Darren “HotSauce” Hardesty Jr. made the jump from Modified Karts to the Pro Buggy class in 2015. His plan for the season was to run Lucas Oil Regional events and a few national series races to get a good feel for the car before going fulltime in the national series in 2016. Apparently, HotSauce is as fast a learner as he is on the track. In only his third round of racing in the National series, he landed on the podium in third place.
Anyone who has been following Darren’s progress is not surprised. In his Competitve Metals / Alumi Craft Pro Buggy debut in the Regional series at Glen Helen, he lost third gear and still managed a third place finish. His next race was a Regional series double header at Lake Elsinore where he won back to back. At the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series rounds 3 and 4 in Chandler, Arizona, he got mixed results; the podium in round 3 and a mechanical breakdown in round 4. Short course racing in the Lucas Oil Series is a tough deal.
“Thursday during practice I did not feel too confident,” said HotSauce, “The track was very wet. I figured we would get the car dialed in on Friday.” On Friday, rain came to Wild Horse Pass and washed out practice and qualifying. Everyone would be racing blind Friday night. “As soon as the green flag dropped there was carnage everywhere,” says HotSauce, “I was passing people and jumping all crazy. It was the most intense Pro Buggy race I have ever been in. It felt really good driving up to the podium after the race. It was fun being interviewed by the TV crew and there were tons of my friends and fans there. I didn’t realize there are so many people cheering for me. I felt really proud to be up on the podium with the top pros in only my third race; defending champion Chad George and fellow Bilstein racer Taylor Atchison.”
Saturday’s round 4 was a new day filled with new challenges. “Track conditions were very different on Saturday,” said HotSauce, “I was having a tough time getting the car to rotate in the corners. It was kind of a mess,” (he said laughing). I was battling during the race until I landed in a rut Really Hard; hard enough to daze me. I could feel a vibration in the rear but figured it was just dirt built up in the wheel. I ducked into the hot pits; that’s when they told me, we’re done. The hard hit broke the shock and the mount. There was no way I could get the car around the track.” Before his retirement, Darren had worked his way from 10th, all the way up to 4th place with his sights on a second straight podium finish.
HotSauce will be back in SoCal for the Regional series at Glen Helen Raceway on Saturday, May 16th for round 4. Come on out to watch him race or go to: http://darrenhardestyjr.com/ for the latest news and information about Darren’s racing.
2015 EVENT SCHEDULE
Darren “Hot Sauce” Hardesty – ProBuggy #99
May 16th Saturday / Lake Elsinore, CA SoCal Regional Rd 4
June 27th Saturday / Glen Helen, CA SoCal Regional Rd 5
July 16th-18th / (Night Race) – Glen Helen, CA LOORRS – Rounds 9 & 10
August 29th / Glen Helen, CA SoCal Regional Rd 6
October 3th & 4th / Pomona , CA Off Road Expo
October 10th & 11th / Lake Elsinore, CA SoCal Regional Rd 7 & Shootout
October 22nd-24th / (Night Race) – Lake Elsinore, CA LOORRS – Rounds 17 & Cup Race
November 3rd – 6th / Las Vegas, NV Sema Show