Crandon, WI: The 2010 Traxxas TORC Series began at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway, and it was only fitting that the series would return to The Big House for the season finale. Record crowds lined the track as over 50,000 fans deployed folding chairs and picnic blankets and filled the campground to enjoy short-course racing’s biggest show. The weekend saw not only Rounds 11 and 12 of the TORC series but also the famous 2WD versus 4WD “cup race,” now dubbed the Amsoil Cup in honor of the series’ presenting sponsor. Traxxas-sponsored drivers continued to dominate the podium, making five trips to the box with three wins and powerful performances from Rick Huseman, Andrew Caddell, Jeff Kincaid, Mike and Mark Jenkins, and CJ Greaves.
Super Buggy: CJ Greaves Takes Double Wins and Series Championship
Super Buggy star CJ Greaves capped his season with a pair of wins in Crandon, giving him the points edge over challenger Scott Schwalbe and the overall Super Buggy championship title. In Saturday’s Round 11 race, CJ got the holeshot and lead nearly every lap, only briefly giving up the front spot to John Frana as Greaves went wide in turn three to avoid contact with Frana’s no. 907 machine. CJ regained the position by the next lap, stayed out in front to the mid-race yellow, then successfully defended his lead at the restart and powered on to the checkers. The win took CJ from a one-point deficit to a six-point advantage in series points, putting him in good position for the title on Sunday. In Round 12 action, CJ dominated the field with the holeshot and a no-looking-back win to take the Super Buggy Champion title. “It was a great season,” said CJ from the podium. “We couldn’t have done it without Traxxas, BFGoodrich tires, Simpson, Oakley, One Industries, my crew chief Louie, and all the crew. I’m proud to represent their hard work with the Championship title.”
Pro 2WD: Jeff Kincaid Earns Oakley Fastest Lap Award
When Crandon fan-favorite Jeff Kincaid visited The Big House in June for the opening of the 2010 TORC season, he was making his debut in the Pro 2WD class and finished the weekend with the win in Round 2 and the Crandon Cup wreath around his neck. Jeff was less fortunate in Rounds 11 and 12, but was no less fast as he lead every lap of Saturday’s race until engine trouble took him out of action with just three laps to go. In Sunday’s race, Jeff ran mid-pack as a broken brake line left his no. 4 Traxxas Pro 2WD without stopping power. Rather than risk a crash that could prevent Jeff from competing in the afternoon’s Amsoil Cup, or damage another driver’s machine, Jeff decided to pull out of the race during the mandatory mid-race yellow. Though off the podium in both final rounds, Jeff did not go home empty-handed as he added another Oakley Bomb Award to his trophy case on Saturday for putting down the fastest lap of the race.
Pro 4X4: Rick Huseman Wins Final Round and Earns Second Overall for Series
Rick Huseman took his Monster Energy/Traxxas Toyota Tundra to second place in the penultimate round of Pro 4X4, waging a hard-fought battle against Scott Douglas in a race for second place as Johnny Greaves lead the field. It was only in the final two laps that Huseman was able to pass Douglas, leaving too little time to challenge Greaves for the win. Traxxas drivers Mike and Mark Jenkins fared less well, despite racing strong in the first half of the race. Rick Huseman had contact with Mike in the finish line turn during lap two, resulting in a bent front A-arm that forced Mike to retire his truck by the mid-race yellow. Mark Jenkins was running in fifth and performing well as he kept Adrian Cenni at bay, but a flat left rear tire made it necessary to pit his no. 25 Traxxas/BFGoodrich/Amsoil Pro 4X4. During the final lap before the mandatory mid-race yellow, Mark tucked into the hot pit only to be flagged for not maintaining a “safe speed,” despite being the only truck entering the hot pit and the race being underway at speed. In addition to the time required for the tire change, officials held Mark in the pit until the green flag returned the field to full-throttle racing and the trucks were two corners into the second half of the race. Now in last place, Mark stood on the gas to catch the field and passed Al Drews and Curt LeDuc, but ended his race with a rollover at the finish-line turn that sent his Traxxas truck over the retaining wall.
