Rounds 9 and 10 of the Traxxas TORC Series presented by Amsoil took over Bark River, Michigan on August 11-12. The short course racers did battle at Bark River International Raceway in front of record crowds.
On Saturday, Pro Racing started with the Pro Buggies. Traxxas driver Mitchell DeJong absolutely dominated the field, driving his Honda-powered buggy to a commanding near-twenty second lead at the checkered flag.
Next up on the schedule were the Traxxas PRO Light trucks. This ultra-competitive class features a series of checks and balance to keep the different brands of race truck equal in performance. That not only keeps the costs down, but makes it a true driver’s series. And on Saturday, one driver rose to the top. Traxxas’ Luke Johnson got his first win in a PRO Light truck. And he did it with authority! Johnson was driving a brand new JBR-built truck and not only won, but ran the fastest race lap capturing the Traxxas Maxx Lap. Traxxas driver Andrew Caddell was running up front when he rolled his Ram/MOPAR in the whoops section and wasn’t able to continue. He came away with an 11th place, while Traxxas’ Keegan Kincaid also had issues and was 12th.
In PRO 2wd Traxxas’ Jeff Kincaid tapped into years of Bark River experience and raced to a solid second place. Kincaid was closely followed by Rob MacCachren’s Ram/MOPAR truck and Traxxas’ own Mike Jenkins brought his #47 truck home in seventh.
The PRO 4x4 big dogs were next up on the Bark River racetrack. Traxxas’ Mark Jenkins wrestled his 900 horsepower Jenkins Brothers Racing truck to second place, matching his season-high finish. Traxxas’ Mike Jenkins fought a mechanical gremlin that relegated him to an eighth place finish.
Then they did it all over again on Sunday!
In Pro Buggy, it was Mitchell DeJong who was plagued by that mechanical gremlin. Engine problems kept him from the podium, but DeJong still holds a significant lead in the points and is confident going into the next race.
When Traxxas PRO Light took to the track, Luke Johnson was feeling fast and looking for a repeat of Saturday’s win. His truck was hooked up, but there were just two things standing in his way, a flat tire, and Andrew Caddell’s Ram/MOPAR! Quick work by the JBR crew got the tire changed and Johnson back out on the lead lap. He then drove up through the field to take fourth and the Traxxas Maxx Lap award. Caddell ultimately took the victory in a textbook exhibition of off-road skill, holding off charges from Brad Lovell and CJ Greaves.
Rob MacCachren was also looking to put his PRO 2wd Ram/MOPAR in the winner’s circle. But even winning the fastest-lap Oakley Bomb award wasn’t enough and he had to settle for second. Mike Jenkins and Jeff Kincaid both had mechanical issues, but kept their Traxxas race trucks inside the top ten, gaining precious points in the championship chase. They finished eighth and ninth, respectively.
The finale was the PRO 4x4 race, and what a race it was! At the start it looked like Mark Jenkins was in control of the race. Mark’s hard-hitting style was working well at Bark River and he was ready to improve on Saturday’s second place. But as the pack reshuffled at the halfway point, it was Traxxas’ president Mike Jenkins who stole the show. Earlier contact with Amsoil’s Scott Douglas sent Jenkins onto a berm where he high-centered and had to be towed off by the safety crew. That was just the motivation he needed! Jenkins put his head down and drove the rest race with just the right mix of aggression and precision. Even a big, mid-air hit from Ricky Johnson wasn’t going to keep Jenkins from the podium. He merely adjusted and kept his foot down! Jenkins would end the race with a second place, his best finish of the season.
The Traxxas TORC Series next moves just a few hours to the south, hitting the Big House at Crandon International Raceway on Labor Day Weekend. Tickets and information can be found at www.torcseries.com/schedules
Traxxas will be there in full force with the TORC RC Series radio control truck racing, our Mobile Support Center, Try-Me Track, and RC stunt demonstrations. Come join us!