Johnny Greaves Crandon Race Report
G-Team Loads Up the Podium with 6, Earns Points Lead in 2 Classes
09.14.11 10's of thousands of crazed off-road racing fans made their annual pilgrimage to fabled Crandon International Raceway for the Brush Run Races that have been held there for more than 50 years. With the pit area packed with people and the festive atmosphere, Johnny Greaves Motorsports tried to stay focused on race preparation that would include a make-up round on Friday from the first Crandon race. Rain would again be a threat, but the famed track crew of Crandon kept the track in good racing condition the entire weekend. When the long Labor Day weekend ended, Johnny had a pair of second place finishes, a 3rd in the Amsoil Cup, and grabbed the Pro 4x4 points lead; Marty had earned his first podium with a third place finish on Friday; CJ took a commanding points lead in the Super Buggy with 1st-2nd-4th place finishes and showed a lot of strength in the Pro Light class.
Friday's make-up for round 4 added additional pressure to the team for the weekend. With 4 races looming, Johnny was determined to make sure his Monster Energy/ ReadyLift/ GearUp2Go.com/ Maxxis Tire and Toyota Pro-4 lasted the entire weekend. Adrian Cenni led the entire race with Johnny in 2nd. Adrian is not in the points race, so Johnny tried to be smart and settled for second with Ricky Johnson in third.
Marty Hart worked his way up to 5th place in the Pro 2WD class. CJ was running in 5th in his Traxxas/ Monster Energy/Maxxis/Oakley Pro Light Toyota when he overheated and had to pull out of the race. In the Super Buggy, he finished 2nd in a photo finish.
Saturday, the Pro 4 race was almost identical to the Friday race. Johnny won the hole shot and lead through the competition caution. Cenni, however, was able to pass Johnny for the lead. Johnny didn't want to be too aggressive with Cenni since he was not in the points race. trailed Adrian Cenni through the entire race and finished 2nd with Ricky Johnson finishing in 3rd as dark clouds and rain approached the track.
Marty made it safely through the turn-1 hole shot and worked his way up to 7th place at the competition caution. He made a great inside move in the gravel pit turn to pick off several more positions, ending up in 4th. As he charged forward, the leader, Jeff Kincaid, pulled out of the race, instantly moving Marty's black Monster Energy number 15 Toyota into 3rd just behind Chad Hord. He ran a clean, smart Pro 2WD race and garnered his first podium of the year with a 3rd place finish!
CJ's luck in the Pro Light did not fair any better on Saturday. He had a bad start but meticulously worked his way through the field but suffered a mechanical problem just after the caution and could not finish the race. What are the odds of having a second photo finish in the same weekend? That was the case for CJ in the Super Buggy race. He crossed the line just a head of the 3rd place running Bob Klaus, but due to transponder placement, had to settle for 4th place, just off the podium.
Saturday evening, the rain fell and turned the track into solid mud. However, the track crews worked very hard and the track was in fairly good condition with some muddy patches for Sunday's showdown. In the Pro-4 race, Ricky Johnson suffered mechanical problems early and had to pull out of the race. Johnny was looking good in 3rd place behind Cenni, running in 1st followed by Steve Barlow with Scott Douglas behind Johnny in 4th. Steve Barlow spun out in the gravel pit turn and collected Johnny in the process. Scott Douglas, unable to check-up, ran hard into Johnny, pushing him well off the track--resulting in a flat tire and a bent tie rod. Johnny was able to re-fire and made the long journey around the track to the hot pit, where he made the tire change. He was able to continue the race well off the pace, but salvaged valuable points finishing in 6th. He finished the weekend with a 15 point lead in the standings over Ricky Johnson.
The Pro-2 race was a mud race with basically one racing line. Marty Hart worked his way up to as high as 2nd but got out of the dry groove and into the slick stuff. He went over the berm and stuck in the mud. By the time the track crew was able to free him, he was too far back. He ended the race in 8th place.
After a bad start, CJ worked his way through the field of 20 trucks and was looking very strong in the Pro Light race. He was 8th at the mandatory caution. On the restart, he charged ahead, working his way into the top five. He was going for 3rd when another truck got into him in off of one of the jumps. The contact popped his tire. Unable to control the truck when he hit the ground, he slid into the wall, ending his day. CJ would finally have a reason to celebrate when he took his turn in the Super Buggy class. He had a great start and stayed out front the entire race--finishing in 1st place. His weekend propelled him to a whopping 22 point lead with only 2 races left in the season.
The highly anticipated Amsoil Cup race pits Pro-4's against Pro-2's. The Pro-2's were given a 15 second lead over their 4-wheel drive counterparts. The Pro-4's all but took each other out of the competition with a big pileup early in the race. By the time the few that could continue got underway, the Pro-2's had too large a lead to overcome. Johnny was making up ground but ran out of time. He finished 3rd behind Scott Douglas and a well deserving Pro-2 driver, Chad Hord.
Johnny G Motorsports will make the quick turn-around and head to Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL for rounds 11 and 12 next week. Round 12 of the TRAXXAS TORC Series, will be broadcast LIVE on SPEED Channel this coming Thursday, September 15, from 9-11pm EST! Johnny, Marty and CJ will have a chance to show their stuff in front of a live audience. The action will kick-off on Wednesday for round 11.