After the cancellation of Bark River International Raceway’s annual August event, Championship Off-Road officials had to scramble to deliver their planned five-event 2020 schedule. Fortunately, their saving grace came in the form of the host of this year’s opening round, ERX Motor Park, which welcomes professional short course racing for a second event this weekend for the first time since joining the pro ranks.
As the halfway point of the 2020 season, the Toyota Off-Road National presented by Lube-Tech is going to be pivotal for drivers looking to make a move in this year’s championship. That may be most important of all in the Pro 4 class, where Kyle LeDuc’s move east has resulted in dominant performances and three of four wins so far. For former class champions Johnny and CJ Greaves and hometown hero Andrew Carlson, whose first Pro 4 win came at ERX last year, it’ll be incredibly difficult to overcome another LeDuc sweep, as he did in the opener here last month. The same goes for anyone in Pro Lite, where Kyle Greaves’ perfect four-for-four run to start the season has him well atop the championship.
Fortunately for CJ Greaves, he’s leading the points in both Pro SXS classes, after sweeping the Pro Mod races at ERX and Pro Stock rounds at Dirt City Motorplex just a few short weeks ago. But although his three Pro Stock wins have given him a slight cushion over fellow race winner Robert Loire, Greaves only has one point over Kyle Chaney and two more than Rodney VanEperen in the Pro Mod standings.
The closest battle, though, is the one for the Pro 2 championship. Last year’s champion and runner-up, Keegan Kincaid and Kyle Kleiman, split the opening rounds of the season at ERX and enter this weekend tied atop the points. Kleiman has the advantage on wins thanks to a second victory at Dirt City, but both drivers are well aware of the talented competitors that will keep them honest on track. Mickey Thomas was the sport’s latest breakthrough winner at Dirt City, scoring his first career Pro 2 victory to climb to third in the championship.
Teams will be on hand at ERX for three days this week, with practice on Friday and races throughout the day Saturday and Sunday for both Pro and Sportsman classes. Pro classes will have qualifying sessions in the morning of both race days. As they were for the July season opener, fans will be in attendance throughout the weekend.
Live streaming of the Toyota Off-Road National presented by Lube-Tech from ERX Motor Park will air on Saturday and Sunday at 12PM ET/9AM PT at livestream.com/isoc. After this weekend, the inaugural Championship Off-Road season ends with two events at the iconic Crandon International Raceway; the 51st Annual World Championship Off-Road Races, including the Crandon World Cup, will take place over Labor Day weekend, while the annual Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run, postponed from June, closes the season on September 26-27.
Images via Championship Off-Road