JOLIET, Ill., (Sept. 15, 2011) – Traxxas TORC Series, presented by AMSOIL, premier PRO 4×4 class rivals Ricky Johnson (Red Bull/KMC Wheels/Mopar/Ram) and Johnny Greaves (Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis) hooked up in yet another amazing battle of short course off-road supremacy, torqueing every last ounce of power out of their fire-breathing Baja-style trucks in a door-to-door race that came right down to the final turn and mad dash for the finish line.
Who won? Weren’t you watching LIVE on SPEED? Certainly an entire new wave of motorsports fans that planned or happened on the 9-11 p.m. (EST) program were won over by epic Johnson/Greaves battle, not to mention some super racing in both the PRO 2 and PRO Light classes as well.
TORC PRO 4
The top two rungs on the TORC Series podium couldn’t go to two more deserving guys than Johnson (1st) and Greaves (2nd) on Thursday night at Chicagoland Speedway/Route 66 Raceway. TORC’s Year of Greaves versus Johnson, the blazing fast Midwestern veteran against the Californian first year PRO 4 racer with race resume that stretches from Ensenada to Cabo … American versus Japanese brand heritage … Monster Energy versus Red Bull … easily the best rivalry off-road racing’s got going, if not all of motorsports.
“Yeah, that was one of those close RJ/Johnny Greaves battles … fun to be part of,” said Greaves from the podium. Added Johnson: “Thanks, Johnny – we both raced like champions tonight.”
With the two night sweep of TORC/Chicago, Johnson cut Greaves’ PRO 4 class overall lead down to just four points, 238-234, with just one round/two races remaining (San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 15-16).
Taking the early TORC PRO 4 main lead away from Mark Jenkins (Traxxas/BFG/AMSOIL), Greaves – with Johnson in hot pursuit – would separate from the rest of the field. Taking the early TORC PRO 4 main lead away from Mark Jenkins (Traxxas/BFG/AMSOIL), Greaves – with Johnson in hot pursuit – would separate from the rest of the field. Scott Douglas (AMSOIL/BFG/MasterCraft Safety) and Adrian Cenni (Atrium Payroll/4 Wheel Parts), along with Mike Jenkins (Traxxas/BFG/AMSOIL) would battle for the third and final podium spot leading into the competition yellow.
On the last lap Johnson would grab the lead on the massive first turn, 80-mph sweeper – holding off multiple pass attempts by Greaves. Douglas would then beat Steve Barlow (Maxxis/Ebay Motors/Metal Mulisha) to the tape by a nanosecond for 3rd. Cenni would be awarded the coveted Oakley Bomb Award for the fastest PRO 4 spin around Chicagoland/Route 66’s dirt oval.
PRO 4 results
1st – Ricky Johnson 2nd – Johnny Greaves 3rd – Scott Douglas 4th – Steve Barlow 5th – Adrian Cenni 6th – Milan Mazanec 7th – Mike Jenkins 8th – Mark Jenkins
TORC PRO 2
About the only way to slow down TORC PRO 2 points leader Bryce Menzies (Red Bull/Mopar/Ram) has been to enact the aid of mechanical gremlins. The Las Vegan has been flat out sending it on the TORC Series tracks and last night was no different as Menzies won the Oakley Bomb Award (as he did on Thursday as well) – only to have a sheared-off drive shaft put an end to his podium run.
On Thursday at Chicagoland Menzies, based on his 6th place finish on Wednesday, would be handed the pole position – and he took full advantage of it, leading the race from green flag to checkers without much answer from the other great drivers in his class.
“We’ve been running up front, but had some problems on Wednesday,” said Menzies. “We knew we were coming out on the pole, ended up leading it wire-to-wire.”
On the opening turn of the opening lap Wednesday’s TORC PRO 2 2nd place finisher, Marty Hart (Monster Energy/Maxxis/Toyota), spun his truck and went from a podium spot early to the very back of the pack. This left the door open for Wednesday winner Jeff Kincaid (Ford/BFG) to move into 2nd place behind Menzies early in the contest.
By the second lap Menzies and Kincaid began to separate, with the highlight of the race’s first half being Chad Hord (BOSS Snowplows/Nissan/AMSOIL) tracking down and passing NASCAR racer Brendan Gaughan (South Point/Walker Evans) at the finish line – right as the competition yellow flew.
On the restart Menzies took off, which left Hord chasing down Kincaid for what turned out to be a photo finish at the line – won by Kincaid. Gaughan would hold off Hart for 5th in another exciting charge to the checkers for the SPEED Channel viewers at home.
Menzies would increase his overall points lead to 43 (243-200) over 2nd place Hord.
PRO 2 results
1st – Bryce Menzies 2nd – Jeff Kincaid 3rd – Chad Hord 4th – Brendan Gaughan 5th – Marty Hart 6th – Scott Taylor 7th – Keith Steele 8th – Mike Oberg 9th – Rob MacCachren 10th – Scott Taylor
TORC PRO Light
Seventeen-year old RJ Anderson (Walker Evans/Ram) made it two TORC PRO Light class wins in a row at Chicagoland Speedway/Route 66 Raceway’s dirt oval as the southern California native outlasted and early pursuit by Andrew Caddell (Traxxas/Mopar/AMSOIL/BFG), who crashed out, and late race charges from both CJ Greaves (Traxxas/Monster Energy/Maxxis) and Keegan Kincaid (Traxxas/BFG).
