Stronghold Motorsports' RJ Anderson Takes Home 2012 LOORRS Pro Lite Championship

 
 
RJ Anderson sits atop the podium no tonly in 1st but, a 2012 championship
RJ Anderson sits atop the podium no tonly in 1st but, a 2012 championship
Another season of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) action is in the books for Stronghold Motorsports, and another championship is on the mantle. But this one just feels different. It feels a little more special.

19-year-old RJ Anderson became the youngest professional trophy truck champion in LOORRS history, securing the Pro Lite championship in 2012. The son of an off road racing legend, Anderson now sits on top of the world, another superstar in the stable of Stronghold drivers that includes motocross king Jeremy McGrath, Jeremy 'Twitch' Stenberg and Cameron Steele. A few months later, the championship is starting to settle in for Anderson.

“I think the championship has finally sunk in,” Anderson said. “At first it all seemed so unreal, but after a few newspaper and magazine articles I’ve come to terms with the new title of Pro Lite champion.
RJ Anderson appreciates his LOORRS Pro Lite fan base and their support
RJ Anderson appreciates his LOORRS Pro Lite fan base and their support
“I have to give a special thanks to everyone who has reached out and congratulated me on my dream come true this year.”

Faced with the decision to either play baseball or go racing, Anderson chose the dirt, following in the footsteps of his father, Randy, the long-time crew chief for trophy truck legend Walker Evans. Five years later, Anderson looks like a genius for choosing the loud pedal over the diamond.

RJ Anderson started off-road racing and the ripe young age of 14
RJ Anderson started off-road racing and the ripe young age of 14
“There are a few things that made this championship special to me. The biggest one is the fact that I started my off road racing career at the lowest level, in a trophy kart at age 14. I had to work my way up through the ranks, proving myself in each class that I entered. To be a Pro Lite champion was always my dream and to actually see it come true in just five years was a very big accomplishment for me.

“Another reason it was so special is I got to do it right alongside my dad. He’s been an off road legend his whole life, so to be able to accomplish something like this together was very cool for me.”

RJ Andseron and the Stronghold race team grabbed the points lead early in the season and never looked back
RJ Andseron and the Stronghold race team grabbed the points lead early in the season and never looked back
Anderson jumped out to an early points lead and was able to carry that momentum through the season, never losing sight of the final goal.

“I honestly never lost faith in brining home the 2012 championship. We grabbed the point lead early and tried not to lose any momentum. There are always bumps in the road, but my team put in one-hundred-and-ten percent at all time and gave me a truck I was confident with going into each and every race.”

RJ Anderson is the youngest trophy truck champion in LORRSS history
RJ Anderson is the youngest trophy truck champion in LORRSS history
Those bumps Anderson alluded to certainly reared their ugly head during Anderson’s other championship run, but they also provided a moment of learning that helped Anderson better understand how to chase a championship and finish the deal.

“One thing I learned is in racing it’s never over until it’s over. I actually lost the TV championship earlier in the year after leading the points all season. I was leading the final race and on the last lap, I ended up breaking a transmission, which set me back to a runner-up finish in the points standings. I was very bummed, but it taught me to save my equipment, which helped carry over to the situation I was in during my Pro Lite championship hunt.”

Anderson dodged his biggest bullet early in the season.

The K&N sponsored racer has a long career ahead in off-road racing
The K&N sponsored racer has a long career ahead in off-road racing
“The most important moment of the year was when I lost a cylinder halfway through the Glen Helen night race and still managed to finish in fourth. We had a fast truck but on only seven cylinders, the truck was at a huge disadvantage. Championships are won on your bad days, so pulling off a fourth was a huge step in keeping us atop the field.”

Of course, every season has its magical moments, and for Anderson, one will forever be etched in his memory: the night he won the championship.

RJ Anderson understands engine protection is a big part of winning championships
RJ Anderson understands engine protection is a big part of winning championships
“A moment I will never forget is pulling into the winners circle after winning the night race in Las Vegas. The win clinched the Pro Lite class championship and the energy from the crowd and my team was insane. My team worked so hard all year and to reward them with a championship was a huge accomplishment. It took a lot of weight off my shoulders going into the final round with the title already clinched.”

One of the biggest advantages Anderson had was the strong sponsorship from Monster Energy Drink, Stronghold Motorsports, and of course, K&N Filters.

“One of the toughest battles in off road racing is keeping your engine together each and every race. We race in a very dirty environment, and the K&N products we use give us the performance we need to win championships, and the clean air our engines need to run all race long.”

For more Stronghold Motorsports write ups check out The Stronghold Race Team Stays Strong, Interview with Stronghold's Jeremy McGrath, and Back to the Podium for Stronghold Motorsports

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