Day two of the Pep Boys Battle in the Bowl at Route 66 Raceway was greeted with bright blue skies and hot humid air. Not only were the temps hot, but the pits were heating up with teams evaluating and prepping for Round 10 of the Traxxas TORC Series Presented by AMSOIL. As the crews worked through the day, the roar of the Nationwide cars rumbled in the background at Chicagoland Speedway for qualifying day. The Traxxas TORC Series Presented by AMSOIL drivers would later drive their trucks and buggies over to the speedway for a Pro Autograph session for the fans. Off-road fans were standing in line to greet drivers like Ricky Johnson, Mark Jenkins, Scott Douglas and many more.
Night one of competition left the crowds hungry for more ground pounding action of the 4000lb, 900hp battle machines. Round 9 was filled to the rim with exciting action in all four of the Pro divisions. Defending champ Brad Lovell made his way to the top of the Podium in the Pro Lights. Luke Johnson overcame the field to claim his sixth victory in Pro Buggies. Johnny Greaves notched his mark in the podium with the Oakley Bomb and the number one spot in the PRO4X4 and Jeff Kincaid drove the wheels off the Pep Boys PRO2WD to his first win of the season.
PRO BUGGY: With the midway point in the season at hand, it is hard to say who will take home the championship, but Luke Johnson is well on his way to securing that feat. Veteran buggy driver John Frana might have some other ideas for Luke however, Frana has showed the field in the last two rounds that his four wheel drive buggy is a strong contender in the field. John started in the Pole with Mike Hester starting on the outside of Row 1.
With a points inversion, Luke Johnson found himself half way back in the sixth spot alongside the 76 of Andy Zipperer. Frana brought the field to the green flag, Scott Schwalbe was able to move along side of Frana on the first lap but John wasted no time put some distance behind him and second place. Coming into lap 3 Luke Johnson was able to move his way into second and challenge Frana for the lead. Luke was eventually able to make a pass on Frana in the rhythm section and take over the lead. Luke would take it to the checkers with Frana in Second and Steve Krieman bringing home third.
PRO LIGHT: It was only a matter of time before CJ Greaves would pilot his Monster Energy Truck to a first place podium finish again and he did hands down. At the start of the race in turn one of the oval on the first lap Randy Eller took an unfortunate tumble as he rolled several times. This would force a full course yellow and a complete restart. Pole sitter Bradley Morris wasted no time jumping out to the lead on the restart and took a commanding lead. CJ starting in the fifth spot, began to pick off the field one-by-one on his way to the front. After an unfortunate mistake by Bradley Morris, Greaves was able to make his move and slide into first. Keegan Kincaid also started mid pack and had to work his way through, Keegan stayed hard in the gas and challenged Rafael Navarro for second. Kincaid would make his move late in the race and overcome Rafael for second. Navarro would maintain the third position to the checkers for his second night on the podium.
PRO2WD Current point's leader Bryce Menzies was doing double duty on Saturday. After completing Round 9 in Night one of the Battle in the Bowl, Menzies flew to Bristol, TN to compete in a Rally Cross event. Upon completion of the event, Bryce hopped backed onto a plane and flew back to Chicago to make it to Route 66 Raceway just in time to climb into the Red Bull Menzies Motorsports PRO 2. Boss Snow Plow sponsored driver Chad Hord landed himself in the pole for the start of the race, Hord was hard on the gas and lead the field into the first turn. Coming into the infield section Hord overrated the truck and spun in front of the field and began to roll back words. Chad was very quick to get the truck out of the way and let the rest of the field go by. Hord got a lucky break when Jarit Johnson would get pinched into an infield tire causing a full course yellow and a complete restart.
On the restart Hord was not going to make the same mistake twice, Chad fired through the first turn and took on the lead. Bryce Menzies was knocking on the door lap-after-lap and was not about to let Hord out of his sights. Menzies was able to capitalize and make a move on Hord to take over the lead all the way to the checkers. Jeff Kincaid after having a first place podium finish was also getting his nose into the action and worked his way to the third spot. Kincaid would continue to work on Hord until Chad would eventually open the door for Kincaid and Jeff would slide on in to the second spot, leaving Hord to finish in third. Travis Pastrana in the 199 truck night was ended early with Power Steering problems forcing him to exit the truck very early on in the race.
PRO4X4 Night number two and the heat is on! All-time winningest off-road driver Rob MacCachren is no stranger to wheeling his truck to the front of the pack. Rob Mac has been working with the Traxxas crew all season to dial in this completely new concept chassis design in the PRO 4 division. After many disappointing races, Rob and his crew were able to find the right formula for this new style truck and bring home for their first victory in the PRO4X4 division. But it did not come easy, legendary Monster Energy driver Johnny Greaves was on the war path and was gunning for Rob Mac. Greaves would take advantage of a mistake by MacCachren and slide into the lead and began to pull away from the field.
Rob MacCachren regained composure and set the number twenty one truck back in line to chase down Greaves. MacCachren would do just that, as the two came into a hairpin right turn, Rob went to make his move on Johnny, Rob Mac was able to nudge Johnny out of the lead and took it home to the finish. 2013 defending champion Ricky Johnson was working on Scott Douglas for the third spot, Johnson would make his way past Douglas and finish out in third with Greaves taking home the Oakley Bomb and second.
UP NEXT The Traxxas TORC Series Presented by AMSOIL heads to the legendary motorcross track Red Bud in Buchanan, MI for Rounds 11 & 12 in the 2013 Season. Red Bud in only its third year as a stop in the series, is quickly turning into a favorite of the drivers and fans. Nestled in the back woods of the facility, the picturesque track is a challenging course that tests the driving skills of the drivers and the performance of the trucks.
ABOUT TORC The Traxxas TORC Series - The Off Road Championship, is the fastest, most punishing short course racing series on the planet. TORC events are packed with flag-to-flag fender banging as drivers push the limits over whoop and jump filled natural terrain racetracks. Off-road racing fans come from far and wide to experience this most challenging form of high-octane competition and once they taste TORC for the first time they'll be hooked for life.