BUCHANAN, Mich. – Keegan Kincaid captured the TORC: The Off-Road Championship presented by AMSOIL PRO 4 division victory on a busy afternoon Saturday at RedBud MX.
After a four-year hiatus, officials at RedBud created a technical-yet-high speed track on a section of the property adjacent to where TORC held its previous races. For the first time, drivers tackled the new track in a spectacle resembling the motocross races that make RedBud famous.
Michigan’s Ross Hoek would lead the PRO 4 class into the first turn, pulling the holeshot and taking the early lead in Saturday’s premier TORC truck contest. His lead would be short-lived, however, as he ran an early corner wide and series point leader Johnny Greaves rocketed from his fourth place start to first in the blink of an eye.
Greaves’ lead would came to a sudden halt on lap three when he hooked a turn and came to a complete stop with the nose of his truck up against a giant corner-marking tire. Three trucks would cruise past the motionless Greaves, including Scott Douglas, C.J. Greaves and Kincaid.
Douglas’ truck ripped out to the lead, only to suffer an apparent power steering issue causing a pull-off soon thereafter. As a result, C.J. Greaves inherited the lead, with Kincaid in second and Johnny Greaves in third through the competition yellow.
Mechanical issues also plagued C.J. Greaves, rendering his truck uncompetitive and handing the race lead over to Kincaid. Kincaid continued to run a strong race through the checkers to take his first win of the year despite mechanical challenges.
“The last couple laps the power steering fluid was squirting in my face, so my vision was all blurry,” said Kincaid. “The team kept saying ‘Johnny’s closing in!’ So I just had to keep pushing.”
Johnny Greaves challenged Kincaid’s lead and made it close through the last two turns, but Kincaid was textbook, beating Greaves to the checkers with a masterful setup into the last corner. Hoek rounded out the podium in third place — his first PRO 4 podium finish.
“Getting a podium when you’re running on just passion and a volunteer crew is a great step,” said an emotional Hoek on the podium.
With the second-place finish, Johnny Greaves broke up the tie with his son atop the TORC PRO 4 point standings. Johnny now leads C.J. 186-182 after nine rounds.
The day’s most thrilling race came down to some corner contact between Andrew Carlson and TORC PRO 2 series point leader Luke Johnson. Carlson got the better of the situation as Johnson spun and Carlson went on to take the win. This was Carlson’s second PRO 2 win of the three PRO 2 races he has run this season.
“Truck’s [sic] got a bit of a bang on the side,” said Carlson, looking down at the area of his truck following the race where he got tangled with Johnson.
Johnson also remarked on the get-together that, “We were in tight, I was trying to fight back and did everything we could. I am happy to keep the points lead going.”
After successfully pulling the holeshot from the pole position and leading Johnson and Mitch Dorr up Horsepower Hill and out of the first turn, Carlson put his PRO 2 truck on a rail and held the lead through the competition yellow, and eventually the checkers.
Johnson, Dorr, Cody Conrad and Tim Nelson were all chasing Carlson early in the race, but Brad Lovell charged even hotter. Lovell clambered all the way from eighth place to third place by the competition yellow. Lovell would then benefit one spot (third to second) when Johnson spun, and moved up into second place in the overall standings.
“We had a terrible weekend at Bark River (Mich., rounds seven and eight of the TORC Series). And, we had bad luck here at RedBud in qualifying,” said Lovell. “So, we’re really happy to get up here on the podium today.”
Johnson would hold onto his third place finish behind Lovell and Carlson, preserving his overall point lead in TORC PRO 2.
Other winners on Saturday included Andrew Carlson (PRO Light), Rodney Van Eperen (UTV PRO Mod) and C.J. Greaves (UTV Pro Stock).