Concord, N.C. — Andrew Caddell, Ricky Johnson and Bryce Menzies helped Mopar® and Ram Truck wrap up a very successful start to the 2012 Traxxas TORC (The Off-Road Championship) Series season on Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, as each picked up a victory, to bring the brands’ win total to five for the weekend.
“What a great way to start the TORC season for Mopar and Ram, with two victories on Friday, along with Andrew Caddell, Ricky Johnson and Bryce Menzies winning tonight,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “The competition is tough, but the power of our Mopar engines keeps our drivers up front. The 2012 season is shaping up to be another memorable one for Mopar and Ram in the TORC Series.”
Caddell, who opened the season with a win on Friday night in his Mopar Ram for Jenkins Brothers Racing in PRO Light, started on the outside of the third row in the finale at Charlotte, after a six-truck invert. He gained two spots on the start and worked his way up to second by the fourth circuit. The native of Graham, Wash. nearly took the lead from Luke Johnson, who also pilots a Mopar-powered Ram, on the sixth lap.
Caddell lost six positions on lap-7 while running second, after the third-place truck got into the back of him, causing him to spin. The second-generation driver would gain one spot back, before the mandatory competition caution flag flew on the ninth-lap. He restarted sixth and was up to third just one lap later. By the 12th circuit, Caddell was all over Johnson, who had taken the lead a lap earlier. Caddell went three-wide with Johnson and Ross Hoek coming off turn-four of the oval on lap-13, again nearly taking the top spot.
Caddell used a strong run on the high side of the back straightaway to power his way past Johnson to take the lead with four laps remaining. He extended his lead over the final three laps to score the win over Johnson, who earned his best-career TORC finish in second.
“What a great weekend,” said Caddell. “It was awesome racing Luke (Johnson) for the lead. I got into him a couple of times and I felt bad about that. This Mopar Ram was hooked up out there all weekend. To come out and get two in-a-row with a new truck this year, along with having Mopar and Ram on board, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
In PRO 4, Ricky Johnson started the 18-lap main event in sixth after also winning on Friday in his Mopar Ram. The reigning class champion picked up two positions on the opening lap and was fifth by lap-5. Johnson got by Adrian Cenni for second on the sixth circuit and began to track down leader Johnny Greaves.
Johnson would inherit the lead right before the competition caution flew on the ninth-lap, when Greaves pulled off the track with a mechanical problem. On the restart, the native of El Cajon, Calif. quickly pulled away and would pace the remainder of the 18-lap contest to score his second win of the season and sixth straight going back to last season.
“I have to thank my whole team, everyone does such a great job,” said Johnson. “It was an awesome race out there. Adrian (Cenni) drove a great race. We got together that one time and he had to go in and change a tire and we were able to stay out and finish. Our Mopar Ram was very strong again tonight and this is a great way to open the season.”
Menzies, who led a majority of the PRO 2 race on Friday in his Mopar Ram before a late race spin, lined up fourth in the finale on Saturday night and battled Caddell in the early going for the third spot. The Las Vegas native used a strong move to go from fourth to second on the fourth-lap, setting his sights on leader Chad Hord. Menzies battled Hord for the top spot on the seventh lap, and inched ahead when a full course yellow appeared after Caddell got upside while running fourth.
Menzies lined up second on the ensuing restart and used the low side of the track on the eighth lap to take the lead following a side-by-side battle with Hord in the infield section of the course. Menzies would lead the final 10 circuits to score his first win of the season and the second of his career at Charlotte.
“We had a fast truck all weekend,” said Menzies. “I led the whole thing on Friday and messed up at the end. We knew we would come back strong and I wanted to win this for my whole team. They certainly deserved it. It feels great to be on the top of the podium with our Mopar Ram.”
Mike Jenkins finished fifth in PRO 4 in a Ram-bodied truck and was sixth in PRO 2. Caddell, who was filling in for his teammate Rob MacCachren finished ninth after getting upside down on the seventh lap in his Mopar Ram in PRO 2, after running as high as third in the early portion of the race.
The Traxxas TORC Series returns to action on May 26–27 at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Mich., with two rounds of racing. For more information on the Traxxas TORC Series, visit www.torcseries.com.