Auburn Hills, Mich. — With the 2012 season quickly winding down for Mopar® and Ram Truck drivers in the Traxxas TORC (The Off-Road Championship) Series, it’s go-time as just two events remain in the battle for the championship in each of the three PRO Classes. The title fight will resume this weekend, Aug. 31–Sept. 2, at the legendary Crandon International Off-Road Raceway in Wisconsin, with the running of the World Championship Off-Road races.

Andrew Caddell (PRO Light) and Ricky Johnson (PRO 4) have each won a series-best six races in their Mopar Ram trucks heading into the event at Crandon. Rob MacCachren and Bryce Menzies have each been victorious three times in PRO 2. In addition to the originally scheduled two rounds of competition at Crandon, the PRO 2 and PRO 4 classes will contest an additional race on Friday, Aug. 31, which is the completion of an event that was postponed by rain in June.

“Crandon is our Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500,” said MacCachren. “They call Crandon ‘The Big House’ and there is a lot of prestige that comes with racing and winning there. Crandon is a track that everyone wants to win at, especially on World Championship weekend. The fans there are great and the track is second to none. We always look forward to going to Crandon.”

Caddell was victorious in his Mopar Ram in PRO Light at Crandon in June for the Jenkins Brothers Racing team. The second-generation driver experienced tough luck in the opener of that two-day event, finishing 10th. Caddell won twice at Crandon last season and has finished on the podium in four of his last five starts at the famed track over the last two seasons.

“We have a good set-up for Crandon and we know what to do there,” said Caddell. “They’ve added a couple of jumps and we’ll get a little more air than we used to, but it’s still Crandon and you have to drive it the same way. We tested there for a few days earlier this season and learned a lot and feel like we have a good grasp on the track.”

Caddell, the reigning PRO Light champion, has won six times in the class in 2012, including opening the year with three straight victories to vault into the lead in the championship standings. The native of Graham, Wash., has finished on the podium in 10 of 12 starts in 2012, and currently holds a slim three-point edge as the series makes their final visit of the year to Crandon.

“We are just focused on going out and running our race,” said Caddell. “We can’t let the points dictate what we do. Even if we had a 43-point lead, we would not let it dictate what we do. We’re here to go out and get wins for Mopar and Ram and everyone on the team. We’ll run as hard as we can at Crandon and go for a couple of wins, and we know we have the truck to do it.”

MacCachren won at Crandon earlier this year in the Chairman’s Cup Challenge, which was a special event that paired PRO 2 and PRO 4 drivers against each other. In the points race earlier that weekend, he finished fifth, piloting his Mopar Ram. The native of Las Vegas, who leads the PRO 2 standings, has three victories this season, including sweeping both nights of action at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., back in July, and has picked up six podium finishes in nine races.

“We started out a little bit behind this year, since I wasn’t able to be at the first two races in Charlotte,” said MacCachren. “Andrew (Caddell) drove those races and helped us get some valuable points. We knew we would have to race hard all year to make up points and take some chances to move up. We have to be very consistent the rest of the year, and we want to finish on the podium every race. To win the championship, you’re going to have to win races. It’s not going to be a cakewalk. It’s going to be a battle right down to the last race.”

Johnson enters this weekend’s event on top of the PRO 4 standings with six wins, which has him tied with Caddell for most in the series. The multi-time AMA Motocross/Supercross champion has finished on the podium in eight of the nine rounds of racing this season in his Mopar Ram. At Crandon in June, Johnson suffered his only non-podium finish of the season, an eighth-place showing, after coming to the white flag as the leader only to have a mechanical problem end his day.

Menzies is currently second in PRO 2 points in his Mopar Ram, 12 markers behind MacCachren. The defending class champion has won three times thus far in 2012, and has five podium finishes. Last season Menzies swept both days of the fall event at Crandon en route to claiming the PRO 2 title.

Also in action at Crandon in a Mopar-powered Ram in PRO Light will be Luke Johnson, son of Ricky Johnson. The second-generation driver earned his first career TORC win earlier this month at Bark River (Mich.) International Raceway. Johnson is solidly in the fourth position in points on the strength of seven finishes of fourth or better this season. Mike Jenkins will pilot a Ram-bodied truck at Crandon in both the PRO 2 and PRO 4 classes.

The Traxxas TORC Series event at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway in Wisconsin begins on Friday, Aug. 31, with practice and qualifying for all three PRO classes, as well as makeup rounds for PRO 2 and PRO 4 from the June event that was postponed by rain. A full racing program is set for each of the three classes on Saturday, Sept. 1. The weekend wraps up on Sunday, Sept. 2, with main events for each of the three professional classes, along with the $40,000-to-win Amsoil Cup Challenge, which will pit PRO 2 and PRO 4 drivers against each other. For more information on the Traxxas TORC Series, visit www.torcseries.com.

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