Mike Jenkins Wins Big In Pro 4X4!
Oshkosh, WI: Despite record rainfall that drenched the Oshkosh SpeedZone, rounds 5 and 6 of the Traxxas TORC series enjoyed full grandstands and epic racing action as cheering crowds witnessed some of the most intense short-course battles yet. The challenging track rewarded aggressive and strategic driving, and the mixture of high-grip and "loose" conditions made every lap a test of the drivers' skill. Traxxas-sponsored drivers CJ Greaves and Rick Huseman made the podium in Oshkosh, and Traxxas' own Mike Jenkins capped the weekend with a rousing Pro 4X4 win. Read all about it below—and be sure to catch every holeshot, pass, and crash in eye-popping High Definition starting Thursday, September 2 on Discovery HD Theater!
Round 5 was over before it even began for Mike Jenkins, who took one lap of practice before exiting to the hot pits with drivetrain trouble and did not return for green-flag racing. Mark Jenkins was left to carry the Traxxas/BFGoodrich/Amsoil colors, and started from the inside of row one in prime position for the start. Mark took the holeshot with Scott Douglas in tow, but was taken out of the race when Mark was forced to turn deep inside of turn 3 and against the K-rail, breaking his truck's left-front suspension. Mark's departure left Rick Huseman as the sole Traxxas-sponsored driver, and he was on a mission to get to his Monster Energy/Traxxas Toyota to the podium. Even after rolling his truck, Huseman recovered to stay on the lead lap and was charging to the front. The mandatory yellow put Rick within striking distance of front-runners Scott Douglas, Johnny Greaves, and Steve Barlow. The green flag brought the roar of over 3,000 horsepower as the drivers unleashed their trucks, and Huseman pushed his machine to the edge and beyond to catch Barlow and take a podium position. Incredibly, Huseman flipped his truck a second time in the chase where it caught fire, and again continued full-throttle racing when he got back on four tires—you won't see that in any other race series! Though still on the lead lap, there was not enough time (and after two roll-overs, probably not enough truck) left for Huseman to mount a new challenge for third place. The top spots in Round 5 went to Scott Douglas, Johnny Greaves, and Steve Barlow, but Rick Huseman's sheer determination made him the crowd favorite.
Mike and Mark Jenkins' bad luck in Round 5 only fueled their desire to put in a powerful performance in Round 6. Due to the inversion of Friday's top-four finishing order, Mark Jenkins again had the inside of row one, flanked by fellow Traxxas-sponsored driver Rick Huseman. Steve Barlow and Johnny Greaves followed in row two, with Scott Douglas and Mike Jenkins in row three, and Al Drews in the final spot. As the green flag waved, Rick Huseman jumped out to the early lead with Mark Jenkins and Johnny Greaves close behind. The field settled through the sweeper as Douglas, Barlow, and Mike Jenkins fell in behind the leaders. Going into turn three, Mark bicycled the no. 25 Traxxas Pro 4X4 high onto two wheels, allowing Greaves and Douglas to pass but recovering in time to keep the shiny side up. Race-leader Huseman soon encountered corner trouble of his own, as he spun his truck and dropped to third behind Greaves and Douglas. Meanwhile, Barlow applied pressure to Mark Jenkins and the drivers traded positions in the infield, dueling as they had in Bark River. Barlow made his final pass stick as the mandatory yellow slowed the field, and the drivers slotted in for the restart with Greaves leading out Douglas, Huseman, Barlow, Mark, and Mike Jenkins.
