Traxxas TORC Series draws crowdPublished 9:03am Sunday, May 27, 2012
BUCHANAN — Superb weather, a faster, flowier track and considerably more fans on hand than last year was the order at Red Bud MX for round three of the 2012 Traxxas TORC Series, presented by AMSOIL.
The nation’s premier motocross track hosting the world’s fastest short course off-road racers made for a spectacular day of racing on this motorsports-friendly Saturday in the Midwest.
And in the end it was an all-Ram Trucks/Mopar victory for three popular drivers on the TORC tour — Ricky Johnson (PRO 4×4), Rob MacCachren (PRO 2WD) & Andrew Caddell (PRO Light).
Red Bull/Ram/Mopar/KMC Wheels’ Ricky Johnson made it three wins in three tries on the 2012 Traxxas TORC Series tour, taking advantage of rival Johnny Greaves’ mistake right after the competition yellow to take the lead, then holding off Greaves on a full course yellow restart with two laps to go for the win.
“There is no strategy in a fight like this,” said Johnson. “I was just going for it as hard as I could. Johnny made one mistake and that was the difference. This track was unbelievably rough. I used to race motocross here and this was way rougher than that.”
Greaves was strong early, taking the lead from Mike Jenkins (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG) on the first lap when Jenkins and Scott Douglas (AMSOIL/Borla Exhaust/BFG) came together off a massive jump as Douglas tried to air it out over Jenkins’ truck. Douglas would check up on account of his hit the ground so hard, and that gave then third place Greaves an opening that he would take quick advantage of.
Cruising through to the competition restart, Greaves would lead a determined Johnson around the first few turns and over the uphill jump before he bicycled his truck in a flat section rut and nearly flipped.
“I just made a mistake up there,” said Greaves. “I tried to change my line up, but did it too late. Got too deep into a rut and almost put ‘er over. Just glad I was able to keep it on the wheels.”
With Johnson, winner of the PRO 4 Oakley Bomb Award, up by two seconds on Greaves, Adrian Cenni (Real Tree Energy) would get into the door of Mark Jenkins (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG), causing Jenkins to cartwheel down a steep downhill section and onto the top of a concrete K-barrier. A full course competition yellow would ensue, setting the stage for Johnson vs. Greaves on the final two laps. But it would be Johnson this time that had too much for Greaves, with last year’s RedBud PRO 4 winner Douglas bringing home third.
1. 48 Johnson, Ricky 15 00.000
2. 22 Greaves, Johnny 15 -01.245
3. 7 Douglas, Scott 15 -04.523
4. 11 Cenni, Adrian 15 -09.335
5. 47 Jenkins, Mike 15 -10.318
6. 25 Jenkins, Mark 12 -3 Laps
7. 17 Baudoux, Dan 1 -14 Laps
Rob MacCachren picked up right where he left off at Red Bud last year — where he won day two and picked up the Oakley Bomb Award for the fastest PRO 2 lap — by flat out dominating the action Saturday.
MacCachren blasted through the pack, doing away with all the drivers that got out in front of him early — including PRO Light podium placer CJ Greaves (Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis) and defending PRO 2 champion Bryce Menzies (Red Bull/Ram/Mopar/KMC Wheels).
All it took was a couple laps to get back up to speed to the TORC pace, afterwhich MacCachren caught fire following the competition yellow — passing then — PRO 2 race leader Chad Hord (BOSS Snowplows/AMSOIL/Nissan) for first place a couple turns into the second half of the race and pulling away — unchallenged — for the victory.
“It’s really good to get back here on the TORC Series,” said MacCachren. “Can’t thank the guys from Mopar and Ram Trucks enough. We worked forward from the start there and had a strong-running truck. Again, good to be back and we’re looking forward to getting back in the points chase here on the TORC Series.”
