CJ Greaves Takes 2017 Pro4 and Pro Stock UTV Championships!.
Three days of solid racing and championships in the balance brought some exciting racing the the TORC Series’ season finale at the ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minnesota this past weekend for rounds 12, 13 and a round 4 makeup race. The Greaves Duo were neck-in-neck in the bid for the Pro4 championship with CJ holding a slight advantage. CJ had the Pro Stock UTV class championship wrapped up, but was vying for a undefeated season. Jake Lunderby, one of the few racers who has challenged CJ for a win this season, had edged his way into the top 3 and was looking to put a stamp on his rookie season as a spoiler. Rodney VanEperen suffered a terrible motocross accident and would have to turn the keys to his Pro Mod UTV over to Johnny Greaves to complete the season and hopefully still the championship from Kyle Chaney. With CJ also in the Pro Mod mix, the ERX races had the makings of a historic weekend.
The weekend did not lack for excitement with some of the most intense racing of the 2017 TORC season. CJ walked away with his his 3rd Pro4 Championship in a row with 2 wins and a 2nd place finish in the round 4 makeup race. He also earned his first UTV title in his first full year in the Pro Stock UTV class that included a 12 in a row winning run. Johnny took the Pro4 runner up spot in the championship by only a 16 point margin with a pair of 2nd places and a 3rd to finish out the season strong. Johnny also filled-in for the injured Rodney Van Eperen in the Pro Mod UTV class who settled for a very hard fought 2nd place by merely 5-points in the standings. Jake Lunderby turned in another impressive weekend of racing and concluded the season in the top 3 in points in the Pro Stock UTV.
ERX ROUND 4 MAKEUP RACES
The ERX track, located near Minnesota’s “twin-cities” features extensive elevation changes, high-banked corners, massive jumps and multiple race lines. Pro Stock UTV kicked-off the 3 days of racing with the round 4 makeup race on Friday. CJ started on row 3 with Jake Lunderby leading the 19 car field to the green flag from the front row. CJ and Jake went side-by-side on lap 5 with CJ finally taking 2nd from his teammate. CJ went to work on the leader, Pointon and passed him just before the competition caution. Jake was holding fast to the 3rd place spot for the restart.
CJ Greaves in his Monster Energy Yamaha Racing/Maxxis Tire/Yamalube YXZ 1000R #933 was strong the remainder of the race with only a slight challenge from Dillon Pointon. The real battle was for third between Jake and Zach Martin. The two changed positions a couple of times, each time Jake was able to battle his Yamalube/Maxxis Tire Pro Stock UTV back and ended the race in 3rd.
Johnny Greaves got behind the wheel of Rodney VanEperen’s PowerSports1/Maxxis Tire Pro Mod UTV to take on the 21 car field. Johnny filled-in for Rodney who suffered a terrible motocross accident in which he broke 9 ribs, his collarbone, and sent him to the hospital for a week. Rodney was able to recover enough to make it to the race and served as the spotter for Johnny. CJ was also looking to be a factor in the points race but had to line up in the rear of the pack to start the race. Johnny was on the front row, but Kyle Chaney, the points leader, took the early lead.
CJ went right to work, picking off one driver after another as he headed to the front of the field. Johnny was applying pressure to Chaney and was in 2nd at the competition caution. CJ made his way all the way up to 4th at the halfway point of the race.
The racing heated up for the 2nd half of the race. Johnny and CJ where in 2nd and 3rd with 3 laps to go. CJ made a dive to the inside of Johnny on the hairpin turn and took 2nd. Chaney was able to take the win while Johnny passed CJ with a couple of turns to go after he suffered a flat and other mechanical issues. He was able to hold on to 3rd though to put the Duo up on the podium.
With the tight championship race between Johnny and CJ, every point was important for both drivers. Johnny started on the 2nd row and CJ on the 3rd row for the 2×2 rolling start. CJ quickly takes 2nd from Douglas. CJ was side-by-side with Johnny when Johnny took the split track. He emerged as the leader with CJ right on his bumper. The two Greaves check out and began the classic father/son dual that TORC fans have become accustom to. CJ was able to take the lead after Johnny bobbled a little just ahead of the competition caution. The 2nd half of the race was a all Greaves show. CJ finished in 1st for his 7th win of the season and pulling a few more points closer to another championship. Johnny came in 2nd with Kincaid following in 3rd.
ERX ROUND 12
CJ Greaves and Jake Lunderby lined up on the front row to get racing started on Saturday for round 12 in the Pro Stock UTV class. CJ took a quick lead but Jake was staying right with him in 2nd. On lap 3, the first of several full course cautions came out that bunched the field up once again. CJ and Jake hold on to the top 2 spots as the race wound down. Zach Martin became the 3rd player in the race for the checkered flag. Jake had his hands full but showed a lot of poise as he battle to hold the 2nd place position. On the final lap, Martin and Jake went side-by-side as the two went through the split track section. Jake powered through the final turn and held his spot to take the runner-up spot on the podium with CJ taking his 12th win in a row.
