He still qualified 8th out of 14. Once the race began, nothing mattered except what was in front of his car. It was very fast paced with no caution flags. HotSauce was unable to mount a charge but did not lose any positions; he finished where he started in 8th.
On Sunday, HotSauce was back and feeling much better. He qualified 4th and due to the inversion, he started on the front row. Hot temperatures made a less aggressive tire groove the logical choice; the track would surely dry out during the race.
When HotSauce hit turn one however, the track was wet and sloppy. He went wide and got jumped for the lead. During the 14 laps of the race he moved from 3rd to 5th and then back up to 4th. He stayed clean and avoided a couple pile-ups to finish just off the podium in 4th. “We are still working on a couple things but I think we had a good weekend,” says Darren, “We ran good on Sunday; I can’t complain. We just didn’t have anything for the top three. I can’t wait to get to Utah. We’re going to come out swinging!”
Rounds 7 & 8 will be held June 20-21 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Darren and his team will be back in the heat of battle. If you are unable to attend the race go to: http://darrenhardestyjr.com/ for the latest news and information about Darren’s racing program.
Photography By: Bink Designs