What better place to end the 2021 Championship Off Road Series season than Labor Day weekend at Crandon International Raceway. The COVID weary fans showed up in droves at “the big house” to scratch their off-road racing ich and were not disappointed. The weather was great, the track was awesome, the crowd was at capacity, the fans were hyped, and the racing was spectacular! The final series race took place on Saturday of one of the most competitive seasons in a long time. The Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis Tire Greaves Duo put on a show for the Crandon faithful with Johnny taking his 101st Pro4 win on Saturday and CJ claiming his 6th Pro-4 championship title. It was the largest field of Pro-4’s in many years with 17 trucks on the grid. Sunday, the 52nd Crandon World Championship races started early with Pro-4. Johnny followed his win on Saturday with a World Championship victory and a 2nd place finish, first of the Pro-4’s, in the Crandon World Cup Challenge race! CJ was right behind Johnny in the World Cup on the final lap but pulled out with a mechanical problem. Deuces were wild for CJ in the Pro Stock SXS Monster Energy Yamaha. He took 2-second place finishes and ended the season in the runner-up spot in the standings behind fellow Yamaha teammate, Brock Heger.
PRO STOCK SXS
Saturday: Three rows of Pro Stock side-by-sides lined up for the landrush start for round 11, the final race of the Champ Off Road season. CJ maneuvered his Monster Energy Yamaha Maxxis Tire UTV through turn one, avoiding making contact with any of the 30 car field. At the 8:19 mark, CJ Greaves had his SxS in 3rd with Heger and Owen VanEperen battling hard. This allowed CJ to get in the mix. He tried to get around Van Eperen but couldn’t make the pass before the competition caution. The top 6-racers, all Yamaha’s, took the restart green flag and CJ quickly went around Van Eperen to take second but a full course caution stopped the racing with 3-minutes to go to clean up the track. When racing resumed, Heger and CJ checked out.
On the final turn, Heger bicycled his UTV and almost lost it. He recovered enough to get across the finish line just as CJ was about to pass, making for a dramatic end to the race. The Yamaha’s claimed all three podium spots but Brock Heger took the win and the championship with CJ taking the runner-up spot in the race and the standings for the season.
Sunday: The Crandon World Championship races kicked off on Sunday. CJ Greaves was number 2 on the line of more than 30 Pro Stock SXS UTV’s. CJ and Brock Heger went side-by-side through the turn one holeshot as a big pileup was taking place behind them. Heger emerged in the lead of the 13 lap race. Heger and Greaves checked out to a substantial lead. CJ was staying with Heger, looking forward to a second half charge. The two crossed the start/finish line at the competition caution with Nord coming across a distant third.
The restart was a rolling 2×2 behind the leader. CJ chose the inside position. When the green flag flew, CJ and Heger checked out from the field. On lap 10, another crash brought out a full-course caution, bunching the field up once again. On the restart, CJ went on the charge, looking for a way around his fellow Yamaha/Maxxis Tire challenger.
Heger biked his machine going into “calamity corner” which allowed CJ to take the lead as the two took the white flag for the final lap. Heger began to battle back and the two Yamahas went side-by-side through the gravel pit turn. Heger had the inside line which worked to his advantage as he had a nose ahead of CJ in the final turn. Brock Heger took the checkered flag and the win by a half car length in an exciting end to the race.
Saturday: CJ Greaves needed to finish 11th or better to win the Pro-4 Championship. The largest field ever of 17 trucks were revved-up and ready for the landrush start. Johnny and CJ were 2nd and 3rd on the line. Johnny Greaves and his legendary number 22 Monster Energy Toyota grabbed the holeshot. The only threat to CJ’s championship hopes, Kyle LeDuc, took the first jump in front of the grandstands and broke a right rear shock that sidelined him for the remainder of the race. This took the pressure off of CJ.
The elder Greaves was on rails and checked out from the field. After dominating the first half of the race, the competition caution brought the field back into play. Mittag began to pressure Johnny and the two battled for several laps. As time was running out, Mittag went in too hard in the gravel pit turn and stalled his truck. Johnny pulled away to a comfortable lead and took the checkered flag to the delight of the capacity crowd for win number 101. Johnny won the battle but CJ won the war finishing 6th which was appropriate and adequate to claim his 6th Pro-4 Championship.
Sunday: The Pro-4’s were first up for Sunday’s Crandon World Championship Races. Another big lineup of Pro-4’s were revved up for the 9-lap race. CJ Greaves, fresh off of his 9th career championship, was in the middle of the front row and Johnny, fresh off win number 101, was starting from the number 1 position. When the green flag flew, Johnny jumped ahead and took the holeshot without a problem with CJ trailing in 6th.
By lap 2, CJ was up to 4th. The top 4 checked out from the rest of the field and included Johnny, Bryce Menzies, Doug Mittag, and CJ Greaves. On lap 4, Menzies spins out in “calamity corner” collecting CJ and Mittage, who almost flips. Mittag landed on all fours and continues without losing a position. Johnny Greaves extended his number 22 Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis Tire lead to a comfortable margin. CJ however was stuck behind Menzies but was able to keep going, only losing one spot to RJ Anderson at the end of lap 5 taking the Pro-4’s to the competition caution.
On the restart, Mittag began to pressure Johnny G for the top spot but Johnny was too strong and holds him off. CJ was able to get around Anderson to take 3rd on lap 6. CJ goes after Mittag, sticking the nose of his Toyota inside and the two went side-by-side, with CJ looking stronger. Mittag continued to lean on CJ and ends up flipping on his side in midair with contact in calamity corner and the jump just past the start/finish line. Both machines got passed by the rest of the field.
Johnny went on to pull off another win to got the weekend sweep of the Pro-4 class which was his 31st win at Crandon. CJ ended up 7th.
CRANDON WORLD CUP CHALLENGE
A field of 27 Pro-2 and Pro-4 trucks were all set and ready for the annual cup race that puts the Pro-2’s and Pro-4’s on the track at the same time. The Pro-2’s got a 48 second head start on the Pro-4’s. Johnny got the holeshot with CJ in tow as the Pro-4’s took the green flag and began to chase down their 2-wheel drive counterparts.
On lap 4, Johnny began passing the Pro-2’s and was 33 seconds behind the race leader, Keagan Kincaid. Mittag developed a right rear flat which allowed CJ Greaves to move up into the 2nd place position of the Pro-4’s. Johnny and CJ continued to pick-off Pro-2’s one by one as the laps count began to be their enemy. On lap 8 of 10, there were still 2 Pro-2’s to pass. On lap 9, CJ pulled off the track with mechanical issues. On the white flag lap, there were no machines between Johnny and he was digging to catch the race leading Kincaid. Greaves ran out of laps and watched as Kincaid claimed the prestigious World Cup. Johnny took a hard fought 2nd place for Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis Tires.
THANKS TO ALL OF OUR GREAT SPONSORS!
Another successful season in the books and we could not do it without all of our great sponsors! A special shout out goes to our long time partnership with Monster Energy, Toyota, Maxxis Tires, Vision Wheels, and Fox Shox. Also Yamaha Racing, Yamalube, Rugged Radios, VP Racing Fuels, GYTR Performance Products, Beyond Redline, Factory UTV, Rigid Industries, and Victory Sign.