CJ Gets First Pro-4 Win, Johnny Takes Over Pro-4 Points Lead.
Rain once again plagued the TORC Series as they prepared for rounds 3 and 4 at Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis, MO. Saturday’s schedule was rained out forcing both rounds into Sunday. The new track is located just a stones throw from the Mississippi River. Johnny and CJ Greaves set out to tame the new track and walked away with hardware in every race they were in. CJ claimed his first Pro-4 win in the final race of the weekend just ahead of his dad, who finished 2nd in that race. Johnny moved into first place in the points standings. CJ also had a win and a 3rd place finish in Pro-2WD as well as a 3rd place finish in the first Pro-4 race. Johnny grabbed his first win of the season in the Sunday morning race.
With soggy conditions and at track that was just getting broken-in made the deep holes, ruts and mud a serious challenge for the racers and an endurance test for the trucks. Johnny and CJ’s Monster Energy Maxxis Tire Toyotas performed flawlessly and were “on point in every aspect.”
CJ rolled off from row 2 in the Pro-2WD race. He quickly went to 2nd with Marty Hart leading the field but an early caution, bunched the field back together. After the restart, Hart hit a berm hard that got his truck out-of-shape. CJ was able to take advantage and powered past him for the lead. Keegan Kincaid was also able to get around Hart as they approached the competition caution.
Staying out of the muddy roust of another truck was a high priority. CJ wasted no time in stretching his lead on the restart to keep him in clean air and out of trouble. He maintained a 20 truck lead which he carried to the end of the race, claiming his 2nd win in Pro-2.
The Pro-4 field had a Greaves pushing and a Greaves pulling the field. CJ, sporting his orange and black Maxxis Tire truck design, had to line up on the back row while Johnny was on the front in the familiar number 22 Monster Energy Maxxis Tire Toyota. The tight track meant there would be a lot of fiberglass left on the track after the race. Douglas took the early lead but Johnny was all over his bumper. CJ quickly moved into 4th and exchanged punches with Mike Jenkins. CJ was able to move into 3rd just ahead of the competition caution. Johnny and CJ double-team Douglas with Johnny working his way to the inside and around Douglas for the lead. Jenkins, in demolition derby mode, caused a log jam with Douglas that blocked CJ from holding his position. Chad Hord was able to take advantage of the pileup and made the pass for 2nd. All of this allowed Johnny to stretch his lead. Not one to give up, CJ battled back to take third. Jenkins ended up getting a right front flat. With Douglas out of contention with apparent mechanical issues, Johnny took the win and CJ rounded out the podium with the 3rd place finish.
The afternoon racing would be just as fierce as the morning races. With only a few hours to prep their trucks, it was a question of whose truck would stay together long enough to make it through the races.
“We have a lot of confidence in our team’s ability to turn our trucks around,” said CJ Greaves. “All of the team worked really hard and everything worked perfect and was on point for the races.”
As the two-by-two rolling start turned into single file by the first turn, the running order was Jenkins, Douglas, Johnny, Hord and CJ. CJ was able to pass Hord for 4th, just behind his Johnny. Scott Douglas, presumably unable to completely fix his problem from the morning race, developed mechanical issues again. Johnny and CJ were able to move up into the top 3.
Johnny made the pass on Jenkins for the lead but Jenkins got into Johnny G as he was slightly airborne over a jump causing him to almost roll over. He was able to save it but lost the spot back to Jenkins and to CJ, who moved into 2nd. CJ, battling hard with Mike Jenkins, was able to muscle his way around to take the lead as the yellow flay flew for the competition caution.
The leader has the advantage on the restart. CJ got a great jump and quickly pulled away from the rest of the field. Johnny was working hard to get around Jenkins when all of a sudden, Jenkins entire front end gave way as he bounced through the rollers section. Johnny narrowly escaped a hard crash and continued on in the 2nd place. CJ rolled on to victory to claim his first career Pro-4 win. Johnny came in 2nd with Chad Hord rounding out the podium.
“It is great to get my first win here in St. Louis but I could not have done it without the great team and sponsors that we have,” said the younger Greaves as he talked to the media following the race.
TORC heads to Chicagoland’s Route 66 Raceway dirt track on June 18 and 19th. Hopefully rain will not play a big roll in this race. Johnny and CJ left St. Louis atop the Pro-4 and Pro-2 points standings.