Crandon Wisconsin played host once again to the Traxxas TORC series and the World Championships at “The Big House”. Unlike other venues, there isn’t bleachers set up for thousands of people, parking for 5,000 or nearby hotels to get a good nights rest. Crandon is an experience – 50,000 people bring their lawn chairs and completely fill the grassy hills surrounding the track, motorhomes and tents line the perimeter of the pits and a little place called Jurassic Park comes alive when the sun goes down.
The Pro Lites were first to take the stage at The Big House. With a few series rookies making their debut in the Traxxas TORC Series, it was without a doubt that the packed house in Crandon Wisconsin was going to get a show as these drivers cut their teeth at one of the most intense tracks in shortcourse. Although all eyes were on the rookies of Crandon, it was Casey Currie that would come out on top of the podium after an impressive display of car control. Making his second appearance on the podium was Luke Johnson, followed by Keegan Kincaid. This marks Currie’s first World Championship victory in the Pro Lite division.
Pro2 racing action was one for the history books. Scott Taylor would only be left with one more final race before hanging up the helmet, Jeff Kincaid struggled to get to the track all season long but wouldn’t miss Crandon if his life depended on it, and last years points champion Bryce Menzies was out to prove a point. Kincaid would get the holeshot after the intense land-rush start, followed by last years Amsoil Cup winner Chad Hord and shortcourse veteran Scott Taylor. Kincaid would lead the field by 10 truck lengths at any one point in time and didn’t seem to be letting up one bit. Unfortunately Scott Taylor would bow out of the race with mechanical failure leaving the door wide open for young Bryce Menzies to fill the gap.
As the caution flag came out for the mandatory caution lap, Kincaid seemed to be having some mechanical issues of his own and would end up calling it quits when racing resumed. Able to get an amazing jump off of the restart, Bryce Menzies blasted his way past Chad Hord, bringing NASCAR star Robby Gordon in tow. Hungry for his 200th career win; Rob MacCachren would battle his way past Hord and set his sights on Robby Gordon. The duo would battle neck and neck right down to the finish for a photo finish at the stripe. Bryce Menzies claimed the World Championship ring while Robby Gordon was squeak out a second place finish over Rob Mac.
As Pro4 racing action was about to begin all eyes were on hometown hero Johnny Greaves and his quest to take down last years champion Ricky Johnson (RJ). Without surprise, the landrush start came down to one thing; who had the biggest balls to hang it all out on the line and who was going to push just hard enough to make their equipment last. RJ flexed his way to the front of the pack with Greaves, Douglas and Mark Jenkins not far behind. Unfortunately for the MOPAR Ram of Ricky Johnson, Johnson would push just a little to hard in an attempt to hold off Johnny Greaves and cause mechanical failure, ending any chance Ricky Johnson would have at becoming World Champ.
Greaves put on an incredible show for the 50,000+ fans in Crandon Wisconsin, as he was able to maneuver his Toyota Tundra with ballet-like precision, claiming another World Championship. Scott Douglas would finish behind Greaves while Traxxas owner Mark Jenkins would round out the podium.
Crandon proved to be yet another epic day of racing action in the Traxxas TORC Series and would help set the stage for the coveted Amsoil Cup race tomorrow.
Traditional Labor Day racing action and festivities will continue as usual, and will end the weekend with the “Superbowl of Shortcourse”; The Amsoil Cup race on Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned into www.race-dezert.com for all of the latest racing action, and be sure to follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram for real-time action.
Additional information and a live feed from the race can be found on www.torcseries.com
Photography by Vincent Knakal of Mad Media
Words by Adam “Gunnslinger” Gunn