Greaves Strong in Bark River Brawl, CJ Sweeps Pro-4.
Greaves Motorsports traveled about as far North as you can go–to the upper peninsula of Michigan to Bark River, for TORC rounds 13 and 14. The TORC Series traded in ruts and tight hairpins for good dirt, long sweeping turns, and the big jumps that Bark River offers. The Greaves team was looking to continue their incredible year on a track that has produced a lot of wins for both Johnny and CJ. This past weekend would be no different for the dynamic duo as they pocketed 6 more podiums including a Pro-4 sweep for CJ Greaves. CJ also had a win and a 2nd place finish in Pro-2 and stretched his points lead to 14. Johnny came in 2nd behind CJ on Saturday and was also edged out of a win by CJ on Sunday on the final turn after leading most of the race.
The sprawling 1.5 mile Bark River track has delivered exciting racing for decades. The off-road trucks can reach speeds up to 90 miles an hour and full throttle turns and jumps that offer a 200 foot landings. The Greaves put on a show in their Monster Energy, Maxxis Tire, Toyota/TRD, Method Race Wheels, FC Potawatomi Pro-2/Pro-4 trucks for the huge hillside crowds of Bark River.
Saturday, Pro-2WD: CJ would start from the 3rd row as the Pro-2 field used the 2×2 rolling start on Saturday, round 13. CJ needed a good race to rebound from Sturgis in order to keep his championship bid alive. He made it through the turn 1 holeshot in 3rd and took the lead with about 2 laps remaining before the competition caution. Keagan Kincaid will no doubt be digging dirt from his teeth for weeks as he stayed in CJ’s roost the entire second half of the race. CJ was able to keep his cool and hold his lead from the restart to the end of the race and took home his 6th Pro-2 win of the season.
Saturday, Pro-4×4: Johnny and CJ had the luxury of starting on the front row of the Pro 4×4. Johnny got the holeshot and the lead. CJ was in third behind Chad Hord. CJ was able to move up a spot when Chad went wide in the lefthand sweeper on about the 2nd lap. From there, it became an all Greaves shootout. CJ and Johnny went side-by-side, inside and outside of each other leading up to the competition caution. It was a classic battle that CJ was able to win just ahead of the mid-race caution.
On the restart, Douglas got into Hord and sent him reeling off the track and was black flagged for doing so. Douglas continued to race for several laps under the black flag and was pressuring Johnny for the 2nd place spot. Fortunately, he eventually pulled off the track to take his penalty allowing Johnny to go after CJ, who now had driven his orange and black Maxxis Tire number 33 to a huge lead. CJ cruised to his 7th win of the season followed by Johnny in 2nd.
Sunday, Pro-2WD: On Sunday, CJ started once again from the 3rd row which put him in a difficult position for the dash for turn one. Marty Hart got the holeshot while CJ powered his way around the outside of turn one, avoiding other trucks and landing in 3rd. He passed the 2nd place running Keegan Kincaid before the end of lap 1 and passed Hart for the lead before the end of lap 2–using the long lefthand sweeper turn to make it happen. CJ pulled away while Kincaid and Hart duked it out behind him.
The field lined up single file behind CJ for the restart following the competition caution. The top two, Greaves and Kincaid, pulled away and battled all the way to the last lap.
On the white flag lap, Greaves and Kincaid went side-by-side in the Cemetery turn with Kincaid making the pass. CJ battled back though, going inside-out on the next to the last turn. He ducked inside of Kincaid and nosed ahead slightly as the two hit the last turn, making some contact in the process. But Kincaid was able to hold off the points leading Greaves as they crossed the finish line neck-and-neck. CJ settled for 2nd after leading most of the race. He was able to gain some ground in the points standings.
Sunday, Pro-4×4: Johnny and CJ Greaves started in the middle of the 6 truck field on row 2 for Sunday’s Pro-4 action. Johnny found the lead early while Scott Douglas was in 2nd between the two Greaves. Douglas went wide in a turn and CJ took advantage to make it an all Greaves shootout.
The 2nd half of the race was all Johnny and CJ. With no other trucks in sight, Johnny had the lead, but CJ was in his tracks all the way to the last lap. CJ took the lead on the last turn of the last lap as Johnny swung just a little wide in the corner. They had a little friendly father/son fender rub, with CJ prevailing to take the win and the Pro-4 sweep.
“CJ was just a little smarter than me today,” said Johnny following the close race. “I am just thankful that we are able to do what we’re doing. I want to thank the great Bark River fans and I want to thank Brad and the crew for giving me a great truck today. I mean give it back to him in a box and he puts it all back together for me–and does a great job.”
“I saw dad go a little wide in the turn several times so I knew that would be my only chance to get him,” said the younger Greaves. “It was a lot of fun racing today. The track was great and my truck was setup perfect.”
TORC will wrap-up the 2016 season on Labor Day weekend at the “Big House” in Crandon, Wisconsin. Championships will be decided in both Pro-2 and Pro-4–both of which CJ Greaves is the current points leader. Johnny is within reach to catch CJ setting up what could be the first father/son championship shootout in the season finale.