This past Labor Day weekend, Rigid Industries decided to send Brett Carpenter, Sponsorship Coordinator of the Rigid Industries Torture Team to the TORC series finale in Crandon, Wisconsin and support the fleet of Torture Team members who were competing. To say that the TORC Series season finale was exciting for Rigid Industries is an incredible understatement. Not only was it the 45th Anniversary of the first “Brush Run” that was ever held at Crandon International Raceway, but the level of accomplishments that were achieved by our Rigid Industries Torture Team members are unparalleled in off-road racing history!
The weekend kicked off with the annual parade down Main Street in historic downtown Crandon. Like every year, rain or shine, the drivers of the TORC series polish up their trucks, bring their crews, and head downtown to show the fans what type of machinery they’ve brought for battle. Whether it’s a 1600 buggy, Pro Lite, Pro 2 or Pro 4, the drivers come together for the fans and the town of Crandon to meet and greet all of the die-hard race fans and sign autographs for the kids.
And it was no secret that the Rigid Industries Torture Team was on hand and creating a buzz in town as guys like Kyle LeDuc, Casey Currie, and RJ Anderson traveled across the country to take part in the historic off-road event joining regular series competitors and fellow Torture Team members Jerett Brooks, Johnny and CJ Greaves, Brad Lovell, Joey Sylvester, Bryan Osborn and Cynthia Gauthier. What the fans and other competitors didn’t know was just how special this weekend was going to be for the Rigid Industries Torture Team!
With racing scheduled to kick off on Saturday morning, Mother Nature had other plans. Crandon has notoriously produced some of the nastiest of conditions on race weekend in the past and this weekend was no different. With a call made by Senior TORC officials to postpone the races on Saturday and move them to Sunday pending the remaining forecast, there were a number of changes that were going to occur that would throw a wrench into the points mix. With the Pro 2 and Pro 4 classes already scheduled to race twice on Sunday (final points race in the morning and then the Amsoil Cup in the afternoon) to begin with, they decided to make the final points races for each of those classes a “double-points” race to make up for the loss of points on Saturday. However, with Pro Lites only scheduled to race once on Sunday, they made the call to include the postponed race from Saturday in the schedule so they could give the drivers in the tight point’s battle the opportunity to fight for it fair and square… and that they did!
In the first Pro race of the weekend, now on Sunday morning, Pro Lites kicked off the day with a race that didn’t disappoint. With Torture Team member Jerett Brooks leading the points over fellow Rigid driver CJ Greaves along with Keegan Kincaid and Doug Mittag by less than 30 points to begin the weekend, there was no time to waste after the always exciting land rush start in getting to the front. CJ Greaves did just that with Brad Lovell right behind him. Torture Team members Jerett Brooks, Casey Currie, and Joey Sylvester were all fighting their way through the pack to catch Greaves and Brooks and hopefully earn a spot on the podium. After running in the top 3 the entire race, Brad Lovell suffered from a broken steering line on the last turn and Jerett Brooks was able to sneak by for a third place finish and would join CJ Greaves on the podium. Like he’s done so many times throughout the season in multiple classes, CJ Greaves put on an impressive show with a wire-to-wire dominating victory. Brooks secured his points lead with one round to go later in the day.
In the Pro Lite season finale, drama and controversy struck early after a first lap crash. A restart took place and unfortunately for Torture Team members Casey Currie and Joey Sylvester, bad luck caused them to be pushed towards the back of the pack on the restart due to the crash. After battling through the pack, Casey passed three quarters of the field to secure an impressive 6th place finish after his early race bad luck. Bad luck continued for Joey Sylvester though as he found himself on the unfortunate end of a black flag dealt by TORC officials for a pass in the gravel pit. Like Joey always has done in the past, he managed to push through and finish the race securing him a top 15 spot in the final points standing.
