Double Victory For Defending Champion CJ Greaves In Crandon
Young driver CJ Greaves dominated both PRO 2WD and PRO 4WD action on the first day of the Big House Brawl as TORC: The Off-Road Championship presented by AMSOIL raced Crandon International Off-Road Raceway.
The opening day of this weekend's championship doubleheader saw Greaves take the PRO 2WD victory and earn his first PRO 4WD win of the year, while Kyle Hart claimed the top spot in Atturo Tire PRO Light.
CJ Greaves took an exciting, worst-to-first victory at The Big House Saturday, sliding into top spot in the closing laps of the race as his father Johnny Greaves pulled off course with a rare mechanical failure.
CJ Greaves was nowhere to be seen in the opening stages of the race after a spin put him to the back of the pack. But the 21-year-old Wisconsin native worked his way through the field to challenge his father for the lead. "We just took it one lap at a time," said Greaves. "We tried to ease back into it and make sure nothing was broke and this thing held together."
The younger Greaves also broke the historic track's fastest-lap record, set by his father five years ago, with a pass of 1:18:865 minutes -- the first-ever official lap in the 1:18 mark.
Mike Jenkins took the runner-up spot, his best finish of the season so far, after the team worked overnight on the engine. "The crew worked on our engine last night, they were up working on it until 5:30 this morning," said Jenkins. "We came out here today, we ran strong, we ran reliably."
An emotional Ross Hoek rounded out the top-three Saturday. He has struggled in PRO 4WD since he moved to the class and said the third-place result was hard fought.
"This is our third time on the podium, but this is the hardest we've raced for it," he said. "We're racing against big-dollar programs with very little... we're doing this mostly on our own. To just get on the podium and compete with these guys... we can't be any happier than we are today."
PRO 4WD Results:
1. CJ Greaves
2. Mike Jenkins
3. Ross Hoek
4. Chad Hord
5. Scott Douglas
6. Milan Mazanec
7. Johnny Greaves
8. Larry Pegram
9. Kent Brascho
10. Dan Badoux
CJ Greaves claimed the PRO 2WD victory in Crandon after local favorite Keegan Kincaid suffered a transmission failure that forced him out of the contest early.
The pair of young rivals battled hard at the start of the race with Kincaid taking the holeshot, followed by Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Greaves. The champion made short work of Luyendyk Jr. and began harassing Kincaid for the lead. The two had gapped the pack by nearly 10 seconds when they became entangled in the Hairpin Turn.
"I apologized to him," Greaves said after the race. "I came inside and I don't know if he over-rotated, if our nerf bars got tangled together, or what, but I was off the gas all of a sudden and he got stuck on me and we're both trying to turn away from each other and we're both backing up and trying to go forward."
Greaves got back on track to hold the lead to the checkers, while a transmission failure unrelated to the incident ended Kincaid's day. That left Brad Lovell and Rodney Van Eperen to battle for the remaining podium positions. Lovell finished second and Van Eperen claimed third, his best-ever class finish.
For Lovell, it was a great end to a long day. His team replaced his engine on Saturday before the green flag. "I can't tell you how hard my team has worked today on this truck. All day, they were under the tent, getting this motor in," said Lovell. "My family's here and I wanted to get this for these guys: I really wanted to get on the box. What a great way to do it and I'm really proud of our team."
PRO 2WD Results:
1. CJ Greaves
2. Brad Lovell
3. Rodney Van Eperen
4. Jason DeGrave
5. Keegan Kincaid
6. Nick Tyree
7. Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Atturo Tire PRO Light
Kyle Hart extended his points lead on Saturday with his fourth win in five rounds of Atturo Tire PRO Light racing in 2016. Hart led from start to finish, fending off a charging Travis Dinsmore.
"All I could hear on the radio was: 'He's right there pushing, be aggressive!'" an excited Hart said after the race. "He was right there the whole race, so there was no slacking off. He kept it clean, hats off to him for that."
Dinsmore said he felt he had the pace to win and is looking forward to a rematch on Sunday. "I think we were faster than Kyle," said Dinsmore. "I got inside him a few times, but I just couldn't finish the deal. I was just hoping for him to make a mistake and he didn't make too many... He beat us, but tomorrow is a new day."
Atturo Tire PRO Light Results:
Bobby Runyan Jr.