It was a big day of racing as TORC: The Off-Road Championship presented by AMSOIL completed the first of two events this weekend at Bark River International Raceway.
The opening day saw CJ Greaves earn his third-straight PRO 2WD/PRO 4WD double-win — the seventh in his career. Kyle Kleiman claimed the top spot in Atturo Tire PRO Light while Jason Luburgh took the PRO UTV victory.
CJ Greaves continued his championship defense in PRO 4WD with a victory at Bark River on Saturday. He also took over the points lead, partially due to his father, Johnny Greaves, losing the front differential during the race and finishing the day with only two-wheel drive.
The young champion, dubbed “The Blonde Monster,” leaned on his experience from the day’s earlier PRO 2WD race to help him take the PRO 4WD win.
“It all came down to really nursing it,” said Greaves. “These things have so much horsepower, but you can’t use it when you’re out there on the black and not on the cushion. Some of the guys I was able to get underneath and then really soft-pedal it. It’s not normal to be in a PRO 4WD and have to soft-pedal it, but that’s what you had to do today. We just really took our time.”
Ross Hoek has raced hard all season and took the holeshot on the green flag. Shortly after, Chad Hord, Felch, Michigan native and former PRO 2WD winner at Bark River, took the lead and held it to the mandatory caution lap.
Veteran racer Scott Douglas successfully defended second place to the competition yellow, nearly being passed by CJ at the start/finish line. Johnny Greaves continued to struggle with pace at the back of the pack.
CJ finally made his way past Douglas and eventually tracked down Hord with two laps to go, ultimately earning the victory. Hord finished second while Jenkins took third for his second podium of the day.
PRO 4WD Results:
- CJ Greaves
- Chad Hord
- Mike Jenkins
- Ross Hoek
- Scott Douglas
- Johnny Greaves
- Milan Mazanec
- Mark Kvamme
Keegan Kincaid’s bad luck continued Saturday at Bark River as the Wisconsin native finished off the podium again while his rival, two-time defending PRO 2WD Champion CJ Greaves, took the victory. Mike Jenkins, in his return to the class, earned a runner-up finish while Jason DeGrave rounded out the podium.
“We’ve been struggling a little bit with the carburetor in practice and we knew Keegan was going to be fast after he got his truck back together (after his wreck at ERX),” said Greaves after he took the checkered flag. “I knew we were going to have our work cut out for us.”
Kincaid quickly took the top spot after starting third with Greaves racing to second from the fourth position. The two battled hard as Greaves nearly passed Kincaid in the final turn before the halfway caution, but the Traxxas-sponsored racer maintained his lead at the yellow.
It didn’t take long, however, for Greaves to make the pass and when he did, the resulting roost caused Kincaid to spin, and a loss of power steering relegated Kincaid to a fifth-place finish.
“In the beginning, the track was slick and we didn’t have it,” said Greaves. “As the track started to dry out, the truck’s tires started to come in. The package started coming together and I said, ‘Alright, I think I got a little more speed than him.’ I jumped inside of him in the last turn, saw him next to me and tried to hold my line as much as I could. Then, right when I was clear, I put it out in the cushion and just stood on it.”
PRO 2WD Results:
- CJ Greaves
- Mike Jenkins
- Jason DeGrave
- Brad Lovell
- Keegan Kincaid
- Nick Tyree
- Arie Luyendyk Jr.
- Rodney Van Eperen
Atturo Tire PRO Light
It was a dominating flag-to-flag victory for Kyle Kleiman in PRO Light Saturday with points leader Kyle Hart finishing second and recent winner Shawn Morris taking the checkered flag third.
Hart’s position at the top of the championship points wasn’t affected much with Luke Johnson and Travis Dinsmore having rough outings, both finishing off the lead lap after a rollover by Johnson and mechanical issues for Dinsmore.
During the post-race interview, Kleiman attributed his win to a string of steady performances throughout the season.
“I was just trying to be consistent like I have been all year,” he said. “I’ve had my ups and downs, but it felt good. It’s a hometown track, so I had a special push to get up here, that’s for sure.”
Atturo Tire PRO Light Results:
- Kyle Kleiman
- Kyle Hart
- Shawn Morris
- Jake Lunderby
- Cam Reimers
- Cody Kleiman
- Bobby Runyan Jr.
- Andrew Kossak
- Ben Roper
- Andrew Carlson
- Travis Dinsmore
- Luke Johnson
Jason Luburgh took home another win in the Pro Stock UTV class as well as an overall win in PRO UTV on Saturday while Treavis Poynter took the top step in Pro Mod UTV. Luburgh had to earn it, however, fending off a strong effort by ERX winner Corry Weller, who finished second in Pro Stock UTV. Weller led briefly but fell behind after being passed by Luburgh and Poynter, who finished second overall.
UTV joins the TORC Series this year for three championship stops with its opening round earlier this month in Elk River, Minnesota, this weekend’s action in Bark River, Michigan, July 30-31, and for the championship weekend in Crandon, Wisconsin, September 2-4.
The Throwdown in the U.P. continues on Sunday with Round 10 of the 2016 TORC National Championship, featuring full points races in three PRO classes along with more exciting racing from the new UTV division. Opening ceremonies for the Sportsman competition start at 10:30 a.m., with Atturo Tire PRO Light competition kicking off the PROs at 4:05 p.m.
Live and on demand HD digital broadcasts of each round of the 2016 TORC Series are available, free of charge, at www.torcseries.com. Tape-delayed television programming of championship racing also airs on FS2, with exciting 90-minute shows slated for Thursday nights in primetime.
For full results, click HERE.
For a video recap, click HERE.
For photos from the event, click HERE.