Green flag! Greaves, Douglas, and Huseman retained their spots at the front of the field, but all eyes were on Mark Jenkins and Steve Barlow as the two rivals resumed their battle, trading positions and pouring everything onto the track to get a shot at a podium position. As it had so many times that weekend, turn three proved treacherous. Mark Jenkins pitched his Traxxas Pro 4X4 into the corner that he had taken on two wheels earlier in the race, but this time, Mark's truck snap-rolled violently, coming to rest on the driver's side as brother Mike took over his spot. As the yellow flag came out to clear Mark's truck from the track, the running order was Greaves, Douglas, Huseman, Barlow, and Jenkins. The racing action went up another notch at the restart, with Barlow pressuring Huseman hard for third position. The two drivers raced side by side on the back straight, then made contact over the straight's second jump. Barlow's truck bounced out of control and barrel-rolled down the track as Huseman sped away. Huseman quickly collected Greaves and Douglas as they traded positions with some banging that resulted in damage to Greaves truck and let Huseman move into second.
The yellow flag came out to clear the track after Barlow's wreck, and the trucks lined up for the restart: Douglas, Huseman, Jenkins, Greaves. On the green, Huseman leapt to the front, running side-by-side with Douglas down the back straight and edging him out in turn three. As Huseman tucked in, his truck spun, forcing Douglas to take an extra wide line as Mike Jenkins passed both trucks on the inside to take the lead. Douglas and Huseman throttled their trucks hard to close the gap on Jenkins, but he countered with wide, fast lines (his fastest laps of the race) that maintained his momentum and kept him up front. Like a replay of their duel at Bark River, Mike Jenkins and Scott Douglas were dogfighting for the win. From corner to corner, Douglas threatened to pass but couldn't make anything stick as the Traxxas/BFGoodrich/Amsoil truck powered out of each turn with a gap on Douglas. Huseman was still a factor as well, pressuring Douglas for second place and ready to pounce on any mistake by the leaders. Johnny Greaves remained on the track to collect points, but drove a high, wide line to let the race through. Incredibly, Steve Barlow was also rolling (minus nearly every body panel), but like Greaves was not a factor in the race. After being outpaced for four laps, Douglas and Huseman made a final all-out effort to reach Jenkins, but the no. 47 Traxxas Pro 4X4 would not be caught. Huseman spun in the final corner and Douglas could only watch as the checkered flag waved and the crowd went wild for Mike Jenkins as he notched his second Pro 4X4 career win. Huseman finished third and joined Mike on the podium to represent Traxxas, The Fastest Name In Radio Control—and on this Saturday night in Oshkosh, the fastest name in short-course racing as well.
Marty Hart Scores Traxxas Pro Light Payday
In Friday's Round 5 race, Traxxas driver Andrew "Ace" Caddell found himself in eighth place after the first-lap shakeout, and moved up two positions by the mid-race yellow.He grabbed a spot to move up to fifth on the restart, but Andrew's charge to the front was short-lived as his truck took a bad bounce in the infield whoops section. The front bumper dug in and pitched the no. 43 Traxxas Pro Light into a hard end-over-end wreck, coming to rest on the driver's side as the caution flags came out. The safety crew quickly righted Caddell's truck and prepared to tow it off the track, but Andrew re-fired the V8 engine and throttled back into the lineup. However, his troubles weren't over yet; the crash also damaged the left rear tire, which was nearly flat as the race prepared to go green. Andrew hustled his truck to the hot pits and rejoined the race with a fresh tire as the race went green, just hanging onto the lead lap. Ross Hoek was the first driver to go behind the 43's bumper, followed by Brad Lovell and Chad Rayford. As Lovell and Rayford tangled in the track's tight right-hand turn, Caddell motored by to move into seventh. Mark Oberg made a mistake that allowed Caddell and Luke Johnson to both gain a position with fifth and sixth respectively. Randy Eller was the final driver to fall prey toCaddell's relentless pace as the Traxxas driver moved into fifth and the checkered flag waved. Caddell earned $900 in Traxxas Pro Light purse money, while winner Marty Hart reeled in the big bucks with a check for $5,000, plus an additional $1,000 for the Traxxas Maxx Lap, a cash award presented to the driver who posts the fastest lap of the race.
