Greaves, Taylor and Huseman on the verge of division championships with two rounds remaining in the 2002 CORR Lucas Oil Series. Bark River, Michigan (August 11, 2002)With two rounds remaining in the 2002 CORR Lucas Oil Series following the U.P.
Greaves, Taylor and Huseman on the verge of division championships with two rounds remaining in the 2002 CORR Lucas Oil Series.
Bark River, Michigan (August 11, 2002)With two rounds remaining in the 2002 CORR Lucas Oil Series following the U.P. Off Road 100/Waterpumps.com Challenge at the Bark River Off Road Raceway, all eight divisional championships will not be decided until the season-ending BorgWarner World Championships in Crandon, Wisconsin.
For Pro competitors John Greaves (Pro-4) and Rick Huseman (Pro-Lite), they were able to extend their leads in the division after Round 12. Four-time Pro-2 defending champion Scott Taylor came into the U.P.Off Road 100/Waterpumps.com Challenge leading Evan Evans by five points. With both Taylor (win in Round 11) and Evans (Round 12) splitting a win and a second-place finish in Rounds 11 and 12, Evans did not gain any ground on Taylor, but is still five points back, 184 to 179.
In the Pro-4 division, Jason Baldwin picked up his fourth win in the last five rounds when he took the checkers in Round 11. After taking the lead from the land-rush start that narrows from 250 feet to 70 feet in the first turn, Baldwin increased his lead over his teammate and brother, Josh Baldwin, by eight seconds. When Josh Baldwin crossed the finish line in second-place, it was his best finish of his Rookie campaign. The Baldwin's one-two finish was the first time in Championship Off Road Racing history that two brothers finished first and second in a race. John Greaves, who was trailing Curt LeDuc by two points after Round 10, finished third and led LeDuc by four points, 153 to 149.
In Round 12, Scott Douglas' RANCHO Ford led the Pro-4 field when he took the hole shot from the fourth position. Near the end of the first lap, Greaves' Forest County Potawatomi Toyota took the lead from the RANCHO Ford, and would go on to claim his third win of 2002, beating Carl Renezeder (second-place) and Douglas (third-place) to the finish line. LeDuc (12 points behind) and Renezeder (17 points behind) still have an opportunity to catch Greaves for the championship with 40 points available in the final two rounds.
In the last two years, Evan Evans had his fingertips on the Pro-2 championship, but Scott Taylor has been the driver holding the championship trophy at the end of the season. In 2000, Taylor had an eight point lead heading into the final round, and was able to win the Pro-2 championship over Evans by 11 points, 276 to 265. In 2001, Taylor won six out of the first ten rounds, leaving a gap too big for Evans to close up. Evans finished the year with five wins, but Taylor once again claimed the Pro-2 trophy, beating Evans 243 to 203.
This year, Taylor and Evans each have four victories apiece, and the margin for Taylor is five points with two rounds left at the Crandon International Off Road Raceway. In their careers, seven of Taylor's 28 career victories in the Pro-2 division came at Crandon, while Evans has two wins at the 1.75-mile course. Evans has 18 career Pro-2 wins.
In Round 11, Taylor avoided the melee at the tough first turn when Evans flipped his truck, causing trucks to drive in all directions to avoid contact. Coming through unscathed, Taylor powered his Mobil-1 Ford to a 14 second lead. When second-place driver Dan Vanden Heuvel fell back, Evans, who was gaining on each lap after his wreck, came through and finished second. In somewhat of a similar situation, in Round 12, Evans was the one who took the lead from the start while Taylor got caught in the middle of several trucks battling for position at the first turn. Evans did not falter, and claimed his 18th career Pro-2 win.
The race for the Pro-Lite championship will once again be between two-time defending champion Jeff Kincaid, and Rick Huseman, who fell seven points shy of Kincaid in 2001 for the Pro-Lite crown. Both drivers were tied at 155 points each heading into Round 11 at Bark River. In Round 11, it was Chad Hord who proved to be the dominant driver, taking his BOSS Snowplow Toyota to the winner's circle for the second time in 2002. Huseman came back from a rough start to finish second, while Kincaid finished sixth.
