CRANDON, Wis. — An overnight of persistent rain turned the Crandon International Off-Road Raceway into a track of ever-changing surfaces as round six action of TORC: The Off-Road Championship presented by AMSOIL returned to action.
On day two, the Big House Brawl bit back as racers faced a track with two distinct surfaces. The narrow and polished groove was the fast and favored line, but a rain-soaked cushion flanked both sides making for close-quarter racing as competitors pushed, slid, and banged for position.
The closing laps of PRO 4 lived up to the namesake of the spring Crandon race as Johnny Greaves edged Keegan Kincaid in an all-out brawl to the checkers with Chad Hord finishing third. The finish had the crowd on its feet, but the start of the race was equally intense as Ross Hoek pulled yet another monster holeshot; and an early race battle between Johnny and his son C.J. Greaves set the table for the nail bitter finish.
Johnny had the early lead and despite a poor start, CJ was soon on his doorstep. As they so often do, the Greaves duo battled for position and it appeared CJ may once again gain the advantage. But, Johnny bulldogged his way to the inside of his son, made contact, and parked CJ in the apex of a turn. The mishap gave Johnny the lead and allowed several more trucks to follow, relegating then PRO 4 points leader CJ Greaves all the way back to seventh.
“That was a bummer between me and CJ,” Johnny said after the race. “I hate that part of father/son racing.”
Like it or not, the move set up an incredible finish where thousands of die-hard fans saw a two-truck battle between Johnny Greaves and Keegan Kincaid. While Johnny had the edge at the line, the hard fought second place finish by Kincaid assured him and his team they are making huge gains in the sport’s premiere class.
“That was the most fun I’ve had racing in a long time,” said Kincaid. “I made one mistake…my fuel pressure light came on, I looked down, and that was all it took.”
Sporting the biggest field in the TORC Series truck ranks, PRO 2 was a Brad Lovell freight train as he won again in convincing fashion after disposing of Luke Johnson on the opening lap. With Johnson having a mechanical early on, it was up to Mark Peterson and Eric Ruppel to put on a charge in an attempt to catch Lovell after the competition yellow…it didn’t happen.
Brad opened up an even bigger gap as the laps wound down, giving himself a five-second plus cushion over the second place truck of Peterson. It was here, in the battle for second place, the best racing of the day unfolded as Eric Ruppel of Chetek, Wisconsin punched in and went to work on Peterson. But despite several oh-so-close looks, Peterson fended off the advances of Ruppel to finish second on the box. And while Lovell checked-out up front, it was the through the pack charge of Luke Johnson to finish fourth and collect valuable championship points that was perhaps the best drive of the day in PRO 2.
With the weekend sweep, Lovell was all smiles as he exited his truck. “I gotta give it to our team,” said Brad. “This year everything is so organized…I can focus on driving and the balance of the truck is just incredible…I can put it where I want to put it…I’m so stoked right now.”