There was a lot of caution and a lot of commotion, but we kept our heads down and kept it going. I had my crew telling me there was no one behind me and to race the fastest race that I can and it would be the best lap you were going to get. —Eric Barron
TOOELE — Eric Barron knew race favorite Carl Renezeder would be on his tail until the very end.
He wouldn’t want it any other way.
In the end, Barron, who is from Barona, Calif., was able to hold off the nine-time defending champion and take the Pro 4 15-lap main race Sunday at Miller Motorsports Park.
“I could hear Carl and he gave me a good run,” Barron said. “But I don’t come out here to race by myself. With these guys all over me — that’s what it’s all about.”
Barron edged out Renezeder with a winning time of 33:31.617 to Renezeder’s time of 33:31.892.
While the ending was all fans could ask for, it took the drivers awhile to get there. Multiple mishaps on the track led to an inordinate amount of caution flags — slowing down the race and keeping the field relatively close until the end.
“There was a lot of caution and a lot of commotion, but we kept our heads down and kept it going,” Barron said. “I had my crew telling me there was no one behind me and to race the fastest race that I can and it would be the best lap you were going to get.”
Perhaps the most significant flag went up during the 12th lap when then leader Greg Adler’s vehicle turned upside down after taking a sharp turn. Adler had led the race until that point.
Barron took full advantage of Adler’s crash — immediately taking the lead with Renezeder and Todd Leduc in close pursuit. When Leduc’s vehicle flipped in the 13th lap it left just Barron and Renezeder ahead of the pack.
Renezeder closed fast to pull just about even on the final turn before Barron put it into high gear to win by the slimmest of margins.
“It was an awesome dogfight today with all these guys, especially with them all behind me at the finish line,” Barron said. “But it’s an awesome day and I really have to thank all the fans out here in Utah. We put it all together and we got the win.”
Renezeder, disappointed with the final result, was gracious in defeat.
“That was a crazy race,” Renezeder said. “There were a lot of yellow (flags) and the track got a little dry, but that last lap was why I like to do this. Eric deserved the win and I tried to give him everything I had at the end. It was close, but he had a little more than me today.”
Rob Maccachren took third with a time of 33:34.965 while local favorite Jerry Daughtery (Riverton) took fourth with a time of 33:35.576.
Renezeder again played the bridesmaid in the day’s concluding Pro 2 final to Maccachren by a mere 2 1/2 seconds.
Geoffrey Cooley won Sunday’s 14-lap Pro Buggy final while Sheldon Creed took home the 14-lap Pro Lite title.