Rob MacCachren completes his historic run @ 200 off-road race wins @ Crandon on Sunday
Posted on Sunday, September 02, 2012
Traxxas TORC Series’ second stop at Wisconsin’s Crandon International Off-Road Raceway draws one of the largest crowds ever to witness a short course off-road race!
By Pat Schutte
CRANDON, Wis. (Sept. 2, 2012) – Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Crandon International Off-Road Raceway! What a great day of Traxxas TORC Series, presented by AMSOIL, racing in Wisconsin’s northwoods, action-packed from start to finish in front of the season’s biggest crowd – estimated at 40,000-plus on the weekend - at the world’s premier short course off-road track, aka the “Big House!”
Forty-three years they’ve been racing short course off-road at Crandon. And in those 43 years nary a weekend has been just as thrilling as was the legions of Crandon faithful were privileged to witness today at Crandon, topped off by a historic run in the PRO 2WD class.
Yee-hah! Rob MacCachren (Mopar/Ram/Traxxas/BFG) finally did it – recorded his historic 200th career win racing off-road. And what a better place to do that than the world’s epicenter of short course off-road … the Big House @ Crandon!
“It’s been ten races since we last won … and I was getting kind of worried there,” said MacCachren. “But this is especially great to have done it here at Crandon. If first raced here in 1989 and fell in love with this place. Thank you, guys!”
MacCachren was on a mission from the beginning. Battling Chad Hord (BOSS Snowplows/AMSOIL/Nissan) for the holeshot, MacCachren took the early lead – only to get the dreaded Malachi Crunch from Hord and CJ Greaves (Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis), sending MacCachren shooting through the infield and kicking up a pile of dust the size of Kansas.
When the dust settled CJ Greaves had muscled into the lead, albeit a short-lived on as Hord came busting back in the No. 9 truck – bringing the Crandon faithful to their feet as he roared down the famous Land Rush start straight and first turn into the lead. Hord would hold that lead through the competition yellow, followed by Greaves. MacCachren would put up the top lap in pursuit of those two, earning him the Oakley Bomb Award, and putting the No. 21 Ram into 3rd place when TORC’s Ram Runner pace truck hit the track.
On the restart defending TORC PRO 2 series champ Bryce Menzies (Red Bull/Mopar/Ram/KMC Wheels), who’d run up from the rear of the pack after an early race mishap, moved up to the lead pack past Steve Barlow (Real Tree Energy). The 4th fastest guy early in the race, local Wisconsinite Jeff Kincaid (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG), broke his front end and had to retire.
With just a few laps remaining MacCachren got past CJ Greaves on the Oakley Timepiece Turn and set his sights on Hord, eventually passing the U.P. native in the same place he set up – and got past – Greaves.
There’d be no stopping MacCachren as he scorched up the northern Wisconsin dirt, putting time on both Hord (2nd) and Greaves (3rd) for the win in front of the massive Sunday crowd at the Big House. NASCAR racer Robby Gordon (Menard’s) would put in a solid effort for 4th place and Menzies would hold on for 5th, battling hard late in the contest with privateer Keith Steele (NKS Carpet Care/Spazztie/Ringer).
Noteworthy: “This is, by far, the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen here,” said Nissan’s Ron Stukenberg. “I don’t know where you’d put all those people that filled up the (Nissan) grandstands if you hadn’t built them!”
PRO 2 Results
1-Rob MacCachren2-Chad Hord 3-CJ Greaves 4-Robby Gordon 5-Bryce Menzies 6-Keith Steele 7-Scott Taylor 8-Mike Oberg 9-Mike Jenkins 10-Mike Vanden Heuvel 11-Steve Barlow 12-Jeff Kincaid
Wisconsin’s Johnny Greaves (Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis) looked to have his third-straight TORC PRO 4 win in the bag, railing past Adrian Cenni (Real Tree Energy) for the early race lead and running away with the lead through the competition yellow. Same thing during the early turns in the second half of the race, until the wheel(s) fell off the wagon – literally. Greaves would lose a wheel and hand over the race lead to PRO 4 points leader Ricky Johnson (Red Bull/Mopar/Ram/KMC Wheels), who ran ‘er into 1st place with relative ease.
“This is a team sport and I dedicate this win to the Menzies team,” said Johnson. “We blew up a motor yesterday and the guys were up all night putting a new bullet into the truck. And thanks to my team I’m up here right now.”
Greaves’ mechanical malfunction more or less robbed the 15,000-plus fans at Crandon – the world’s highest attended short course off-road race – of what would have been a thrilling battle to the checkers with the two titans of the sport. Johnson had actually topped Greaves’ best lap with a 1:22.10, and was gaining on Greaves when the 2010 champ’s wheel let loose and flew off into the Wisconsin northwoods.
In 2nd place was Cenni, last year’s big winner at Crandon. Cenni drove a near flawless race and ended up battling some mechanical gremlins of his own in rushing to the finish to hold off a hard-charging Scott Douglas (AMSOIL/Borla Exhaust/BFG). “It was a great, clean race,” said Cenni. “Had a bit of a fire and a flat rear tire, but we’ll put it back together for the Cup race later this afternoon.”
Rounding out the podium was Douglas, who’s made all but one PRO 4 podium this year through 12 rounds of racing. Douglas and Johnson had a pretty good battle going, until Douglas said he (Johnson) “Hit the nitrous button” and was gone. “I couldn’t even make a race out of it,” said Douglas.
Noteworthy: NBC will broadcast TORC’s weekend at Crandon at 1:30 p.m. (EST) on Dec. 29th in a two-hour special on short course off-road racing at the Big House!
