For the past 11 years the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LORRS) has been the go to short course event on the West Coast. The series crowned champions like: Brian Degan, Carl Renezeder, Rob MacCachren, Kyle LeDuc, RJ Anderson, Corry Weller…. the list can go for miles. Unfortunately after an 11 year run, in 2020 Lucas Oil announced they have folded the series. Oddly enough this wasn’t due to Covid-19. Dirt Chronicles was able to have some in depth discussions with some drivers, and the consensus is the series folded due to mismanagement and mistreatment of some very large teams, let’s just leave it there…
This left many race fans and teams wondering – Now what? In February of 2021 short course race series director Lee Perfect and race promoter Dave Cole of Hammerking Productions announced the exciting formation of a new series, Great American Short Course (GAS) powered by OPTIMA Batteries. We have all seen what Dave Cole has done with the Ultra 4 series and King of the Hammers, so the excitement began to build.
(Via: The GAS website) “Great American Shortcourse: GAS is a strategic path forward with the goal to not merely keep short course racing alive, but to successfully grow to new heights. The GAS team is comprised of many who have experience launching a short course series. GAS plans to take a fresh look at short course racing in the West and learn from each other to build something sustainable, safe, and fun for everyone from the grassroots racers to the pros.”
The series kicked off with rounds 1 & 2 in Victorville, CA on April 10th 2021. As with many new leagues, series’, and events, things take time, but Southern California was just happy to know short course racing will continue in the region. We were personally invited to attend rounds 3 & 4 on the weekend of May 22, at the Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, CA. Unfortunately with such short notice we were only able to attend round 4 on Sunday, but we were proud to attend and cover! The day kicked off with the youth classes qualifying just after 8:00A.M. while larger classes followed. Qualifying was complete, and racing began just after noon.
As the day continued, the larger classes took to the course. It was great to see the class 11 cars (VW Bugs) hitting the track. There were only 3 contenders which is obviously small, but the drivers and promoters are confident the class will grow. There are a lot of these race bugs in garages, and we agree the class will indeed grow. Congratulations to winner Ryan Rodriguez car #1191 for taking home the hardware.
The day continued with Limited & 1600 Buggy with Kyle Knot taking the top spot.
The Weller Racing SR1 UTV race commenced shortly after, and it was great to see husband and wife team Jason & Corry Weller on the podium again. Something we were very used to seeing during the Lucas Oil Series. They have definitely built something amazing with the Weller racing program.
The Cylex Signs Mod Kart, Production Turbo UTV, Production 1000, So Cal Fleet Services Pro Buggy, Pro Lite, and Pro 2 battles rounded out the day. Ronnie Anderson, who is no stranger to the podium took the top spot in the Pro 2 class.
It was so great to see racing continuing forward, and even more impressive to see the series that GAS is building. The open desert racing leagues have found a way to keep racing, even while jumping through the hoops that Covid-19 has thrown at them, and the team at GAS has now done the same. Kudos to the entire team, we thoroughly enjoyed joining everyone and seeing race fans enjoying a day at the races. “We learned from King of the Hammers that it’s better to have your fans be able to actively participate at the events than just sit there watching, and we aim to provide that opportunity here,” explained Dave Cole. Let’s keep it going!