Racer perfects ‘science’

Rob MacCachren studied a new 37-inch-tall tire before using a thick yellow crayon to plot several precision cuts in the deep-lugged tread.

“This really is a science,” he said of customizing his BFGoodrich racing tires for Friday night’s penultimate round of The Off Road Championship series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s dirt track.

Tire technician Ryan Jonsson used a power cutter to follow MacCachren’s outline, making grooves in the front tires to assist steering and braking and in the rear tires to maximize transference of 850 horsepower to the track.

Tire preparation is critical because of transitions from hard clay on the existing half-mile oval to much looser dirt on jumps and the infield portion of the nearly three-quarter mile circuit.

“I’ve been doing this for a long, long time. I’d better know what I’m doing,” the 44-year-old MacCachren said of doctoring his tires for the blended surface.

MacCachren won the previous two TORC rounds a month ago in Perris, Calif., to take a four-point lead over Ricky Johnson in the premier Pro 2 two-wheel-drive truck division.

He made it three in a row Friday night, holding off Johnson in a 14-lap race, to increase his points lead to six. MacCachren can clinch the title by finishing fifth or better in tonight’s final round.

MacCachren, a North Las Vegas resident, has competed regularly in three other off-road series this year, including SCORE. He is contending for championships in SNORE and Best in the Desert.

“This is the busiest I’ve been since 2001,” he said, referring to the year he won four titles.

Within the next six weeks, MacCachren will race in two Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series stadium events, SCORE’s Baja 1000 and a Best in the Desert race in Primm with co-driver Steve Olliges of Las Vegas and possibly NASCAR star Greg Biffle.

“I’d race every weekend if I could,” said MacCachren, who has won 74 short-course titles and 43 open-desert races. “This is how I make a living and support my family.”

Contact reporter Jeff Wolf at or 702-383-0247.

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