In Round 12, Huseman's Fabtech Ford came off the start line in second-place behind Steve Federico. On that same lap, he was able to pass Federico for the lead and was not challenged from that point on, winning his fifth race in 2002. Kincaid again finishes sixth, but maintained his second-place position in the point standings.
Although Huseman extended his lead to 16 points (191 to 175), he may not find any solace when he returns to Crandon to face Kincaid. Always regarded as Jeff Kincaid's home track, one-third (7 of 21) of Kincaid's career Pro-Lite wins have come at the Crandon International Off Road Raceway.
Sportsman 2 driver Dan Baudoux swept Rounds 9 and 10, holding off Mike Oberg's Dynomax Chevrolet each time. Baudoux moved within one point of Oberg, who currently is in second-place, 27 points behind leader Tommy Bradley. In both rounds, Bradley lost a wheel while running up front, but was able to finish third in Round 9 and fifth in Round 10. Bradley and Oberg, the last two Sportsman 2 division champions, will have two rounds to battle for the 2002 Sportsman 2 championship at the BorgWarner World Championships in Crandon.
In the Stock division, Mark Kleiman (Round 9) and Ross Hoek (Round 10) each had a win and a second-place finish over the weekend. Kleiman's victory in Round 9 kept him atop the standings over Keith Steele. On the year, Kleiman has five wins and 9 top-four finishes in 10 rounds. Hoek's win in his Superlift Ford in Round 10 gave him his second of 2002, and the fourth of his career. With Hoek's wire to wire victory in Round 10, he is in third place with 147 points, two behind Steele and 17 behind Kleiman.
Defending Super Buggy champion Scott Schwalbe came to the U.P. Off-Road 100 in Bark River with a 43-point lead over second-place driver Aaron Hawley. If Schwalbe could lead by that margin after Round 10, he would take home his second consecutive Super Buggy championship. Hawley returned to his early season success by sweeping Rounds 9 and 10. Schwalbe struggled during both rounds, finishing a season worst 19th (Round 9) and 12th (Round 10). By sweeping the two rounds, Hawley cut 35 points off of Schwalbe's lead, 136 to 128. In Round 10, Hawley came back to beat Todd Wallace to the finish line by a mere six inches.
In the Single Buggy division, Michael Seefeldt passed Bob Blaney with a half lap remaining for his fifth victory of 2002 in Round 10. Seefeldt leaped from an eight-point deficit following Round 10 to a 13-point lead over Steve Socha (149 to 136) with two rounds remaining. Blaney won for the first time since Round 7 in 2001 (Bark River) when he held off Brad Erickson and Seefeldt in Round 9. After finishing in the top-four in seven of the first eight rounds, Socha placed 16th in Round 9 before recovering in Round 10 to finish fourth.
The Dedicated Systems team of Ben O'Connell and Josh Hintz are continuing their quest to the 2002 Light Buggy championship. Hintz held the overall lead following Round 8 by 14 points over O'Connell, but O'Connell was able to take the lead from his teammate with a win in Round 10 and a second-place finish in Round 9. Jeff Virnig picked up his second consecutive victory in Round 9. O'Connell's lead over Hintz is five heading into the final two rounds of the 2002 CORR Lucas Oil Series, 139 to 134. Greg Stingle is alone in third place with 107 points.
In the 2002 Championship Off Road Racing Manufacturer's Championship, Ford leads the Pro-4 division with 216 points over Chevrolet (174) and Toyota (173). In Pro-2, Chevrolet leads Ford 224 to 184, and in the Pro-Lite division, Toyota has a six-point lead over Ford (212 to 206), and Nissan is in third with 155 points.
Also of Note: Scott Taylor (Pro-2) and John Greaves (Pro-4) are tied with 28 career Championship Off Road Racing wins. Taylor has spent his entire CORR career in the Pro-2 division, while Greaves has competed in each of the Pro divisions, winning the Pro-Lite championship in 1998 and 1999.
The final two rounds of the 2002 CORR Lucas Oil Series will take place at the Crandon International Off Road Raceway in Crandon, Wisconsin, where they will host the BorgWarner World Championships August 31-September 1. For more information please contact the track at (715) 478-2222.