Round 12 would decide the Pro 4X4 championship, with Johnny Greaves and Traxxas-sponsored Rick Huseman in contention for the title. At the start, veteran racer and Traxxas team manager Ken “K2” Kincaid powered into turn one with all four BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/As digging hard and a commanding 100+mph holeshot as he returned to Crandon behind the wheel of the no. 44 BFGoodrich/Amsoil Pro 4X4. Kincaid continued to lead Johnny Greaves, Rick Huseman and the rest of the field as the Pro 4X4s thundered toward turn three, but then rolled spectacularly as his truck entered the turn. As the field came around to begin the second lap, Rick Huseman put the hammer down in a drag race with Johnny Greaves through turn one and took over the lead. Mid-field, Mike and Mark Jenkins kept their Traxxas trucks ahead of the number 99 and 43 trucks of Kyle and Curt LeDuc as they chased Adrian Cenni for fourth on the way to the mid-race yellow. On the restart, Huseman maintained his lead with Johnny Greaves pressing hard, but this only fueled Huseman to push his Monster Energy/Traxxas Toyota even faster as he countered each move Johnny made. Traxxas driver Mark Jenkins found the limits of his truck as a drivetrain failure ended his run on Cenni two laps after the mid-race caution. “I was surprised when I tossed the truck sideways off the Barn Jump that it broke the track bar and driveshaft yoke,” said Mark back in the pits. “Usually you see guys getting flat tires in that corner. That shows just how tough the sidewalls and inner liners are in our BFG’s.” Cenni's respite from Jenkins' pursuit was soon ended when a bump from Kyle LeDuc (who was black-flagged for the contact) sent Cenni's truck into the concrete-fortified supports of the Traxxas Launch Zone sign. Cenni’s trademark orange bodywork exploded off his truck as its rear end was obliterated by the K-rail. The collision catapulted Cenni’s right rear wheel across the track where it impacted the grill of Rick Huseman’s Monster Energy/Traxxas Toyota. The blow crushed his truck’s front bumper tubing but did not slow Rick’s dominating pace. Huseman raced on to the win with Johnny Greaves and Scott Douglas joining him on the podium. Traxxas driver Mike Jenkins finished just off the box in fourth, pleased with the performance of new tires he was testing with sponsor BFGoodrich. “I appreciate BFGoodrich’s commitment to dominance in off-road tires,” said Mike in a post-race interview. “BFG had engineers on-site supporting a new product that I punished under 900 horsepower. It was bitter-sweet when the tires still looked great after the race.”
Huseman climbed the top step of the box with his fifth Oakley Bomb fast-lap award of the season, and also learned that he had broken the track record that he had set at the TORC season opener in June. Johnny Greaves’ second-place finish gave him the overall series title by just three points over Huseman, but Rick was focused on the moment. “That was a good race for us, the track was awesome. Look at all these fans, it's crazy how many people are here! It's just incredible. To have a good race like this for all these people, it's always great."
Traxxas Pro Light
Casey Currie took the Pro Light holeshot with Marty Hart and Andrew Caddell’s no. 43 Traxxas truck in hot pursuit. For two laps, Caddell dueled with Hart, until Hart bicycled high on two wheels in the Argonne Loop, opening the door for Caddell to accelerate into second place and hunt down Currie. The Argonne Loop bit Hart again on the next lap, this time flipping his machine completely over and allowing Caddell to further extend his gap on third place. With two laps to go before the mid-race yellow, Caddell was on Currie’s bumper and pulling alongside him in the corners, looking for a run at the lead. The crowd quieted for the restart as the two Pro Light rivals prepared to renew their battle, then erupted as the trucks tore into turn one, Currie leading once again. Caddell hunted Currie into the final turn before the track doubled back toward turn one. Caddell passed Currie in the tight 180-degree turn, only to be spun out as Currie made contact with the no. 43 Traxxas Pro Light. Randy Eller and Ross Hoek both got around Caddell before he could recover, knocking Caddell to fourth place with only a few laps left to get back to the front. Caddell unleashed everything his skill and his truck could deliver. Randy Eller quickly succumbed to Caddell’s V8-powered charge, followed a few turns later by Hoek. Caddell closed on Currie and resumed the fight, going door to door in the final lap. In the last turn before the finish line, Currie got sideways and Caddell was unable to avoid contact. Currie’s truck rolled over as Caddell shot past to cross the finish line first. However, the officials gave the win to Currie, citing the contact in the last turn. From the podium, Casey Currie declared it was “all good between [Andrew and me],” noting that both he and Caddell were simply racing hard for the win. The victory put Currie in the lead for the series points battle, and he also collected the $5,000 Traxxas Pro Light purse. Andrew Caddell earned the $2,500 second-place payout, plus the $1,000 Maxx Lap prize for the fastest lap of the race. Ross Hoek finished third and took home the $1,500 check.
