Lake Elsinore, CA
After impressive results racing his Competitive Metals, Bilstein, ORW, Mickey Thompson Tires, ReplayXD, SPY, Lucas Oil, Bink Designs, Alumi Craft Pro Buggy in the Lucas Oil Regional Series in 2015, Darren “HotSauce” Hardesty Jr. was given the green light to compete with the pros in the Lucas Oil National series.
At rounds one through three of the Lucas Oil Southern California Regional Series, HotSauce has never failed to make the podium. In round one, he was third. In rounds two and three, he took back to back wins. In only a few races, the 14 year old Hardesty has earned a spot racing his Pro Buggy in the National level Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS).
HotSauce made his national debut at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park in Lake Elsinore, Ca, a track he is familiar with; he took his back to back wins in the regional series there. He qualified 8th on Friday and finished round one in the 9th position. During qualifying for Saturday’s round 2, he went faster but so did everyone else.
His position in qualifying was 11th and he finished the race in 10th. “I have been running fast laps but there is still a lot to learn,” says HotSauce, “We had the car dialed into the dry blue groove conditions; my Mickey Thompson tires were hooking up. During the race on Saturday, the track changed a lot. It was wet and super tacky. I just focused on running clean; I didn’t want to get too aggressive in my first race. Overall, it was a pretty good weekend for our Competitive Metals team.”
Darren Hardesty Sr. is nurturing his young driver; letting him decide how hard to push. “Our first race at the National level was challenging for our young driver,” said Darren Sr., “We discussed if we should race the Arizona Regional race or the LOORRS National race at Wild Horse Pass (Firebird) in April. I decided to let
Darren Jr make the decision which direction we should go. Darren decided he wanted to continue to challenge himself and race at the National event. He told me, “I’m not going to get better unless I race against the fastest guys.”
It’s been a steep learning curve for HotSauce and his crew. In only a few races in the Pro Buggy, they are already racing at the highest level. In order to maximize their chances to gain experience, the team will step up their schedule. They will run both the So. California Regional Series and the LOORRS National series. Like they say, If you can’t take the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Darren’s updated schedule is below.