Carl Renezeder Reclaims 2012 Lucas Oil Challenge Cup at Firebird Season Finale

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Carl Renezeder won the 2012 season ending Challenge Cup at Firebird Raceway, it’s his second Cup in four tries
Carl Renezeder won the 2012 season ending Challenge Cup at Firebird Raceway, it’s his second Cup in four tries
Saving the best for last – for the past four years the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing has done just that. The season finale Challenge Cup race, held at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Arizona, featured combined classes duking it out, and it continues to draw more attention and larger crowds each year. And why wouldn’t it, it’s a formula deliberately set to deliver plenty of high drama and fantastic racing.

Although the Pro-4 and Pro-2 trucks may appear similar in size and weight, the variations in drivetrains and chassis usually spell about a second a lap difference, which is why the Pro 2s start half a lap ahead of the Pro 4s, and it’s also why the action heats up immediately from the get-go. The trick for winning the event is to make bold moves while staying clear of all the drama, which precisely fits into Carl Renezeder strike zone, and why his name is now engraved on the trophy for the second time in just four tries. Renezeder entertainingly demonstrated every aspect of the skill set he acquired during his 14-year tenure in his Lucas Oil short-course series to win 2012 Lucas Oil Challenge Cup at season ending show down.
Renezeder said his Pro-4 truck ran flawless during the opening laps of the race
Renezeder said his Pro-4 truck ran flawless during the opening laps of the race

“I’m pretty sure we could have had problems on all four corners of my truck during that race and I would have driven it the same way – I was in the zone,” explained Renezeder after passing 21 trucks on his way to his 104th career win and the $30,000 prize. “The truck was flawless in the opening laps. I could put it anywhere, and it worked. We did have a broken sway bar arm before halfway, but it didn’t ruin our day. I had so much fun driving today!”

The K&N sponsored driver finished out the points season the day before the Cup with a convincing win in Pro-4 and a disappointing eighth-place in Pro-2, landing him third and fourth in the points championships, respectively. Renezeder had his choice of running either his Pro-2 or Pro-4 truck in the Cup race and he went with the Pro-4 based partially on that win.

The carnage in the Cup race is infamous, and this year didn’t disappoint as only 12 of the 24 starters finished on the lead lap of the 20-lap event. Fourteen Pro-2s led the field, and Renezeder was the eighth Pro-4 starter, with only two trucks behind him at the drop of the green flag. The initial start had to be thrown out though when two trucks got together in turn three on the first full lap. Renezeder was disappointed in having to do a full restart after a fantastic start in his truck, but he was up to the task as he was able to restart well, and in only three laps he was past all of the Pro-4s in the field.

The Cup victory gave Renezeder his 104th career win and the $30,000 prize
The Cup victory gave Renezeder his 104th career win and the $30,000 prize
Fans got every penny of their Challenge Cup dollar as they witnessed the master do his thing on the big stage. Renezeder’s most spectacular pass was the leap over the step-up into turn four, where he got around four trucks in one bold, calculated move. By lap ten he was in the lead with Pro-4 champion, Kyle LeDuc, close behind. Renezeder caught a lip on a jump out of turn one that just about ended his day and LeDuc as able to make a move around him for the lead. Unfortunately, on the very next lap LeDuc wasn’t as lucky on the same jump, going for a hard end-over-end ride that ended his day. Fortunately, he walked away from the wreck. Renezeder led the rest of the race, closing out the 2012 season with the big win.

“I’m so proud of our team,” Renezeder remarked. “My team, my family, my sponsors and all of the fans – they’ve been here every step of the way and this win is for them.”

The 2012 season didn’t start well for Renezeder, and by mid-season it didn’t show much hope for great improvement. But he’s an eight-time champion for a reason, and the final two events of the year showcased that. The team wrapped up the year with five wins in eight races, including the biggest race of the year, no doubt making the off-season much more bearable. They’ll look to pick up the 2013 season right where this one left off, with confidence and the ability to win.

Carl Renezeder has been racing for quite some time now. Be sure to check out these K&N news write ups on his success: Carl Renezeder Shatters the 100-Win Milestone, Renezeder Sweeps CORR Lucas Oil Championship and Carl Renezeder Wins CORR

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