THE BIG HOUSE HAS BITE IN ROUND 6 CRANDON ACTION
Door to Door PRO 4 Battle Nets Johnny Greaves the Win; Brad Lovell Doubles Up in PRO 2; and Kyle Kleiman Puts a Stranglehold on PRO Light Field with Another Victory
CRANDON, Wis. (June 25, 2017) – An overnight of persistent rain turned the Crandon International Off-Road Raceway into a track of ever-changing surfaces as Round 6 action of TORC: The Off-Road Championship presented by AMSOIL returned to action. On day two, the Big House Brawl bit back as racers faced a track with two distinct surfaces. The narrow and polished groove was the fast and favored line, but a rain-soaked cushion flanked both sides making for close-quarter racing as competitors pushed, slid, and banged for position.
JOHNNY GREAVES WINS DOOR-TO-DOOR BATTLE IN PRO 4 OVER KINCAID
The closing laps of PRO 4 lived up to the namesake of the spring Crandon race as Johnny Greaves edged Keegan Kincaid in an all-out brawl to the checkers with Chad Hord finishing third. The finish had the crowd on its feet, but the start of the race was equally intense as Ross Hoek pulled yet another monster holeshot; and an early race battle between Johnny and his son CJ Greaves set the table for the nail bitter finish.
Johnny had the early lead and despite a poor start, CJ was soon on his doorstep. As they so often do, the Greaves duo battled for position and it appeared CJ may once again gain the advantage. But, Johnny bulldogged his way to the inside of his son, made contact, and parked CJ in the apex of a turn. The mishap gave Johnny the lead and allowed several more trucks to follow, relegating then PRO 4 points leader CJ Greaves all the way back to 7th.
“That was a bummer between me and CJ,” Johnny said after the race. “I hate that part of father/son racing.”
Like it or not, the move set up an incredible finish where thousands of die-hard fans saw a two-truck battle between Johnny Greaves and Keegan Kincaid. While Johnny had the edge at the line, the hard fought second place finish by Kincaid assured him and his team they are making huge gains in the sport’s premiere class.
“That was the most fun I’ve had racing in a long time,” said Kincaid. “I made one mistake…my fuel pressure light came on, I looked down, and that was all it took.”
LOVELL GOES BACK-TO-BACK WITH ANOTHER PRO 2 WIN
Sporting the biggest field in the TORC Series truck ranks, PRO 2 was a Brad Lovell freight train as he won again in convincing fashion after disposing of Luke Johnson on the opening lap. With Johnson having a mechanical early on, it was up to Mark Peterson and Eric Ruppel to put on a charge in an attempt to catch Lovell after the competition yellow…it didn’t happen.
Brad opened up an even bigger gap as the laps wound down, giving himself a 5-second plus cushion over the second place truck of Peterson. It was here, in the battle for second place, the best racing of the day unfolded as Eric Ruppel of Chetek, Wisconsin punched in and went to work on Peterson. But despite several oh-so-close looks, Peterson fended off the advances of Ruppel to finish second on the box. And while Lovell checked-out up front, it was the through the pack charge of Luke Johnson to finish fourth and collect valuable championship points that was perhaps the best drive of the day in PRO 2.
With the weekend sweep, Lovell was all smiles as he exited his truck. “I gotta give it to our team,” said Brad. “This year everything is so organized…I can focus on driving and the balance of the truck is just incredible…I can put it where I want to put it…I’m so stoked right now.”
KYLE KLEIMAN TAKES CHARGE IN PRO LIGHT WITH FOURTH WIN IN A ROW
An opening lap red flag shuffled the deck almost immediately in PRO Light but as the old adage goes, the cream always rises to the top, and right now in PRO Light that cream is Kyle Kleiman. With his fourth consecutive win, Kyle is starting to put a stranglehold on the top spot in the championship chase, but this particular win didn’t come easy.
With Morris leading early, it was Cody and Kyle doing the dicing, with Kyle moving into second almost immediately after the competition yellow restart. Then the deck shuffled even more as Travis Dinsmore pulled off a two-for-one pass, moving from fifth to third in the hairpin turn as he slipped by both Cody Kleiman and Andrew Carlson. From there, both Kyle and Travis hunted down Morris, eventually catching and passing him in the closing laps, At the line it was Kyle Kleiman taking the win, Dinsmore in second, and Shawn Morris in third.
While Morris relinquished the lead, he remained positive about his results. “I think we had a pretty dominant truck all weekend…I made three mistakes and I got passed three times.”
Another win for Kyle Kleiman has boosted his confidence even further. While he talked about the lack of line choices during the race and the need to take chances, his telling quote came at the close of his post race interview when he said, “I want that championship.”
IT’S GREAVES AGAIN IN PRO STOCK UTV AS HIS PERFECT SEASON CONTINUES
With no qualifying, the PRO Stock UTV field was larger than ever as 28 vehicles filled three lines for the land rush start. Making thing still more challenging, the early run time delivered a greasy track and a narrow groove for the swarm of drivers. None of that mattered for CJ Greaves, who nailed the holeshot; overcame an early red flag restart; and eventually checked out with a 3-second advantage over Zach Martin and Dillon Pointon at the line. The podium was once again an all Yamaha affair with Greaves leading the way keeping his perfect season intact. “We’re just doing our thing and running our lines,” said CJ after yet another podium celebration.
VAN EPEREN CAPTURES THIRD WIN OF SEASON IN PRO MOD UTV
If CJ Greaves is the king of PRO Stock UTV, then no question Rodney Van Eperen is the king of PRO Mod UTV as he won yet again with a flag-to-flag performance. In another race without qualifying, the field was packed with 25 talented drivers and plenty of clean racing. And while the scoring sheet will show Van Eperen out front for the entire affair, it didn’t come easy as both Kyle Chaney and Tim Farr, who finished second and third respectively, pressured Van Eperen and each other for much of the race.Those three along with Jason Luburgh and Drew Schulz were the tops in the class, pulling away from the field and having a five-way tug-of-war for position through much of the race. Still it was Van Eperen who came out on top once again. “Holy man, I just can’t get a cushion on these guys,” said Rodney. “That was some fun racing.”
JOHNNY GREAVES REIGNS SUPREME IN PRO 2 VERSUS PRO 4 CHAIRMAN’S CUP
The final race of the Big House Brawl was the 24th running of the Forest County Potawatomi Community Chairman’s Cup Heavy Metal Challenge, better known by locals the Brush Run Cup Challenge. The end of day race features PRO 2 and PRO 4 trucks in a head-to-head showdown.
The skies grew dark and opened up just before the start of the race, turning the already challenging track into a battle of tear-offs and clear vision. With a start differential of 35-seconds between the PRO 2 trucks featuring Luke Johnson and Brad Lovell, and the PRO 4 grouping with crowd favorites Johnny and CJ Greaves, it was anyone’s guess who would come out on top of the 10-lap affair.
Despite Luke Johnson charging out to an early lead, it was the Greaves tandem battling with Lovell that made for the pass of the race. With CJ going to the outside of Brad, Johnny dove low and zip past both of them, putting himself into position to reel in Johnson. With the rain continuing to fall, the track grew more and more slick. Johnson put up a fight, but he leaned too hard on the mud-laden cushion and pushed his truck up and over the berm.
“I was down to one tear-off,” said Greaves, winning the Chairman’s Cup for the fifth time. “He went high in the berm and I shot by…if that didn’t happen there was no way I could have chased him down.”
UP NEXT – BARK RIVER, MICHIGAN THROW DOWN IN THE U.P.
The TORC Series will return to action July 15-16 in Bark River, Michigan for Rounds 7 and 8.