Alumi Craft Racer Darren Hardesty Jr. Claims Third Consecutive Pro Buggy Championship
October 25, 2018
The 2018 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) has come to an end with Round 11 taking place at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona. Not surprisingly it was two Alumi Craft Drivers; Darren Hardesty Jr. and Eliott Watson who were battling it out for contention of the Pro Buggy division title. When all was said and done, Darren “HotSauce” Hardesty Jr. took home his third consecutive Pro Buggy Championship.
Hardesty has been leading the season all year long, and as a 2X back-to-back Pro Buggy Champion, it was clear who had the advantage. None the less, Watson has been on point in the ladder part of the season and seemingly has his Alumi Craft totally dialed stringing together a race win and two 2nd place finishes. Going into the weekend, the points race was as close as ever with only 13 points separating the two category leaders.
Watson pulled major moves to shave down the margin and did everything he needed to do including scoring 2nd in qualifying scoring 1 extra point on Hardesty. Watson would lead the race at the half way point, earning 1 extra bonus over Hardesty. Eliott went onto win the race to score 3 additional points on Darren narrowing the points gap down to 9 under. It was a valiant effort and the #3 Alumi Craft was hooked up making moves.
“We snagged a bunch of extra points and were doing everything possible to try and grab the championship, admitted Watson. “The Alumi Craft we have had has been an insanely fast car. I am stoked to end 2018 with a win in the Pro Buggy! It has been really so much fun racing this year and am super thankful to finish off with a 2nd place in the points in the buggy class.”
In the end, it all came down to where Hardesty would finish. Ultimately, Darren had a pretty good race weekend himself and was also where he needed to be to capture the necessary points and secure the 2018 Pro Buggy Championship. Qualified third fastest and went onto finish in 2nd place with the Fast Lap Award.
“The weekend was a great weekend for the Bilstein #99 team, with a three-peat championship,” Darren grinned. “I was fast and smooth in practice, so I knew the Alumi Craft was good for the track conditions which made me very comfortable. When it came time to race, I was nervous even though my whole team was relaxed and confident. As I rolled onto the track in the 3rd position all the feelings disappeared. The green flag drop and Watson and I made quick work of Bud Ward. Watson took the win and I finished second. It was a great race. I just really had to be conservative and not over drive the car to ensure our finish and the championship!”
Hardesty continued, “I must thank everybody for one heck of a year. All our partners like Alumi Craft Race Cars, are the reason why we can push these buggies so hard. Special thanks to all my friends and family and everybody who supported me these last 3 years. This third championship is dedicated to all your hard work, THANK YOU!”
Hardesty captured 9 podium finishes including 6 race wins [all of which were back-to-back] and pushed him over the threshold for a third consecutive championship. Darren also earned 8 Optima Batteries Fast Lap Awards, the most of the entire series. Hardesty now has 16 race wins and has become the winningest Pro Buggy racer in Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series history.
With the final series points race behind them, there was just one big one left. The Lucas Oil Challenge Cup is the season finale with a pig purse on the line. Eliott Watson finished off the weekend in style, adding to his Round 11 Pro Buggy Race win on Saturday, he went out and captured the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup Victory on Sunday for a $10,000 pay day. Watson’s first back to back weekend wins! Hardesty was also there taking 2nd place, and Trey Gibbs in 3rd for an all Alumi Craft podium finish.
For the 2018 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, it was Alumi Craft race cars dominating the Pro Buggies category. Championships, Race Wins, and Podium Finishers all know that it takes the best equipment to end up on top. If you demand the best, give Alumi Craft a call at 619-596-9841 or go to: http://alumicraft.info to find out more about our race products and services.