Naughton and Team ReadyLift Racing wins final LOORRS Unlimited Lite race
The final Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series weekend of the year proved to be an event of epic proportions. After dominating the first six races of the year, Rob Naughton behind the wheel of the Team ReadyLift Racing Unlimited Lite spared no excitement entering the final LOORRS race weekend of the year. Mechanical failures on the No. 54 ReadyLift Racing U-lite while leading in the previous three races turned a healthy season points lead into a heated championship battle between series rivals Chris Brandt and Brian Deegan.
No other LOORRS Unlimited Lite team has racked up as many season wins as Naughton. Rob tore through Saturday’s qualifying and put the No. 54 ReadyLift Racing/Maxxis Tire/Lucas Oil/Team Associated Ford on the pole for the first of the two final races of the weekend. When the green flag flew on Saturday’s Unlimited Lite race Naughton seized the lead in turn one. Half way through a dominating race it became obvious Rob’s unlucky gremlin was still looking to wreak havoc as the clutch in his transmission let go. The unfortunate mechanical failure completely ruined a dominating performance and Team ReadyLift’s chances at yet another championship title.
The Team ReadyLift Racing pits was buzzing with optimism that we could go out and finish the dominating season by winning the final Unlimited Lite race of 2009. With a fresh motor and transmission, Rob again qualified the ReadyLift Racing Ford on the pole. With bragging rights and a championship on the line it was clear from the drop of the flag that this race would be one for the highlight reel. With Deegan in the lead and Naughton shadowing his every move, Rob waited for the right moment to grab the lead. That moment was in turn one and it was the last time anyone would be in front of Naughton the remainder of the race. At last the gremlins were crushed under the enthusiastic winning celebration as Rob piloted the ReadyLift Ford into the winner’s circle, jumped onto the roof of his truck and waved the checkered flag to a packed and cheering grandstands.
“Wanting redemption for myself and the team, I was on a mission to go out a winner. Following a string of four straight mechanical failures to take us out of the points championship, anything short of a win would be a failure. With that in mind I gave 110% effort out-dueling Brian Deegan and getting the win in arguably the most exciting race of the day,” said Rob in the post race interview.
Winning the final race of the season was a great way to close a dominating season. One that we expect to continue in 2010 as Rob moves from Unlimited Lite to an 850 horsepower Unlimited Pro 2 out of the Stronghold Motorsports stable. Rob surprised his fans as the brand new U-2 was debuted and entered in the last two rounds of racing. Flying the Canidae and ReadyLift colors, Naughton showed his championship form by racing as high as third place against 22 other top U-2 competitors, settling for a sixth place finish and a great outlook for 2010.
Rob and the entire ReadyLift Racing team would like to thank all of the fans who have supported the team this year and we look forward to an even better 2010 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series season starting the beginning of March 2010 at Lake Elsinore, California.