TORC: Greaves does it again at Crandon, with Menzies, Currie & Klaus also crowned world champs

Traxxas TORC Series’ round ten plays to a massive crowd at the legendary Crandon International Off-Road Raceway

By Pat Schutte

CRANDON, Wis. (Sept. 1, 2012) – After some spectacular makeup racing on Friday at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway, the 2012 Traxxas TORC Series, presented by AMSOIL, picked back up on Saturday and wicked up the action with a full slate of World Championship PRO class racing on the legendary northwoods Wisconsin short course off-road track.

Round 11 of the TORC Series on Saturday foreshadowed what will certainly be some spectacular racing heading into tomorrow’s 12th round of the series – along with the highly anticipated $40,000 AMSOIL Cup race featuring TORC’s top PRO 4 and PRO 2 class racers.

PRO 4×4

Right out of a cannon to open the day’s final race – the TORC PRO 4s – The Brothers Jenkins, Mark & Mike, took to the early lead, ripping down the Skybox Straight and into the picturesque Oakley Timepiece Corner (note this Crandon track feature as a lot went down there in the PRO 4 class) with the lead, albeit a brief one. Coming on like a hurricane was Friday’s PRO 4 winner at Crandon, Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis’ Johnny Greaves, who would take command of the race early.

Or so it looked.

One lap after Greaves got by the Jenkins’ for the lead, the Crandon local spun in the Oakley Corner, allowing defending TORC PRO 4 champ Ricky Johnson (Red Bull/Mopar/Ram/KMC Wheels) to grab the lead. Mark Jenkins would grab 2nd and Scott Douglas (AMSOIL/Borla Exhaust/BFG) would move up to 3rd as Greaves got ‘er back in a straight line in 4th.

A spirited charge by Greaves would put him back up to 2nd place by the competition yellow, setting the stage for a TORC PRO 4 heavyweight rumble between Greaves and Johnson … or so we thought again! Johnson’s truck let out a noticeable trail of white smoke and, during the slow pace lap heading back to the restart, Johnson hustled to the hot pits in hopes of taking care of the issue. He was never seen again.

On the restart straight Adrian Cenni (Real Tree Energy), who won practically everything last year at Crandon, got tangled up with Curt LeDuc (Rockstar Energy) and the two were literally twisted together – bringing out the competition yellow as USAC safety crews tried frantically to separate the two trucks. The wreckage was beyond repair and both top notch drivers were forced to retire from Saturday’s contest.

On the rolling restart Douglas pulled out all the stops in pursuit of Greaves, trying to drive the wheels off his short bodied PRO 4 ride. And admirable effort in catching the 2010 champion, but would wind up in 2nd place. Mark Jenkins was an equal distance back in 3rd.

“I came out here and these fans watched us work on our truck all night last night … they’re the reason why we’re able to turn this thing around,” said the hometown Greaves. “Then we gave them some great racing, which they paid to see.”

Added Douglas: “You had to drive clean today. We tried to find grip all over the place, but the track was just so blue-grooved – like an ice rink. But our BFGs did the job and got us up here on the box. Can’t thank my crew enough. They worked until 3 a.m. last night swapping out a motor.”

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 4×4 Results

Johnny Greaves

Scott Douglas

Mark Jenkins

Mike Jenkins

Case Gunderson

Dan Baudoux

Al Drews

Milan Mazanec

Jerry Conrad

Jim Ridderbush

Curt Leduc

Adrian Cenni

Ricky Johnson


Defending TORC PRO 2 champ Bryce Menzies (Red Bull/Mopar/Ram/KMC Wheels) ran his best race of the year when it counted most – the PRO 2 World Championships at Crandon. Menzies played it cool through the first half of the race, sitting back in 3rd place at the competition yellow – the exploded on the restart, getting by both Chad Hord (BOSS Snowplows/AMSOIL/Nissan) and Jeff Kincaid (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG) who were in 1st and 2nd, respectively, when they tagged each other on the Skybox Straight.

“I qualified in 1st, started in 6th and had to be patient,” said Menzies. “Made a move in turn three to get out front and just took it from there.”

In the second half of the race Menzies had to deal with veteran racers Robby Gordon (Menard’s) and Rob MacCachren (Ram/Mopar/BFG). But the younger TORC PRO 2 ace, who holds the track record for the fastest lap ever in a PRO 2 truck, was up to the task – holding off a feverous charge from Gordon late in the race, while Gordon then held off MacCachren in a photo finish at the checkers.

“To race in front of a crowd like this in off-road is just really cool,” said Gordon. “That was a great race. Bryce did an awesome job. We’re excited to podium here in Menard’s country!”

MacCachren, though coming up short on his 200th career win (still sitting at 199), extended his lead in the overall TORC PRO 2 points chase with the 3rd place finish. “My team worked so hard to get us up here. It was a tough battle with Bryce, but I’m always glad to make the podium.”

