BARK RIVER, Mich. — official series release — TORC photo —
After a slow pair of rounds at Sturgis, only winning one of four possible TORC: The Off-Road Championship presented by AMSOIL races, C.J. Greaves was back in full effect Saturday at Bark River Int’l Raceway.
The young racer took Throwdown in the UP victories in both PRO 2WD and PRO 4WD, increasing his points lead in both classes. Kicking off the PRO races in Upper Peninsula Michigan was a thrilling PRO Light race as Doug Mittag won his class-leading seventh event on his Cooper Tire Discoverer STT PROs.
Three-time and defending champion Johnny Greaves led the first couple PRO 4WD laps in his Toyota-powered ride with hometown hero Chad Hord close behind with C.J. in third, all three racing on Maxxis Tires. C.J. was able to cleanly pass Johnny for the lead in his Maxxis Toyota. Hord was able to stay in third until he was forced off the track by Scott Douglas, fighting for a podium finish. Douglas would be black-flagged, eventually finishing fourth behind C.J., Johnny, and Larry Pegram in his first-ever PRO race driving Mark Kvamme’s No. 5 machine.
“We had a strong truck,” C.J. said from the podium. “I saw (my dad) over rotate it a little bit. He had something goofy going on, I wasn’t really sure. I just put my head down and worked on getting some points. It’s going to come down to Crandon and hopefully it’s a battle.”
In PRO 2WD, Marty Hart took the holeshot with Keegan Kincaid trailing close behind. Mittag went on his roof early on lap one, but was able to get rolling before going a lap down. C.J. Greaves, however, after taking the lead, passed Mittag to take that lap and Mittag would never get it back. At the competition yellow, Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s gremlins returned in the form of mechanical issues, forcing a red flag and a DNF for the Gunk truck.
Kincaid, on his Cooper Tires, battled C.J. for the lead but the defending class champ held him off. Mittag, still a lap down, remained ahead of Hart, holding him up and preventing him from racing for second. C.J. took the top step with Keegan in second and Marty in third.
“We need to just keep it on the track and keep it on the box,” C.J. said after the race. “Consistency is the key to our game.”
In the first PRO race of the day, Kyle Hart spun at the beginning of the race and was shuffled to the back, but just like Sturgis, he would fight his way through the pack for a strong finish. Cam Reimers started the race with a strong lead followed by Mittag with Travis Dinsmore and Luke Johnson fighting for third. At the mandatory yellow at the midway point, Johnson edged Dinsmore for third with Mittag gaining on the leader.
At the green, there was contact between Mittag and Reimers with Reimers spinning and sent to the back. Hart fought hard, racing from the back of the pack, eventually challenging Mittag for the lead. The PRO Light points leader was able to hold off Hart, however, winning his seventh race of the season with Hart second and Dinsmore third.
“For a while there,” Mittag said later, “I had a big lead and my dad said Kyle was coming…I knew he was pushing hard. I knew once he caught me, he’d run me clean, but he didn’t have enough time and my truck was running good.”
CREDIT: TORC: The Off-Road Championship