The season’s final round of Traxxas Pro Light action was to be an exciting rematch for Caddell and Currie, but the race would only last one lap for Andrew Caddell. Casey Currie once again lead at the start, with Caddell angling for a pass and Hart slightly behind in third. As the trucks headed for the last corner before the track doubled back to turn one, Caddell’s visor and tear-off tabs became clogged with mud, making it impossible for him to see. Unable to determine his position on the track, he let off the throttle. In that same moment, Hart closed the gap and was still at race pace as he slammed into the back of the no. 43 Traxxas Pro Light. Hart was able to resume racing minus his truck’s front panels, but the impact tore the fuel cell and other components out of Caddell’s truck, ending his race. Currie went on to the win and the series championship title, while Caddell finished second for the season—his first as an off-road driver.
The Amsoil Cup
The most eagerly anticipated race of the weekend was the Amsoil Cup, which put Pro 2WD and Pro 4WD trucks together on the track at the same time for a 10-lap dash to the checkered flag and a $50,000 prize, with no mandatory yellow flag to break up the action. The Pro 2WD trucks started first, followed by the 4WD trucks 12 seconds later. NASCAR and Baja 1000 veteran Robby Gordon took the holeshot in the 2WD group with Jeff Kincaid’s no. 4 Traxxas/BFGoodrich truck on his bumper. Twelve seconds later, the Pro 4X4 group roared into action with Scott Douglas leading and Rick Huseman’s Monster Energy/Traxxas Toyota Tundra close behind. Gordon lead the first lap, but a broken driveshaft stopped his race before he could begin the second. Jeff Kincaid took over the top spot, a position he would hold for the first half of the race despite the best efforts of the hard-charging Rob MacCachren. Among the Pro 4X4s, Scott Douglas and Rick Huseman were the first to reach the Pro 2WDs, and they took over the lead by the halfway point as both Douglas and Huseman collected Jeff Kincaid in the same turn, with Huseman getting the edge in his Monster Energy/Traxxas truck. His lead was to be short-lived, however, as Huseman’s race ended one lap later with a shredded rear tire. This handed the top spot to Douglas and put Jeff Kincaid in second with his Traxxas Pro 2WD as Steve Barlow and Johnny Greaves chased in their Pro 4X4s, soon catching Kincaid and dropping him to fourth. Douglas, Barlow, and Greaves opened a gap on the field, leaving Kincaid to battle with Pro 2WD rival MacCachren. MacCachren was able to pass Kincaid during the white-flag lap to earn bragging rights as the top 2WD finisher. Scott Douglas took the win, and Steve Barlow and Johnny Greaves finished second and third for an all-4X4 podium. Jeff Kincaid ended his first season as a Pro 2WD competitor with a top-5 finish in the Amsoil Cup and five top-5 finishes for the season including three podium finishes and two wins, plus his June Crandon Cup victory.
“The Off-Road Championship” airs each Thursday at 8pm Eastern and Pacific (7pm Central) on HD Theater, a Discovery Network. DirecTV viewers, tune to channel 281. Dish Network subscribers, watch on channel 9421. For cable channel informaton, consult your channel guide.
TRAXXAS is the title sponsor of the TORC series through 2012. Join us for another exciting season this Spring!