Johnny Greaves Wins 2004 BorgWarner Shootout CRANDON, WI -- Toyota Tundra 4x4 pickup truck driver Johnny Greaves, DePere, WI, dominated the big money off-road racing action at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway winning the 10th Anniversary...
Johnny Greaves Wins 2004 BorgWarner Shootout
CRANDON, WI -- Toyota Tundra 4x4 pickup truck driver Johnny Greaves, DePere, WI, dominated the big money off-road racing action at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway winning the 10th Anniversary BorgWarner Shootout for the $100,000 BorgWarner Cup.
Greaves thrilled the over-capacity crowd at Crandon with a decisive win -- his first in the event -- in his powerful Forest County Potawatomi/BF Goodrich 4-wheel drive Toyota Tundra, passing five trucks in the annual 10-lap race over Crandon's fast but punishing 1.75-mile track.
Greaves won $34,935 in cash and prizes for the win in the feature event during a weekend of racing at the BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races, September 3-5 over Labor Day weekend. Two days prior to the race, Greaves had earned the pole position in the annual Nissan Motorsports/NISMO Time Trials for the BorgWarner Shootout. He turned a fastest lap time of 1:24:91 for the field of 26 trucks qualifying to enter the race. It was Greaves second pole in off-road racing's biggest event. So dominate was Greaves, that his race truck was nearly two seconds faster than the runner-up in the qualifications.
The BorgWarner Shootout pits high performance 800 HP 4x4 pickup trucks against similarly configured 2-wheel drive (2WD) pickup trucks in a extremely high speed, rough and tumble sprint race over the Crandon track. The five fastest 2WD pickups receive a 1/4-mile handicap start on Crandon's famous Oklahoma Land Rush Start.
Evan Evans, Riverside, CA, driving a 2WD Forest County Potawatomi-sponsored Chevy truck and Scott Taylor, Belividere, IL, the 2002 Shootout winner in a 2WD Ford truck, surged to an early lead from the LeMans-style start. Evans and Taylor were followed by a trio of 2WD trucks. The balance of the field, led by pole sitter Greaves, left the Precision Gear land rush starting line. Greaves was first in to Crandon's notorious Potawatomi Turn One. Two trucks were involved in a collision on the first lap over the American Axle Trac-Rite champ, including the Rancho Ford 4x4 of race contender Scott Douglas, El Cajon, CA, and the Lucas Oil Chevy 4x4 of defending champion Carl Renezeder. Renezeder was immediately eliminated from the race with a broken wheel and Douglas pulled off 1/2 mile later.
Evans led the race for three strong laps, succumbing to Taylor on lap four. Meanwhile, Greaves had worked his way through the field to reach third position on the track. By lap five Greaves passed his Forest County Potawatomi teammate Evans, and begin to track down Taylor. Meanwhile, Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, CA, who had been as far back as 10th in the early running, found extra power in his Ford 4x4 and began to surge forward also passing Evans and taking third. Greaves was now a "Forest County Potawatomi sandwich" between the two red and white Skyjacker-sponsored trucks of Taylor and LeDuc. Over the course of the next two laps, Greaves passed Taylor opening up a 15-second margin Taylor and LeDuc. Near the end of the race, LeDuc passed Taylor to take second position. Greaves took the checkers with room to spare finishing the race with a time of 16:30.
In Crandon's Victory Circle, Greaves accepted the Snap-On victory wreath and congratulations from Tim Manganello, chairman and chief executive officer of BorgWarner Corporation, Chicago, IL. Manganello presented the winner a check and prizes for $20,000 and the $100,000 BorgWarner Shootout Cup. Greaves was awarded the $7,500 BorgWarner "King of Off-Road Racing" World Championship Driver's Award by Cindy Niekamp, president, BorgWarner Torque Transfer Systems. Don Brown, Toyota Racing Development, presented Greaves a check for $2,000, while Gus Frank, chairman, Forest County Potawatomi, added another $1,500 to Greaves earnings.
"We just had a tremendous 4x4 truck for the this race," said Greaves. "We had great power and great traction and it was definitely the best handling truck I ever had for a BorgWarner Shootout," said Greaves. "Crandon Raceway was in perfect condition and I can tell you this -- there are easier things in the world than tracking down great drivers like Evan Evans and Scott Taylor -- they drove the wheels off their 4x2's," he commented, referring to their 2-wheel drive powered machines. "Winning this race for the Forest County Potawatomi, Toyota and BF Goodrich has been a highlight of my career," he said. "Johnny Greaves will be a great champion for the year," said Cliff Flannery, Crandon track president. "He has always been a winner at our track and now he has claimed the biggest prize in our sport," he said. "It is a great tribute to his off-road racing skills and we congratulate him, the Forest County Potawatomi Community, BF Goodrich and Toyota".
This year's BorgWarner Shootout will be tape-delayed broadcast on Speed Channel later this fall as the "2004 Fabtech BorgWarner Shootout." In other race action, the weekend featured Lucas Oil Championship Off-Road Racing series racing, and other amateur off-road racing promoted by Crandon Raceway.
Greaves's win in a Toyota was the first for the light-duty truck manufacturer. Toyota Trucks and Toyota Racing Development will be presented the $100,000 BorgWarner Cup. In 2003, Greaves had won the Potawatomi Governor's Cup -- an event similar to the Shootout. The 10th Anniversary BorgWarner Shootout coincided with the 35th Anniversary of Crandon International Off-Road Raceway.
The 10th annual BorgWarner Shootout will be held Sunday, September 4, 2005. Greaves will enjoy the recognition associated with the BorgWarner Shootout and reigns as the mythical "King of Off-Road Racing" until the green flag for that event.