When you have a #1 on the side of your vehicle, it serves as a proverbial bullseye to the rest of your competitors. While the Turbo UTV field has thrown everything they have at Corry Weller through the first rounds of the 2019 season, the most prolific female driver in the history of the sport has withstood the pressure. It’s not easy to defend a championship, but Weller is doing her best to make it look that way.
The Arizona native enjoyed a perfect start to her quest for back-to-back titles, earning convincing wins at the first three rounds from Glen Helen, Wild Horse Pass, and Estero Beach Resort. To make matters worse for her rivals, Weller was able to thrive in every situation she found herself in. Entering the most recent race of the season, the second half of a doubleheader in Ensenada, Mexico, it appeared as though she was well on her way to her fourth win in a row. However, a rare bout with misfortune left her with a broken wheel and a DNF.
Weller’s adversity opened the door for her challengers to keep the championship interesting, and now 11 points separate her from Ronnie Anderson in second. While he’s still in search of his first win this season, Anderson has been able to put himself at the front of the field at virtually every round, and he’s got a trio of podium finishes to show for it.
Chance Haugen has quietly amassed a solid season as well, highlighted by a pair of podium results that have put him 15 points out of the championship lead. The biggest beneficiary of Weller’s troubles at Estero Beach Resort was Trevor Leighton, who became the first driver other than the champ to take a checkered flag. The victory vaulted him to fourth in points, but he’s got an uphill climb ahead of with a 29-point deficit to Weller.
Given what we’ve seen this season, it appears as though the Turbo UTV title is Weller’s to lose. However, look no further than the last race to realize that nothing is given in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. Should Weller encounter another misstep over the course of the final five rounds, her rivals are more than ready to take advantage and keep this battle for the championship interesting.
After four rounds of action in the Production 1000 UTV class of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series one thing has been clear, Brock Heger is determined to repeat as champion. The talented young driver has taken full advantage of his participation in two different classes this season, with his experience in Pro Lite paying big dividends in Production 1000. The reigning class champion already has three victories to his credit this season, and has finished no worse than third so far in 2019.
Heger has earned more points than any other driver, in any class, and he’s putting the entire short-course off-road industry on notice by doing so. He kicked off his title defense with an impressive win at Glen Helen, which was followed by a third at Wild Horse Pass, his worst outing of the year. He rebounded with a convincing sweep at Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada, Mexico, to further set a standard that is going to be difficult to beat.
Despite all of Heger’s success, Robert Stout has continued to give chase with an impressive season of his own, and it’s allowed him to keep Heger within reach in terms of the championship. Eight points sit between the lead duo, thanks in large part to Stout’s trio of podium finishes, anchored by a win at Wild Horse Pass, and back-to-back runner-up finishes to Heger in Mexico.
Together, Heger and Stout have distanced themselves from the rest of the Production 1000 field, setting the stage for a two-rider showdown over the final five rounds of the 2019 season. Behind them, there’s been a variety of drivers that have battled their way onto the podium, including Myles Cheek, Brandon Arthur, and Cole Keatts. Of this group, Cheek has spent the most time battling alongside Heger and Stout, and it’s why he sits third in the standings, 35 points out of the lead.
As the championship makes its way towards Sparks, Nevada’s Wild West Motorsports Park at the end of July, Heger will look to keep his impressive bid for back-to-back titles going, seeking just a little more breathing room from Stout, who is all but certain to keep his main rival honest for the remainder of the season.