2015 Rookie of the Year, Darren “HotSauce” Hardesty Jr. was instantly up to speed at the first round of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at Wild Horse Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona. His team had made substantial changes to his cockpit layout in the off season, to enhance the balance on his Bilstein / Alumi Craft Pro Buggy. His new Bilstein bypass shocks with the latest position sensitive damping were working flawlessly with the new configuration. “HotSauce” qualified second fastest for round one.
He was running in second place during the race when he slammed into a sneaky rut that ripped his tire sidewall and was forced to pull off the track. He experienced another set-back when he rolled into post-race inspection. The spare tire and wheel they put on had a slightly different offset than usual. It put him just outside the track width allowed by the rules. Completely un-intentional, but the rules are the rules. The end result was a disqualification and no points for round one.
During qualifying for round two on Sunday, Darren’s roof panel came loose and started to flap open and closed. He had to stop twice before it was finally secured.
The distraction did not allow him to put in enough laps to get up to full speed, but he still managed to qualify in the fourth position. He knew he was sitting in a fast car and was looking forward to round two to showcase it for his fans and sponsors Bilstein, Off Road Warehouse, Mickey Thompson Tires, Bink Designs, Impact, Lucas Oil Products, Alumi Craft Race Cars, Black Rhino, RacerX and USA Wheels.
“We had some problems in round one and during qualifying for round two but the car was handling great; I was having a lot of fun driving it,” said “HotSauce”, ”The race on Sunday went perfect. We worked up to second place and had the leader in our sights.
Everything worked great with the new driving position. I felt very comfortable and was able to put the car right where I wanted. I’m not worried about the points we lost, I’m confident we will make it up. We are going to race the regional series at Elsinore to get the car completely dialed in before the next round of the pro series.”
That pro series race will be at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park in Lake Elsinore, California, April 23rd and 24th. Make plans and Buy Tickets Now to watch “HotSauce” in person or stay up with the latest news and information about Darren’s racing at: http://darrenhardestyjr.com/ where you will find fan information, race reports, photos, videos and much more.
Photography By: Bink Designs