2020 Off-Road Racing Begins, CJ and Johnny Greaves Tackle ERX Motor Park.
Elk River, MN (July 11, 2020) — Amidst a pandemic and unrest around the country, off-road racing offered a fresh relief for weary fans and a much anticipated return to live sports. A nice crowd was on hand as the Championship Off-Road Series opened the 2020 season this past weekend at Elk River Extreme Motor Park, or better known as ERX Motor Park. Johnny and CJ Greaves once again showcased their driving skills, fielding 4 race vehicles. CJ entered his Monster Energy/Yamaha Racing/Maxxis Tire/Yamalube UTV in the Pro Stock SXS class as well as the Pro Mod SXS class. Johnny and CJ would also strap into their familiar black and green, Pro 4 Monster Energy/Maxxis Tire/Toyotas.
Several drivers from the Lucas Series joined the new Championship Off-Road Series which added more competition than previous seasons. The ERX track was billed as a tight, technical track that featured a split section, rhythm sections and a jump.
PRO STOCK SXS
FRIDAY: After a full day of sportsman class racing, the pro classes hit the dirt, beginning with the Pro Stock SXS UTV’s. CJ lined up on the 3rd row for the 2 x 2 rolling start. 25 cars qualified for the 12 lap race.
CJ quickly moved into the 3rd spot as the top 5 stretched their lead from the field being led by Jeremy Houle. Greaves maneuvered his Yamaha carefully, studying every rut of the quickly changing track in anticipation of the 2nd half of the race.
CJ made a move on the 3rd place driver to claim 3rd. At the same time, the 2nd place running Letourneau biked his UTV, over-corrected, and rolled over on his side, moving CJ to 2nd and bringing out the full course caution.
When racing resumed, the top 3 checked out from the rest of the field. CJ made several attempts to pass Houle for the lead, but Houle crossed the finish line as the apparent winner with CJ coming in a close 2nd. However a disqualification moved CJ up as the official winner.
SATURDAY: 23 Pro Stock UTV’s were on the track for Saturday’s race. CJ Greaves found himself in 6th as the field shuffled itself out through the first couple of laps. On lap 2, a full course caution brought the field back together for the single file, rolling restart.
The battles resumed with the top 10 fiercely going head to toe. Two UTV’s got tangled up and another flipped several times bringing out another caution flag.
The top 2 racers pulled away to a comfortable lead and CJ was not able to make up any ground and settled for a hard fought 3rd place finish.
PRO MOD SXS
FRIDAY: CJ Greaves started on the pole of the Pro Modified Side-by-Side class, a new ride for him this season. He took the early lead from the 18 car field through lap 3 of the 12 lap race. A full course caution slowed the action as the top 2 had established a sizable lead.
On the restart, CJ and last year’s Pro Mod champ, Kyle Chaney, checked out. Greaves held his lead to the checkered flag taking his first win of the season with Chaney coming in a close second.
SATURDAY: Rodney VanEperen was on the pole with CJ behind him on row 2 for Saturday’s Pro Mod SXS races. CJ Greaves took to the split track to power his Yamaha past the Yamaha of Vaneperen to claim 2nd. CJ, making the right side of the split track work, made a charge and took the lead while Kyle Chaney and Rodney banged fenders behind him.
Following the competition caution at the mid-point of the race, Greaves was able to hold the lead, which he continued to stretch through the second half of the race. With one lap to go, Chaney made a last effort to catch CJ, but Greaves’ Yamaha was too strong and he took the checkered for the weekend sweep.
FRIDAY: A field of 9 trucks lined up for the Pro-4 race, the largest field in several years for the Midwest series, with several drivers from the Lucas series committing to the Champ Off-Road series this season. Fellow Monster Energy driver, Kyle LeDuc took the holeshot with CJ and Johnny Greaves landing in the 3rd and 4th spot in their Monster Energy/Maxxis Tire/ Toyotas.
On lap 8, CJ caught a rut and spun-out in the hairpin turn. Another driver could not check-up and the two drivers pinned each other in the curve. Henderson went around CJ to takeover the 3rd spot while the yellow flag flew for a full course caution.
With 4 laps to go, Johnny found himself battling Carlson for the 2nd place spot. With only 2 turns to go on the final lap, Johnny was able to muscle his way around Carlson to take the 2nd place spot on the podium. Kyle LeDuc collected his 100th win.
SATURDAY: CJ Greaves started on the pole for the Pro-4 finally on Saturday with Friday’s winner, Kyle LeDuc beside him and Johnny on row 2.
CJ got the holeshot and Johnny wrestled 2nd place away from LeDuc. Johnny and LeDuc went nose-to-tail for several laps. CJ Greaves pulled his number 33 Toyota away to a comfortable lead before disaster struck in the form of a flat tire on lap 5.
The earlier contact with LeDuc was also beginning to take its toll on Johnny and LeDuc was able to move into the lead with a lot of fiberglass dangling from his truck. Johnny had to limp around for the remainder of the race.
CJ’s crew made a quick tire change during the competition caution and got him back on the track and on the lead lap, at the rear of the field. Not to be denied, the younger Greaves battled hard in the second half of the race and completed a great comeback, taking 3rd place.
Next up on the Championship Off Road series schedule is the Dirt City Motorplex Off-Road National in Lena, Wisconsin on July 25-26th. Follow all the action Livestreamed on ChampOffRoad.com.