The Hart and Huntington Off Road Team arrived to Firebird Raceway earlier this week with a whole new look and attitude. The crew and drivers are fired up with totally new ambition and Premiere Motorsports Group is representing eBay Motors and MAVTV with a sharp looking red, white and black livery.
It has been an extensive undertaking to date to get the team to this point. For example the new ProLite program, which has required a full month of 18 hour days just to make it out to the season opener, is now race ready after turning the first laps this afternoon. Due to some last minute adjustments, Ryan Beat, driver of the #51 Premiere Motorsports Group / Black Rhino ProLite missed practice and the qualifying session in the new truck. However; he was allowed to make a few hot laps and it appears the truck will be tuned and ready for Saturday’s Round 1.
For Ryan, this weekend will mark a milestone in his professional racing career. Ryan Beat has been appointed as the fill-in driver for Carey Hart in the #46 PRO-4. This decision has revealed to be a solid strategy as Beat qualified the eBay Motors MAVTV Truck 2.5 seconds off the leader and 8th fastest in short course racing’s top division. Ryan has only turned 3 laps in today’s practice and than the qualifying session is the extent of his seat time in this vehicle. He is already proclaiming his confidence and ability to race competitively.
Josh Merrell ended 2011 on a high note and began his 2012 truck preparation with a brief track test at Lake Elsinore. Coming into this race weekend the confidence is thick. Unfortunately the #22 MAVTV / eBay Motors Hart and Huntington PRO-4 struggled to get around Firebird’s 5 turn track. Merrell muscled his truck around with determination and earned the 9th fastest qualifying time. A front braking issue has been addressed, Todd T. from Fox Shoxs came buy to further dial the truck setup and a new tire groove has been implemented on the General Tires. These changes should better Merrell’s ability to control the truck in and out of the corners and push Josh towards the podium.
Friday practice and qualifying sessions are now finished. Round 1 of the 2012 season is only one nights sleep away. One nights sleep is something that most people in the Lucas Oil Off Road paddock wish they had a few more of. For now the Hart and Huntington Off Road Drivers can sleep easy knowing they will start side by side during the PRO-4 Race.
Tune into Hart and Huntington Off Road YouTube page for regular updates throughout the weekend and you can also follow the live timing and scoring on www.LucasOilOffRoad.com