DENVER, N.C. — Ryan Beat Motorsports is adding two PRO-2 entries for the Crandon World Championship Off-Road Races, the team announced Tuesday.
Chip Ganassi Racing driver Amanda Sorensen will debut in the PRO-2 class in the No. 12 Chevrolet. NASCAR veteran Casey Mears will make his short-course off-road debut in the No. 25 PRO-2.
Currently competing in Extreme E for CGR, Sorensen is no stranger to the off-road space. She had a breakout year in 2019 as a rookie when she competed in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series in the Unlimited UTV class. The then 16-year-old posted two wins, five podiums, and claimed the championship as the youngest driver competing in the class.
With off-road, Extreme E, drifting, and go-karting experience, she’s sure to be in the mix this weekend.
“I’m a little bit nervous going into the weekend because it’s my first race back with all the people I used to race against when I was younger, so that’s super exciting,” said Sorensen. “I’m using this to prepare for my Extreme E event the following weekend in Italy with the Chip Ganassi Racing crew. I got one test session in the PRO-2 about a week ago. I put about 20 laps on the truck, so I’m somewhat comfortable but not 100% ready. Crandon has always been on my bucket list, and it’s always something I’ve wanted to do.
“I’m looking forward to going out this weekend and getting seat time. I’m super thankful to be part of Ryan Beat Motorsports for the weekend and for Ryan to take me under his awning and have me be part of the team—also, a huge thank you to Chevrolet for supporting this program for me. Turn one will be rowdy, and everyone has hyped this event up for me, so I’m super stoked. Going into turn one ten cars wide at 100 mph is pretty scary, but I’m looking forward to it. I will use this as a learning weekend and hope I’ll be doing more of these races.”
Mears will pilot the third Chevrolet in the PRO-2 class next to Sorensen and team owner Ryan Beat. With 489 career NASCAR Cup starts, including a win at the storied Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Mears grew up in a racing family and is no stranger to off-road racing.
A native of Bakersfield, Calif., Mears competed in the 2019 NORRA Mexican Baja 1000, sharing driving duties with Lynn Chenoweth. That same year, he also added the SCORE International Baja 1000 to his resume. Crandon marks Mears’ first start in short-course off-road racing.
“I’m super excited about the opportunity to run at Crandon for my first time,” said Mears.” It’s one of those races I heard about while racing NASCAR, but I was always busy that weekend and never had the opportunity to put something together. The Potawatomi community has carved out a piece of off-road history, and it’s exciting to join Ryan Beat Motorsports for one of the biggest off-road races in the United States.
“I’ve gotten to know Ryan a little bit, and to see how he runs his program with sponsors like Chevy, Bilstein, Pennzoil, and Toyo is incredible, and it’s exciting to be a part of that. It’s a really cool opportunity to go out and have some fun and do something I’ve never really done before. My roots are in off-road racing, starting in Mickey Thompson Super Lites as a kid and playing in the desert in side-by-sides, sand cars, and that sort of thing.
“Watching my dad race off-road growing up and being able to follow in his footsteps is really special, and I hope to make him proud. I’ve always loved being a part of the off-road world and look forward to running the No. 25 PRO-2 at Crandon. I can’t wait to get there and get started.”
“We’re stoked to have Amanda and Casey join us at Crandon this weekend,” said Beat. “It’s our biggest event of the year, and the racing is always next level. I have to thank Chevrolet, Bilstein, Pennzoil, and Toyo for making this possible. While they both have racing experience, it’s the first time in a PRO-2 for both of them, so there will be a learning curve, but I know they’ll get up to speed and give us all a run for our money.
“I’m focused on growing our team and the sport, and to have talented drivers like Amanda and Casey joining us from other genres of racing is pivotal for the growth of our sport.”