CRANDON, Wisc., Sept. 1, 2014 — The 2014 TORC Series season came to a dramatic close this past Labor Day weekend with Championships on the line at Crandon International Raceway, Wisconsin. Johnny and CJ Greaves, leading in the Pro-4 and Pro-2 classes were pumped and ready to wrap the season up in Monster green and black. Mother Nature decided to rake havoc on much of the country with torrential rains that threw a wrench in the Crandon festivities. Officials decided to cancel the pro races scheduled for Saturday, electing to run single races for the Pro-2 and Pro-4 classes with double points. There would be 2 Pro Light races as well as the traditional AMSOIL Cup race–all on Sunday. The winning order would also determine the starting positions for the AMSOIL Cup race.
Tens-of-thousands of faithful Crandon fans, in everything from pup tents to RV’s, weathered the storm and hung around for some of the most exciting races of the season. A number of drives from the Lucas Series threw their hat in the ring for a chance at being the next World Champion–the title given to the winners of the Crandon races–including fellow Monster Energy racers: Kyle LeDuc and Casey Currie.
Johnny made it back-to-back championships after taking a second place podium in Pro-4 which was more than enough to claim the title for Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis Tire/Method Race Wheels/FC Potawatomi, adding yet another chapter to his legendary racing career. He had 7 wins and 3 second place finishes on the season.
CJ Greaves made another historical accomplishment by earning podiums in all 3 pro classes in one day. He landed the 3rd place finish in Pro-4, completing a Monster Energy podium sweep. CJ came in second in Pro-2, which clinched his first Pro-2 championship–with 7 wins and 5 second place finishes to his credit. He won the first Pro Light race of the day with a commanding performance. In the second race, he was running in 2nd place and making a charge for the top spot when a late race right rear flat bumped him off the podium.
It was an all Monster show for the annual AMSOIL Cup race that is the final race of the season. This race pits the Pro-2’s against the Pro-4’s. Both Johnny and CJ ran in the Pro-4 group along with Kyle LeDuc and RJ Anderson representing Monster Energy. Kyle, Johnny and CJ ran nose-to-tail just about the entire race. The group overtook the Pro-2’s with several laps to spare. Kyle would take the win with Johnny right on his bumper for 2nd. CJ was in 2nd place for the last couple of laps but suffered a mechanical problem that took him out of contention and moved Johnny up to challenge Kyle for the win.
Pro Light Racing Recap: Track crews had their work cut out for them after soaking rains on Friday and off-and-on on Saturday. The pro races were scratched on Saturday moving all the racing action to be completed on Sunday. The Pro Lights, scheduled to run 2 races, were in a close points battle with only 16 points separating 1st and 2nd. CJ Greaves and Mittag were tied for the 3rd place spot with an outside chance of winning the championship.
CJ Greaves had his Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis Tire/Method Race Wheels/FC Potawatomi lined up in the middle on the front row of a huge field of some 28 trucks. Goal number one: beat the field to the Potawatomi turn 1 holeshot, and avoid the mayhem that it is famous for. CJ won the holeshot and quickly took a commanding lead which he carried all the way to the competition caution.
The second half of the race was all the black Monster Energy number 33 Toyota of CJ Greaves. He held a 2 second lead or better all the way to the checkered flag to become the Pro Light World Champion. Brooks made the pass for 3rd place at the finish line to solidify his championship.
In the 2nd Pro Light race, CJ Greaves emerged from the holeshot in the 2nd place position. However, a crash by Randy Eller in turn-1 resulted in a complete restart. He did not get as good of a start on the restart and found himself in 5th place. A rollover by Brad Lovell brought out another full course caution moving CJ to 4th. CJ made a great inside move on Doug Mittag and another truck to jump 2 spots into 2nd. Sean Morris had built a comfortable lead, but CJ set out to catch him. Unfortunately, CJ developed a right-rear flat a few turns before the white flag flew for the last lap. The tire would eventually shred to pieces and CJ limped in for a 9th place finish, salvaging points and propelling himself into the top 3 for the season’s points standings. He had 11 top 5’s for the year made up of 3 wins, 2 second place and 4 third place finishes.
Pro 4×4 Recap: With his taste of Pro-4 in Sturgis, CJ Greaves joined his dad for another run in the Pro-4 class. This race would decide the Pro-4 championship. Johnny had to make the decision to go for the win or play it safe for the championship points. Johnny, being not one to hold back, won the holeshot from the landrush start and set a comfortable pace in the lead. CJ likewise was showing he was ready for the 4×4 class by moving into 2nd place early in the 2nd lap. Just ahead of the competition caution, Kyle LeDuc passed Cenni into 3rd place, setting up a “Monster” second half of the race.
