RICKY JOHNSON PRO4 VICTORY HIGHLIGHTS TORC EVENT
TORC at Eldora Speedway…EPIC!
With any racing series there are always challenges that present themselves to the teams, to the track and safety crews, to the TV crews and to the photographers. TORC at Eldora Speedway fell short on none of these challenges. With Mother’s Day on the horizon, Mother Nature decided to add her two cents to mix, or let’s say a dollars worth. Cooler temps and periodic rain continued to threaten the historical event of the series at the legendary speedway. But determination and perseverance would prevail to an event of many firsts.
Andy Zipperer got to off to an early lead from the start of the race and quickly checked out from the field, but Luke Johnson was not far behind and was beginning to make up ground lap-after-lap in pursuit of Zipperer. Red Bull driver Luke Johnson is competing in his third year with the series, the first two years piloting a PRO LIGHT truck. This year he finds himself in the Pro Buggy class with a last minute ride for the season. Luke had his first ever career win in the series at the Bark River International Raceway in 2012. Son of famed motocross legend Ricky Johnson, Luke is proving to be a true competitor much like his father. Luke worked his way up through the field before the competition yellow, at the drop of the green flag Johnson was quick to challenge Zipperer eventually overtaking Andy for the lead and the first win of the season in the new Pro Buggy.
As the last of the pictures were taken at the podium for the Pro Buggy winners the PRO LIGHTS lined up for their race, Mother Nature would once again announce her presence as a small band of showers rolled over the race track adding more than enough moisture to make everything a bit more interesting. After a brief rain delay, the PRO LIGHTS were brought back out onto the race track. The high bank oval now saturated with moister, was slick and sloppy and very challenging to drive. Traxxas driver Keegan Kincaid would show the way to a field of mud heavy trucks to take his first win of the 2013 season. With only two seasons under his belt, Olympian Nick Baumgartner showed his driving skills to the crowd at Eldora Speedway to get his first ever podium finishing second on the box and rounding off the top three was Mark Kleiman.
Tighten your belts and strap in for a show. After the unfortunate cancelation of Friday’s race, the PRO 2 division was tuned up and ready to rock the joint. These 900hp race hungry trucks opened up the throttle and showed the Eldora crowd what the PRO 2 TORC Division is all about. The fire breathing machines lined up to more favorable track conditions after the PRO LIGHTS race. CJ Greaves in the Monster Energy number 33 cruised to the front and never looked back in which CJ would get his first ever Oakley Bomb award. The Greaves Motorsports team is running trucks in all three of the PRO Truck divisions with their sights on a championship in all three. Defending champion Bryce Menzies worked his Red Bull truck through the famed banked turns and over the back stretch rhythm section chasing down Greaves, but was able to catch CJ and finish second. Never count out the all time winningest driver Rob MacCachren in the Traxxas sponsored number 21. Rob Mac fell back slightly mid-way through the race, but came back with a force and raced his way to the third spot on the box.
Hold on to your seats, grab your beverage and watch the Big Dogs show how it’s done. The PRO 4 boys are on deck and mud is gonna be flying. The top division in the series is a sure bet to entertain the crowd with long time off-road legends at the wheel. AMSOIL driver Scott Douglas took an early lead in the race and was putting distance between his number 7 truck and second place, but later in the race had to exit to the pits after a right rear tire needed to be changed. Douglas went to the tail of the field after the pit stop and would race his way to a third place finish.
Mark Jenkins in the Traxxas sponsored number 25 claimed the front stretch catch fence after a crazy crash coming off a jump out of turn four. Jenkins PRO 4 got crossed up, landing off camber and flipping into the fence on the front stretch. The safety crew quickly attended to Jenkins who was unharmed in the incident.
Epic battles were the name of the game in the 2011 season between Red Bull driver Ricky Johnson and Monster Energy driver Johnny Greaves and this race was shaping up to be just such a battle. Scott Douglas’s unfortunate pit stop, brought Johnny Greaves to the front of the line, with Ricky Johnson right by his side. As the green flag dropped the battle was on, Johhny maintained the lead throughout the race while Ricky continued to knock on the door lap-after-lap. Coming to the final laps Johnny would get wide out of turn four and Ricky being close behind capitalized and made the clean pass for the lead. Greaves quickly pursued Johnson to regain the lead but was unable to make up the ground. Johnson would go on to win Round 4 with Johnny finishing in second.
The series travels to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for Rounds 5 & 6 to be held at the high speed excitement filled raceway of Bark River, MI. June 15th and 16th. The purpose built off-road facility is a favorite of many of the drivers and fans. Watch the TORC series website (www.torcseries.com), Facebook page and Twitter page for schedule updates and complete race information.
The TRAXXAS TORC Series, presented by AMSOIL, is the fastest, most punishing short course racing series on the planet! TORC events are packed with flag-to-flag fender banging action as drivers push the limits over whoops and jump-filled natural terrain race tracks. Off-road racing fans come from far and wide to experience the most challenging form of high-octane competition. And once they taste TORC for the first time they’re hooked for life! For more information visit torcseries.com