Nothing good comes easy. That was truly the case for the season opener of TORC and the legendary RedBud Motocross track May 27th -29th. The newly built short course track was not the expected Midwest style open fast and flat track. Rather it was a combination of tight technical turns, off-camber rhythm sections, and a massive blind hill top jump. Designed with input for Johnny Greaves, the track resembled a West Coast style track with better soil and lots of trees. Due to massive amounts of rain, the track was a muddy mess, but the racers persevered to put on a show for the Michigan fans who had braved the weather to come see what short course racing was all about.
On Saturday Pro-Lites would be the only pro class to race before a deluge of rain hit the rolling green hills at RedBud. The flag dropped and the drama began as racers attempted desperate moves to gain track position. Although the track conditions were terrible, the racing was excellent. Newcomer Sam Hubinette, shined as he steadily worked his way through the pack driving smoothly to finish first. Pro-Lite champion Casey Currie, also showed why he carries the number one plate in a display of driving on the edge as he boosted off the hilltop jump to pass competitors to finish second. In third, it would be new comer RJ Anderson, proving that he was ready to step up to the Pro-Lite class.
After raining all night, the track conditions had gone from bad to terrible and reports of an incoming storm including tornado warnings had the racers and league backed into a corner. The call was made to try and get the three pro-classes completed before the storm.
The Pro-4’s were the fist to take to the ultra muddy course. Since there was no time to run a proper qualifying, vehicle positions were picked at random making the racing even more unpredictable than usual. Johnny Greaves rocketed off the start to an early lead that was stopped short when he flew his truck off the hill-top jump and ended up into the 4-feet of mud that had been pushed off onto the edge of the track. Once the trucks were reset with Johnny at the back, the battle began again. Scott Douglas, Ricky Johnson, and Mark Jenkins all battled for the lead. Douglas was able to hold off motocross legend Ricky Johnson to finish first with Jenkins right behind them in third.
The Pro-2’s were up for their chance to run the muddy, but dynamic short course track. Rob MacCachren got out to an early lead with Chad Hord and Marty Hart right behind him. Shortly into the race, Hord and Hart were stopped with mechanical issues and Bryce Menzies had moved into 2nd until his truck gave way to mechanical issues as well. New comer Mikey Vanden Heuvel violently rolled his truck leaving a field of only three trucks: Rob MacCachren, Scotty Taylor, and Mike Oberg finishing in that exact order. Rob MacCachren got out to an early lead and drove flawlessly leading the entire race to add another dominant performance to his resume. “Races like this you are racing the course not the other racers,” stated the confident champion.
The Pro-Lites took to the course for the second time (The only class that got 2 races in) and it was drama from the outset. Banging and breaking from the outset the entire field seemed be willing to break or win. Newcomer to the Pro-Lite class CJ Greaves got out to an early start leading for almost the entire race until Sam Hubinette took advantage of a little mistake he made on the top section of the track to pass for the lead. CJ managed to hold onto 2nd with Andrew Caddell finishing 3rd. T he affordability of the Pro-Lite class may very well prove to make the most stacked class in all of short course off-road racing
A couple things are clear after this weekend. Midwest fans want to see off-road racing regardless of weather and track conditions and TORC wants to give it to them.
Photos by Vincent Knakal of Mad Media