The Traxxas Off-Road Championship (TORC) came to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the first time on Friday July 22, and the series debut on The Dirt Track saw exciting racing in the Pro Light, Pro 2WD and Pro 4X4 classes. Andrew Caddell (Pro Light), Jeff Kincaid (Pro 2WD) and Mark Jenkins (Pro 4X4) earned third place in their respective classes, and Andrew Caddell earned an extra $1000 "Maxx Lap" bonus for turning the fastest lap in the Pro Light event.
Traxxas Pro Light
2010 TORC Pro Light champ Casey Currie got the jump on Top Qualifier RJ Anderson and took the top spot by the second turn, a lead he did not relinquish throughout the 20-lap race. Samuel Hubinette (Mopar/Ram/BFG)went to work and eroded Currie's lead, but could not get around him. Behind Hubinette, Andrew Caddel (Traxxas/Mopar/Amsoil/BFG/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital)and RJ Anderson battled for third, with Caddell fighting not only his competition but also a blown power steering pump. Caddell held on to not only place third, put also put in the fastest lap of the race and earned the $1000 Max Lap bonus on top of the standard $1500 third-place payout. Hubinette earned $2500 for second, and winner Casey Currie pocketed the big $5000 check.
Baja 500 winner Bryce Menzies' Mopar-powered Ram appeared untouchable for virtually all of the Pro 2WD race, even with Rob MacCachren giving it everything he had in his own Mopar Ram Truck. “Bryce got the holeshot and checked out. We didn’t have it for him,” acknowledhed MacCachren. After the competition yellow at lap 11 of the 22-lap race, Menzies again got the jump but MacCachren stayed closer than he did in the first half. As the race neared its end, MacCachren was finally going door to door with Menzies and pulled an outside/inside move going into the final turn to take the lead as Menzies stalled, and was unable to restart. Scott Taylor and Traxxas' Jeff Kincaid also got around Menzies to take the podium, while MacCachren went on to the win and the Oakley Bomb award for the fastest Pro 2WD. “Ultimately, I got by because Bryce broke,” admitted MacCachren. “But we had to go as hard as we absolutely could to stay with him.”
TQ Rick Johnson set an unbeatable pace with his Red Bull-backed Ram, posting the day’s only sub 42-second lap in qualifying and winning Friday night's race wire to wire with an Oakley Bomb Award as the cherry on top. “Man, we were killing it on our BFGs,” said Johnson. “We got every holeshot and went wherever I wanted to go. This was our first win and I hope it’s our first of many.” With Rick out in front, the Charlotte fans keyed on the battles for the remaining podium spots. After Johnny Greaves exited the race with mechanical issues, Traxxas' Mark Jenkins turned up the heat on Scott Douglas in a bid to move up to second. This was the battle to watch, as Jenkins raced the panels right off of his truck until a flat right front tire slowed his pace. Running on the liner and proving the reliability of his BFGoodrich tires, Mark took third after a crowd-pleasing run on Douglas.
For Charlotte, NC TORC event photos and additional coverage go here.
The TORC series continues with Rounds 7 & 8 at Bark River Raceway, August 13 & 14. Follow the action with updates on the Traxxas Facebook page, YouTube, and Twitter, and watch live streaming video at TORCseries.com.