Points chase tightens up between Caddell & Lovell in the PRO Lights … Menzies is making a move on MacCachren in PRO 2
By Pat Schutte
Things tightened up a bit in the overall Traxxas TORC Series, presented by AMSOIL, point chase after two rounds of highly competitive – not to mention highly attended – racing at Michigan’s Bark River Raceway this past weekend.
Both the PRO Light and PRO 2WD divisions look like they’ll go down to wire to decide the champion, while two racers have quite commanding leads in the PRO 4×4 and PRO Super Buggy classes.
In PRO Lights Andrew Caddell (Ram/Mopar/Traxxas) and Brad Lovell (Nissan/Torchmate/BFG) split the wins this past weekend at Bark River and are separated by a mere three points (213 to 210 in favor of Caddell). Lovell, who won on Saturday, took the overall points lead midway through the Sunday round by leading at the Competition Yellow (to which he received two bonus points). But Caddell would win the race, round ten of the 2012 Traxxas TORC Series, and left Bark River with a slim lead in the points chase.
Red Bull/Ram/Mopar/KMC Wheels’ Bryce Menzies won for only the third time this season, and added a 4th place finish to pull within six points of series leader Rob MacCachren (Ram/Mopar/BFG). Menzies, the defending 2011 TORC PRO 2WD champion, returns to Crandon (Wis.) here in a few weeks where he’s the track lap record holder in the class (to which Rob Mac has the No. 2 fastest PRO 2 lap at Crandon, setting the stage for an epic battle Labor Day Weekend). Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis’ CJ Greaves also moved up into overall PRO 2 podium position with a win at Bark River on Sunday to go with a top five (5th) place finish on Saturday.
In PRO 4×4 action defending class champ Ricky Johnson (Red Bull/Ram/Mopar/KMC Wheels) upped his points lead over 2nd place overall Scott Douglas (AMSOIL/Borla Exhaust/BFG) to 25 points, 218 to 193, following a 1st/3rd-place weekend at Bark River (to Douglas’ 3rd/4th-place weekend). Moving up to 3rd place overall in the PRO 4 standings with a victory at Bark River (and should have been two victories) was Johnny Greaves (Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis). Greaves is 20 points back of Douglas with 163 points, but fast as a shark heading into Crandon – where he holds the track lap record out of all classes.
In PRO Super Buggy 16-year-old Mitchell DeJong (Red Bull/Traxxas) has been hammering everybody – as long as he can keep his buggy going. DeJong, who won on Saturday at Bark River in classic comeback fashion, was poised to take the win – after battling back from last place – only to have his motor give out late in the contest. Still, DeJong leads the PRO Super Buggy class by a mile over Andy Zipperer (Loctite/Warn), 230-187.
Fast lap Oakley Bomb Award leaders … PRO 4, Ricky Johnson (5); PRO 2, Rob MacCachren (5) & Bryce Menzies (4); Traxxas Maxx Lap award leaders … PRO Light, CJ Greaves (3) & Luke Johnson (3)
Up next … Crandon (Wis.) International Off-Road Raceway World Championships, Aug. 31 – Sept. 2.
Photos by Michael Roth