Darren “HotSauce” Hardesty Jr. was not afraid to mix it up in rounds 5 and 6 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, (LOORRS), at the Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, UT. The technical design of the track and unique topsoil in Tooele gives some drivers fits, but is one of Darren’s favorite venues and the spot where he picked up his first pro series win.
The silty soil can range from dry and dusty to rutted, hard packed like cement, and covered with “blue groove”, a build-up with rubber caused by tires sliding on the surface. Drivers and their crews have to be able to respond to whatever comes their way in Tooele. Teams were thrown a wrench when qualifying was cancelled due to overnight rains that flooded the track Saturday morning.
To get himself into race mode, HotSauce went over to the go-kart track in the Motorsports Campus and turned some hot laps on the track. Fully warmed up by the time he got in the car for his race, he was ready to mix it up for real on the track. He started back in the 9th position and carefully picked his way towards the front.
In the last corner, on the final lap, he made the pass into third place; the final podium position. Starting in the back was no concern for HotSauce. He has total confidence in his crew and the performance of his Bilstein, Off Road Warehouse, Mickey Thompson Tires, Bink Designs, Impact, Lucas Oil Products, Alumi Craft Race Cars, Black Rhino, RacerX and USA Wheels Pro Buggy.
While qualifying for Sunday’s race, there was a glitch in the scoreboard that showed Darren running in the 9th qualifying spot. He put that out of his mind and concentrated on running tight lines and clean laps. He was actually third fastest and after the inversion would start fourth.
“On Sunday I got what felt like my best start of the season,” said HotSauce, “The Lucas Oil track crew did a great job getting the track in shape after there were standing puddles on Saturday morning. I got right out into third and moved into second on the next lap. I worked on the leader but he was doing a good job of protecting his line. We finished second place giving us great points for the weekend. We did what we had to do and hope to keep the momentum going in Mexico; we can’t wait for rounds 7 and 8.”
HotSauce will hit the track next at the Baja International Short Course race at Estero Beach Ensenada, MX on June 18th and 19th. He was a big hit with the fans there at last year’s event. For the latest news and information about Darren “HotSauce” Hardesty Jr.’s racing go to: http://darrenhardestyjr.com/ where you will find fan information, race reports, photos, videos and much more.
Photography By: Bink Designs