Elk River MI (August 16, 2020) — For the second time this season, the Greaves Duo headed to Elk River, Minnesota to the Toyota Off-Road Nationals at ERX Motor Park. The racing was arguably the most intense thus far this season. The track features several elevation changes, Talladega turn, several fly-aways, and split track sections. CJ continues to be the car to beat in both pro side-by-side UTV classes. He stretched his points lead with a win and a 2nd place in both Pro Stock and Pro Mod SxS. The intense Pro4 rivalry heated up with CJ sweeping both races in spectacular fashion. Johnny was in the mix too but flat tires in both races landed him 4th and 5th place finishes.
PRO STOCK SXS UTV
SATURDAY: Twenty-three UTV’s lined up for Saturday’s Pro Stock Side-by-Side race in Elk River, Minnesota. CJ started his Monster Energy/Yamaha Racing/Maxxis Tire/Yamalube UTV on row 3 and maneuvered through traffic to land in 4th place by lap 5. He was pressuring hard for the 3rd spot when he had to check-up to avoid a collision. This broke his momentum but allowed him to regroup still in 4th as the competition caution flag flew at the midway point.
The racing intensified in the 2nd half of the race. Jeremy Houle got a great jump on the restart and shot ahead of race leader Owen Van Eperen. Leteouneau and CJ Greaves followed and the top 3 stretched their gap between them and the rest of the field. CJ continued to study the gnarly track, trying the slip track, crossing over between split tracks, all the while staying close to the leaders.
On lap 9, Houle’s UTV broke suddenly in the middle of the track collecting Letourneau in the process. Greaves, using the berm to narrowly slide by the two tangled cars, took the lead. The crash brought out a caution flag.
CJ made quick work of the field and pulled away to take the win by a comfortable margin.
SUNDAY: CJ Greaves started on the front row with a crowded field of Pro Stock SxS UTV’s in tow for the 9 lap race on Sunday. With barely one lap complete, the yellow flag slowed the anxious field to regroup and get ready for another restart. Jeremy Houle took the early lead with CJ right on his bumper and applying serious pressure. As the top 4 pulled away from the rest of the field, another full course caution came out on lap 3.
On the restart, CJ began to work inside and out, trying every way possible to get to the top spot. Another late race caution stopped the field, allowing the dust to settle and CJ to work up a strategy in his head for the remaining lap. Racing restarted with the white flag in hand. The top 2 put on a show, but Houle was able to hold off the relentless Greaves to take the win with CJ crossing the line in 2nd.
CJ continued to stretch his points lead in the standings by 37 points.
PRO MOD SXS UTV
SATURDAY: CJ Greaves quickly left the Pro Stock podium to hop in his Monster Energy/Yamaha Pro Modified Side-by-Side. He started on the front row with fellow Yamaha driver, Rodney Van Eperen beside him. 15 modified UTV’s were on the grid for the 9 lap race. Van Eperen grabbed the holeshot with CJ and Chaney and Carlson all nose-to-tail in hunt for the top spot. A lap 2 caution put the hunt on hold. The single file restart got it all started again.
CJ drove in hard to the hairpin turn. In order to avoid contact with Van Eperen, who had checked up, CJ’s left front hit the berm hard and he almost rolled-over. CJ was able to save it and quickly got back into the hunt after losing only a couple spots. Meanwhile Carlson was able to pass Rodney for the lead. Chaney made contact with the 2nd place running Van Eperen, breaking his momentum and allowing Chaney to pass to claim the 2nd and 3rd positions.
CJ began to apply pressure to Chaney. On the last turn to the competition caution flag, CJ was able to pass to claim the runner up place to set the stage for a dramatic 2nd half run.
As the laps wound down, Carlson distanced himself from Greaves and Chaney as huge holes and ruts formed in the Minnesota dirt. On the last lap, CJ made a charge to close the gap. With just a few turns, CJ tried the inside track in an effort to take the only path around the leader. The longer route did not pay off and CJ crossed the line in 2nd by a mere 0.64 seconds.
SUNDAY: Starting on the pole in Sunday’s race, CJ Greaves got a great start like he was shot out of a cannon. He held a comfortable lead all the way to the competition caution at the halfway point of the race.
On the restart, CJ continued his dominating performance and stretched his lead. However, a late race caution saw that disappear. Much like the rest of the race, CJ got a great jump that carried him to the finish line. He led from flag-to-flag to put a little cushion between him and the Kyle Chaney in the points standings.
SATURDAY: The much anticipated continuation of the newly established rivalry between fellow Monster Energy racers Johnny and CJ Greaves and Kyle LeDuc took the stage Saturday evening. Both the Saturday and Sunday races lived up to their billing with some of the most intense racing. The racing intensity was not only due to the competitive nature of the drivers, but also the gnarly condition of the track.
Jimmy Henderson took the lead but both Johnny and CJ passed him early with Johnny in the lead. On lap 3, disaster struck the elder Greaves in the form of a flat right front tire. CJ also dropped back a few position, but recovers just before the competition caution to setup a 2nd half battle with the leader, Kyle LeDuc.
Huge holes and ruts had already formed in the first half of the race. In fact, CJ hit one of the holes hard on lap 6 and almost lost control. He recovered without any damage. Johnny had to have a tire change and rejoined the field following the mid-race caution.
A couple of late race cautions kept the field close. CJ Greaves and Kyle were laying it all out on the track, putting on a stunning show for the in-person and online viewers. On the last two turns on the final lap, CJ made a move on LeDuc that will no doubt be on the highlight real for a long time. The two went door-to-door through the Talladega turn and then LeDuc made contact with the K-rail on the final turn that freed CJ up to power ahead for the win! Johnny recovered to make his way back to a 4th place finish.
On the podium, LeDuc guaranteed that he would win on Sunday. This gave a lot of motivation to the Greaves Duo to put Saturday’s race behind them and prepare for Sunday’s showdown.
SUNDAY: Sunday’s Pro-4 race was nothing short of mayhem. The aggressive driving along with the challenging track conditions, left a lot of fiberglass strewn all over the track by the end of the race.
Andrew Carlson took the holeshot and both CJ and Johnny passed LeDuc right at the start. By lap 4, Carlson, CJ, Johnny and LeDuc were all locked into a fierce battle. As the competition flag flew, Johnny and LeDuc carried their fender to fender, door banging fight across the line.
Both Johnny and Kyle would suffer flat tires from the first half havoc. Johnny’s flat occurred early in the 2nd half and he went a lap down even though the crew made a quick tire change. Kyle was able to continue.
On lap 8, Andrew Carlson had mechanical problems that allowed CJ to take the lead without a fight. LeDuc did not give-up however. Even though he had a flat, he continued to push hard around the track. He was able to finish 2nd followed by Adrian Cinni.
The back-to-back wins for CJ tightened up the points standings as the Championship Off Road series prepares to head to The Big House of Crandon International Raceway on Labor Day weekend. Only 14 points separate CJ from LeDuc.