The third annual ERX Off-Road National presented by Polaris RZR sees the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League return to action after a successful, albeit weather-affected, debut event in Crandon. The second race in series history will see a switch in venue to ERX Motor Park in Minnesota, with a number of regional classes making the trip after skipping this round last year. Yesterday, we looked at the truck and kart drivers competing this weekend—today, we highlight the side-by-sides and buggies:
Pro Mod SXS: Rodney VanEperen
With a win apiece at ERX last year and Crandon in June, VanEperen is the odds-on favorite to win again at least once this weekend. Last year’s class runner-up in TORC, the former Super Buggy champion and Pro 2 competitor has found a home in side-by-sides, and looks to keep building on the momentum in the sport’s return to Minnesota this weekend.
Pro Stock SXS: CJ Greaves
The chosen one of the current generation of short course competitors, it seems easier to name the classes where Greaves hasn’t won than the ones where he has. Competing against his father in Pro 4, the younger Greaves is usually in for a fight, but last year he absolutely destroyed the side-by-side series with wins in 12 of the 13 races and a podium finish in the lone exception.
Super Buggy: Michael Meister
Meister was one of a number of drivers on both the national and regional level to sweep the season-opening Crandon doubleheader, as he won both Super Buggy races on the weekend. He held off Mark Steinhardt in the first by nearly five seconds, and Ryan Schwalbe by almost seven in the second. The defending class champion, Meister placed third and first in action at ERX last June.
1600 Buggy: Tony Keepers
The runner-up in both of last year’s ERX races will look to emulate this year’s Crandon performances instead this weekend. Keepers swept both rounds from the Big House, just as he did last spring. He’ll be hoping to hold off a field this weekend that now includes Bruce Fraley, who took last year’s 1600 title on a wins tiebreaker but skipped the Crandon season opener.
1600 Light Buggy: Tyler Wians
Wians split the weekend with Connor Schulz at Crandon, as six different drivers took podiums in the two days of racing. But of the duo, he was the only one to crack the top 10 at ERX last year, taking seventh in the first 1600 Light Buggy race of the weekend in June 2017. Could a better result be in the cards?
Sportsman Stock SXS: Kyle Greaves
What’s an article about short course racing in the midwest without the name Greaves in it? Kyle, the son of Curt, nephew of Johnny, and cousin of CJ, makes it three front-runners in the family. In Sportsman Stock SXS at Crandon, Greaves finished second to Matt Wood in the first race, but won the second.