The Greaves Duo of Johnny, in the seat for Rodney VanEperen, and CJ Greaves started from the front row for the Pro Mod UTV. After a full restart due to a crash before the field reached turn 1, Johnny Greaves took the early lead followed by CJ. The top 3 stayed the same all the way to the 2nd half of the race. While Johnny was stretching his lead, CJ was doing battle with points leader, Kyle Chaney. CJ was able to win the battle and take the 2nd behind his dad. Chaney came in 3rd which kept the points standing close.
Johnny Greaves took his Monster Energy Maxxis Tire Toyota from 4th to 1st in one quick move in the Pro4 race on Saturday. CJ was working his way to the front when Ross Hoek went around and stopped CJ in his tracks in the hairpin turn. On lap 5, the same thing happened again, but this time with Keegan Kincaid. Each time, CJ battled back and was in 4th by the competition caution with Johnny in the lead.
On the restart, Johnny landed hard off of the massive jump and broke something. He came to a stop on the track bringing out a full course caution that ended his day and basically his chance for another championship. Scott Douglas was in the lead but a hard charging CJ Greaves was pressuring him. Douglas also experienced mechanical problems and blocked CJ when he stalled his truck handling the lead to Kincaid. CJ and Keegan battled nose-to-tail and door-to-door all the way to the end of the race. Kincaid was able to emerge as the winner but CJ edged closer to another Pro4 championship.
ERX ROUND 13
Sunshine and warm temperatures greeted the racers for the final race day of the TORC season. CJ entered the Pro Stock UTV races having won all of the previous 12 rounds of racing in his Monster Energy Yamaha Maxxis Tire UTV. Zach Martin got the hole shot to start the race but CJ was close behind him in 2nd. Jake Lunderby landed his Yamalube Yamaha in 5th as the field stretched out for the next 5 laps up to the competition caution. CJ and Martin traded leads a couple of times, but Martin was able to hold off the undefeated Greaves to take the win and spoil CJ’s undefeated season. CJ took an amazing 12 of 13 races and claimed his first Pro Stock UTV championship, adding yet another class to his growing list of accomplishments. Jake Lunderby finished the race in 5th and held on to hold on to his top 3 in the season standings.
The two points contenders, Johnny sitting in for Rodney VanEperen and Kyle Chaney, lined up side-by-side for the final Pro Mod UTV race of the season. It was Chaney’s race to loose and Johnny’s last chance to secure the title for his friend and teammate. By lap 3 though, Chaney had established himself as the leader. Johnny was in 3rd behind Tim Farr with CJ Greaves, who was also hoping to make a difference in the points, moved into the 4th place position as the competition caution gathered the field back together for a 2nd half showdown.
On lap 9, the two Greaves made their move on Farr–Johnny taking the split track section to make the pass while CJ took the long way around on the outside in one of the sweeping ERX turns. The top 3 contenders took the white flag. Kyle Chaney was not to be denied. He pulled away to take the checkered flag and the win along with the Pro Mod UTV class championship by a mere 5 points. Rodney VanEperen was on hand to receive the runner-up recognition.
With a mathematical chance for Johnny to bump CJ from atop the points standings and Keegan Kincaid hungry for a win to impress his new sponsor, the Pro4 showdown on Sunday was going to be fierce. Scott Douglas landed hard on Johnny to send him to the back of the field in the early stages of the race. CJ on the other hand, moved quickly into 2nd place to challenge Douglas for the lead. Douglas experienced mechanical problems which has plagued him the entire season allowing CJ to takeover the lead followed by Kincaid and Johnny, who had made his way back up to 3rd. CJ stretched his lead but slowed to take the yellow/red flag signifying the competition caution.
On the restart, Johnny backed it in hard in the hairpin turn and grabbed 2nd from Saturday’s winner, Keegan Kincaid. The top 3 were nose to tail with several skirmishes. Johnny and Keegan went side-by-side on lap 11 but Johnny’s Toyota was strong and held him off. While the elder Greaves did battle with Kincaid, CJ pulled away to take the win and the championship–his 3rd in a row featuring 8 wins! Johnny came in 2nd in the race and in the points standings–but only by 16 points.
Thanks to all of our sponsors and fans for another incredible season! We just could not do this with out all the people and great products that help us out. It was a great pleasure being part of the Yamaha team with Jake and Rodney this year. They are tremendous racers! Congratulations on Rod for his 2nd place Mod UTV and Jake for improving each week and his top 3 in Pro Stock UTV. A great big thank you goes to our long time partners Monster Energy, Toyota TRD, Method Race Wheels, Fox Racing Shox, Maxxis Tires and FC Potawatomi. The Yamaha UTV racing program has been amazing with Graves Motorsports and Yamalube. Also Rugged Radios, MasterCraft, Boatec, VP Racing Fuels, Aeromotive, AKA, Team Associated, LiquidForce, Troy Lee Designs, and Rigid Industries.
We are looking forward to putting it all back on the dirt next year. Be sure to check our website and social media to see what is happening at Johnny G Motorsports!