Radar Tire's Brooks places 12th at Lake Elsinore
At the last race of the 2013 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) season at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park today, Jerett Brooks was running second and suffered an engine failure in Turn 1 of the final race lap. Brooks came to a heartbreaking sudden stop, seconds before the checkered flag and hopeful podium finish.
Brooks, driver of the No. 77 Synergy Electric Nissan, started from the fifth position in the 14-lap/15-minute race. Brooks found the best racing groove and reached the fourth position before a massive barrel roll incident involving one-truck, which caused a red flag.
“That race was gnarly because it was super muddy at first, so all the mud was getting caked on everyone,” said Brooks. “The field was spinning out and over-rotating everywhere. I was trying to find traction on the bottom because the top line was caked with mud. The bottom worked for me.”
When racing resumed on Lap 8, Brooks acquired the second position. On the restart, Brooks was challenging for the race lead and was on the heels of the leader. At the start of Lap 10, Brooks’ crew noticed fluid leaking from the truck, at the same time; he felt the truck losing power and was experiencing issues with the steering assist.
Brooks was trying to manage the truck issues while in second place, hoping to hold on to earn Radar Tires’ first podium in LOORRS. As the white flag was shown to the field, Brooks began losing power and coasted through Turn 1 before making a complete stop at the turn exit with smoke billowing from of the engine.
“I was trying to stay with the leader and gap him out,” continued Brooks. “I saw some smoke coming out of the hood and I kept running her. I felt the truck was shutting off and the power steering wasn’t working right. I was driving her hard and on the last lap, she just died.”
LOORRS officials towed Brooks’ truck back to the team pits. The team inspected the engine and found that a rock had punctured the radiator and that he had a broken power steering belt. Brooks was awarded a 12th-place finish.
“The Radar Tires were great all weekend. I always had grip coming out of the turns. I never felt like I was going to over-rotate at all. Those Radar Tires were hooking up great. I just wished we could have made it through that final lap under power and earn that podium finish.”
Doug Mittag, driver of the No. 81 Bronson Motorsports Toyota Tacoma sponsored by Radar Tires started from the 11th position. Mittag and Brooks battled for position during the first five laps of the race. On Lap 6, Mittag was in Turn 4, over-rotated the truck and the right front wheel flew off of the racing machine. He was able to hobble the truck back to the pits on just three wheels.
The Bronson Motorsports team inspected the wheel and found that the hub nut had been stripped off of the spindle threads. Mittag was awarded an 18th-place finish, after running a race-high of sixth place.
“We were off to a very good start,” said Mittag. “I was able to pass a several people on the first couple laps and really go wheel-to-wheel with my Radar Tires teammate Jerett Brooks. About halfway through the wheel fell off and I over-rotated in Turn 4. As a result, we weren’t able to finish the race. The truck was dialed, the team has been awesome these last couple of races and I’m bummed we weren’t able to get up on the podium. The Radar Tires were awesome and were super hooked-up. I can’t complain about the truck, the truck was perfect. We had a little bit of bad luck today.”