Rodney VanEperen & CJ Greaves Take TORC Pro Wins
2017 TORC Off-Road Championship Round 3 Pro UTV Race Report

Elk River, MN  – Greaves Motorsports teammates Rodney VanEperen and CJ Greaves again carried the Yamaha banner high as the pair won their respective UTV classes during the TORC Off Road Championship presented by AMSOIL race at ERX Motorpark. VanEperen won his second Pro Modified race, while Greaves remains unbeaten in Pro Stock, winning his third consecutive event.

Twin Cities Take Down TORC Pro UTV Racing

Rounds 3 & 4 of the TORC Series headed to ERX Motorsports Park in Minnesota for the Twin Cities Takedown

The race was round three of the series and the first of a planned doubleheader weekend at the track just north west of Minneapolis. However, severe thunderstorms on Sunday forced officials to postpone Sunday’s events. That round will is now scheduled to run as part of the season finale at ERX, scheduled for September 23-24.

Twin Cities Take Down TORC Pro UTV Racing

The TORC doubleheader was cut short after a severe storm hit Sunday Morning with 70+ MPH Winds, which knocked out power, tilted over the control center, blew down trees and shredded dozens of awnings.

Abnormally hot conditions at purpose-built off-road facility on Saturday made for challenging racing on the combined dirt, clay and sand racing surface. The track featured several tight turns, a unique split-lane section, several jumps and technical whoops sections. With 14 laps on tap for the events, the races on the high-speed track thrilled the large crowd on hand, despite windy conditions and temperatures in the mid-90s.

TORC Racing Pro SxS Podium

TORC Pro Mod SxS / UTV Podium (left to right)
Kyle Chaney (2nd), Rodney VanEperen (1st), Zach Szymik (3rd)

In Pro Mod, Tim Farr took the lead at the start in his Can-Am and looked destined to repeat his victory in round two. But VanEperen quickly moved in behind Farr. Pulling off a spectacular three-wide pass, VanEperen took the lead on lap three and began checking out, while Farr pitted with tire issues.

Tim Farr TORC Pro UTV Racing

JB Racing’s Tim Farr grabbed the early lead with Rodney VanEperen is chase for several laps

After the midway competition caution, VanEperen was strong on the restart, but the Can-Am of Kyle Chaney dogged him through the final seven laps. After a near crash on the final lap in a whoops section, VanEperen held on for the victory. Chaney was second, ahead of the Yamaha Zach Szymik. Zac Zakowski was fourth in a Yamaha, ahead of the Can-Am of Thomas Reiner.

Rodney VanEperen TORC Pro UTV Racing

Yamaha’s Rodney VanEperen held off Can-Am’s Kyle Chaney late charge for the lead

“Farr had some issues and we took advantage of them,” said VanEperen. “We had no radio communications, but I gave myself a mental note in staging that I was going to win, whether the radio worked or not.”

VanEperen recovered from a mechanical issue in the last race to get the emotional victory. Finding perfect lines during the last three laps, VanEperen held off the charging Chaney to secure the finish.

Rodney VanEperen TORC Pro UTV Racing

Yamaha’s Rodney VanEperen held on to claim his second win of the season in the TORC Pro Mod UTV class

“I could hear someone back there and I knew I had no room to breath,” said VanEperen. “I don’t get emotional very often, but we were up to midnight last night and my crew deserves this one. This is the type of track all of us want to race on. This track isn’t just about going wide open and drifting it in. It’s about picking lines and being smart; it’s a racer’s dream.”

Chaney did everything he could to track down VanEperen. Through the final three laps, he pulled right to the rear nerf of VanEperen’s machine, but wasn’t able to pass. Then, on the final lap, VanEperen faked out Chaney going into the split lanes, using a lapped car as a pick and putting Chaney second at the end. It marked Chaney’s third consecutive runner-up finish, and his consistent finishes put him into the points lead.

Kyle Chaney TORC Pro UTV Racing

Can-Am’s Kyle Chaney secured his third straight 2nd place finish, which now has him leading the Pro Mod UTV Points

“In the first corner of the race, my radiator got packed full of sand and I started overheating,” explained Chaney. “I tried to stay out of his roost in the first part of the race to keep the front of my car clean so I could put together a late-race charge. I got right up to him, but he was just driving too well and was protecting that inside line. We’ve been consistent and we’re after a championship.”