Noteworthy: In his pursuit of Menzies and Gordon, MacCachren put up the day’s fastest lap in the TORC PRO 2 class, earning him the coveted Oakley Bomb Award.

PRO 2 Results

Bryce Menzies

Robby Gordon

Rob MacCachren

Chad Hord

CJ Greaves

Mike Oberg

Keith Steele

Steve Barlow

Mike Jenkins

Jeff Kincaid

Mike Vanden Heuvel

Scott Taylor

Justin Keener

PRO Light

Local racer Keegan Kincaid (Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG) led a supercharged field of TORC PRO Light racers into the first turn at Crandon, out front of a top five that included his teammate, Luke Johnson, Monster Energy-backed Casey Currie, No. 1 plate holder Andrew Caddell (Ram/Mopar/Traxxas/BFG) and Brad Lovell (AMSOIL/Nissan/Torchmate/BFG).

Charging under the finish line tabletop jump, Caddell and Lovell would get together, with Caddell looking to get the worst of it as both body panels and race positions were lost for the defending PRO Light champ. This allowed Kincaid, Johnson and Currie to separate from the rest of the field.

By the third lap Currie chased down Kincaid and snatched the lead coming into the famous Crandon Barn Turn. Johnson then slipped past Kincaid at the finish line right as the competition yellow flew, grouping the entire field back together for the second half of the race. “I got the holeshot, made a mistake and Casey got by me,” said Kincaid. “Another mistake and Luke got bye. Both of those guys ran great races.”

On the restart it was Currie, Johnson and Kincaid out front, with a charging Caddell running into trouble again on the finish line as he collected both of the Morris’ – Shaun (Maxxis/AMSOIL/Proformance Auto) and Bradley. With Caddell out of the picture Currie, Johnson and Kincaid separated from the rest of the pack and ran in those same positions through the checkers.

“I’m stoked to be at Crandon! This place is amazing,” said Currie from the podium, pumped with his win at the World Championships. “Been so much fun this weekend, hanging out with the fans last night. Can’t wait for tomorrow.”

Added Johnson: “I love this track and always have had the worst luck here. Today I made one more mistake than Casey made, so congrats to him. And congrats to my teammate Keegan as well. Can’t say enough for our Traxxas/AMSOIL/BFG team.”

Noteworthy: Currie was awarded with the Traxxas Maxx lap – a cool check for $5,000 courtesy of Traxxas for the fastest PRO Light racer today.

PRO Light Results

Casey Currie

Luke Johnson

Keegan Kincaid

Brad Lovell

Ross Hoek

Nick Baumgartner

Andrew Caddell

Justin Smith

Randy Eller

Shawn Morris

CJ Greaves

Matt Cook

Josh Hintz

Eric Ruppel

Mark Oberg

Mitchell DeJong

Jason Janusz

Doug Mittag

Bradley Morris

PRO Buggy

The PRO Buggy class was all Bob Klaus on Saturday as the New Jersey native – who holds dual citizenship here in Wisconsin during the TORC season – let the Saturday’s PRO Buggy main event from start to finish, winning this year’s World Championship at Crandon, while 14-year-old Mitchell DeJong (Traxxas/BFG) secured the overall PRO Buggy overall championship.

With local Scott Schwalbe pulling the holeshot in the No. 29 buggy, JR Wheeler looked to have settled into 2nd place when he was whomped out of nowhere from a charging DeJong. Officials would black flag DeJong, though not for the minor incident with Wheeler, rather because the teenage phenom mistakenly jumped the flag at the start.

So with DeJong relegated to the back of the pack, Klaus took over the lead prior to the end of the first lap, with Schwalbe in 2nd and Wheeler close in behind in 3rd. On the third lap John Frana (Frana Group/RCV Performance) came blazing up to the front and joined Klaus in the runner-up spot.

When the competition yellow flew midway through the nine-lap contest, DeJong had done his best to erase and 18-second deficit between him and the lead racers. The comp yellow brought them even closer and DeJong use it to his advantage on the restart, sliding past Wheeler into 4th, then past Schwalbe into 3rd a lap later.

Late in the contest and with a two-second lead, Klaus would somehow lose Frana – who suffered an apparent mechanical issue on the back portion of the track (not visible to the fans on the hill). So when the white flag flew denoting one lap, DeJong had moved all the way up to 2nd and was wringing out his TORC PRO Buggy to redline proportions in an effort to catch Klaus, but ended up just running out of time. Andy Zipperer (Loctite/Warn/Redline) would come out of nowhere and pass Wheeler on the final corner to claim the third and final podium spot.

Pro Buggy Results

Bob Klaus

Mitchell DeJong

Andy Zipperer

Aaron Hawley

JR Wheeler

Bryan Bernloehr

Tom Schwartzburg

Chris Haenlein

John Frana

Scott Schwalbe

Gord Felske

Jack Haenlein

Justin Folkman

Up next … Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, Lancaster, Calif., Sept. 29-30.

Media contact: Pat Schutte, HPPR, [email protected]

Photo by Mike Roth

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About TORC

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!