Kincaid one step closer to PRO 2WD title
There’s a reason races are run on the track and not on the stat sheets. The reason? At a TORC Series race,anything can happen.
Saturday at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway, the combination of a dominating victory by hometown hero and Cooper Tire-sponsored racer Keegan Kincaid and a misstep by defending PRO 2WD champion CJ Greaves has set the stage for an intense showdown Sunday in front of what could be the largest TORC crowd ever. Only five points now separate Greaves and his Toyota team and Kincaid after a fifth-place finish at the Keys to the Big House season finale event for TORC: The Off-Road Championship Presented by AMSOIL.
It’s a different story on the PRO 4WD side for Greaves. After finishing second to Kyle LeDuc, earning his second-straight Crandon World Championship, all Greaves has to do Sunday is take the green flag in his Maxxis Tire Toyota to take the championship mantle from his father, three-time and reigning class champion Johnny Greaves.
On the PRO Light side, Doug Mittag saw his truck suffer mechanical issues forcing him to finish last with Travis Dinsmore and his Atturo Tire/VP Racing Fuel-sponsored truck earning his second-consecutive victory at the legendary track. Mittag’s woes came at the right time, however, since he, like Greaves in PRO 4WD, only has to take the green flag Sunday to earn the TORC PRO Light title.
Kincaid, who also made his first-ever PRO 4WD start Saturday, ran neck-and-neck with Greaves for the first half of the PRO 2WD round. The entire 2015 season has seen the two Wisconsin-born rivals battle tooth and nail at every event and the action continued in similar fashion in the penultimate race of the year.
The duo was followed closely by Jeff Kincaid, making his first TORC start of the season and on Cooper Tires like his son, and Marty Hart. Greaves was briefly able to take the lead, but Kincaid quickly passed him and in the second half of the race, Greaves was edged off the track, giving Kincaid all the room he needed for the victory. Jeff Kincaid took the runner-up spot behind his son, with Hart rounding out the podium.
On the heels of his TORC PRO 2WD victory, Kincaid proceeded to scorch the field in the first half of the PRO 4WD race with defending event winner LeDuc hot on his trail. The two made contact coming out of Turn 1 with Kincaid holding onto the lead, but one lap later, Kincaid spun out, giving the lead to LeDuc. That seemed to be the catalyst for everything to go wrong with the rest of the field. CJ Greaves took another trip off the track after contact with LeDuc, while Johnny Greaves lost a front tire. Scott Douglas, who was second behind LeDuc, saw his AMSOIL/Cooper Tire/Borla Exhaust suffer engine issues, while Chad Hord, third at the time, also lost a tire.
The Greaves were able to make their way back into the top three with CJ finishing second behind LeDuc followed by Johnny in third. LeDuc, also the defending AMSOIL Cup winner, said the victory today was the result of some karma from a young fan. “This little kid named TJ came up to me on his bike earlier today and said there was no way I was going to beat Johnny and CJ,” LeDuc said from the top step. “I wrote ‘You’re wrong, TJ’ on a piece of tape and had it in the truck with me. So TJ, you’re wrong!”
With the PRO 4WD title all but won for CJ Sunday, both the final race of the year and the AMSOIL Cup will test the young champion’s ability. LeDuc has won 13-straight PRO 4WD events over the course of the 2015 and the Greaves boys have said they’re leaving it all out on the track tomorrow in an effort to end LeDuc’s streak.
Dinsmore proved again that the Big House is his house with his fourth-straight top-2 finish here. He earned the victory over a hard-charging Maxxis Tire-sponsored Kyle Hart and Kyle Kleiman, earning his second podium of the season. Luke Johnson, currently second in the class points, finished just outside the podium in fourth.
Sunday wraps up both the weekend and the season for TORC: The Off-Road Championship Presented by AMSOIL. PRO practice is scheduled for 9 a.m. CST with Sportsman racing kicking off at 10:30. PRO 4WD will race at Noon, followed by PRO 2WD, with PRO Light running at 5:15 p.m. The grand finale of the weekend is the AMSOIL Cup, featuring racers from both PRO 2WD and PRO 4WD. The Cup race is scheduled for 6 p.m.