Johnson Doubles Up In Charlotte
CONCORD, N.C. — It was a wild night of off-road racing at The Dirt Track at Charlotte as Ricky Johnson and Andrew Caddell each pulled off back-to-back wins while Bryce Menzies and Steve Krieman each got their first wins of the season in Traxxas TORC Series action.
Ricky Johnson, of El Cajon, Calif., picked up where he left off the night before with another win in the PRO 4 race, but not without a solid fight from Adrian Cenni.
The race started with the No. 11 of Cenni in first position. Cenni stayed out front for a few laps, but Johnson quickly moved up through the field, claiming the lead on lap 9 as Cenni started developing a flat tire. When the lap 9 mandatory caution came out, Cenni was able to benefit, going to the pits to change his tire and remaining on the lead lap.
On the restart, Cenni started out in the back of the pack, but began passing trucks, eventually getting back to second. He tried to track down Johnson, but ran out of time as Johnson crossed the line to win the race.
Cenni had to settle for second and Scott Douglas finished third.
“I just really want to thank the whole team,” said Johnson. “(I want to) congratulate Adrian, he drove a great race. It was awesome out there. Adrian and I got into each other and he had to go in and change those Maxxises but I had (confidence) in our BFGs. We stayed out there and we pulled it off. I think BFG definitely deserves this win.”
Defending PRO 2 champion Menzies, of Las Vegas, Nev., was able to claim the victory in the second PRO 2 race of the season after letting one get away the previous night.
“We had a fast truck all weekend and I led the whole thing yesterday and just pulled a bonehead move and screwed up by myself, but we knew we were going to come back today and just do it for my whole team and my crew – they deserve it,” said Menzies. “So I’m just super stoked to put this thing on the top of the box. I couldn’t do it without everybody who supports me.”
Menzies started in fourth place but was up to second by lap 4, tracking down the No. 9 of Chad Hord. Menzies caught the bumper of Hord and attempted to take the lead on lap 7, but was unsuccessful.
After the mandatory lap 9 caution, Menzies and Hord raced side-by-side, making contact. Menzies was able to slide by and get away from Hord as he cruised on to win the race.
Hord finished second and CJ Greaves, last night’s winner, followed behind in third.
Graham, Wash., native Caddell, got his second consecutive PRO Light win of the season after battling back and forth with Luke Johnson throughout the race.
“It was an awesome race, to race Luke (Johnson), a brand new teammate this year. I got into him a couple of times, I felt a little bad for that,” said Caddell, “This MOPAR truck is hooked up out there, the BFG tires were just awesome out there, I couldn’t ask for anything better. It’s a special year for me right now and to come out, two in a row with a brand new setup on the truck. Can’t ask for anything more.”
Caddell started in the sixth position but started quickly passing trucks, landing in the second spot by lap 5 behind leader Johnson, who was breaking away from the field. A caution on lap 6 allowed the field to close back together, giving Caddell a chance to go after the leader. He moved to the inside to try to take the spot, but wasn’t fast enough as Johnson maintained the lead.
Third place Shawn Morris knocked Caddell’s truck around in the fourth turn, sending Caddell to the back of the pack. That wouldn’t stop Caddell though as he picked off trucks, ending up back behind Johnson. The battle ensued for first place in the closing laps, but it was Caddell who would come out on top, leaving Johnson in second and Ross Hoek in third place.
It looked like last night’s Super Buggy winner Mitchell DeJong would pull-off two wins in a row as he was once again leading the race, but on the restart after the mandatory halfway caution, the 14-year-old had alternator problems ending his chances at victory.
With DeJong out of the race, second place Krieman assumed the lead, but had some company with the No. 7 of John Frana taking away the top spot for a few laps. Krieman was eventually able to take back the lead, overtaking Frana on the track’s rhythm section on lap 15 and cruising past the checkers for the win in the 16-lap race.
Frana hung on with a flat tire to take second and Bob Klaus took third.
“When Mitchell got by me, I was waiting for him to get by me at some point and then he must have had some problem at the restart,” said Krieman. “So I thought ‘you know, you’ve got to have something here’ and then Frana came around me with his four-wheel drive and I thought ‘well, if I could just keep with him, just be smooth’ and then I saw they had a flat tire and I started pushing it and I knew there wasn’t a lot of time and I got over in the ‘whoop’ section and here I am. I can’t believe it.”BREAKING NEWS: SPEED SPORT is back in print with a new monthly format! Subscribe for just $24.95. Special offer for former subscribers.