Auburn Hills, Mich. — Bryce Menzies continued the winning ways for Mopar® and Ram Truck in the Traxxas TORC (The Off-Road Championship) Series on Saturday, Sept. 1, at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway in Wisconsin, scoring a win during the World Championship Off-Road races in the PRO 2 class.
“Everyone at Mopar is extremely proud of Bryce Menzies for his victory today at Crandon,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “The 2012 campaign has been another fantastic one for the Mopar Ram combination in the TORC Series. With four more chances to add to our victory total tomorrow, we can’t wait to take the green flag.”
Menzies opened the day as the fastest qualifier in his Mopar Ram, which put him in sixth spot on the grid for the famed “Land Rush” standing start following a six-truck inversion. The reigning PRO 2 champion was fourth coming into the first turn, as he gained ground on third-place running Scott Taylor. Menzies would take third on the second lap, and would hold that position when the mandatory competition caution flag flew.
The native of Las Vegas used an exceptional restart to power off the line and go from third to the lead by the time he reached turn-three. Once out front, Menzies would not look back, pacing the final four laps to earn his fourth win of the season and a Crandon World Championship ring, which was awarded to each of the winners on Saturday.
“That was an awesome race,” said Menzies. “Robby (Gordon) and Rob (MacCachren) were coming, so I had to make a move after the yellow. I had to be patient early in the race, and knew the track would go away a little bit. We came out and qualified first, so we definitely had a strong truck. This Mopar Ram ran great all day and we had a good points day as well.”
Rob MacCachren made a late-race charge to finish third in his Mopar Ram, nearly taking the runner-up spot from Robby Gordon at the start/finish line, with the pair separated by just 31-thousandths-of-a-second. For the native of Las Vegas, it was his seventh podium finish of the season. Mike Jenkins finished seventh in PRO 2 in a Ram-bodied truck.
In PRO Light, Andrew Caddell, the defending class champion, battled his way to a seventh-place finish in his Mopar Ram. The second-generation driver was fourth heading into the first turn following the standing start, and pressured Luke Johnson for third on the opening circuit. Caddell fell back to fifth after some contact on the second lap, and worked his way back to fourth on the next lap. On the restart following the mandatory competition caution on the sixth lap, a number of trucks got together, with Caddell spinning and dropping back to 11th. Over the final four laps he would gain four positions to finish seventh.
Johnson, driving a Mopar-powered Ram for Jenkins Brothers Racing, finished second in the PRO Light race to earn his fourth podium of the season. The second-generation driver earned his first-career TORC win last month at Bark River (Mich.) International Raceway.
“I can’t say enough about this team,” said Johnson. “Mike Jenkins has given me a great opportunity and I can’t thank him enough. It feels great to be up on the podium today. We had a very strong truck. I made a few mistakes and Casey (Currie) made a few less and won.”
Ricky Johnson led a number of laps in the PRO 4 race in his Mopar Ram, before mechanical problems ended his day at the halfway competition caution. Johnson, who is tied for the series lead with seven wins, continues to lead the standings as he chases his second consecutive PRO 4 title. Mike Jenkins finished fourth in a Ram-bodied truck on Saturday.
The Traxxas TORC Series event at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway in Wisconsin concludes 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.