Rick Johnson runs away w/ Traxxas TORC PRO 4 title at Race One finals @ Antelope Valley
Posted on Saturday, September 29, 2012
TORC PRO 2 finals come down to winner-takes-all last race today as MacCachren leads Menzies 261-260; Caddell suffers tough setback in PRO Light, Lovell up 20 pts
By Pat Schutte
LANCASTER, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2012) – Day one of the Traxxas TORC Series, presented by AMSOIL, Rick Huseman Memorial Cup weekend at Lancaster’s (Calif.) Antelope Valley Raceway, featured three TORC Series PRO classes being decided in the dual-race format.
Stay tuned to www.torcseries.com on Sunday for the running of the inaugural $65,000 Rick Huseman PRO 4/PRO 2 Memorial Cup and the $15K Jeff Huseman PRO Light Memorial Cup races honoring the late off-road greats.
TORC Ram PRO 4x4
With a dominant green-to-checkers performance in the opening Traxxas TORC Series race of the Rick Huseman Memorial Cup weekend Ricky Johnson (Red Bull/Ram/Mopar/KMC Wheels) sewed up the overall Ram PRO 4x4 championship, winning by a comfortable margin over 2nd place Scott Douglas (AMSOIL/Borla Exhaust/BFG) and 3rd place Mark Jenkins (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG).
“We had a great year and that capped off our championship,” said Johnson. “Congrats to the whole crew at Menzies for putting the best package underneath me. Looking forward to racing the rest of the weekend here in honor of Rick and Jeff Huseman, along with the pilot, Andrew Hicks.”
RJ’s effort up front was never in question as challenges from Crandon World Championships winner Johnny Greaves (Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis) and west coast off-road champ Kyle Leduc (Monster Energy/Toyo) never materialized. Greaves, who had a reported valve issue with his race truck, hopped in Rick Huseman’s No. 37 race truck – which had not been tuned to race Lancaster (rather, was there as a show truck) – and wasn’t a factor in the race. Leduc took the green flag, then pulled off, saving his truck for Sunday’s $65,000 Rick Huseman Cup race – with $36K going to the winner.
With Johnson up front, Douglas charged forward in his usual consistently-fast fashion, putting about as much distance between himself and 3rd place finisher Mark Jenkins as Johnson had up front. Douglas’ effort in the first race, coupled with Greaves’ last place finish, secured 2nd overall for Douglas in the 2012 Traxxas TORC Series points overall points chase.
“Ricky had a little bit on everyone else,” said Douglas. “Basically he had to break and we had to win (in order to keep Douglas’ PRO 4 title hopes alive). And though we wanted to win really bad, this is the best way for things work out. Second place isn’t bad, but you want to win. We took this AMSOIL truck and ran it hard. Congrats to Ricky on the PRO 4 title.”
TORC Ram PRO 4x4 Race 1 Results
1- Ricky Johnson 2- Scott Douglas 3- Mark Jenkins 4- Mike Jenkins 5- Curt Leduc 6- Johnny Greaves 7- Adrian Cenni 8- Kyle Leduc
TORC AMSOIL PRO 2WD
Bryce Menzies (Red Bull/Ram/Mopar/KMC Wheels) cut a chunk out of Rob MacCachren’s (Ram/Mopar/Traxxas/BFG) overall series points lead, winning the first of two TORC PRO 2 races of the day and picking up and additional two points by leading at the halfway point.
“We’ve got that No. 1 plate and we don’t want to give it up,” said Menzies, who trailed MacCachren 261-260 after this race. “Got to get the truck prepped and ready for this afternoon and we’ll be ready-to-go.”
Starting further back and having difficulties passing in the extremely rough, muddy and dusty conditions was MacCachren. But the veteran great was up for the task, putting on late-race charge worthy of the champion he is and recording the Oakley Bomb Award with a race-best 53.870 lap – the only driver to run sub-54 seconds.
“I didn’t get a good start, took a while to get up near the front. It was brutal out there,” said MacCachren. “We’ll get back in and try and run stronger this afternoon.”
Up front early on the first of two TORC PRO 2 races was Mike Oberg (AMSOIL/General Tire/King Shocks). Oberg was quickly overtaken by fellow off-road veteran Jeff Kincaid (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG), who equally as fast lost the lead to Menzies. The positions stayed the same through the competition yellow restart with Menzies, Kincaid and Oberg leading CJ Greaves (Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis) and MacCachren when the drivers were grouped back together.