Leading the race at the start was Jeff Kincaid (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG), but a puff of smoke from the engine foreshadowed the end to Kincaid’s day. The former champion handed the lead over to Steve Barlow (Real Tree Energy), but Barlow’s lead would be short-lived as Hord muscled his way past the Californian on the downhill section in the center of the track, giving Hord a lead he’d hold though the competition yellow.
About the same time Hord took the lead Menzies’ truck would break, and the defending champ would limp around the course, gathering as many points as he could.
As Hord pulled away, MacCachren caught Barlow for second right before the competition yellow. On the restart MacCachren vaulted into the lead seemingly with easy, though it would be noted later that Hord was suffering some mechanical issues which rendered his PRO 2 truck less than 100-percent.
“The truck took a beating, and about halfway through it started lying down,” said Hord, who managed to hold onto second. “The Red Bud track was rough, but a lot of fun. We like it that way. Congrats to Rob (MacCachren). This is a great facility and I hope we come back.”
CJ Greaves would race well for third place, and in doing so took over the overall TORC PRO 2 points lead from Menzies.
1. 21 MacCachren, Rob 15 00.000
2. 9 Hord, Chad 15 -02.913
3. 33 Greaves, CJ 15 -04.805
4. 83 Barlow, Steve 15 -17.145
5. 91 Tyree, Nick 15 -22.044
6. 76 Zipperer, Andy 15 -34.928
7. 47 Jenkins, Mike 15 -40.613
8. 1 Menzies, Bryce 12 -3 Laps
9. 80 Oberg, Mike 3 -12 Laps
10. 4 Kincaid, Jeff 2 -13 Laps
Defending Traxxas TORC PRO Light champion Andrew Caddell (Ram/Mopar/Traxxas) made it three wins in three races this year, taking the lead early on in the Red Bud PRO Light contest and running a fast, calculating race on Saturday while weathering an incredible charge from second place Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis race CJ Greaves.
“I knew CJ was coming,” said Caddell. “I’d heard he got into second and we had about eight (truck) lengths on him. I took it a bit easier on the last lap and he (Greaves) cut it down to about four or five trucks. Glad we could win today and hopefully tomorrow we can make it four-for-four.”
CJ Greaves’ run to the front of the pack came after he bicycled his truck in the opening laps, bringing out a full course yellow. “We really had a fast truck today — came in hot to a corner early and put it on its door,” said Greaves. “But we were able to get back up to second — team did a killer job.”
Second place came to Greaves when Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG teammates Luke Johnson and Keegan Kincaid got together right after the competition yellow. Slowed only slightly, it was enough for the hard-charging Greaves to split the gap, run his truck up high on the track and blast past into second behind Caddell.
“I went up onto the bank to get around them and I guess it worked out,” added Greaves, who got into the top five after Michigan’s Ross Hoek (Venom Energy/BFG/Royal Purple Oil) put his PRO Light onto its roof near the landing area of the big uphill jump.
Rounding out the PRO Light podium on Saturday was Luke Johnson, who scored his second podium of the year.
“This track’s really hard to pass on. Keegan ran an awesome race, and I had him covered in a couple spots, but it got close there when CJ was able to get by us,” said Johnson. “Overall it was a good race for the Traxxas team.”
1. 1 Caddell, Andrew 15 00.000
2. 33 Greaves, CJ 15 -01.244
3. 14 Johnson, Luke 15 -07.687
4. 7 Kincaid, Keegan 15 -09.609
5. 44 Lovell, Brad 15 -09.916
6. 11 Eller, Randy 15 -21.062
7. 12 Baumgartner, Nick 15 -25.063
8. 73 Zipperer, Andy 15 -27.809
9. 99 Sleegers, Jeff 15 -27.871
10. 4 Janusz, Jason 15 -53.785
11. 21 Hoek, Ross 9 -6 Laps
12. 27 Morris, Shawn 9 -6 Laps
13. 16 Hintz, Josh 9 -6 Laps
(Story provided by Pat Schutte)