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Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series 5 minutes with:

Stronghold Motorsports Patrick Wagenbrenner



Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series:

What are you guys shooting for at the next round of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series-

Patrick W
You know it was kind of a mixed bag in the last race. We tested a lot prior to the first race at Firebird but when we came out to practice and qualifying on Friday we were really disappointed in the results. With the Pro 2s, we were able to make some changes with tire choices, grooving and the trucks themselves and the final results spoke for themselves with Jeremy and Rob finishing one and two. In Pro Lite and Pro Buggy I think we still have some work to do. Cameron is still making a big transition from being a Pro Buggy champion and now he has his first crack at Pro Lite. I think that he is adjusting his driving style from a buggy to a truck and with us making some changes to the truck we're still looking for some solutions there. We've still got a long way to go. On one hand we're seeing some success in Pro 2 and we'd like to continue that success and keep Jeremy and Rob at the front of the pack fighting for a championship. On the other hand we really need to get the Pro Lite up to speed and get Cameron confident with the truck so that he knows he's got a package that he can win with.



Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series:
The talent pool is deep within the Pro2 Unlimited Class would you say it's the deepest in history?

Patrick W:
You know I'd say it's deep, and I'd say there are a lot of guys out there that can win. I'd say that it is a different talent pool than we've seen before. I think that Pro 2, more than any other class is really leaning towards being a professional class. I think that historically there are a lot of great guys that have run in the Pro 2 class over the years. You've got Jerry Whelchel, one of the best drivers in history--he's won a championship. You've got Carl obviously, Todd Leduc, Rob MacCachren and Scott Taylor. There have been some great, great Pro 2 drivers who have raced in the class. I think now you are seeing the emergence of professional off-road racers really taking over. You've got Jeremy Mcgrath and Rob Naughton, who are under team owner Scott Bailey. You've got Twitch who's a professional working on the Hart and Huntington team for Ryan Busnardo. You've got Rob MacCachren who is a professional off-road racer. Carl is again fully sponsored. The Leducs are also fully sponsored as well as Bryce Menzies. So you have a handful of professional guys in the class now with full sponsor support which we haven't always seen in the past. We have Monster Energy out there looking to compete with Stronghold and Readylift and all of the other great partners we have. I think the sponsors stepping up and the top-notch talent that's coming into this thing right now is pushing the make up of the class towards being truly professional.



Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series:
You have a couple racers with some motocross background. Do you see other cross over athletes joining Stronghold's Team in the future?

Patrick W:
I don't know if it is necessarily just the Stronghold Team. I think there are a lot of people looking to come into the sport. I think you are going to see a lot of guys come from the outside. We've already seen Jeremy Stenberg, Brian Deegan, Jeremy McGrath and even Rob Naughton all with moto backgrounds. I think that today the sport is attracting a lot of great talent from outside the endemic off-road world. Right now I think we are really happy with what we have on our team. We are always looking at talent and looking to continue to develop and evolve but I think we have a great core group of guys here in our trucks and we really want to focus on making these guys winners.



Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series:
What changes did you make to the Stronghold team for 2011?

Scott Bailey:
Well I think it is important as a team owner that we not only have winners but also have more fruitful athletes. As you look at our lineup of drivers we tried to put in place a team of marketable athletes that are winners. So, adding Jeremy who I consider to be one of the biggest names not only in our sport but worldwide as a recognized identity, I think brings a huge amount of credibility to both our team and the series. Cameron is also a very notable off-road racer. Those things are important as we are chasing sponsorship. It's important to have guys that the sponsors want to be involved with because they are out there and able to sell their product. I think that we have capitalized on that as best as we possibly can and in turn that's the way we make our decisions. It's not only the winning but also the marketability. Backing that up, we have never been short on investing in quality equipment. When you have quality equipment, it has to be backed up with quality support and so we made some changes with the addition of Dave Clark and Jimmy Davidson to help us with our shop side of things. While taking away absolutely nothing from the guys that we already had, the difference is that there is many, many years of experience from Dave that he brings to the table. I jokingly tell Nick that he's going to finishing school. Now he is learning the next level attributes that are needed to go out there and win races. I think that was a little bit of what we were missing… we were 85% there in the shop but we needed that extra little15% boost to get us on the podium consistently.



About the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series:
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is the evolution of the long standing support of short course racing by Forrest Lucas and Lucas Oil Products. Steeped in the Midwest tradition of short course off road racing infused with a West Coast influence, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing brings intense four wheel door to door action to challenging, fan friendly tracks. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: This is Short Course. For more information please visit Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
 
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