BARK RIVER, Mich. – C.J. Greaves notched his fourth TORC: The Off-Road Championship PRO 4 division victory of the year on Sunday at Bark River Int’l Raceway.
With three wins each between Johnny Greaves and his son C.J. in PRO 4 competition, something had to give. For the points leader, Johnny Greaves, that something was a rear tire. It gave way in the closing laps, taking him out of contention. That opened the door for C.J. to make up ground on his father in the points chase, and he did just that when race leader Chad Hord smacked a concrete barrier with three laps to go.
In the early going, the Greaves duo were out of podium positions, as Chad Hord, Keegan Kincaid, and Scott Douglas battled for their respective spots atop the box. But in the closing lap before the competition caution, Douglas pushed the cushion too hard and smacked the outside wall allowing C.J. to slot up into third. Then, during the competition caution, a faulty window net forced Kincaid, who was running in second, to pull into the hot pits.
It was Hord, C.J., and Johnny lined up nose-to-tail on the restart, and in the first turn Hord caught an edge, putting his truck up on two wheels and eventually into the concrete barrier. It looked to be a Greaves battle for the checkered, but Johnny’s tire failure allowed a hard charging Kincaid, who had made his way back through the pack, to cross the line in second with Douglas in third.
“Chad (Hord) was running so strong,” said C.J., who also won the PRO Stock UTV feature on Sunday to remain perfect in that division. “He got up on the bike there and he gave it to me. The track was weird today…there were blue grooves, holes…it was real tough to try to find an advantage.”
Despite the unexpected pit stop, Kincaid recorded the fastest lap of the race in route to his second-place finish.
“This truck was on a rail,” said Keegan. “They’re making us work for it, but I like a challenge and we’ll be on the top spot soon enough.”
In the TORC PRO 2 division, the front runners fought for position in turn one, with Brad Lovell gaining the most ground with a fifth to second move. In front of him was Mark Peterson, with Luke Johnson sitting in third.
As the front runners battled, seemingly out of nowhere came the black truck of Saturday’s winner Andrew Carlson, who in just a few laps had worked his way up to fourth. Then, just as quickly, Carlson found himself in podium contention as Lovell, who had won back-to-back races just a few weeks prior in Crandon, over-rotated. With nowhere to go, Carlson tagged Lovell on the exit of the turn before getting back on the gas and slotting into third. Lovell would eventually have to make his way to the pits during the competition caution due to a mechanical issue.
With all the action behind him, few had noticed the clean and consistent laps being put down by leader Johnson, but on the restart, it was apparent to everyone as Luke pulled away from Peterson, who battled with Carlson during the final five laps, only to lose the position to him on the closing lap. At the line it was Johnson, Carlson, and Peterson taking the respective podium positions.
“The guys put together an awesome truck for me today,” said Johnson, who recorded the fastest lap times in PRO 2 both days at Bark River. “I’m stoked to be back on top…it’s a good day.”
The victory was the second of the season for Johnson, putting more distance between himself and the rest of the PRO 2 field in the championship standings. But, Carlson made perhaps an even bigger statement on the weekend, backing up his Saturday PRO 2 win with a come-from-the-back second place finish.
“I just knew I had to get work done fast,” said Carlson.
In the PRO Light division, Cody Kleiman notched the first victory of his career, bettering Chad Rayford at the checkered flag. Kyle Chaney earned his first victory of the season in the PRO Mod UTV class.