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04.18.14

Leduc Focused On Pro 4 Competition For Lake Elsinore

LOORRS - Lake Elsinore, CA

Kyle LeDuc said there's a simple explanation for his decision to concentrate on just the Pro 4 class in this year's Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series presented by GEICO.

His sponsors made him do it. Well, maybe not made him, but strongly indicated that they "wanted us to focus on Pro 4 and go and win it, so that's what we're going to do," LeDuc said during last month's season opener in Arizona.

The next step toward that objective will take place April 25-26, when the Rockstar Energy Southern California Shootout presented by E3 Spark Plugs lights up the night at Lake Elsinore (California) Motorsports Park.

That event, the first of two this season at the fast, challenging track in one of the areas where off road racing was born, will be the first of the six weekends of night racing on the schedule and also will introduce the Friday-Saturday format that will be in place for all those weekends.

Spectator gates will open at noon each day. Admission is $50 for the weekend or $25 per day, with children 12 and under free, and all tickets are general admission and available only at the track. For those who want to spend the weekend at the track there is general RV parking available and that may be reserved by contacting chad@racele.com. Additional information may be found on the Fans' FAQ page at www.lucasoiloffoad.com.

LeDuc, at 32 the youngest member of a racing family that includes brother Todd and father Curt, opened the 2012 season with six straight Pro 4 victories and won the title by 14 points over Todd. Last season, LeDuc had five wins but was second to Carl Renezeder in the Pro 4 standings and finished ninth in his first season of Pro 2.

He said competing in two classes wasn't a problem because there were separate crews for each. The problem was simply that "we had some issues early on (after a won on opening day). But we took care of a lot of those issues and were able to get some wins and get back up in the points a little bit.

"It was a decent year. Second place is not bad. For as bad a season as we had, and it was one of my worst in a long time, we still ended up second in points and had a couple of wins (five), so it was good."

When the expectation is a championship, however, good isn't quite enough. That's why the Monster Energy/Toyo Tires team decided to slim down and get into top fighting shape, with a new truck as part of the arsenal they'll employ in an effort to "out-maneuver and out-mechanic and out-drive" a growing list of competitors.

The press of time has delayed the introduction of the new truck, which LeDuc said represents "a different concept of how we want to do stuff. It's something that's better, faster, a little more comfortable and a lot easier to work on, so it should be a better package all the way around."

For the moment, however, "the same old screamer" isn't a bad substitute, as LeDuc demonstrated with a win on opening day. He wasn't as fortunate in the second round, when get-togethers with Renezeder and Brandon Bailey contributed to an eighth-place finish, but he's ready to try again at Lake Elsinore.

"All we do is strive to compete, that's what we do every day," LeDuc said. "If we're behind we need to gain, and if we're ahead that's where we want to be."
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