For Jerett Brooks, CJ Greaves, and Brad Lovell, they found themselves in a different situation than they are used to with mid-pack battles. It didn’t take long for them to move to the front of the pack though as Brooks, Greaves, and Lovell all exchanged positions multiple times and picked off their competitors one by one while they targeted the podium. But it wasn’t going to be easy. For Lovell, it was a late race roll-over that eliminated his chances of a podium and for Greaves, a right-rear flat tire. This left the door open for Jerett Brooks to cap off an incredible season with a third place finish and his very first championship! After the race was over, Brooks was asked if it has sunk in yet that he was a champion.“It hasn’t settled in yet but once it does, I’ll be ready to defend my title next year!” Rigid Industries couldn’t be more proud of Jerett for this incredible accomplishment, at such a young age.
In Pro 2, the 45,000 fans were on their feet for what was anticipated to be a serious slugfest between the top 3 competitors fighting for a championship. But RJ Anderson decided he’d get in the middle of it and he was a lap away from his first ever podium in his first ever Pro 2 race at Crandon until a late race crash took him out of the race. It was CJ Greaves, who capped off an incredible weekend after making history yet again. CJ was the first competitor in TORC series history to, not only start a race in three professional classes, but he earned a podium finish in all three professional classes he competed in on Sunday. For Pro 2, it was even more special. After chasing down his toughest Pro 2 rival, Chad Hord, Greaves earned himself a 2nd place finish and secured his first Pro 2 championship of his young career.
As if the day couldn’t get any more exciting, Pro 4 delivered one of the most epic battles in class history between Johnny Greaves, CJ Greaves, and Kyle LeDuc. In that exact order, Johnny, CJ, and Kyle duked it out for the fans the entire race leaving the rest of the field in the dust. The father and son battle up front looking like they were racing in a synchronized tandem while Kyle looked for the right time to make his move. Kyle mentioned earlier in the weekend after the decision to change a motor, “we didn’t come all this way for thirds and fourths.. we came to do what we do best and that’s win races.” Well, as a man of his word, Kyle passed CJ and Johnny within the last two laps for an incredible come-from-behind win. It was a Rigid Industries, Monster Energy sweep of the podium with Kyle LeDuc 1st, Johnny 2nd, and CJ Greaves rounding out the top three. It was also the championship securing race for Johnny Greaves, earning the Pro 4 class championship once again!
After reading how dominating the day was for the Rigid Industries Torture team thus far, you’d think that was a wrap on the weekend. But with one more race to go, it was the Amsoil Cup that the Pro 2 and Pro 4 drivers had their sights set on. With $45,000 on the line and the coveted Amsoil Cup up for grabs, the Pro 2 class battles the Pro 4 class in an all-out war on the track to be named Amsoil Cup Champion.
Once the race kicked off, it didn’t take long for a first lap crash to take place causing a full restart. RJ Anderson began his pursuit of the leaders and eventually worked his way up to first place in the Pro 2 class while the Pro 4’s began hunting the leaders down. With Kyle, Johnny and CJ making quick work of the Pro 2 field, it was long before the three Rigid/Monster drivers were battling for the lead with fellow Torture Team member RJ Anderson. Unfortunately for CJ, transmission issues kept him off the podium but for Kyle LeDuc, yet again, he did what he came to do. After passing the Pro 2 leaders, Kyle and Johnny were dicing it out back and forth securing a 1-2 finish in the biggest off-road race in TORC history with RJ Anderson earning the 3rd place overall and 1st among the Pro 2 class. For the second time on Sunday, it was a Rigid Industries, Monster Energy podium with big checks and trophies being handed out to the winners!
Rigid Industries couldn’t be more proud of the Torture Team, win or lose, for going out there and letting it all hang out on the track. With three class championships, two class wins, and an Amsoil Cup victory on the day, it’s safe to say the Torture Team left its mark on Crandon International Raceway. Congratulations to Jerett Brooks, CJ Greaves, Johnny Greaves, RJ Anderson, and Kyle Leduc on your success in Crandon and the rest of the Torture Team for competing as hard as you can day in and day out! See you next year.
Be sure to subscribe to Rigid Life for all the up to date information on athletes, news and events.