PRO 4x4 Results
1-Ricky Johnson 2-Adrian Cenni 3-Scott Douglas 4-Mark Jenkins 5-Case Gunderson 6-Mike Jenkins 7-Dan Baudoux 8-Al Drews 9-Milan Mazanec 10-Jerry Conrad 11-Johnny Greaves 12-Curt Leduc 13-Jim Ridderbush
Casey Currie (Monster Energy/Nissan/General Tire) made it a clean sweep of the TORC PRO Light races this weekend at Crandon, creating an interesting ripple in the tight points chase between Andrew Caddell (Ram/Mopar/Traxxas/BFG) and Brad Lovell (AMSOIL/Nissan/Torchmate/BFG). As it stands Lovell leaves Crandon with a three-point lead over Caddell with one weekend of racing remaining in Lancaster, Calif., Sept. 29 & 30.
Battling for the holeshot, Lovell and Caddell left a small crease of a line open for Currie – which he gladly filled and took off with the lead early in the contest, a lead he’d never relinquish. “I’ll put on a show or lose!,” shouted the energized Currie to the Crandon faithful, some 18,000 strong at Crandon on Sunday alone. “It’s the crowd, I swear! If I’m gonna win I say win big at the Big House!”
In hot pursuit of Currie, Lovell and Caddell early on were Keegan Kincaid (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG) and TORC PRO Light rookie, Nick Baumgartner (Loctite/Warn), the pro snowboarder-turned-off-road racer from nearby Iron River, Mich. But no sooner could you say “north, south, east, west” Kincaid suffered a massive rollover and was out of the contest.
Things tightened up in the front and at the competition yellow the field was able to catch back up to Currie. Things were pretty tame on the restart, up to the infield right hander by the scoring tower when Matt Cook (Supercross.com) put his ride on its lid. USAC/TORC safety crews in the big Ram Power Wagon series safety trucks were right on the spot to flip Cook back over and he continued on in the race, albeit limping quite a bit.
With three to go Currie had opened his lead back up and the fans at Crandon took to watching the great battle going on for 2nd between Lovell and Caddell. As it would be a slight mistake by Lovell would cost him and Caddell pounced, taking 2nd place and leading Lovell to the checkers. Luke Johnson (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG) would rally back from way back early in the race to finish 4th while CJ Greaves (Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis) rounded out the top five.
PRO Light Results
1-Casey Currie 2-Andrew Caddell 3-Brad Lovell 4-Luke Johnson 5-CJ Greaves 6-Nick Baumgartner 7-Justin Smith 8-Ross Hoek 9-Doug Mittag 10-Eric Ruppel 11-Bradley Morris 12-Josh Hintz 13-Mark Oberg 14-Matt Cook 15-Randy Eller 16-Jason Janusz 17-Keegan Kincaid 18-Shawn Morris
The wildest finish of the race weekend at Crandon had to go the guys in the TORC PRO Buggy class. World Champion Bob Klaus would end up sweeping the weekend’s races, but the battle for 2nd between Aaron Holly and Andy Zipperer (Loctite/Warn) went right to the tap with Holly winning by a knobby!
“Within an inch,” said Zipperer of the finish.
Fourteen-year-old Mitchell DeJong (Traxxas/BFG) went to the head of the class, er, front of the field off the start. But charging up onto DeJong was Klaus, who took the lead back at the end of the first lap. Instead of separating from the rest of the pack, Klaus and DeJong had company up front with John Frana (Frana Group/RCV Performance) and Holly. And it was about this time that DeJong’s engine started to sputter a bit – something that’d plague 2012 Traxxas TORC Series PRO Buggy champion the rest of the contest.
At the competition yellow Frana and DeJong jockeyed for 2nd place with DeJong, engine-a-misfiring, limping over the finish in 2nd at the halfway point. But that’s as good as things would get for the champ.
Two laps into the second half of the race Holly and Zipperer would get past Frana while Klaus extended his lead to three seconds over DeJong. On the last lap, with DeJong now in their rearview mirrors, Zipperer would bust past Holly on the high speed Skybox Jump and into 2nd place. Then in a bit of poetic justice, Holly got past Zipperer on the final turn – something Zipperer did to win a race earlier this year – and just nicked Zipperer at the checkers.
“This is only the second time I’ve raced here in the last five years,” admitted Holly. “We had a good 4th place finish here yesterday and finished up the weekend with a podium today. Lot of good friends here to it was a great weekend at Crandon for us.”
The win for World Champion Bob Klaus was his second of the weekend, having won Saturday’s race as well. “I’ll tell you what … this is the first weekend all year that our car ran well. ‘Untouchable’ in my book. We haven’t won two in a row, ever.”
PRO Buggy Results
1-Bob Klaus 2-Aaron Hawley 3-Andy Zipperer 4-John Frana 5-Scott Schwalbe 6-JR Wheeler 7-Mitchell DeJong 8-Chris Haenlein 9-Bryan Bernloehr 10-Tom Schwartzburg 11-Jack Haenlein
Up next … Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, Lancaster, Calif., Sept. 29-30.
Media contact: Pat Schutte, HPPR, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Pat Schutte
For more information, please visit: www.torcseries.com
The Traxxas TORC Series, presented by AMSOIL, is the fastest, most punishing short course racing series on the planet! TORC events are packed with flag-to-flag fender banging as drivers push the limits over whoops and jump-filled natural terrain race tracks. Off-road racing fans come from far and wide to experience the most challenging form of high-octane competition. And once they taste TORC for the first time they’re hooked for life!