Reigning Champs Shine in TORC Opener!April 13, 2013
Lonnie Wheatley, DODGE CITY, Kan. (April 12, 2013) – The Traxxas TORC Off Road Series kicked off the 2013 campaign with a pair of defending champions among the winners as the series made its debut at Dodge City Raceway Park.
Reigning champions Ricky Johnson and Bryce Menzies mastered the 0.600-mile “Baja” style short course in the Pro Four Wheel Drive and Pro Two Wheel Drive classes, respectively, with Doug Mittag securing the Pro Light win on the final circuit.
After establishing a new course record of 40.490 seconds in qualifying earlier in the day, Johnson spent the early rounds of the Red Bull Pro Four Wheel Drive main event chasing Scott Douglas and Mark Jenkins.
Johnson battled past Jenkins for second on the final corner of the sixth round and then pulled even with Douglas in the same corner the next time around before powering into the lead entering turn one.
While Mark Jenkins ran into trouble and flipped following a late skirmish with Adrian Cenni, Johnson went unchallenged over the final portion of the race to take the win ahead of Douglas and Mike Jenkins.
In the Amsoil Pro Two Wheel Drive division, reigning champion Bryce Menzies established quick time of 42.859 seconds and worked his way forward from the sixth starting position to give chase to Mike Oberg and Chad Hord in the early rounds.
The lead trio broke away from the pack, with Hord taking the point from Oberg on the seventh round. Menzies followed suit by racing past Oberg a lap later and then disposed of Hord the next time around to take over for keeps.
Menzies raced on to the checkered flag with Rob MacCachren making a late move into second with Oberg filling out the podium. MacCachren’s night took a turn for the worse in the Four Wheel Drive main when he flipped. After his truck was turned back over on all four wheels, it burst into flames. MacCachren bailed out quickly to avoid injury.
Doug Mittag emerged atop a hotly-contested Traxxas Pro Light feature event by taking the lead away from Brad Lovell on the final round.
While Mittag gridded the feature field after qualifying second behind C.J. Greaves’ quick time of 44.793 seconds, Lovell gunned into the lead on the opening lap from his second row starting position and paced the initial half of the race with ease in front of Keegan Kincaid and Mittag.
Things heated up over the last half of the race, with Mittag taking second away from Kincaid and going to work on Lovell for the lead. Mittag dove under Lovell for the lead at the hairpin in turn three on the 12th circuit only to have Lovell return the favor the next time around.
On the final lap, Lovell missed the same corner and opened the door for Mittag to take the win with Greaves and Kincaid racing into podium positions as Lovell fell to fourth.
The inaugural Traxxas TORC Off Road Series event at Dodge City Raceway Park concludes on Saturday night with the green flag flying at 7:00 p.m.
Dodge City Raceway Park
Traxxas TORC Off Road Series April 12 Podium Finishers:
Red Bull Pro 4x4s: Ricky Johnson, Scott Douglas, Mike Jenkins.
Amsoil Pro 2WD: Bryce Menzies, Rob MacCachren, Mike Oberg.
Traxxas Pro Lights: Doug Mittag, C.J. Greaves, Keegan Kincaid.
(Podium photos courtesy of Michael Roth; action photo courtesy of TWC Photos)