Traxxas TORC PRO 4 racers Ricky Johnson vs. Johnny Greaves set to square off in Charlotte
Epic battle at Charlotte last year between the two was short course off-road racing's most talked about race of the year
INDIANPOLIS (April 17, 2012) - With the opener of the 2012 Traxxas TORC Series, presented by AMSOIL, championship at the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway just a few short days away, the two principle combatants in the premier PRO 4 class - defending series champion Ricky Johnson (Ram Truck/Mopar/Red Bull) and 2010 champion Johnny Greaves (Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis) - get set to relive short course off-road racing's most memorable battle of 2012.
Before we get RJ and Greaves' take on their upcoming rematch at Charlotte, here's a look at the final two laps of last year's ferocious duel between the two:
TORC's top racers would go at it again and again throughout the 2011 season, coming together equally as viscous in Bark River (Mich.) when, on the last turn of the last lap, contact between Johnson and Greaves sent Greaves - who was leading a the time - into a concrete barrier, ending his afternoon and handing the win, along with a huge points change, to Johnson.
As expected all season the Johnson/Greaves battle of 2011 would come down to the series' final weekend of action at Cycle Ranch MX just outside San Antonio, Texas. There is was Johnson with two decisive victories, erasing Greaves' four-point lead heading into the weekend, and earning Johnson his first-ever TORC PRO 4 championship.
TORC Series: Guys, recap the 2011 season. Your thought heading into the year, what went down during the season and the end result in the PRO 4 championship chase.
Ricky Johnson: We had a lot of questions going into last year. 1.) There can be lot of mechanical failures in the PRO 4 class. Were we going to be able to handle that as a team? I really felt we were going to have a lot more DNFs than we did. But with the Menzies team, Bryce, my son Luke and the rest of the crew I had surrounded myself with the best of everything. So 2011 was just a matter of keeping everything together, which in the end we did.
TORC Series: Talk a bit about the other guy, your rivalry and how racing against each other impacts your driving.
Ricky Johnson: I've looked up to Johnny for years. So for me to be a worthy competitor of his this past year was huge. I race every lap like it's the last lap of my life. I want to win, but at the same time I don't want to crash anybody. We're two guys that are going for the same thing - and something's got to give. It's like an MMA fight. And I didn't want him to win and I'm sure he didn't want me to win.