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Traxxas-sponsored drivers enjoyed another successful stop on the Traxxas TORC Series circuit as Route 66 Raceway (the dirt-oval counterpart to Chicagoland Speedway’s tri-oval) hosted Rounds 9 & 10 of short-course racing’s premier series. The capable track crew transformed the oval into a challenging 5-turn off-road circuit, and Traxxas Pro Light, Pro 2WD and Pro 4X4 trucks rolled out under the lights on Wednesday and Thursday evening. Super Buggy was also run as an exhibition class on both nights, with Traxxas CJ Greaves winning handily in both rounds.
Traxxas Pro Light
Andrew Caddell got the holeshot in Round 9 of Traxxas Pro Light, but the race was red-flagged almost as quickly as it got underway. Marty Hart rolled his truck end over end when it “lawn darted” the landing of the double-jump that followed turn three, and Mark Oberg rolled in the same way seconds later, shutting the race down. Thankfully, Hart and Oberg were uninjured, but Hart was out of the race. The track crew reshaped the jump to assure smoother flights, and the race was restarted. Traxxas’ Andrew Caddell blasted down the straight with the lead, which he held to the mid-race yellow. At the restart, Caddell again uncorked his V8-powered machine and roosted into the lead, and rode up front all the way to the checkered flag. On the podium, Caddell had his hands full with the TORC trophy and an oversized check for $5,000, the purse supplied by USAC and TORC’s title sponsor, Traxxas. Caddell also earned the $1,000 Maxx Lap award for putting in the fastest lap on his way to the checkers.
In Round 10 Traxxas Pro Light action, the opening lap was an all-out brawl as the tightly-packed field slugged through the corners. As lap two got underway, the field settled and Caddell slotted into fourth place behind Casey Currie, Randy Eller, and Ross Hoek. Hoek and Eller changed positions in lap three, and Caddell got around Eller as they rounded turn five to move into third. The chase was on for Ross Hoek and the next step on the podium, but Hoek would not go down without a fight. Corner after corner, Caddell lined up his no. 43 Traxxas Pro Light for a pass but just couldn’t get in front of Hoek. All the way to the mid-race yellow, Caddell battled for second while Currie extended his lead on the field. At the restart, Caddell took a fast outside line through turns one and two to maintain momentum but Hoek remained firmly in second. Caddell closed the gap to Hoek and was even able to pull alongside him in the corners, but Hoek pulled away each time with a seemingly perfect mix of power and traction. Caddell finally put Hoek behind him with a brilliant pass in turn three, then opened a gap as they drag raced to turn four. The white flag flew as Casey Currie crossed the line, leaving Caddell with just a single lap to bridge the gap Currie had opened during Caddell’s battle for second. Caddell easily outpaced Hoek once he broke free, but one lap would not be enough for Caddell to challenge Currie. Caddell’s hard-fought second-place finish came with a $2,500 in purse money, and places him just five points shy of Currie for the series lead.
Traxxas driver Jeff Kincaid started on the outside of the front row, alongside top-qualifier Rick Johnson. RJ got the holeshot and Jeff fell in behind him, with Rob MacCachren close behind in third. MacCachren soon passed Kincaid, bumping the no. 4 Traxxas truck to third, a lineup that would remain fixed for the first half of the race. The mandatory yellow regrouped the field, which resumed its running order when the green flag returned the trucks to full-throttle racing. It appeared the top three would remain in Johnson-MaCachren-Kincaid running order all the way to the finish, but MacCachren’s truck developed mechanical trouble in the final laps. As MaCachren faded back into the field, Kincaid retook second place behind Johnson and Todd LeDuc moved up to third, which is how they finished.
In addition to Kincaid’s podium finish, Wednesday night’s Round 9 Pro 2WD race marked the debut of NASCAR’s Kyle Busch in the TORC series, running Jenkins Brothers Racing-prepared Toyota truck and wearing the familiar no. 18 and M&Ms colors of his NASCAR Toyota Camry. Busch was fast on the track and qualified sixth, but a suspension problem took him out of the race after two laps.
