FORT WORTH, Texas — official series release — TORC photo —
The season opener of TORC: The Off-Road Championship presented by AMSOIL treated fans to high-flying competition Friday on the first night of this weekend’s doubleheader at the Dirt Track at Texas Motor Speedway.
Four-time defending champion Johnny Greaves manhandled his Monster Energy Toyota to an early win in PRO 4WD, Keegan Kincaid finessed his way to the top PRO 2WD podium spot and Kyle Hart ran a perfect race in Atturo Tire PRO Light.
Greaves pulled off a confident win on Friday, grinding his way from a third row start to victory in this season’s first race of the TORC Series’ top class.
“Looking at all the guys in front of me, I knew I had to make things happen fast,” said Greaves, who finished runner-up to his son, C.J., in the 2015 championship and enters this season determined to return to the top of the standings.
Father and son ran nose to tail for the first half of the contest until a mechanical problem for the younger Greaves forced him to retire mid-race. It was clean racing for the remainder as Johnny Greaves found a good rhythm and powered his way to the finish line. “This is one of those tracks where if you overdrive it, it bites you,” said Greaves. “I had to slow down and chill out and drive it.”
Chad Hord, who started Friday’s opener in the third row, put in a strong performance to start the season with a second-place result. “We’re super pumped,” said Hord. “Hopefully tomorrow we can come back out and get a win.”
Shaking things up in the opening round of PRO 2WD was Keegan Kincaid, who pulled off an upset win against defending champion CJ Greaves.
“We had an OK starting spot, but we knew we had to pace ourselves a little and we were saving the truck for the second half when we started pushing a bit,” said Kincaid.
At the start, Greaves rocketed away from the pack with a textbook holeshot. But hot on his tail was class-rookie Kyle Hart, who is campaigning trucks in both PRO 2WD and Atturo Tire PRO Light this season.
An early spin from Arie Luyendyk Jr. handed Keegan Kincaid the opening he needed to rocket through the pack, moving into third place and then overtaking Hart in a side-by-side drag race on the front straight.
After the mid-race yellow regrouped the field, Kincaid reeled in Greaves. The technical infield right-hand hairpin would ultimately decide the winner, as Kincaid squeezed past the defending champ to clinch the top podium spot in PRO 2WD.
Kyle Hart dominated the opening race of the TORC Series’ 2016 season early Friday with a clean run from start to finish. He chose the inside line into the first banked oval turn and jumped two positions to grab the early lead. Hart maintained a comfortable lead to the mid-race caution lap, put more space between him and the pack after the restart, and drove uncontested all the way to the checkered flag to capture his first win of the season.
“We got a great start and we were able to dive under at the beginning and take the early lead and we didn’t look back from there,” said Hart. “This place is awesome.”
The battle for second place was heated as Luke Johnson held off Jake Lunderby early in the race, and then protected his position from a hard-charging Shawn Morris for the remaining laps.
“We started out last year with a second place finish here in Texas and we’re doing it again here this year,” said Johnson. “I’m excited to be here knowing I’m racing a full season here this year. Having that plan we’ve got an end goal. I’m excited to see what else the season has.”
For his part, third-place finisher Shawn Morris kept the pressure on throughout the race, clawing his way to the podium from the last starting position.
CREDIT: TORC Communications