It had been a full year since former Pro 4 champion Kyle LeDuc had stood atop a Championship Off-Road podium when he entered last weekend’s doubleheader event at Dirt City Motorplex. As it turned out, a return to the Wisconsin track was all he needed to break the drought.
LeDuc became the only driver to sweep the weekend, climbing back to second in points along the way. He’d even do it the hard way on Sunday, recovering after getting stuck on a barrier on the second lap of that race and going from last to first after fortunately remaining on the lead lap. Pro 4 rookie Cole Mamer would come home second on Saturday ahead of veteran Johnny Greaves, while points leader CJ Greaves and Jimmy Henderson would complete the Sunday podium.
CJ Greaves would add two more podiums in the Pro Stock SXS class, splitting the victories with Brock Heger as the duo finished 1-2 as they so often do in the division. In another familiar sight to longtime COR fans, Heger would also add a victory in his truck, taking the Saturday Pro Lite victory to claw some points out of Kyle Greaves’ championship lead. He’d split those class victories with Trey Gibbs, who improved from third place on Saturday to score his first Pro Lite win on Sunday.
In fact, variation on the podium was the name of the game across most of the Pro classes, with six different podium finishers in multiple classes on the weekend. Pro Stock SXS saw Hamish Kelsey become the first New Zealand native to win an American short course race in more than a decade when he beat Rodney VanEperen and Andy Kleczka to the line on Saturday, while Robert Loire backed up his victory at ERX Motor Park with a last-lap move into the lead on Sunday as Andrew Carlson slowed from the top spot. Gregoire Michaud and Elliot Burns scored their first podiums of the year behind Loire, while Kelsey took the points lead by finishing sixth.
The intensely competitive Pro 2 class was no different. Mickey Thomas, Cory Winner, and Kyle Kleiman, all three of whom had already won in 2022 coming into Dirt City, took the top three spots on Saturday. But it was Doug Mittag, whose team had been working to find pace all year, who came out on top on Sunday, holding off Ricky Gutierrez early on before checking out in the second half of the race; Jerett Brooks would sneak past Gutierrez for second as those two completed the podium. Finally, Chris Van Den Elzen and Gray Leadbetter would split the Pro Spec wins, with Leadbetter and Nick Visser leaving Dirt City just as they entered it—tied for the class points lead.
The 2022 Championship Off-Road season continues on August 13-14 with a return to Bark River International Raceway for the Island Resort and Casino Off-Road Rumble in the UP. Opening ceremonies kick off at 10AM on Saturday and 9AM on Sunday for those on site; live streaming will be available via FloRacing, with TV coverage airing on the CBS Sports Network in the coming months.
Images via Championship Off-Road