Greaves ‘Monster’ Strong in Buffalo Chip Debut with 6 Podiums.
STURGIS, SD., (Aug. 6, 2014) — TORC’s new wild and crazy track in Sturgis, South Dakota, made its long awaited debut in a rare mid-week race this past Tuesday and Wednesday and offered up some very exciting racing for the folks from all over the country, in town for the famous Sturgis Bike Rally. The “Battle at the Chip” took place on the grounds of the legendary Buffalo Chip-during one of the rowdiest weeks in the US. Greaves Motorsports did its part in contributing to the excitement by taking podiums in all 3 classes both days. Greaves Motorsports pulled another historical first when CJ Greaves ran all three classes: competing in the Pro-4 class for the first time in addition to his Pro Light and Pro-2 races.
When the “chips” quit flying, CJ had a 1st and 3rd in Pro Light, a couple of 2nd place finishes in Pro 2WD. Johnny had a 1st and 2nd place finish in Pro-4 and extended his points lead in the process. CJ also gained some ground in his Pro-2 points lead.
Tuesday’s Recap: Figuring out the new Buffalo Chip track was a challenge for the TORC drivers as Maxxis Tires hit the dirt for the first time. Learning the track was also hampered by rain in Tuesday’s racing action. The light rain was not enough to stop racing but it did make for some slippery track conditions. The newly constructed track has a motocross look to it and features treacherous rhythm sections, several elevation changes, steep downhill runs with jumps in the middle of them, off-camber turns, and narrow hairpin curves. Turn one and other narrow spots on the track ended up being the nemesis for a lot of drivers who were unable to keep their race vehicles on the track–some rolling over when they got sideways on the steep banks.
CJ had the first opportunity to race on the new Buffalo Chip Powersports Complex track in his Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis Tire/Method Race Wheels/FC Potawatomi Pro Light truck where he sits 4th in the points standings. He lined up on the front row alongside Keegan Kincaid in the 2×2 rolling start. Kincaid quickly went to the lead followed by CJ and points leading Jerett Brooks.
Just ahead of the competition caution, CJ dropped to 3rd as Brooks overtook him in the downhill run.
Brooks would move up to the lead on the restart but the 2nd half of the race was marred by yellow flags as the track got slippery with the light rain. As the rain intensified, the race was shortened by a lap. CJ was in the third place spot as the caution flag turned into a checkered flag, ending the race.
CJ Greaves made the quick turnaround from the podium to jump into his Pro-2 truck to try to make it 5 wins in a row. He started on row 3 beside Keegan Kincaid who was filling-in for his dad and his first time in a Pro-2. Turn one collected another driver as Nick Tyree went off the track, then rolled-over on the steep bank, bringing out the caution and full restart.
Nobody had anything for Chad Hord who took the lead early and left the rest of the field to vie for the other podiums spots. Again, light rain made the track greasy slick. CJ got around Johnson to take over 3rd while Hord was getting around Kincaid for the top spot. The top 3 pulled away from the field and appeared to be content with their positions as the competition caution approached.
Kincaid made a charge for Hord and nearly passed him early in the 2nd half of the race. But Hord was able to hold him off and stretch his lead. With only a few laps remaining, Kincaid developed a right-rear flat which allow CJ to move up into the 2nd place position where he finished the race.
History was made in the Pro-4 race as CJ Greaves would race in all 3 classes as he debuted behind the wheel of a Pro-4 class truck. The Monster Energy Toyota’s of Johnny and CJ Greaves rolled off side-by-side from row 3 in the field of 13 trucks.
Johnny Greaves grabbed the lead early and checked out to a huge lead in the first half of the race. CJ settled in to the 6th position. As the rain continued to fall, visibility began to become an issue for the drivers.
On the restart following the competition caution, Johnny held on to the lead. With all of his tear-offs gone, he was struggling to see which allowed the hard charging Mark Jenkins to pass him on the downhill run. Jenkins stayed in the lead and with a lap to go developed a flat tire which gave Johnny the opportunity to try to make a pass. He was unable to get around Jenkins as time ran out and settled for 2nd place.
Wednesday’s Racing: The night of rain did not effect the racing for Wednesday. The track crews had the track ready and the action was fierce with racers having learned valuable lessons from their first race on the green track.
CJ Greaves, armed with a ton of experience from racing in 4 races the day before, felt like he had something for the field of 20 trucks as the Pro Light trucks lined up for racing. CJ was on row 2. When the green flag flew, he diced his way skillfully through trucks banging fenders in front of him to land in 2nd before the end of lap one. By lap 2, he maneuvered around Lovell to take the lead.
The top 2 stretched their lead and CJ was looking smooth until the last lap before the competition caution. With only a couple turns left, he hit a pothole that sent him off the track. Fortunately, his lead was great enough that he only lost one spot to Kincaid.
In the 2nd half of the race there were body parts and shrapnel all over the track. Keegan Kincaid hit a pile of debris and almost lost it on the uphill turn. He bicycled his truck and had to check-up to save it. With the loss of momentum, CJ was able to take advantage and move back into the lead. CJ and Kincaid battle for several laps but CJ was able to pull away to a 8-10 link advantage and take the win.
In the Pro-2 class, CJ Greaves made his way through near spin-outs in front of him to move into 2nd place behind Keegan Kincaid and in front of chad Hord. This is the order that held through the rest of the race. CJ applied heavy pressure to Kincaid and made several charges to get around him but was not able to squeeze by him. CJ finished the race in 2nd and gained some ground in his points lead.
Johnny loaded up and went to work in the Pro-4 race, starting from row 3. He plowed through the log jam of trucks in turn one and headed up the hill with all trucks banging door-to-door. Johnny put the nose of his Monster Energy Toyota with Maxxis Tires chewing up the South Dakota dirt inside of Adrian Cenni as they topped the hill and made the steep banked turn, making the pass. He pushed his way past Douglas and Hoek on the downhill run. However, he caught a rut at the bottom of the hill and nearly lost it. He made some contact with Hoek but was able to quickly gain control without loosing much ground.
On the next lap, racing was still very tight, with licks being traded between the top group of hungry off-road racers. Cenni tried the same move Johnny had made by climbing the bank and making an inside move to pull even with Johnny. Cenni, Johnny and Ross Hoek went 3-wide down the hill with Johnny edging ahead slightly as the 3 made it to the turn. Cenni and Hoek tangled fighting for position and went off the track which resulted in both of them having to leave the race with damaged trucks.
Johnny went after the front running Mike Jenkins and made the pass a lap before the competition caution. The 2nd half of the race was all Johnny. His Maxxis Tires and Toyota were hooked up and he ended the race with his 7th win of the season. Mark Jenkins passed Douglas on the last lap to take 2nd.
“My Toyota was a little pissed off from yesterday’s race, so I could hardly hold on to it today,” said a smiling Greaves following the win. “Everything was working today and the track was awesome.”
As the season winds down to the final racing weekend, Johnny and CJ are both hoping to wrap up dual championship on Labor Day weekend at Crandon International Raceway, August 30th and 31st.