Kyle stuck a fender inside of CJ to take over 2nd and eventually also passed Johnny on the front stretch. Meanwhile, Mark Jenkins machine caught on fire and he had to pull out of the race. Mark was the closest competitor to Johnny with a chance to knock Greaves out of the championship. The 3 Monster Energy trucks finished the race for an all Monster podium sweep. Johnny added another championship to his amazing career.
CJ Greaves said with a grin from the podium to his dad, “Next year it might be a little harder.”
Johnny expressed his appreciation to the great Crandon fans, his sponsors, and the track crews for “getting us through what Mother Nature threw at us.”
Pro 2WD Recap: CJ rushed off the podium to prepare for the all important Pro-2 race. He has won 7 of the previous 12 rounds of racing, but with the championship on the line, he was determined to run a strong race. 17 trucks, the largest field of the season, lined up for the landrush start. CJ Greaves powered through turn-1 and landed in 4th as the field roared down the front stretch in front of a huge crowd of cheering Greaves fans.
Chad Hord took 2nd and CJ passed Nick Tyree for 3rd in the argon turn. Jared Johnson was in the lead but something broke in his machine and he had to pull out of the race, moving Chad and CJ up to 1st and 2nd respectfully. Jeff Kincaid and RJ Anderson were also in the mix. The top 4 pulled away from the rest of the field to do battle up to the competition caution.
On the restart, Hord held the lead and CJ was still in second. Kincaid got into CJ on the turn on the backside of the course, spinning CJ out. CJ quickly got back into the gas and back on the track only dropping a few spots. Kincaid would receive a black flag for the offense. Meanwhile, on another part of the track, Andy Zipperer had a rollover bringing out a full course caution. CJ was given his 2nd place position back.
On the restart, Hord, CJ and RJ Anderson took the gloves off and went to battle. The top 3 were nose to tail and even side-by-side exiting turn 1. On the next to the last turn, Anderson rolled over while Chad and CJ took the checkered flag. Hord won the battle, but CJ won the war, claiming his first full size truck, Pro-2 Championship by a 22 point margin! He also made history again by making the podium in all 3 truck classes on the same day.
“It has been an incredible year,” said an excited Greaves. “Our team, the crew, everybody works so hard to make this happen. Because of them I am able to be successful on the track. The backing of Monster Energy and the Toyota, Maxxis Tire, Method Race Wheels, Fox Shox, MagnaFlow and all the other top notch products and sponsors, we have a great winning combination.”
AMSOIL Cup Recap: The 5th annual AMSOIL Cup race was the final race of the weekend and the season. This exciting race is what the fans and drivers look forward to each year. The Pro-2’s get a head start on the Pro-4’s for a 10 lap, no competition caution race. CJ elected to run in the Pro-4 group putting both Johnny, CJ and Kyle LeDuc, three Monster Energy sponsored trucks side-by-side on the starting line–positioned based on their finishing position in the Pro-4 race.
The defending cup champ, Chad Hord, took the holeshot for the Pro-2’s. Kyle LeDuc emerged in the lead as the Pro-4’s made it through the holeshot in turn-1 with Johnny G right on his bumper. Mark Kvamme had a terrifying end-over-end crash that brought the race to a stop before any laps were completed to provide medical attention to Mark. The track crews had to use the “Jaws-of-life” to free him and he was airlifted to a local hospital as a precaution.
A full restart was issued. This time, Kyle got the Pro-4 holeshot, but CJ Greaves landed the 2nd place position followed by the elder Greaves. Hord again lead the Pro-2 trucks. A few laps after the midway point, the Monster Energy tandem of Kyle, CJ and Johnny passed the Pro-2 class in the gravel pit turn, leaving them to duke it out for the win. On the final lap, CJ had a mechanical problem, allowing Kyle to get away. But Johnny charged ahead to take up the chase. Kyle finished the race with Johnny just behind on his bumper. RJ Anderson came in 3rd for another Monster Energy podium sweep.
The team is already anticipating their return for the 2015 season. With CJ’s experience in the Pro-4 and the momentum gained by championships in 2 classes, the team is posed for another run as TORC plans for next year’s venues.
There are so many people to thank for making this season so amazing. A great big thanks goes out to our family and friends, the pit crew that works tirelessly on all 4 trucks, the wonderful fans, TORC and MotorTrend network and our long list of sponsors including Monster Energy Drinks, Toyota, TRD, Maxxis Tires, Method Race Wheels, Forest County Potawatomi, MagnaFlow, AMSOIL, MasterCraft Safety, Fox Shox, Boatec Racing Bodies, Oakley, Kawasaki, VP Racing Fuels, Liquid Force, Team Associated, Baileigh, AKA, Troy Lee Designs, Rigid Industries, and Victory Sign.