2016 was a strong year for "Showtime" Jeremy McGrath in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. Coming off of a fifth place finish in the points in 2015, Jeremy strived to take his Maxxis Tires, Icon, and Airaid Filters Pro 2 closer to a championship. The hard work that Jeremy and the team did in the offseason showed right away in Round 1 at Wild Horse Pass where he battled the entire race up front with all the previous champions, and having tremendous speed and finishing fifth was a great way to start off the season and get into the swing of things to come. The next few rounds showed Jeremy was fast, but so was everyone else, and he finished back and forth between top five and top ten finishes.
Jeremy McGrath putting on a great show for the crowd at the Wild West Motorsports Park in Reno
Heading into the middle of the season, Jeremy was looking forward to Utah Motorsports Campus where he has had great finishes in the past. In practice, he was the second fastest, but due to the weather there was no qualifying for the first race of the weekend. The weather cleared up just enough for the track crew to get the track groomed and allow for a great race. During the race Jeremy was in a tight battle with Bryce Menzies and Rob McCachren, where the three of them put on a great show for all the fans who battled with the weather. Jeremy was able to stand on the podium for the first time of the season with a strong second place finish. That night, the team worked hard to make changes to the truck that would make it faster and work better in the difficult weather conditions. The team found that the little bit of extra speed helped Jeremy qualify first for the next round of racing, and keeping this kind of speed all the way through the race helped Jeremy lead the majority of the race all the way to the checkered flag to finish out a great weekend in Utah.
Jeremy McGrath, on the podium celebrating his win at Utah Motorsports Campus
The series headed south of the border to Estero Beach, which is right next to Ensenada, Mexico. Jeremy continued his strong performances where he was able to start out with a third place in qualifying time. Ready to battle and wanting to keep his podium string going strong, he put on another great show for all of his fans where he stayed out in front and won his second race in a row. The next few races didn’t go as he would have preferred, but at Wild West Motorsports Park he was able to end that. At the most demanding track on the series, Jeremy was able to get back on the podium and finish second. With this finish and a third in the Challenge Cup, Jeremy ended the season with two wins, two seconds, a third, and nine top five finishes. With these strong finishes Jeremy finished one spot better than the previous year where he finished in fourth place. Jeremy said, “ We had a great year, with off-road, highs and lows are expected. Winning 2 races in a row was a big high. I have always done well in SLC but to back it up in Mexico was amazing. I had a few other really good runs going and had some mechanical issues. Leading at my home track Lake Elsinore and having a failure was a major low.”
Jeremy McGrath showing why AIRAID filters are so important while racing in dirt
In the offseason, Jeremy and the team are planning to do a few changes to the truck, but don’t want to do too much since it consistantly ran up front almost every weekend. The team is planning some trips to the desert to have fun as a team and spend time with their families. Jeremy also will be keeping himself sharp as well. He said, “When it comes to racing I feel I am always ready to go when I get behind the wheel. I'll get in some testing days before Rd1 and that should get me fired up. I also ride my Kawasaki 450 a couple times a week and that keeps me sharp.”
Jeremy McGrath proving why his nickname is Showtime, he can race on two, three, and four wheels
The 2017 season is going to be very busy in the JM2 pit and race shop. Besides Jeremy racing his Pro 2, teammate Brock Heger will be racing a Pro Lite and a UTV. Jeremy’s daughters will also be returning to the track and racing in the J1 and J2 Trophy Karts, which have been brought back to the national series. Racing five different classes will make for a very busy weekend and having all the support needed for this is a must. “The support the JM2 team has at the track could not be better. Our main sponsors like Maxxis, ICON vehicle dynamics, and AIRAID not only provide us with the best products to race with but they also go to every event and give us trackside support. We test and race in harsh conditions so its nice to know all our vehicles keep running strong with AIRAID intake systems and filters,” Jeremy stated.
So if you are able to make it out to any of the races, make sure you stop by the JM2 pit. You will see several of the top vehicles being worked on right before and after they put on a great show. Also, Jeremy and the rest of the team are always happy to talk to fans and sign autographs, and while doing that you can refresh yourself with lemonade from their pit most of the races. The team is looking forward to seeing everyone at the first race in Lake Elsinore in March.
Jeremy McGrath loves to be in the air almost as much as he loves being on the ground