Greaves (PRO 4x4) and Oberg (PRO 2WD) win Traxxas TORC’s Friday makeup race @ Crandon
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2012
Racing gets underway early at the Big House with PRO 4 & PRO 2 makeup races from the June Crandon Brush Run rainout
By Pat Schutte
CRANDON, Wis. (Aug. 31, 2012) – The biggest short course off-road race weekend of the year in the United States is underway at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway with the 43rd running of the World Championships, rounds 11 and 12 of the 2012 Traxxas TORC Series, presented by AMSOIL, and featuring the $40,000 AMSOIL Cup race.
Friday’s TORC PRO 4x4 and PRO 2WD races were the result of a rainout at Crandon’s Brush Run this past June. Saturday and Sunday’s action at Crandon includes a full slate of TORC PRO 4, PRO 2, PRO Light and PRO Buggy racing, along with the Midwest Off- Road Racing Sportsman classes and exhibition races with Robby Gordon’s new Stadium Super Trucks.
Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis’ Johnny Greaves led the entire PRO 4 main event on Friday, holding off a furious charge from current TORC points leader Ricky Johnson (Red Bull/Mopar/Ram/KMC Wheels), with Real Tree Energy’s Adrian Cenni rounding out the podium in 3rd place – one of four races for the PRO 4 class drivers this weekend. Pulling the holeshot and winning the Oakley Bomb award for the fastest lap, Greaves won his second TORC PRO 4 main dating back to the Bark River (Mich.) round. He tamed the abbreviated Crandon short course – which opted for a rolling start and clipped off the back straight and Land Rush start straight in favor of racing right in front of the packed (for a Friday) hill at Crandon. Greaves was basically untouchable, although Johnson made a serious rush at him at the end.
“Always helps to get your confidence back,” said Greaves on his back-to-back wins. “We got the wrinkles out and are focusing on driving … everything’s clicking!”
Added Johnson: “We gave it the best we could, but Johnny had ‘er in the end and came close. Really looking forward to the rest of the weekend here at Crandon.”
At the competition yellow it was Greaves, Johnson, Cenni, Mark Jenkins (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG) and Scott Douglas (AMSOIL/Borla Exhaust/BFG). However, Douglas would have to make a quick trip to the pits while the TORC Ram Runner Pace Truck led the rest of the field back to the start. On the restart Douglas rocked back up to 5th place (from last) while Mark Jenkins juked past Cenni for 3rd.
No sooner did Mark Jenkins get past Cenni did the New Yorker go all ‘Wildman’ on Jenkins, passing him on new Skybox Jump in the track’s fastest section. From there all heck broke loose for the final podium spot between Mark Jenkins, Douglas and Cenni.
“It just turned into bumper cars out there with Scott and Mark,” said Cenni. “We just held on and made our way up to the front. Started reeling in Ricky, but ended up running out of time. Looking forward to the racing tomorrow.”
Noteworthy: Douglas put the screws to his truck on Day One, losing a rear quarter panel and having his hood blow straight up in the air before his motor let go in a cloud of white smoke and flames.
PRO 4x4 Results
1- Johnny Greaves 2- Ricky Johnson 3- Adrian Cenni 4- Mark Jenkins 5- Mike Jenkins 6- Dan Baudoux 7- Scott Douglas 8- Al Drews 9- Milan Mazanec 10- Jerry Conrad
When the rolling start took off it was all Rob MacCachren (Ram/Mopar), leading AMSOIL’s Mike Oberg and CJ Greaves (Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis) through the famous Barn Turn at Crandon. Muscling his way past defending PRO 2 champ Bryce Menzies (Red Bull/Mopar/Ram/KMC Wheels) was local racer Jeff Kincaid (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG). Kincaid’s rugged driving would have him up and down the place chart throughout the race, winding up 4th at race’s end.
By the third lap Menzies was back in podium position, battling Oberg for 3rd. The field remained pretty much inline up front by the competition yellow with MacCachren, CJ Greaves, Oberg, Menzies and Steve Barlow (Real Tree Energy) lining back up for the restart in the top five.
On the restart Menzies got into CJ Greaves and spun the 17-year-old PRO 2 class rookie on the inside wall prior to the Skybox straight. Menzies then blasted past Oberg into 2nd.
Starting last and railing his way towards the front with some spectacular driving in his neon yellow Menard’s TORC PRO 2 truck was NASCAR great Robby Gordon. In town to race and promote his Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Truck Series (more on that later), Gordon was looking to make his presence known on the podium having started in last place due to not being involved in the June Brush Run event at Crandon.
Gordon and Barlow would go back and forth before Barlow spun Gordon, at slow speed, in front of the timing tower. Visibly upset, Gordon rammed his truck back into Barlow – spinning his tires and crumpling his front end into Barlow’s truck … a move that drew black flags and broke both trucks after just ten laps.
MacCachren, who was way out front, then broke – ending his day. Menzies then had some issues which allowed Oberg to take the lead, and elevated Mikey Vanden Heuvel (Flying Dutchman Off-Road) and Chad Hord (BOSS Snowplows/AMSOIL/Nissan) into podium position.
“I credit my crew for having my truck ready to race,” said Oberg, who won his first race of the year. “I drove conservative until my General Tires came in and hooked up. This is my hometown track. Been racing here 20 years and I can’t wait to get back out here and win again!”
Added Vanden Heuvel (to chants of “Mikey! Mikey!” from the locals) on his first-ever PRO 2 class podium finish: “This is the first time I’ve raced since last year and I get a podium right out of the box!”
Noteworthy: Prior to the PRO 2’s running six of Robby Gordon’s Super Stadium Trucks took to the Crandon track. Built for quick turns and supercross-like jumps, Gordon’s 427cu/600-hp, 2,800-pound mini stadium racing trucks are capable of speeds up to 125 mph. They only had a few laps to stretch their legs at Crandon – and looked pretty impressive right out of the gate. The trucks will race an exhibition event on both Saturday and Sunday for the expected packed house at Crandon, featuring Gordon and select TORC PRO class drivers.
PRO 2 Results
1- Mike Oberg 2- Mikey Vanden Heuvel 3- Chad Hord 4- Jeff Kincaid 5- CJ Greaves 6- Mike Jenkins 7- Bryce Menzies 8- Keith Steele 9- Justin Keener 10- Rob MacCachren 11- Robby Gordon 12- Steve Barlow
Up next … Saturday and Sunday action at Crandon (Wis.) International Off-Road Raceway World Championships, Sept. 1-2.
Media contact: Pat Schutte, HPPR, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, please visit: www.torcseries.com
The Traxxas TORC Series, presented by AMSOIL, is the fastest, most punishing short course racing series on the planet! TORC events are packed with flag-to-flag fender banging as drivers push the limits over whoops and jump-filled natural terrain race tracks. Off-road racing fans come from far and wide to experience the most challenging form of high-octane competition. And once they taste TORC for the first time they’re hooked for life!