Team Toyo off-road drivers score wins at Crandon’s 40th anniversary
In addition to setting new track records in Pro 2WD and Pro 4X4, Toyo Tires-sponsored drivers won the headline events including the BorgWarner World Championship for Pro 2WD on Saturday, and the BorgWarner Cup on Sunday. Known as the “Big House”, Crandon’s race this weekend is the most prestigious for The Off-Road Championship (TORC) series, with 40,000 fans in attendance during the weekend and a live broadcast on ABC television.
Beginning with Friday’s qualifying for Round 11; Robby Gordon set a new Pro 2WD track record of 1:25.96 driving his No. 007 Polaris / Toyo Tires Chevrolet Silverado truck. Gordon’s effort was super-human, as he was injured earlier in the week during a high-speed testing crash with his desert racing Hummer in Parker, Arizona. Gordon also competed in a NASCAR race in Atlanta on Saturday, and then returned to Crandon Sunday to compete in Pro 2WD.
Shattering the overall Crandon track record by more than two-seconds on Friday was Rick Huseman, piloting his No. 36 Monster Energy/Traxxas/Toyota/Toyo Tires Tundra with a time of 1:20.16. Huseman maintains the number one spot in the Pro 4X4 championship points while Kyle LeDuc remains in second with only a few race weekends remaining.
During Saturday’s Round 11 race, Todd LeDuc piloted his No. 3 Rockstar/Makita/US Air Force/Toyo Tires Ford F-150 to victory in the prestigious BorgWarner World Championship for Pro 2WD and received a check for $10,000. In addition, he captured an ‘Oakley Bomb Run’ award for setting the fasted lap during the race. This put LeDuc into the Pro 2WD championship points lead for the first time this year. Due to a fourth place finish on Sunday, LeDuc finished the weekend in a close second, leaving him easily within striking range for the championship.
“I wanted to leave Crandon with the championship points lead,” said Todd LeDuc. “I was on the radio with my brother Kyle before the start of the race and told him I wanted to put a ‘holeshot’ on everyone. My Toyo Open Country M/T-R tires helped me do just that, as I had the preferred outside line and went into the lead by the first turn.”
Sunday’s Pro 4X4 race had Toyo Tires drivers sweeping the podium by the end of the race. During the first start of the race, a bad crash took out six of the 13 race trucks. Once the field restarted, Kyle LeDuc, piloting his No. 99 Rockstar/Makita/Ford Trucks/Toyo Tires F-150, dominated the race while nearly lapping the field in the process. For his victory, LeDuc won the weekend’s top prize, the BorgWarner Cup and a check for $40,000. In addition, he took home an ‘Oakley Bomb Run’ award. Finishing in second was Rick Huseman followed by Curt LeDuc and his No. 43 Rockstar/Makita/Ford Trucks/Toyo Tires F-150.
“All of the Toyo guys had clean races,” said Kyle LeDuc. “Toyo is definitely the tire to beat at Crandon.”
“We congratulate the LeDucs, Rick Huseman and Robby Gordon for making this the best-ever Crandon race weekend for Toyo Tires,” said Stan Chen, manager of events and motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “Our 35X12.50R17 Toyo Open Country M/T-R tires proved dominant, adding to our list of race victories.”
Kyle and Todd LeDuc have dominated short course racing for three consecutive race weekends. During the TORC race in Bark River, Michigan, Kyle swept the weekend while Todd scored a victory. Prior to that race, both brothers swept the Lucas Oil Off Road Race Series weekend in Lake Elsinore, California.
Two more race weekends remain in the TORC series to decide the champions. September 23-24 is the next event at Perris, California, with the finals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway October 23-24.