Two First-Time Winners at Charlotte TORC Races

Bryce Menzies easily headed the first practice for Pro2 trucks in the TRAXXAS TORC season opener at the Dirt Track at Charlotte. Bryce’s best lap of 42.970 seconds bested CJ Greaves’ time by over .8 second.

Foruteen-year-old Mitchell DeJong won the first Super Buggy race at Charlotte in his first career Super Buggy race. The Super Buggies took the green flag with John Frana moving out to a big edge over the field but Mitchel DeJong grabbed the lead on the last turn in lap 3. A competition yellow after six laps bunched the field with DeJong, John Frana, Bob Klaus, Steve Krieman and Andy Zipperer the top five. On the restart, DeJong leaped out to a huge lead, with Zipperer grabbing second over Frana and Krieman then bicycling in the final turn, losing a spot after looping around one of the earth mover tires marking the course.

Top five finishers were DeJong, Zipperer, Frana, Klaus and Krieman.

Pro Light trucks took to the track after opening ceremonies,  Keegan Kincaid held the pole, ahead of Andrew Caddell by .055 second. Luke Johnson, Brad Lovell and CJ Greaves were next in the top ten of the twelve truck field. Brad Lovell shot into the lead on the back straight after the green, with a huge clot of trucks in the next eight positions. Luke Johnson’s right rear fender was knocked loose in the first lap and it finally fell off at the endo f the back straight on the fifth lap. The competition yellow grouped the field after nine of the 18 laps, with Caddell leading ahead of Lovell and Greaves. Caddell pulled out to a straightaway lead over Lovell and Greaves, while Shawn Morris’ Chevy kept spewing a heavy smoke cloud on the infield section sometimes. At the checkered flag, Caddell won, with Lovell, Greaves, Johnson and Kinkaid the top five in Pro Lights.

Pro2 trucks took to the track next, with Mike Oberg on the pole, flanked by Jeff Kincaid with Andrew Caddell and class rookie CJ Greaves in row two, Chad Hord and Bryce Menzies filled row three. Kincaid pulled off a holeshot to grab the lead but Menzies leaped into second place in just half a lap. Menzies got the lead at the start/finish line on lap two, pulling ahead by about a length. Steve Barlow got offline in the jumps on the back straight, hitting the wall but continuing, minus part of a fender that fell off in the infield turtles section. Menzies, Kincaid, Greaves, Caddell and Hord filled the top five slots at the competition caution at mid-race. Greaves grabbed second from Kincaid then approaching the final lap, Menzies spun at the exit of the second turn, falling back to fourth and allowing CJ Greaves become the youngest winner in the Pro2 trucks (and the second winner in their class debuts tonight.) Kincaid held off a charging Menzies for second, while Hord finished fourth and Caddell fifth.

Pro Fours finished the night, with Scott Douglas and Adrian Cenni on the front row, Johnny Greaves and Ricky Johnson in row two and Mark Jenkins inside of Mike Jenkins on the final row. Douglas, coming off three wins in the final four races last year, moved out in to the lead with Cenni moving into second on the first lap. Johnson, running third, almost launched over one of the large tires marking the course, but Johnny Greaves’ cut tire from contact sent him to the pits for a tire change on the right rear corner. Adrian Cenni’s truck stalled in the fourth turn, but he coasted to the relative safety of a spot on the front straight without causing a yellow. At the competition yellow, Johnson led, followed by Douglas, Mark Jenkins, Mike Jenkins and Johnny Greaves. Ricky Johnson held on for a dominant win over Scott Douglas, followed by Mike Jenkins, Johnny Greaves and Mark Jenkins, with Adrian Cenni parked along the front straight.

Track gates open at 3:00 Saturday, with opening ceremonies slated for 6:00.

John Davison

Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.

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Volume 2012, Issue 4, Posted 11:43 PM, 04.20.2012