Szymik started sixth, but was charging from the wave of the green flag. By lap five, he was up to third. He then held off a late charge by Zakowski to secure the final spot on the podium.

Zach Szymik TORC Pro UTV Racing

Zach Szymik secured his first Pro Mod UTV Podium finish of the season with a third place finish in the Pro Mod UTV class

“I got loose a couple of times and Zak was pulling right there,” said Szymik. “I had a few problems and tangles during the race, but here we are. I fought the car all weekend in Chicago, put some work into the car and gave her today.”

Zakowski started eighth, and tangled with another car in the first turn. He drove his way back through the field, fought a valiant battle, and nearly took out Szymik’s podium hopes. He finished fourth.

Zac Zakowski TORC Pro UTV Racing

Once again, Zac Zakowski just missed finishing on the podium, but his consistent finishing has him top three in the points chase

“Into the first corner, we got T-boned into another car and got back out in 13th,” said Zakowski. “We had to work our way all the way back. We were fighting hard with Zach, but every time I caught him I just didn’t have enough motor to get past him. It’s all about the championship and we’ll get it. We want the car to finish every race.”

Thomas Reihner TORC Pro UTV Racing

Thomas Reihner rounded out the top five in the TORC Pro Mod UTV class

In Pro Stock, Greaves took the lead from Zach Martin on lap three and set sail from there, holding off the Polaris of Ronnie Anderson and dominating the race.

TORC Racing Pro SxS Podium

TORC Pro Mod SxS / UTV Podium (left to right)
Dillon Pointon (2nd), CJ Greaves (1st), Jake Lunderby (3rd)

Behind him, though, the battle was on. Dillon Pointon, who started ninth, was up to fourth by the mid-race competition caution. Three laps later, Pointon was up to third, and then second on lap 11 when Anderson fell out with a mechanical issue. Pointon finished second, ahead of Jake Lunderby, Kenny Masch and Martin. All of the top-five finishers were driving Yamahas.

CJ Greaves TORC Pro UTV Racing

The Pro Stock UTV Start with Zach Martin & Jake Lunderby starting on the front row

“We have a good car,” said Greaves. “Ronnie Anderson ran me hard. I don’t know what they have figured out on that Polaris, but they seem to be the only ones that can hang so my hat is off to them. We just tried to stay consistent, run our own lines and not worry about the race behind us.”

CJ Greaves TORC Pro UTV Racing

Yamaha’s CJ Greaves charged his way into the lead with Walker Evans Racing’s Ronnie Anderson challenging him early on in the race

Greaves is now unbeaten in TORC UTV Pro Stock competition this season. Though he’s made it look easy in the first three races and holds a commanding lead in the points chase, he knows the level of competition here is stiff.

CJ Greaves TORC Pro UTV Racing

Monster Energy’s CJ Greaves celebrating his 3rd straight TORC Pro UTV Win

“We’re not taking this for granted,” said Greaves. “We know the guys behind us are no slouches. So we’ll just keep running hard and hopefully we can keep coming out on top.”

Pointon had to work hard for his runner-up finish. After finishing third in the last round, he drove his way through the pack and then held off Lunderby to score the runner-up finish, his best thus far in the 2017 season.

Dillon Pointon TORC Pro UTV Racing

OnPoint Racing’s Dillon Pointon scored a season best 2nd place finish, which is also his second straight Pro Stock UTV podium finish

“The car was just on rails,” said Pointon. “I just had to wait for the restart to go in for the kill. We pulled it off. This track is a blast, and it was so much fun. Coming up over the hill into the right hander, you had a lot of guys coming in fast without a lot of traction.”

Lunderby got lost in the pack late in the race, but laid it all on the line on the final lap. A banzai three-wide pass on the final lap handed him the final spot on the podium, his first in TORC UTV competition.

Dillon Pointon TORC Pro UTV Racing

Yamalube’s Jake Lunderby was able to hold off Ken Masch to secure the final spot on the TORC Pro Stock UTV Podium

“My motor was getting hot and that was holding me back,” said Lunderby. “Checkers are wreckers, so I went for it. I had some fun battles and made it up to third.”

Ken Masch TORC Pro UTV Racing

Ken Masch was involved in an early pileup, which bent his tie-rod, but he drove thru it to secure an impressive 4th place finish, which keeps him in the points battle

The TORC Series next heads the venerable Crandon International Off Road Raceway in Wisconsin. The Big House Brawl is scheduled for June 24-25.

TORC Series