In Round 6, Andrew started in the front row thanks to TORC's inversion rule, which reverses the order of the top six trucks: sixth-place finisher Mark Oberg was on the inside of the front row and Andrew was on the outside as the 9-truck field headed for the start, two by two. At the green, Caddell uncorked everything his V8 crate motor could deliver and powered to the lead, but the track went red as the safety crew tended to Shawn Morris' truck, which had flipped at the start of the race. Caddell repeated his blast to the front on the restart, and extended his lead as Luke Johnson spun in turn three and road-blocked the field. Mark Oberg and Casey Currie gave chase, but Mary Hart was the real threat. He quickly overtook Currie to move into third, then grabbed the lead as Caddell spun his Traxxas Pro Light in turn three. All but Chad Rayford and Luke Johnson sped by Caddell as he waited for a safe opportunity to U-turn his way back into the race. Caddell got back into action behind Brad Lovell, then dispatched him in the next lap to move into sixth as the race went yellow. At the restart, Caddell gave up a position and fell to sixth behind Ross Hoek. The drivers traded the fifth position twice in the next two laps, but it was Caddell who made it stick for good. Though off the podium, Caddell still earned enough points to hold third overall for the season, and pocketed another $900 in purse dollars. Marty Hart went on to his second win of the weekend, once again earning $5,000 for the win as well as the $1,000 Traxxas Maxx Lap bonus. For the second weekend in a row, Marty won the maximum $12,000 payout for the Traxxas Pro Light class!
Mechanical Troubles Slow Jeff Kincaid In Pro 2WD
Jeff Kincaid was looking fast in Oshkosh, but bad luck plagued him in both rounds. In Friday's race, the truck's temperature gauge went into the red shortly after the start, and Kincaid was forced to withdraw from the race. In Round 6, Jeff found himself in seventh place after the first-turn shakeout. He passed Chad Hord during the second lap, then put Scott Taylor behind. The no. 4 Traxxas Pro 2WD was within one car length of Mike Oberg as the yellow flag came out for the mandatory caution lap. At the restart, Kincaid made his move and slingshotted past Mike Oberg to move into fifth as the field powered through the turn-one sweeper. In turn three, Chad Hord fell prey to Kincaid's relentless charge as the pair raced to turn four. Kincaid made contact with another truck in the tight right-hander and recoiled off the track, allowing Chad Hord to retake fourth. Mechanical trouble struck in the next lap, resulting in a loss of steering control that let the field slip past. Racing back from ninth place with only two short laps left to make a charge, Kincaid capitalized on mistakes by Scott Taylor and Mike Oberg to move up two spots to seventh place and held the position to the finish.
CJ Greaves Podiums and Leads Super Buggy Points Chase
CJ Greaves put in his best performance of the weekend in Friday night's Round 5 race, finishing third to earn his seventh consecutive Super Buggy podium. CJ was in podium position early in the race, but got caught in a pileup that sent him to the back of the field. CJ raced his way back to the front and secured third place as the checkers came out for Bob Klaus and Steve Krieman with the win and second place. In Saturday's Round 6event, another pileup early in the race took CJ out of contention for a podium spot, but CJ was able to get back onto the lead lap to finish ninth—his only off-podium finish of the season. Despite finishing ninth, CJ still holds the lead in Super Buggy season points.
The Traxxas TORC Series Returns to Bark River, WI for Rounds 7 and 8, August 14 and 15. You can watch all the action online via live streaming video at TORCseries.com, and be sure to program your DVR for the premier of the 26-episode Traxxas TORC Series TV series! Programming begins September 2 on Discovery HD Theater, and continues for 26 weeks every Thursday night. Check your local listings for channel and time information.
Based in Plano, Texas, Traxxas has been building the world's fastest Ready-To-Race® radio controlled vehicles for over 23 years. Traxxas models are sold exclusively in Hobby Stores, 4-Wheel Parts, and Pep Boys.