Conquering the Championship Off-Road field at ERX Motor Park once in a Pro race is certainly an accomplishment, as the popular Minnesota track often throws plenty of curveballs at the sport’s top drivers. Conquering it on back-to-back days in last weekend’s event required a hometown advantage.
Across the five top divisions in the sport—Pro 4, Pro 2, Pro Lite, and Pro Mod and Stock SXS—only hometown hero Andrew Carlson managed to post a weekend sweep. A pair of victories in the Pro Mod SXS class, first over incoming points leader Rodney VanEperen and second over fellow dual podium finisher Robert Loire, made for a strong showing for Carlson as he worked to reclaim the top spot in the series standings. If that wasn’t enough, a third place finish in Friday’s Pro 4 race made it a three-medal weekend for the Elk River native.
The only two other drivers to score a pair of victories had to do it across two different classes. CJ Greaves and Brock Heger are locked in an intense duel for the Pro Stock SXS title, with Greaves reclaiming the top spot in the standings on Friday as Heger fell off the podium with a flat tire, and Heger answering with a win over Greaves on Saturday to keep it close. On the opposite days, each also took a win in the trucks, with Heger coming out on top of Friday’s Pro Lite showdown and Greaves capping off the weekend with a Pro 4 victory on Saturday.
On the opposite days, each of those classes put a defending champion on top of the box. Kyle LeDuc briefly broke the tie atop the wins leaderboard with Greaves and made up some points in the Pro 4 standings in an exciting Friday race before settling for second on Saturday. It was Kyle Greaves, meanwhile, who would hold off Heger in the second Pro Lite race of the weekend.
In the end, though, the most unpredictable class of the weekend had to be Pro 2. Keegan Kincaid, Jerett Brooks, and Cory Winner came into ERX in the top three spots in points, but all three finished outside of the top 10 on Friday, as Mickey Thomas took the win thanks to Ryan Beat running into the wall coming to the checkered flag. On Saturday, it was Trevor Leighton scoring his first victory of the year ahead of defending series champion Kyle Kleiman, who continues to try and right the ship in his title defense. Ricky Gutierrez was the only two-time podium finisher on the weekend in the class with third place runs on both days.
With the first half of the 2021 season in the books, Championship Off-Road looks ahead to its fourth event of the year at Dirt City Motorplex on July 31 and August 1. Last year’s visit to Lena also saw seven different race winners, with sweeps by Kyle Greaves in Pro Lite and CJ Greaves in Pro Stock SXS.