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MacCachren 2nd in Pro Buggy,
Seven of Eight Menzies Motorsports
Vehicles Finish in Top 10…
CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Rob MacCachren and Bryan Freeman both earned podium finishes during Saturday’s Round 11 of the 2008 Championship Off-Road Racing Series (CORR) to lead the six-driver, eight vehicle Menzies Motorsports team competing at the Chula Vista International Raceway near San Diego.
Near capacity crowds are again expected for Sunday’s Round 12 of 2008 CORR Series at the 10,000-seat dirt raceway that includes a .82-mile purpose-built dirt race course hewn out of a working rock quarry. Gates open at 9 a.m. and following practice sessions and qualifying, racing begins at Noon.
MacCachren came from way back to finish second in Pro Buggy while Freeman won going away in Single Buggy and Bryce Menzies, the popular team’s youngest driver at 21, finished sixth in both Pro 2 and Pro Lite adding to another solid day at the races for Menzies Motorsports after the team’s worst qualifying day of the year on Friday. On Saturday seven of the eight Menzies Motorsports vehicles had top 10 finishes.
Leading the point standings in three classes, Menzies Motorsports’ ‘Big Red Machine’ now has 19 individual race wins and 25 total podium finishes through the first 11 races of the 2008 CORR Series season. The team this weekend in Chula Vista includes six drivers, all from Las Vegas, competing in eight vehicles in four classes.
If passing points were awarded Saturday, MacCachren would have been the winner hands down. In Pro Buggy, he moved up an amazing 22 spots at the finish and Pro 2, the ‘Mac Attack’ overcame an early incident to move up an impressive 15 spots by the end of the race.
Starting fourth in the field of 23 starters in the 15-lap Pro-2 main event in the No. 21 Rockstar Ford F-150, MacCachren spun on the final turn of the first lap and was hit by another truck causing his left front tire to go flat. MacCachren held it together as best he could, was 11th at the competition yellow, went into the pits on Lap 7, came out 22 but on the lead lap before the field went green again. He then pushed himself and his truck to a respectable fifth-place finish.
After carburetor problems led to a 24th qualifying position for the 14-Lap Pro Buggy main event in the No. 921 BFG Tires Honda-powered AlumiCraft open-wheel desert race car, MacCachren was on a mission and was able to climb all the way back to second place for his seventh podium finish and third second in Pro Buggy this season. The masterful MacCachren moved all the way up to 12th at the end of Lap 1 and was seventh at the competition yellow. From that point, he squirted to third on Lap 9 and despite being slowed some at the end of Lap 10 when teammate Larry Job spun and was hit just before the start/finish line, was second on Lap 11 and closed the gap, but couldn't quite catch race winner Greg George.
“Man, was that an interesting day for Menzies Motorsports,” said a somewhat subdued MacCachren. “We did that best we could in both the Pro 2 and Pro Buggy races, considering we had a flat in one and started 24th in the other. Overall, we keep moving in the right direction and that’s what is important for us as a team. We’re learning and improving in so many areas I know there are a lot more podiums on the horizon for us.”
After qualifying third on Friday, Freeman, a second generation desert racer who is another rookie in short-course racing, started the 12-lap Single Buggy feature eighth because of the inverted start, in the No. 307 Nevada Off-Road Buggy Fraley-VW. He seemed to hold back the first half of the race, shuffling between fifth and sixth place until the competition yellow where he quickly started the second half of the race moving to third on Lap 8 and second on Lap 2. In Turn 1 of Lap 10 he passed teammate Brock Krahenbuhl and roared to the front to lead the 22-car field to win for the ninth time in 11 races this season. His victory margin was 6.72 seconds.
Krahenbuhl, who qualified second and started ninth with the invert, ran second for much of the race and was first at the start of the second half of the race for Laps 8 and 9, but he had lost his power steering in the No. 307 Nevada Off-Road Buggy Fraley-VW. Then was bumped by another competitor ending up stuck on a dirt safety berm on Lap 11 and limped to a frustrating 15th place finish.
Bryce Menzies, 21, is the son of team owner Steve Menzies overcame a pair of sub-par qualifying results to earn a pair of sixth place finishes in Pro 2 and Pro Lite. The 2007 CORR Rookie of the Year in Single Buggy (and season point champ), has moved up in class this year to Pro Lite and the younger Menzies started 12th and finished sixth in his No. 7 Fox Shox Ford Ranger.
In only his second race in Pro 2, Menzies started 15th and finished sixth in his No. 7 Menzies Motorsports Ford F-150.
“We made great strides today as a team and I did personally as a driver,” said Menzies. “We were in a big hole after qualifying and we climbed out pretty good today. We’re not satisfied, but we are very pleased to know we are capable of overcoming adversity as a team and as a driver I was able to focus like I need to in order to reflect how great the trucks are that I drive.”
Job, another veteran Southern Nevada desert racer in his first full short-course season, started fourth in Pro Buggy and was second for much of the race, but a bent the clutch in the No. 907 Mastercraft AlumiCraft-Honda caused the gears to slip into neutral unexpectedly which caused him to spin at the end of Lap 10. After slipping back to as far as 13th in the closing laps, fought his way back to ninth at the checkered flag.
Also racing for Menzies Motorsports this year is Bruce Fraley, the veteran race car builder who finished seventh in Pro Lite in the No. 12 MSD Ford Ranger. He overcame the problems that led to his 13th starting position by running as high as fifth late in the race before getting a flat on the final lap that cost him two spots.
The team’s newest driver, veteran desert racer Cameron Steele of San Clemente, Calif., is a backup this weekend and will be a regular team driver in 2009.
Menzies Motorsports: 2008 CORR Series
Pro 2 (23 Starters, 15 Laps)
Pro Lite (24 Starters, 14 Laps)
Pro Buggy (25 Starters, 14 laps)
Single Buggy (22 Starters, 12 Laps)
2008 CORR Series
Rounds 13 & 14
Rounds 15 & 16