There are several new names dotting the deep Pro 2 field in Championship Off Road this season. For the first two rounds this year, many of those drivers are looking for a way to keep pace with past class champions Keegan Kincaid and Kyle Kleiman.
Kleiman found a podium finish on Friday thanks to his ability to make late race charges, which resulted in a last lap pass for third. On Saturday, he took an easier route to the podium by working through some initial contact and moving into the lead on lap three. From there, he had a late challenge from Kincaid, but he covered his lines for his first win of the year.
“At the beginning of this race we were just trying to figure out lines, but then it just clicked there,” said Kleiman. “it was definitely a good start to the year, and I’m definitely pumped.”
After winning the season opener relatively unchallenged, Kincaid had to put his head down, stay clean and get to the cleaner air behind Kleiman. He stayed away from the fray and grabbed second on lap three. Despite having 14 laps under his belt already, he was looking for a couple more to see if he could have swapped positions with the race winner.
Rookie Ricky Gutierrez, who recently signed with Kenda, just missed a podium finish on Friday after Kleiman made his last last-lap pass. On Saturday, Gutierrez fought his way back after a blown tire forced him to the back.
His late charged was rewarded with his first career Pro 2 podium.