Team Traxxas dominated the action at Bark River Raceway as Rounds 7 and 8 of the TORC series came to Michigan’s upper peninsula. Traxxas drivers posted three wins among their ten trips to the podium in the Super Buggy, Pro Light, Pro 2WD and Pro 4X4 classes. Fine weather, close racing, and a thrilling track delivered a spectacular weekend of short-course competition for thousands of Bark River race fans and The Fastest Name In Radio Control.
Pro 4X4 Podiums for Mike and Mark Jenkins
Mike Jenkins lead Saturday’s Pro 4X4 race in his no. 47 Traxxas/Amsoil/BFGoodrich truck after the mandatory mid-race yellow, but fell to second after a less than ideal line in the “cemetery turn” was all the opportunity 2010 champ Johnny Greaves needed to take over the top spot. Second place was hardly secure, however, as 11-time champion Scott Douglas was not about to settle for third without a serious fight. From turn to turn, Douglas pushed and prodded but Jenkins stayed cool and drove smart to counter each move Douglas made. Racing tough but clean, Jenkins kept Douglas' Amsoil Pro 4X4 in his rear-view all the way to the checkered flag for second place. “Hat’s off to Scott Douglas – he’s a real professional,” said Jenkins after the race. “I was slowed up in a couple of spots and he never bumped me, never hit me. And we ended up putting on a real good show for everyone.”
After bowing out of Saturday’s race early with an alternator failure, a resurgent Mark Jenkins joined brother Mike in Sunday’s Pro 4X4 action. Mike Jenkins raced into third place, but was unable to hold off Rick Johnson and fell to fourth by the mid-race yellow, with Mark Jenkins' no. 25 Traxxas/Amsoil/BFGoodrich truck behind him in fifth. While under yellow, Scott Douglas exited for the hot pit, moving Mike and Mark to third and fourth. The Bark River crowd readied for combat between leaders (and arch rivals) Johnny Greaves and Rick Johnson, and the brother-vs-brother battle for third between Mike and Mark. Mark’s opportunity to move into podium position came as Mike’s truck landed nose-high off Bark River Raceway’s massive “ski jump.” In the extra moment it took for Mike to recover, Mark was able to get his truck inside of Mike’s and muscle into third place. As the white flag came out, it was go-time for Rick Johnson. He turned it up to 11 as Greaves prepared to put in another flawless lap. It appeared Greaves would hold off the nearly unstoppable Johnson until the penultimate turn. The race leaders made contact and Greaves caught the outer retaining the wall, stuffing his truck to a halt as Johnson went on to the win. It looked as if Greaves could still save second place, but his truck balked and the Jenkins brothers roared past in second and third place to both earn their places on the podium. An incredible end to an epic race!
Pro 2WD: Jeff Kincaid Podiums Round 7, Wins Round 8
Marty Hart (Monster/Toyota) jumped into the lead with the holeshot in Saturday’s Pro 2WD race, followed by young gun Bryce Menzies, Traxxas’ Jeff Kincaid, and Chad Hord. The running order of the top three seemed rock solid, until Bryce Menzies brought the crowd to their feet with a jaw-dropping mid-air pass on Hart, literally leaping his Red Bull RAM over Hart’s Toyota. Jeff Kincaid found an opening at the same time and raced into second place then held the spot all the way to the checkers.
Sunday’s Round 8 race was a stunner, as race-leaders Chad Hord, Marty Hart, and Bryce Menzies were wiped off the track when Hord had a steering failure and stuffed his Boss Snowplow truck into the wall, collecting Hart and Menzies in a violent wreck. Jeff Kincaid, who had been conserving his Traxxas truck in fourth as the leaders battled, avoided the carnage to take over the lead and ride all the way to the win, followed by Keith Steele (subbing for injured Rob MacCachren in the no. 21 Mopar RAM) and Mike Oberg. “We didn’t get a very good start and it was hard to see what was happening out there," said Kincaid from the podium. "I just barely got by that wreck that gathered the first three guys--and here we are in 1st place.” Kincaid also scored the Oakley Bomb award for turning the fastest lap of the race.
Andrew Caddell Tops Pro Light Points With Win And Podium
Andrew Caddell took the holeshot and the win with his Traxxas truck in Round 7, no looking back! Samuel Hubinette held firm to second place in his Mopar RAM as Casey Currie gave chase in third, then faded to fourth under pressure from Luke Johnson. The Caddell/Hubinette/Johnson running order held to the finish, giving Johnson his first Pro Light podium finish and $1500 in Traxxas purse money. Hubinette scored the $2500 prize, and Caddell earned $5000 for the win, plus a $1000 “Maxx Lap” bonus for posting the fastest lap of the race. “The team gave me a great truck and I had to take some chances to stay out front of Sam Hubinette,” said Caddell, who took over the 2011 Traxxas TORC PRO Light points lead from defending champ Casey Currie. “The truck made me look pretty good out there. I was struggling in some areas,” confessed the grateful Caddell.
Round 8 of Traxxas Pro Light was Samuel Hubinette’s turn to shine. “The Crazy Swede” unleashed his Mopar RAM to take the lead in the first few turns, then kept Traxxas' Andrew Caddell at bay through the mid-race restart and on to the finish to win the $5000 prize. "I got behind Sam and he didn't make any mistakes. Hat's off to him," said Caddell. To underscore Caddell’s efforts to beat Hubinette, Caddell earned Traxxas Maxx Lap $1000 fastest-lap bonus in addition to the $2500 second-place purse. CJ Greaves joined Caddell on the podium after a hard-fought race that saw his no. 33 Traxxas truck stall on the parade lap but rejoin the field in time for the green flag. Greaves hard-charged his way past RJ Anderson and Shawn Morris to earn his podium spot.
CJ Greaves Extends Super Buggy Points Lead
CJ Greaves raced his Traxxas Super Buggy into third place at the start of Round 7’s race, finishing behind Steve Krieman and Jeff Sleegers. Sleegers spun, allowing Greaves to move into second and set his sights on Kriemam. The seasoned buggy racers drove smooth and consistent lines, but as CJ tossed his last tear-off and began collecting dirt, he knew it was time to make a move on his rival. One lap before the mid-race yellow, Greaves made an outside pass on Krieman for the lead, and took it all the way to the finish after the restart.
Super Buggy Rival John Frana looked all but invincible in Sunday’s Super Buggy race, as Frana opened a huge gap on the field to ride away with the win. CJ Greaves held second and could not bridge the gap to Frana, but second place points were ample enough to keep CJ in the overall standings’ top spot by eleven points.
Traxxas congratulates all the drivers on their achievements at Bark River Raceway! TORC racing returns September 3 as the series comes to Crandon International Raceway for Rounds 9 & 10. Follow the action from the TORC Series and other Traxxas events at Traxxas.com!