Darren “HotSauce” Hardesty Jr. brought the heat to rounds 7 and 8 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series in Tooele, Utah. HotSauce, a third generation racer, has been chipping away at the lead pack in his first season racing fulltime in the professional series. He has run out front on occasion and landed on the podium in round 3. In Tooele, he broke out from the pack to take his first win and backed it up with a second place finish the following day. The win was the perfect Father’s day present to his Dad and Grandpa who are both part of his small, family centric team. In fact, the race was a guy’s weekend with his Father Darren Sr., Grandfather Earl and Alumi Craft’s Matt Majors all making the road trip to Utah.
“I’m a super proud Dad,” said Darren Hardesty Sr., “Darren has been working hard to race with the top pros. He knows these guys are fast. He takes it very seriously. Darren has always been a fast learner but I really didn’t think he would have this kind of success so early. We had originally planned to race in the Regional Series but he’s proven he can run in the Pro Series. His Grandpa and I, (both racing champions in their own right) warned him that these guys are going to put some pressure on you but he has handled it all very well.”
“It was a big win for us,” said HotSauce, “I think Grandpa was the most excited out of anyone about my win. This will go down as one of my best memories in racing. I have the most amazing team behind me and to have my Dad, Grandpa and Matt Majors all at my first pro win; it couldn’t have been any better.”HotSauce put his Competitive Metals, Bilstein, ORW, Mickey Thompson Tires, ReplayXD, SPY, Lucas Oil, Bink Designs, Alumi Craft Pro Buggy on the front row for round 7. He lost the drag race into turn one but was right on the leader’s bumper.
About halfway through the race, HotSauce took the lead and held it to the checkers. In round 8 he started on the second row. After the start he took a huge blow to the head. A clump of mud the size of a basketball was kicked up into his wind screen. It bent the wire mesh, collapsed the wind deflector on top of the dash and hit his helmet. He wrestled with the bent screen and crushed sheetmetal on the dash until he got situated again in the cockpit. Once he regained vision out the front he charged towards the front. He worked his way up to 2nd place for back to back podium finishes on the weekend.
HotSauce will be back behind the wheel in SoCal for the Lucas Oil Regional Series at Glen Helen Raceway on June 27 and 28. Come on out to watch him race or go to: http://darrenhardestyjr.com/ for the latest news and information about Darren’s racing program.
Photography By: Bink Designs