The Off-Road Championship was back in action at Bark River Raceway, this time around with three days of scheduled pro racing. The heavy rains that swept through the Midwest in early May wiped out an entire night of racing at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, OH. Bark River International Raceway hosted the make up Round 3 and put on a show for the rowdy Michiganders.
Pro series racing opened up with the ProLight Class. In turn one, we immediately saw carnage between Randy Eller and Mark Kleiman. The racing never stopped and it was Baumgartner, Navarro and Lovell who made through the first turn out front. After catching a rut and barrel rolling nearly 4 times in practice, current Pro Light Champion, Brad Lovell, and crew immediately began working on his truck to get it prepped for the race. Lovell showed confidence early and battled in the top five the entire duration.
After qualifying first, CJ Greaves came from behind and forced his way past Brad Lovell to take over third. Midway through lap four, Greaves pulled the trigger on a move and rocketed off a jump to pass Nick Baumgartner, who by that time was in second place. Moments before the competition yellow, Greaves showed impatience and forced a move on race leader Keegan Kincaid and spun nearly 360 degrees, only to be t-boned by Doug Mittag. Kincaid showed no sign of letting up and wound up crossing the finish line in first place. Brad Lovell got his wheels back underneath him after the scare in practice, finishing second, and Sean Morris rounded off the podium in third.
ProLight Top 3
- Keegan Kincaid
- Brad Lovell
- Sean Morris
As the cavalry made it out on the track, the big names were out in front. The race started Mike Jenkins, Mike Oberg, Jeff Kincaid, Bryce Menzies, Rob MacCachren and CJ Greaves but quickly became a game of cat and mouse between Rob MacCachren and Bryce Menzies. After starting the race quietly, MacCachren made a two passes on Oberg and Jenkins that sat him in second behind two-time champion, Bryce Menzies. Those two passes would have seemed like any other moves in Rob’s back of tricks, had they not preceded the best battle of the night for the lead with Menzies. MacCachren stayed within two car lengths of Menzies, simultaneously leaving the rest of the field behind.
However, after the competition yellow, we saw different scenery on course. MacCachren immediately went up in smoke after taking over the lead temporarily and CJ Greaves had some issues himself after running third all race. The two dropped out, allowing Chad Hord and Mike Oberg to fill their positions, and would run for points the rest of the race. It looked as if Chad Hord was running from the cops to catch Menzies but even then, he couldn’t stop the Menzies from building his points lead on the season. On the last lap, Oberg and Jenkins got tangled up, allowing Matt Cook to step in and get handed his first ever podium in Pro 2.
Pro 2 Top 3
- Bryce Menzies
- Chad Hord
- Matt Cook
Johnny Greaves, Ricky Johnson and Scott Douglas came in to Bark River all within five points of each other. It wasn’t a question of whether or not these three would duke it out all race, rather who would stake their claim as the front-runner in the Pro 4 Class. Monster Energy’s Johnny Greaves had to start three rows behind the two to get in the inevitable dogfight. It took Johnny a half lap to drive up to the front and battle with rival, Ricky Johnson. Greaves was inside and outside, trying to find an opening to make the pass on RJ. With wheels spinning relentlessly, Greaves made a pass in slow motion coming around the widest turn of the track.
Despite receiving some love taps for RJ on the competition yellow lap, Johnny Greaves’ pace was unmatched and began to build a sizable lead over the rest of the field. With three laps to go, RJ was not even in the roost trail of leader Johnny Greaves. Johnny went on to win the race and build on his 2013 season points lead. Johnson made it to Greaves’ bumper on the final lap but finished behind the Monster Energy Toyota. Scott Douglas finished in third.
Pro 4 Top 3
- Johnny Greaves
- Ricky Johnson
- Scott Douglas
Photography by Mike Roth