HotSauce Brings Some Heat To Baja
Ensenada, Baja California Mexico
Darren “HotSauce” Hardesty Jr got his nickname because he loves hot sauce, and he brings the heat wherever he goes. He was anxious to get to rounds 7 and 8 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at the Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. At the inaugural race last year, the fans went wild for Darren and his distinctive “HotSauce” branding. This year, many of those fans were back to see HotSauce race again. Photos they shot last year of HotSauce and his Bilstein, Off Road Warehouse, Mickey Thompson Tires, Bink Designs, Impact, Lucas Oil Products, Alumi Craft Race Cars, Black Rhino, RacerX and USA Wheels Pro Buggy were brought along for Darren to autograph.
“It was great to see the friends we made last year,” said HotSauce, “Racing is so popular in Baja; the fans know all about the cars and the Lucas Oil series. We had a big crowd around our pit all weekend. The fans had a great attitude; it was a lot of fun spending time with them.” The race in Estero Beach has turned out to be very popular. Being right next to the ocean, it is a unique venue for the series.
During practice on Friday, the team tried a different gearing package in the transaxle; similar to what they run in Reno. They were a couple of seconds off the fastest time so they switched the transmission to one with different gear ratios. During qualifying they hoped for the best and were rewarded with the second fastest time.
The track was rough but their Bilstein shocks were keeping the car in control in the ruts. A taller Mickey Thompson tire in the rear made their set-up similar to what they ran last year. The track was dry and filled with holes on Saturday during the race. HotSauce started on the front row in the second spot and after some back and forth on the track, finished in second place. It was decided to keep the same set-up in the car for Sunday.
On Sunday, the track started to hold some of the moisture they had been pouring on it for the prior two days. It was still rough but it was also slick. “The track was super muddy with a lot of holes,” said HotSauce, “We qualified 3rd and they drew a zero inversion again. During the race I was not driving too well. I got some dirt in my face and swallowed some of it; I was choking on it. I missed a couple of corners but I held my position in third and finished on the podium again.”
It was a fun weekend of racing for HotSauce and prosperous for him in the points race. His back to back podiums put him one point out of third place in the standings; 28 points out of first. He loves traveling to Mexico and having a chance to interact with the fans and sample some delicious tacos. He also sampled some Estero Beach dirt. When asked how the dirt tasted, HotSauce replied, “kind of spicy.” The next race for Darren will be Rounds 9 & 10 at Glen Helen Raceway on July 23rd and 24th. A night race, he will be racing his Bilstein, ORW, Mickey Thompson Tires, Pro Buggy under the Glen Helen lights. For the latest news and information about Darren “HotSauce” Hardesty Jr.’s racing go to: http://darrenhardestyjr.com/ where you will find fan information, race reports, photos, videos and much more.
Photography By: Bink Designs
About Darren “HotSauce” Hardesty Jr.
Darren “HotSauce” Hardesty Jr. is a third generation racer who is making his own mark on off road racing. Darren’s Father, Darren Sr. and Grandfather Earl, have both won the most prestigious off-road races in the world and own Championships in the premier SCORE International Desert Racing series. The competitive streak runs deep in the Hardesty family. Darren Jr. shares the same drive; working his way up the ladder from Dwarf cars and JR1 Kart, where he was named “Rookie of the Year”, to JR2 and then the fastest kart class in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, Modified Kart. Originally slated to transition into the Pro Buggy class in 2015 by racing in the Lucas Oil Regional Series, he entered a pro level race, did extremely well and ran the rest of the Pro Buggy season in the professional series. He earned the rookie of the year title in both the Regional and Professional series’ in 2015. He became the youngest driver ever to win a professional class race with his victory in Tooele, Utah and won the regional series points championship. At only 15 years of age, Darren Jr. is an accomplished racer who has successfully applied the insight and knowledge instilled in him from his accomplished family. Put him in the driver’s seat and he is guaranteed to spice things up as his nickname “HotSauce” suggests.
Visit // www.darrenhardestyjr.com
About Bink Designs
Bink Designs is a premier graphic design company located in San Diego, CA. Since 2003, Bink Designs has been committed to providing cost-effective solutions for clients’ high-end graphic needs. Bink Designs will work with you to develop a strategy that matches your goals. Bink Designs offers a number of services, including: Identity, Print Design, Vinyl Graphics, Web Design, Photography & Apparel.
Visit // www.binkdesigns.com