Short course off road racing has its roots in the Midwest, but for the first time ever this weekend a race was held in the South, and it was dominated by a native of the West Coast. Charlotte Motor Speedway is in the heart of NASCAR country, where motorsports fans are accustomed to cars reaching speeds of 200 mph on pavement. Last weekend though, all of the action was on “The Dirt Track” as TRAXXAS brought The Off-Road Championship (TORC) to North Carolina. By the end of the weekend, Rob MacCachren and his RAM Pro 2WD truck had earned plenty of new fans in the South.
MacCachren qualified first for Friday’s race on the specially constructed and all-new track that featured several table top jumps, including one at the finish line. With several tight and technical turns, MacCachren was able to unleash the mighty MOPAR engine in his RAM truck and hook up the BFGoodrich tires in the turns. The Dirt Track at Charlotte is a world class facility that is better known and used for World of Outlaws Late Model and Sprint Car series racing and also Big-Block Modified competitions that are so popular in the region. The Dirt Track is situated between the zMAX Drag Strip and the Super Speedway used for stock car racing.
When the green flag dropped under the lights of Friday night’s race, MacCachren was trailing his former protégé Bryce Menzies by several truck lengths. With 22 laps before the checkered flag came out, the seasoned veteran had time to be patient. The second half of the race, MacCachren began to put pressure on Menzies, like a boa constrictor slowly submitting its prey. MacCachren was neck-and-neck with Menzies when engine failure gave the lead to Rob Mac for good with two laps remaining. In addition to the victory, MacCachren also set the fast lap for the race to win the Oakley Bomb Award.
Friday’s victory meant that MacCachren’s No. 21 RAM had to start in sixth place for Saturday’s sweltering race. “I am not accustomed to this humidity,” MacCachren confessed, “but my Impact by MasterCraft race suit kept me cool and comfortable so all I had to worry about was driving.” MacCachren quickly moved up to third place and found himself in an intense battle for second place with Chad Hord. With the crowd on their feet, Hord gave in to the pressure and Rob got by him. Meanwhile, Menzies maintained the lead with a fresh engine, and MacCachren ran out of time before he could reel Menzies in. After four TORC races, this was the first Pro 2WD race that MacCachren had not won yet this season, and he still finished second!
The next stop for Rob MacCachren is the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) race back on the West Coast at Glen Helen Raceway on August 6th and 7th. In TORC, MacCachren’s stranglehold on the Pro 2WD title is still secure as the series heads to Bark River on August 13th and 14th, where Rob continues his quest to win his fourth consecutive short course season championship. Rob Mac fans across the country can follow his race schedule and updates on his Facebook page at:
Rob MacCachren’s TORC race effort is sponsored by:
RAM Truck • MOPAR • TRAXXAS
BFGoodrich Tires • Impact by MasterCraft Safety
About Rob MacCachren:
Rob MacCachren possesses a rare combination of talent that ranks him among the elite of off-road racing, regardless of the venue. His 25 year racing career includes an unmatched 185 race victories and 20 series championships in both short course and open desert racing. Amongst those victories are 5 SCORE Baja 500 wins and 5 SCORE Baja 1000 victories in the desert, the crown jewel of which was MacCachren’s domination at the 1296 mile run down the Mexican peninsula at the 2007 SCORE Baja 1000. Good things come in threes for MacCachren in short course racing, as the talented driver has won three consecutive series championships, three consecutive Borg Warner Cup races, three Governor’s Cups, and been named to the Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association AUTO RACING All-America First Team three times in his career.
Photography by Amanda Jo Fonferek