Small town USA holds a weekly tradition of Saturday Night Racing in rural communities very similar to what takes place at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland Missouri. The motorsports fans lucky enough to call this their home track are treated to a wide variety of racing which now includes a full weekend featuring Lucas Oil Off Road Racing (LOORRS). Professional short course off road is a real thrill and the Pro Lite Division is often the most entertaining. Christopher Polvoorde owned part of the action up front and drove his #94 STEEL-IT / TIS Wheels / General Tire Pro Lite to an impressive pair of third place podium finishes with utterly smooth and consistent racing.
Short course off road racing is not that uncommon in the mid-west, but when the only national series makes a huge investment to build a super exciting track and bring the big leagues to the heartland of America, you get all sorts of motorsports fans and gear head enthusiasts showing up from all corners. Lucas Oil Speedway is a marvelous jewel of a facility nicknamed the “Diamond In The Dirt” and saw large crowds hungry to witness the excitement of off road racing.
Last year Polvoorde showed good speed on the track and had a decent stack of notes for the proper truck setup. Coming off of a double win weekend sweep in Mexico, the team knew the King Shocks were dialed and baseline tune was solid. Christopher knew it would come down to his judgment and brevity in the driver’s seat. The Pro Lite field is stacked with seasoned competition. With Polvoorde and the #94 STEEL-ITPro Lite well within championship contention, the plan was to play it smart and race hard up to the podium.
The weekend started with the practice sessions which was all going according to the program, regaining knowledge of course configuration and experiencing track conditions when a slip up & over rotation in Turn 3 led to rolling the truck on its lid. The Simpson safety equipment did its job and Christopher was uninjured. Back in the pits, the crew was able to quickly check everything out and inspect the chassis thanks to the high-tech STEEL-IT Coating. With everything looking straight with zero structural fatigue, the truck was put back together and made race ready for qualifying the next morning. Polvoorde ended up 5th fastest of the 14 truck field with a lap time of 1 Minute and 21.446 Seconds.
Round 4 went off without a hitch for Christopher. Starting near the front, Polvoorde held position and raced lap after lap with smooth consistent prowess. Race leader, Ryan Beat had his hands full with Brandon Arthur diving in attempting to make a pass for first and Brock Heger knocking on both their doors. The STEEL-IT Pro Lite finally got a shot on Lap 6 and Christopher was able to move up into 3rd where he held the podium position till the checkers. “Going into the race I knew that I had a fast truck but it was going to be tough getting to the front,” explained Polvoorde. “It was a fun race with lots of action. After some hard battles I was able to get to the 3rd spot and earn the Optima Batteries Fast Lap.”
Round 5 saw Polvoorde qualify in 5th position once again. Not exactly ideal but still close enough to make something happen. Soon after qualifying was over, a fierce rain storm showered the area nearly flooding out the track. It was coming down hard, bad enough that the LOORRS officials were questioning to let the races move forward. “I knew I wanted to race because I liked mud races,” stated Christopher. “Back in 2013, I won my very first event in an extremely muddy and rainy race. After hearing the news that we got the go ahead and would be racing I knew it was going to be a fun one!
Polvoorde and the team recognized it was going to be slick and muddy. Preparing for the worst, “I stacked over 50 tear offs onto my Simpson Race helmet,” admitted Christopher. “We made several significant adjustments to give the truck as much traction as possible and I knew that the General Tire Grabber X3’s were going to be perfect for the conditions.
“From the green flag, it was craziness just trying to hold onto that 5th spot starting position,” declared Christopher. “Coming around on the second lap, I went from 5th to 2nd in just two corners. I knew we were fast enough to take on the leaders so I poured it on and went to move in on the top positions. As I was chasing down the leader I suddenly got hit and spun out from behind. We lost several spots and I just put my head down to try and get back into it.
I knew it would be tough to get back to the front. I started making my way up and after some good battles with Thomas and Anderson, I was able to get to the podium for a strong finish. The weekend definitely had some ups and downs, but overall it was great racing!”
If Christopher continues with these results, the STEEL-IT Pro Lite just may earn a 2018 Championship! None of this would be possible without help and support from STEEL-IT, TIS Wheels, General Tire, The Palms River Resort, King Shocks, Simpson, Optima Batteries, Magnaflow, Rugged Radios, Camburg Racing, and KC Hilites.”
Photography By: Bink Designs
About Christopher Polvoorde 17 year old Christopher Polvoorde is constantly on the move. When he is not racing short course in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS), he is training and competing cross country on a mountain bike. An academic over-achiever with a 4.5 GPA, he is a quick study on the track as well. He earned the 2014 Modified Kart rookie of the year title. In 2015, he surpassed that by winning the LOORRS Modified Kart Championship and a TORC series World Championship trophy at the birthplace of short course racing; the “Big House” in Crandon, Wisconsin. Racing his Mod Kart in 2016, he won both the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup race and a second world championship in Crandon. In 2017 he won the Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year title in Pro Lite. When he is not racing or studying, Christopher enjoys working in the race shop, snowmobiling, RC car racing, and skiing. In 2018, he will be racing towards a championship in the ultra-competitive Pro Lite class.