Busch’s NASCAR schedule made it unlikely that he would be able to return for the Round 10 race on Thursday evening, but shortly before the trucks took the track, word went out that Kyle would indeed be joining the race. Once again, the no. 18 M&Ms machine was fast and Busch showed his skill on the track, but drivetrain trouble sidelined the truck and forced Busch to exit the race in the first half. Jeff Kincaid also encountered bad luck as he fought his way through the Pro 2WD field, only to have his front suspension fail in the closing laps. Expect Jeff Kincaid and his no. 4 Traxxas Pro 2WD to be back in top form when the TORC series returns to Crandon for Rounds 11 and 12. When Kincaid last raced in Crandon for TORC’s opening weekend, he won both Round 1 of Pro 2WD and the Crandon Cup, racing against both 2WD and Pro 4X4 trucks.
Traxxas-sponsored Rick Huseman came to Round 9 looking for a third consecutive Pro 4X4 win, but at the start it was Johnny Greaves, Scott Douglas, and Steve Barlow who lead the field, with Rick in fourth. That order only lasted until turn three, when Huseman dove to the inside to put the swoop on Barlow and Douglas to move into second. Meanwhile, Traxxas drivers Mark and Mike Jenkins were in the thick of the field, bookended by Curt and Kyle LeDuc as bumper-to-bumper racing kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. Huseman kept Greaves in his crosshairs as he looked for a passing opportunity, then once again carved into turn three with an inside line to get under Greaves and into the lead. The mandatory yellow came out to re-group the field, giving Greaves another shot at the lead, but Greaves pitted for a tire only to be black-flagged for the illegal pit, and returned to the race at the back of the field. This put Scott Douglas in second, and as the track went green, Douglas showed just how hungry he was for the win as he powered around turns one and two and into the lead. Mid-pack, Mark Jenkins was pushing his no. 25 Traxxas truck hard in a race to the front, but he suffered a “lawn dart” crash as Hart and Oberg had in Pro Light. The track again went yellow as the crew towed the wounded 25 off the track. On the final restart of the night, Douglas held onto the lead, but Huseman was a force on the track and stalked Douglas from turn to turn, finally making the kill as he out-raced Douglas through turns one and two. Huseman took it all the way to the checkers to earn his fourth victory and seventh Pro 4X4 podium for the 2010 season. Traxxas racer Mike Jenkins finished strong with fifth place in the closely-contested race.
TORC rules inverted Round 9’s top six trucks for the start of Round 10, placing Traxxas’ Mike Jenkins on the front row with Johnny Greaves. At the start, Curt LeDuc rolled his truck in turn one as the rest of the field raced past. As the trucks settled into position, they crossed the line to begin lap two with the Traxxas trucks of Mike and Mark Jenkins in third and fourth. Huseman was less fortunate with his Traxxas-sponsored truck, and drifted back in the field with a troublesome left front wheel that eventually forced him to withdraw from the race. The yellow flag came out for another rollover, this time Kyle LeDuc, and the field regrouped. On the restart, Mike Jenkins held onto third as Mark held off Steve Barlow to hang onto fourth. Kyle LeDuc was pushing hard to get back on the lead lap, and by the mandatory-yellow, had made it to second position in the field while Johnny Greaves, Scott Douglas, Mike Jenk
ins, Curt LeDuc, and Mark Jenkins held the actual top-five spots. As the trucks raced out of turn three and over the tabletop jump, Kyle LeDuc’s race to get back on the lead lap was cut short when he made contact with Douglas and was black-flagged. Coming out of turn five, Mark Jenkins pulled his no. 25 Traxxas Pro 4X4 off the track with a broken front end, leaving Mike Jenkins to represent Traxxas with the no. 47 machine. The order was Greaves, Douglas, Barlow, Curt LeDuc, Jenkins, Drews as the final push for the Pro 4X4 podium began. As the white flag came out, Jenkins picked off the fading truck of Curt LeDuc, and raced to close the gap on Steve Barlow for a shot at the podium. Incredibly, Barlow spun out in turn five, presenting exactly the opportunity Jenkins needed, but Barlow was able to slam his truck into reverse and just barely save his spot on the podium as Mike Jenkins finished just off the box in what few would disagree was the toughest race of TORC’s two-night run at Route 66 Raceway.
Based in Plano Texas, Traxxas has been building the world’s fastest Ready-To-Race® radio controlled vehicles for over 23 years. Traxxas models are sold exclusively in Hobby Stores, 4-Wheel Parts, and Pep Boys.