Elk River, MN (July 14-15, 2023)–Greaves Motorsports headed west for the short drive over to Elk River, Minnesota, located just North of Minneapolis for rounds 5 and 6 of the Championship Off Road Series. Johnny Greaves was back in the saddle after a short hiatus due to his injuries sustained during a crash in Antigo. Besides not being ready to go full steam, it was also his first time in a new truck. CJ, on the other hand, was the man to beat in all three classes. He left the weekend in first place in Pro Stock SXS, Pro Turbo SXS, and Pro-4 class, in spite of a rollover and 5th place finish on Saturday. CJ swept the Pro Stock SXS in his Monster Energy/Toyo Tire/Polaris RZR. He also got a 3rd place in the turbo class on Friday but suffered mechanical problems while in 3rd place with less than 2 minutes to go in the race on Saturday. Pro-4 was bitter sweet for CJ as he took a win on Friday, but settled for a 5th place on Saturday after a crash that had him stuck on the K-rail put him a lap down. He is still first in the points race by a 27 point margin.
Pro Stock SXS
Friday: CJ Greaves had his Polaris RZR dialed in for round 5 for the Friday afternoon race. He started on row 2 but quickly jumped into the 2nd place space from the rolling 2×2 start. CJ and the leader, Jeb Bootle, went side-by-side as the two battled for position. Bootle biked his machine and CJ took advantage to move into the lead. Owen Van Eperen rolled and flipped on his side bringing out a full course caution. CJ led the field to the green flag and began to put some distance between him and the rest of the field, aided by a battle between 2nd place running Bootle and Marquardt leading up the the competition caution.
CJ dominated the second half of the race. Pulling out to a nearly 3-second lead when he took the checkered flag for his 3rd win of the season.
Saturday: When the green flag flew in Saturday’s Pro Stock SXS racing action, Joe Dresel’s lead was short as he hit the berm and rolled. This handed the lead over to CJ Greaves who proceeded to put space between his Monster Energy Polaris and the 2nd place running Tyson Marquardt. He had a 3-second lead at the competition caution.
CJ led the 20 car field to the green flag for the 2nd half of the race. He had smooth sailing all to the checkered flag to complete the weekend sweep.
“The car just hooked up,” said Greaves following the race. “My Polaris really like today’s temperature or something because it was the fastest car I’ve had this year.”
Pro Turbo SXS
Friday: Starting on the front row of the 20 car field, CJ was strong early in Friday’s Pro Turbo SXS race. Rodney Van Eperen jumped the green flag and took the early lead with CJ right behind him in 2nd. Using the inside lane of the split track, CJ grabbed the lead in his Monster Energy Toyo Tire Polaris RZR as a short rain shower began to dampen the track. CJ pulled away to a 8 car lead with Kyle Chaney, now in 2nd, behind him as the yellow/red flag flew at the competition caution.
As the laps wound down to under 2 minutes to go in the race, the top 3 racers began to mix it up. Carlson was able to pass Chaney and with less than 2 laps to go he passed who was CJ was nursing his side-by-side. On the final lap, Chaney was also able to also make the pass but CJ was able to hold on to take the 3rd spot on the podium.
Saturday: Eighteen cars lined up for the two-by-two rolling start in Saturday’s race. CJ Greaves did not get a good start and wound up in the 9th position as the field shuffled through the first few laps. A rollover in one of the tight ERX turns allowed CJ to move up a few spots ahead of the competition caution.
Following the single file restart, top contender Andrew Carlson made contact with another driver and nosed into the k-rail and flipped on his side. CJ was now contending for a podium spot, went to work on RJ Anderson. Unfortunately, with less than 2-minutes to go, CJ came to a rolling stop on the track with no power. He officially ended the race in 11th. In spite of the misfortune, he ended the weekend in first place by a narrow 3 point margin.
Friday: The Pro-4 class has turned into a wildly competitive field with the additions of Andrew Carlson and RJ Anderson, who are not in the points battle but competing as though they were. Johnny Greaves was once again back in the seat of his number 22 Monster Energy/Toyo Tire/Toyota but not ready to get back to his full contact, take the gloves off style of racing. Eight trucks started with CJ on row two and Johnny on row 3. With Anderson and Carlson removing fiberglass in front of him, CJ stayed calm and looked for the perfect time to make his move. When he did make his move, he made a rare spinout that sent him to the back of the field. CJ and Johnny were running 6th and 7th at the competition caution.
On the restart, CJ quickly worked to pick up one spot at at time but Cole Mamer caused a pileup that took out Anderson. CJ was able to avoid the trouble and eventually worked his way up to 2nd with Andrew Carlson in the lead by about a 3 second margin. Carlson lost control momentarily which allowed CJ to close the gap. Carlson made another mistake and went wide out of the race line. As he came back onto the track he made contact with CJ who was making his move for the lead. On the final lap, Carlson spun-out leaving CJ all alone to take the win. Johnny was also on the move and ended the race in 4th just shy of making it to the podium.
Saturday: In a repeat of Friday’s heart stopping Pro-4 action, Saturday’s race was even more brutal. All of the 8 trucks had fiberglass dangling before the end of the first half of the race. CJ Greaves and Jimmy Henderson went door to door with CJ finally able to get his Toyota into to 3rd by way of the split track at the competition caution. The 2nd half of the race featured a lot of fender rubbing and more fiberglass removal. On the restart, CJ made his charge and stuck the nose of his truck inside of Mamer to take over the 2nd place position. As the top 2 made the jump, RJ Anderson was in CJ’s racing line and the two collided causing CJ to flip and land on the K-rail. As the crew worked to get him off of the k-rail, the field passed the younger Greaves, they were able to free him and he was able to continue in the race, but apparently a lap down. He rejoined the rear of the field, determined to get back to the front.
Jimmy Henderson spun out in the hairpin turn causing a pileup that collected Carlson, CJ, and Johnny. CJ drove over the berm and Johnny bulldozed his way around on the other side. He was shredding a right front tire at this point but CJ was able to power ahead. CJ made his way to 2nd at the checkered flag, however, after a lengthy discussion by race officials, moved CJ out of the runner up spot and moved him to 5th. Jimmy Henderson, who had caused the mayhem, ended up being given 2nd place on the podium followed by Kyle Chaney in 3rd. CJ is still first in the points race and holds a 27 point lead over Henderson.
The Greaves Duo will head just up the road from home to Lena, Wisconsin, for rounds 7 and 8 at Dirt City Motorplex on July 29-30.