Friday’s ‘Live’ broadcast of the Traxxas TORC Series, presented by AMSOIL, on the SPEED Channel had decided Monster Energy look to it during the podium celebrations as Monster’s Casey Currie (1st PRO Light) and Johnny Greaves (2nd PRO 4×4) put their trucks on the rostrum in front of a packed house at Chicagoland Speedway’s Route 66 Raceway.
Currie’s effort on Friday followed another podium effort in the TORC PRO Light class on Thursday at Chicagoland – one that saw him and longtime rival Andrew Caddell battle hard, foreshadowing a Friday night clash between Currie and the defending TORC PRO Light champ that would see Currie making a statement by reigning victorious.
“This is the first time I’ve driven this truck since I wrecked it here last year,” said Currie, who won the Traxxas Maxx Lap for his top PRO Light lap effort on the night. “I know I had more on the track and just put it to it.”
Friday’s electrifying PRO Light contest on SPEED opened with Monster Energy’s CJ Greaves, son of Monster race legend Johnny Greaves, putting his Toyota on its lid on lap two. Yanked back over and still running, CJ Greaves came ripping back and nearly caught Brad Lovell (and would have had it not been for a flat rear tire) for the third and final podium spot in one of the more thrilling comeback efforts of the weekend – all classes included.
Unfortunately for the younger Greaves the race up front between Currie and Caddell – who have and interesting and somewhat controversial history with each other racing TORC – was being run at a rocket ship pace, elevating Lovell’s speed as well lest CJ may have grabbed a podium even with the flat tire. As it stood CJ limped in to 8th place on three tires in the PRO Light main, then booted right back up and raced the PRO 2WD contest, placing a week-best 5th place in that race.
Friday’s other Monster Energy podium at TORC/Chicago came from former TORC Series overall PRO 4×4 champion (2010) Johnny Greaves. The cracklin’ engine of fan-favorite Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis Greaves’ truck got up front early, belching fire out of its belly every time it took to the air – which was often on the supercross-like Chicago track. Johnny Greaves battled hard with Traxxas’ Mark Jenkins to take the race lead, so much so that Rick Johnson was able to sit back, bide his time and catch and eventually pass Greaves for the victory.
“Figured I’d drop behind (RJ) and see what I could learn,” said Greaves of RJ in a show of good sportsmanship, something fans don’t always see between the two titans of short course off-road racing. Noteworthy: Friday’s 2nd place podium finish was Greaves’ second of the TORC season. He’s been plagued by mechanical gremlins and just flat out bad luck after taking Johnson right down to the last race of the season in 2011 for the premier class PRO 4×4 title.
Monster Energy TORC/Chicago Thursday results
5th – Johnny Greaves
2nd – Casey Currie
4th – CJ Greaves
Monster Energy TORC/Chicago Friday results
2nd – Johnny Greaves
5th – CJ Greaves
1st – Casey Currie
8th – CJ Greaves
Next up on the Traxxas TORC Series tour is the Aug. 10-11 rounds at Michigan’s Bark River Raceway. For more information on the Traxxas TORC Series link to www.torcseries.com
Photography by Vincent Knakal of Mad Media
Words by Pat Schutte