A lap into the restart Chad Hord (BOSS Snowplows/Nissan/BFG) had something let go and brought him to a stop, ending his day. CJ Greaves was next out with mechanical problems. Noteworthy was the fact that both of them had a mathematical shot at the overall PRO 2 title should Menzies and MacCachren somehow taken themselves out.
When the white flag flew Kincaid, in a show of proper TORC sportsmanship, gave MacCachren a slight seam in which to get by – and MacCachren snapped up the advantage, moving into 2nd. “Those guys are running for a championship, so I let him (MacCachren) slip by,” said Kincaid. “Overall I’d say we had a good race.” Kincaid joined MacCachren (2nd) and Menzies (1st) on the overall PRO 2 race one podium at Lancaster.
1- Bryce Menzies 2- Rob MacCachren 3- Jeff Kincaid 4- Mike Oberg 5- Mark Kvamme 6- Jamie Grosser 7- CJ Greaves 8- Steve Barlow 9- Chad Hord 10- Mike Jenkins
Traxxas PRO Light
With 17 equally-matched V8-powered Traxxas TORC PRO Light truck lining up for the first of two races at Lancaster today, you know something was going to give. Unfortunately for PRO Light overall points contender and defending TORC PRO Light champion Andrew Caddell (Ram/Mopar/Traxxas/BFG) it did – and not at all in his favor.
With the Monster Energy tandem of Casey Currie (Nissan/General Tire) and RJ Anderson (Loctite/Polaris) up front, Caddell was charging and got into the back end of then 3rd place racer Keegan Kincaid (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG). No sooner did the two separate than Matt Cook (Supercross.com) got into the back end of Caddell, staying on the gas and forcibly pushing the defending champ sideways. Cook would get by, wounding Caddell’s rear end (tire), but was soon faced with a predicament of his own as he (Cook) ended up on his roof, bringing out a full course yellow.
Caddell would limp into the hot pits in hopes of getting fixed up. In the meantime current TORC PRO Light points leader Brad Lovell (AMSOIL/Nissan/Torchmate/BFG) moved up several places following a poor start. Surviving a near-miss by Luke Johnson (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG), Lovell settled into the 5th spot while Caddell’s day got even worse as his truck came to a complete stop, ending his first of two races and putting him even further back of Lovell in the PRO Light points chase – 269-249 after being down by five points to Lovell heading into Lancaster.
At the competition yellow Anderson would get by Currie, who would suffer and apparent mechanical failure. Into the hot pits, Currie came back into the race in last place, shortly thereafter his truck failed altogether. CJ Greaves would then join Anderson up front, pushing his west coast rival until Anderson broke as well. So three Monster Energy trucks up front was cut to one, CJ Greaves, with Kincaid and a hard-charging Nick Baumgartner (Loctite/Warn) up into his first-ever podium position.
A crash would lead to one final restart and CJ Greaves would lead Kincaid to the finish, followed in 3rd by Noah Fouts (Huseman Racing), who just nicked Baumgartner at the finish.
“That was definitely one of the best races I’ve ever had,” said Fouts, a sentimental favorite in the race given his piloting of Jeff Huseman’s truck. “I tried to keep it clean because some of the guys are racing for the championship. But on the last corner of the last lap I saw an opening and was able to get on the podium for the first time.”
Earning the $1,000 Traxxas Maxx Lap (race’s fastest lap time) along with the race win was CJ Greaves. “We’ve been fast all weekend,” said CJ Greaves. “We had three Monster Energy trucks up front there for a bit, then mistakes and mechanical issues kept knocking them down. I think we had the speed to beat them anyway.”
Traxxas PRO Light Race 1
1- CJ Greaves 2- Keegan Kincaid 3- Noah Fouch 4- Nick Baumgartner 5- Brad Lovell 6- Shawn Morris 7- Randy Eller 8- Dan Kelly 9- Ross Hoek 10- Luke Johnson 11- RJ Anderson 12- Casey Currie 13- Jerrett Brooks 14- Mitchell DeJong 15- Matt Cook 16- Andrew Caddell 17- Todd Cunningham
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!