With numerous lead changes early in the race, Caddell, Anderson, Luke Johnson (Red Bull/Mopar/Ram) and CJ Greaves – in that order – separated themselves from the field in a four-man train. And while the fans had one eye glued to the front runners, there was definitely a lot of looking back for the No. 7 Red Bull/Oakley/Traxxas truck of motocrosser James Stewart, who was doing his best to dice with the likes of Brad Lovell (AMSOIL/BFG/Torchmate) and Ross Hoek (Royal Purple/BFG/All Star Performance), and ultimately finished in a solid 6th place.
Just one lap after the competition restart Caddell was nowhere to be found. Anderson inherited the lead, with Johnson, CJ Greaves and Keegan Kincaid in pursuit. Several laps later Johnson was on the sidelines, smoldering, and pro drifter Samuel Hubinette (Traxxas/Mopar/AMSOIL/BFG) joined the fray up front. The, around four laps into the PRO Light main comp restart, CJ Greaves caught and passed Anderson, then Anderson quickly took back the top spot. The two would battle side-by-side until the lap before the white flag – when CJ Greaves cut a corner too close, clipped a giant tractor tire and rolled his truck.
At the white flag Anderson, Keegan Kincaid and Hubinette were all spaced out evenly – about eight truck lengths apart. They’d finish on the podium that way with Todd Cunningham (C&C Racefab/Mickey Thompson Tires/Vinyl Shop) and Randy Eller (Maxxis/PSC Steering/AMSOIL by Rooster) rounding out the top five in 4th and 5th, respectively, and CJ Greaves awarded the Traxxas Maxx Lap for the fastest PRO Light lap on Thursday.
PRO Light results
1st – RJ Anderson 2nd – Keegan Kincaid 3rd – Samuel Hubinette 4th – Todd Cunnigham 5th – Randy Eller 6th – James Stewart 7th – Ross Hoek 8th – Casey Currie 9th – CJ Greaves 10th – Eric Ruppel 11th – Shawn Morris 12th – Mark Oberg 13th – Andy Zipperer 14th – Brett Ellenson 15th – Luke Johnson 16th – Andrew Caddell 17th – Brad Lovell 18th- Mitch Dorr
Unofficial TORC season overall points
1 22 GREAVES JOHNNY TOYOTA/MAXXIS 238 4 2 48 JOHNSON RICKY RAM/BFG 234 2 3 7 DOUGLAS SCOTT FORD/BFG 204 1 4 83 BARLOW STEVE FORD/MAXXIS 179 0 5 25 JENKINS MARK FORD/BFG 178 0 6 11 CENNI ADRIAN FORD/MAXXIS 160 4 6 47 JENKINS MIKE FORD/BFG 160 0 8 69 MAZANEC MILAN 100 0 9 32 DREWS AL FORD/BFG 38 0 10 99 LEDUC KYLE FORD/TOYO 34 0 11 4 LEDUC TODD FORD/TOYO 23 0 11 43 LEDUC CURT FORD/TOYO 12 0 13 6 GUNDERSON CASE 12
1 7 MENZIES BRYCE RAM/BFG 243 4 2 9 HORD CHAD NISSAN MOTORSPORTS/BFG 200 3 3 4 KINCAID JEFF FORD/BFG 199 2 4 21 MACCACHREN ROB RAM/BFG 192 2 5 80 OBERG MIKE CHEVY/BFG 164 0 6 15 HART MARTY TOYOTA/MAXXIS 162 0 7 8 TAYLOR SCOTT FORD/BFG 160 0 8 77 VANDEN HEUVEL MIKEY CHEVY/MAXXIS 134 0 9 29 STEELE KEITH CHEVY/KUMHO 60 0 10 32 GAUGHN BRENDONFORD/BFG 38 0 11 10 ADLER GREG FORD/BFG 28 0 12 33 WOERNER DOW CHEVY/BFG 26 0 13 30 PIERCE ROBBY FORD/BFG 18
1 43 CADDELL ANDREW RAM/BFG 238 5 2 37 ANDERSON RJ RAM/GOODYEAR 164 0 3 77 HUBINETTE SAM RAM/BFG 161 1 4 1 CURRIE CASEY NISSAN MTRSPT/GNRL 160 0 5 44 LOVELL BRAD NISSAN MTRSPT/BFG 151 0 6 11 ELLER RANDY FORD/MAXXIS 138 0 7 5 CUNNINGHAM TODD CHEVY/MCK TMP 132 0 8 27 MORRIS SHAWN CHEVY/MAXXIS 121 0 9 33 GREAVES CJ TOYOTA/MAXXIS 120 2 10 14 JOHNSON LUKE RAM/BFG 110 0 11 21 HOEK ROSS FORD/BFG 71 0 12 73 RUPPEL ERIC FORD/BFG 68 0 13 76 ZIPPERER ANDY FORD/BFG 66 0 14 7 KINCAID KEEGAN FORD/BFG 64 1 15 38 DEEGAN BRIAN FORD/BFG 63 2 16 17 DORR MITCH FORD/GDYR 59 0 17 4 ELLENSON/JANUSZBRETT/JASONTOYOTA/TOYO 55 0 18 8 PORTER MIKE FORD/BFG 37 0 19 30 OBERG MARK 27 0 20 7s STEWART JAMES 17 0 21 18 BAKER MICHAEL FORD 7
TORC Chicagoland race photo by Mike Roth
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!
By Pat Schutte