close-up photo of drag racing legend, Rob MacCachren, sitting inside his off-road trophy truck at the 2022 Mint 400 race. He is not driving nor is he wearing a helmet. The photo is from the front of the truck looking into the cab of the truck

Interview with  Rob MacCachren

The G.O.A.T. of off-road racing, Rob MacCachren, shares his remarkable story about VP Pro Grade Engine Oil

Estimated reading time 4:40

Rob MacCachren. Those four syllables have been striking fear in the hearts of off-road racers for decades, and the veteran shows no signs of slowing down. As the saying goes, heroes get remembered, but legends never die.

 

Ask someone who is the G.O.A.T. of the NBA, and most people will immediately proclaim Michael Jordan. In the NFL, it’s indubitably Tom Brady. Opinions about Major League Baseball are a bit more equivocal: Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, and a few others.

 

However, in the world of off-road racing, there is no disputing the G.O.A.T. – Rob MacCachren stands on his own Mount Olympus among the pantheon of all-timers.

 

He’s been racing SCORE since 1986, which is where all of the heavy hitters are running nowadays. If they raced Lunar Roving Vehicles on the moon, he’d probably own Earth’s satellite. The list of his career accomplishments and triumphs unrolls like a medieval scroll.

action photo of Rob MacCachren and his trophy truck racing through the desert in the afternoon. A huge dust cloud of dirt is trailing his truck, which is coming toward the camera

Rob MacCachren & VP Racing

The Greatest Show on Dirt

Rob MacCachren has a long-standing relationship with VP Racing Fuels that dates back a decade when he started using VP fuel. The G.O.A.T. recently switched his fuel from VP’s Late Model Plus to the new VP Trophy Truck fuel and promptly captured the Baja 500 the first time he ran with it.

 

In his razor-sharp quest to fend off the pack of hungry competitors and remain king of the mountain (or desert), he has added VP Stay Frosty Race-Ready Coolant and Pro Grade 15W50 Racing Engine Oil to his arsenal in the last two years. As you’ll later read, it has already paid off immensely.

 

He says, “As stiff and tough as the competition is, you have to have everything running in tip-top shape and have no worries.” As Shakespeare wrote, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” When your name is Rob MacCachren, you wear a bullseye like a birthmark. To be prepared is half the victory.

 

Forty years into his illustrious career, it’s obvious he leaves no stone unturned. He is to off-road racing what Muhammad Ali was to boxing, Fred Astaire to dancing, or Sir Lawrence Olivier to acting. Opposing drivers must feel like the coyote chasing the Roadrunner in a cartoon. The other guys on the course are off-road racers. Rob MacCachren is THE off-road racer.

 

If you asked the competition how they prepare for a race against the G.O.A.T., they’d likely reply, “With tears in our eyes.” In his Trophy Truck, Rob is like a thief in the night; if you blink, you’ll miss him. His trophy case is filled with more metal than your neighborhood scrap yard – so much that you’d need to hire a certified public accountant to count them.

Rob MacCachren racing in the desert in his BF Goodrich Trophy Truck. Photo is a side view of his truck with a trail of dirt trailing the truck

Rob MacCachren: Changes in Racing Strategy

As racing enthusiasts know, the rigors of desert racing require immense physical and mental stamina, adept driving, and the best performance products, lubricants, and fuel to maximize your odds of successfully advancing across a vast wasteland.

 

The point is further magnified due to a change in racing strategy. As MacCachren says, drivers used to run around 70% during most of a race; stiffer competition and a more extensive field of drivers have forced off-road racers to go pedal-to-the-metal at first sight of the green flag, creating additional stress on their vehicles.

Drag racing legend Rob MacCachren, in his BF Goodrich off-road racing trophy truck. The photo is an action shot during a desert race

NO OIL PRESSURE? NO PROBLEM

Rob MacCachren Overcomes Broken Oil Pump Belt

After winning the 2021 Mint 400, MacCachren encountered a situation at the 2022 event that could have turned out disastrous.

 

“On the last lap, we were leading by about a minute when a rock came up and got inside the dry sump pump belt and broke it,” he said. “We had no oil pressure for 25 seconds, which was verified by Kevin Kroyer [MacCachren’s engine builder] through data,” MacCachren added. When Kroyer saw that data, he was confident the small block Ford 850hp engine would be damaged and need rebuilding. To complicate matters, it was a fresh engine.

 

Despite the setback, MacCachren outfitted his truck with a new oil pump belt and still finished the race in 4th place.

 

Following the race, they took the motor out and sent it to Kroyer, who pulled the oil pan off. When he looked inside, he was shocked by what he saw – there was no damage to the engine! None. Upon seeing the internals, MacCachren told Kroyer that there was no way he could have run that long with no oil pressure because the engine looked so good. Kroyer exclaimed, “No, everything is still good, and it did run for 25 seconds with no oil pressure – the data don’t lie.”

Rob MacCachren Postscript

Upon seeing the engine was fit as a fiddle, MacCachren said, “We put that motor right back in the truck and ran San Felipe 250, finishing in fourth place, and then won the Baja 500 with that same engine.”

 

He emphasized, “I don’t think many people can say they ran for 25 seconds with no oil pressure and had no issues within your motor. We think that’s a testament to the VP oil that we run in the truck. I’ve learned if you surround yourself with positive people and good products, you’ll be successful.”

 

When asked what VP has meant to him, MacCachren said, “VP is top notch and has given us chances to win championships and races.”

 

The opposition is still waiting for its chance.

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