Lake Elsinore, CA
Darren “HotSauce” Hardesty Jr. had all but sewn up the Pro Buggy Championship in the Lucas Oil Regional Off Road Racing Series when he lined up for the final round of racing at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park in Lake Elsinore, California. He could have cruised to the championship, but he wanted to end his season with a final victory. The win was one of many in an impressive season that includes a podium finish in every round, the rookie of the year title, and the championship.
“The track was very slippery during practice on Friday,” said HotSauce, “I was a little nervous before the race on Saturday, but we were running strong and qualified first; we were a second faster than anyone else. After the inversion, we started fourth. In turn one I got third place. In turn two, I made the pass for second. On the next lap, it was a drag race at the step-up jump. I went flat-out off the jump and flew into the lead.”
HotSauce and his Competitive Metals, Bilstein, ORW, Mickey Thompson Tires, ReplayXD, SPY, Lucas Oil, Bink Designs, Alumi Craft Pro Buggy team has been on fire all season. In addition to his championship winning performance in the regional series, he took on the challenge of racing in the pro series too. He became the youngest driver to win a pro class race and earned a second rookie of the year title this season. Stepping up to the pro level was a decision left up to him by his father Darren Sr. who did not want to pressure his son too much. HotSauce knew that racing against the fastest pros would be tough, but would make him better so he took a shot. The saying goes, “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” In 2015, it was Darren Hardesty Jr. who brought the heat to Pro Buggy racing.
HotSauce has one more round of racing this season. The final round of the Lucas Oil pro series is October 24-25 at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park. You can head out to the race and cheer for HotSauce or you can go to: http://darrenhardestyjr.com/ for all the latest news and information about his racing program.
Photography By: Bink Designs