Another season of short course off-road racing in the midwest is in the books, and unlike in the recent past, it wrapped up once again at Crandon International Raceway. The 49th Annual World Championship Off Road Races saw the inaugural Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League champions crowned in 15 different classes at the Big House, with the Crandon World Cup/Amsoil Cup completing the weekend on Sunday.
The biggest story coming into the weekend was CJ Greaves’ pursuit of dual championship defenses in the Pro 4 and Pro Stock SXS classes from the final season of TORC competition. He’d have to overcome deficits in both sets of standings, however, as his father Johnny Greaves led the Pro 4 points by nine markers and Ryan Mulder held an even larger advantage in the UTVs.
The good news? With a spectacular fire causing a DNF for Johnny in Friday’s race, the door swung wide open for CJ, who capitalized to take home his fourth consecutive Pro 4 title. The bad? Mulder was able to hang on for the Pro Stock SXS crown.
That said, it’s not hard to think that Greaves will happily trade his UTV title for the successes he had on Sunday. He won the Pro 2 World Championship in his first race in the class in two years, added the Pro Stock SXS win, took third in the Pro 4 race, and hunted down the field in the Amsoil Cup challenge race in his Pro 2 to become the first three-time winner of the all-comers event.
It wasn’t all Greaves atop the podium in the Pro classes, though. Mike Vanden Heuvel, who won the season opener at Crandon and never looked back, finally wrapped up the Pro 2 championship on Saturday against one of the deepest fields anywhere in the sport. In addition, Bryce Menzies, who swept the Pro 4, Pro 2, and Amsoil Cup races last year, managed to defend the Pro 4 World Championship win on Sunday.
Kyle Kleiman took his second consecutive Pro Lite title despite a virtual five-way tie coming into the weekend where every full-time driver was separated by just four points, while Brock Heger took Sunday’s World Championship race. And Rodney VanEperen made up for last year’s runner-up finish in the Pro Mod SXS championship by finishing the 2018 season atop the standings.
Elsewhere, a number of other drivers also clinched titles with either dominant season-long performances or clutch moves on the final weekend of racing. Michael Meister successfully defended his 2017 championship in Super Buggy after winning the season’s first three races, while Tony Keepers managed the same in 1600 Buggy after four victories in his first four starts. But it was Jaime Kleikamp who came out on top of an intense three-way battle in Super Stock Truck, one that saw the top three drivers in the class separated by just a handful of points coming into the weekend.
As we wait for announcements about the 2019 season, including details on the golden anniversary of the World Championship at Crandon, fans can watch the entire Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League season on Tuesdays at 6PM ET/3PM PT on MAVTV. The telecast schedule starts tonight with June’s Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run, also held at Crandon, as Jim Beaver calls the action on Pro 4, Super Buggy, and Titan Fuel Tanks Sportsman class action!