Bark River, Mich. — Three races, three more wins for Mopar® and Ram Truck, as Ricky Johnson, Bryce Menzies and Luke Johnson were all victorious on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Bark River (Mich.) International Raceway with the Traxxas TORC (The Off-Road Championship) Series.
“Congratulations to Ricky Johnson, Bryce Menzies and Luke Johnson for winning today at Bark River,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “The 2012 TORC season has been another outstanding one for Mopar Ram Truck drivers. The Mopar Ram combination continues to lead the field in each of the three PRO classes. We can’t wait to get back to the track tomorrow to battle for more wins.”
Johnson was running second coming to the white flag in the PRO 4 main event, when leader Johnny Greaves slowed with a mechanical problem, allowing him to take the lead and ultimately the win. For the defending PRO 4 champion, it marked his series-best sixth victory of the season in his Mopar-powered Ram, as he continues to lead the championship standings.
Johnson opened the weekend as the fastest qualifier on Friday, which put him sixth on the grid, following a six-truck invert. He gained a spot on the opening lap and patiently worked his way to the front of the field, moving into third just before the mandatory competition caution flag on the sixth circuit. Johnson took second from Adrian Cenni with two laps to-go, before inheriting the top spot.
“This should be my birthday,” said Johnson in Victory Lane. “Whatever the date is, I should change my birthday to it. Johnny (Greaves) had us all covered and I feel bad for him and the bad luck he is having this year. I couldn’t be more proud of my son Luke for winning today. It means so much to me, because I know how bad he wanted to win and how hard he’s been working. His win means way more than my win today.”
Menzies lined up on the outside of the front row in his Mopar Ram for the 11-lap PRO 2 race, and challenged polesitter Jeff Kincaid for the lead for a number of laps in the early going. Menzies took the top spot on the sixth circuit, just before the mandatory competition caution came out. The native of Las Vegas powered off the line for a strong restart and would lead the final six laps on the way to his third win of the season.
“This win is for my whole team,” said Menzies. “We’ve been struggling and everyone has been working so hard. We have a very fast truck this weekend. The Mopar engine under our Ram is unbelievable. I’m trying to get back in the groove, and hopefully we can keep running with this momentum we now have.”
Rob MacCachren started fourth in PRO 2 on Saturday afternoon in his Mopar Ram for Jenkins Brothers Racing and came home third to record his fifth podium finish of the season. The native of Las Vegas continues to lead the PRO 2 standings, as he chases his second TORC title. Mike Jenkins, driving a Ram-bodied truck, finished seventh.
In PRO Light, Luke Johnson earned his first-career TORC win, driving a Mopar-powered Ram for Jenkins Brothers Racing. The second-generation driver started on the outside of the front row and took the lead from polesitter Shawn Morris on the opening lap, and would pace all 11 circuits en route to the victory.
“We came out here with a brand new truck that didn’t touch the dirt until this weekend,” said the younger Johnson. “That speaks volumes about this Traxxas team and what they’ve put together. I’ve had a good track record here and had never left with a trophy, and this time I get to leave with a first-place trophy.”
Andrew Caddell, who entered the weekend as the PRO Light point leader in his Mopar Ram, finished 11th, after a spin on the seventh lap, which led to a slow rollover. Caddell was able to re-fire the truck and rejoined the race at the back of the field to earn valuable points.
The Traxxas TORC Series event at Bark River International Raceway concludes on Sunday, Aug. 12, with feature events in each of the three PRO classes. For more information on the Traxxas TORC Series, visit www.torcseries.com.