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Greaves & Hart
Stretch Legs in Lucas Season Opener,
Prepare for TORC Series
Temecula CA — Johnny Greaves and Marty Hart loaded up and headed to Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix, AZ, for the Lucas series' opening rounds of racing this past weekend. Johnny enters the 2011 season looking to write yet another chapter in his legendary Pro-4 career while Marty, also touting a highly successful career with more than 105 major victories, looked to perform well in his first time out in a Pro-2. The Lucas race was a great opportunity for the team to check out their respective Monster Energy Toyota Tundras and, like wearing a new pair of shows, see how the new MAXXIS tires would perform.
Both experienced ups and downs throughout the weekend. Johnny, after suffering a flat tire on Saturday due to some contact, placed 9th in a field of 15 trucks. He was looking strong and led a number of laps in the first half of the race before the flat. On Sunday, he regrouped to take a close second place podium finish. Marty, while patiently feeling out the competition, managed to work his way up to fourth place in a field of 25 racers on Saturday, but had to leave the race late having suffered a mechanical problem. On Sunday, he relentlessly fought his way back to the front several times and ended the race with an impressive 5th place finish.
CJ Greaves made a last minute appearance in the Super Lite class thanks to Speed Technologies, Super Lite and an extra vehicle. He knocked the cobwebs off in the Saturday race and pulled a 7th place finish out of a field of 14 trucks. On Sunday CJ qualified second. He got shuffled back in the field early in the race but his racing groove finally kicked in and he made a hard charge to the front. He made it as high as 2nd before he ran out of time but was glad to get on the podium for the first time this seasons.
The Pro 4 Unlimited class took to the track first in Round 1 on Saturday. The field of 15 vehicles was a mixture of 4-wheel drive veterans and drivers several moving up from the Pro-2 and Pro Light classes. Johnny Greaves qualified his Monster Energy/Maxxis Toyota second. He started on the third row due to the 6 car inversion beside fellow Monster Energy/Toyota driver Rick Huseman.
Johnny moved into the 3rd position by turn 3 and had the lead by the 3rd lap. As he began to stretch his lead, a crash brought out the caution flag that bunched everyone back together again. Adrian Cenni rear-ended Johnny delivering a flat rear tire to the Greaves machine. Johnny headed to the hot pit to change the tire which took him out of contention for a top spot. However he was still able to battle back to a 9th place finish.
Up next, Marty Hart would make his debut in a Pro-2 truck. In qualifying on Friday, Marty did not push hard but wisely used the track time as a way to get used to the truck. He still qualified 8th out of a massive field of 25 trucks putting him on the 4th row after the inversion.
When the green flag flew, he patiently sized up the competition before maneuvering his way up to as high as 4th place. With only 3 laps remaining, he landed hard and awkwardly off of one of the jumps, breaking the tie rod and taking him out of the race.
Being the fierce competitor that he is, Marty was not especially happy with his performance but vowed to come back strong on Sunday.
CJ Greaves went to Phoenix with the team and had not planned to race. But thanks to Speed Technologies and SuperLite and an extra vehicle, CJ made a last minute entry into the SuperLite class. After shaking the cobwebs off, he managed to qualify 4th on Friday. He worked his way up to 3rd position by the mandatory caution. At the restart, another racer caught him in the rear and he spun out. He battled back from the rear of the field, but ran out of time and squeezed out a 7th place finish.
On Sunday, Johnny Greaves qualified second once again and started on row 2 with the 4 car inversion. When the races started, he quickly went to the lead. A bobble and some contact with the k-rail sent Greaves' Toyota to the rear of the pack. In typical Greaves fashion, he began to slowly work his way back to through the field to the front and by the mid-race competition caution, he had made his way up to 3rd. When the racing resumed he picked-off Renezeder to take possession of the number 2 spot and went after the leader, Rick Huseman. With 2 laps to go, he caught Huseman. He tried several inside moves but was not able to make the pass, ending the race with the familiar Monster Energy/Toyota—1-2 punch.
Marty Hart was eager to get back in the truck in round 2 and prove that he had the "heart" to take on the 25 Pro-2 trucks. He basically "drove the wheels off the truck," having to come from the back of the pack to the front on multiple occasions. Marty reached as high as 4th when he tangled with Carl Renezeder, dropping him back several positions. He would battle back, only to have other track incidences send him backwards once again. When the dust settled, Marty had recorded an impressive 5th place finish.
"All in all it was a great weekend for our team," said Johnny while on his way back to Wisconsin. "It was good to get on the track and see how our setup was working. The MAXXIS tires performed way beyond our expectations. We were also able to hangout with the folks from our new sponsor ReadyLIFT."
Johnny G Motorsports will head back to the Midwest in preparation for The Traxxas TORC Series season which kicks-off on April 30th in Cycle Ranch in Floresville, Texas.
About the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: