Kings of Crandon

Returning to Crandon International Raceway for the second time this season, The Off-Road Championship (TORC) Series kicked off the Labor Day race weekend with a celebratory 40th Anniversary Parade on Main Street in downtown Crandon.  As the race vehicles lined the street of this small town in Wisconsin, it was clear to see that King Shocks dominated many of the classes.

As the race action got underway, the hand controlled, King Shocks equipped truck of Evan Evans claimed a hard-fought third place finish and earned Evans and emotional spot on the podium.  As Evan Evans pulled up to the winner’s circle to claim his third place trophy, the crowd of 40,000 spectators cheered as he delivered a deeply touching and emotional tribute to his dad and off-road race legend, Walker Evans.  “It is incredible to be here at Crandon International Raceway for the 40th Anniversary and race the same track he did so many times.  I cannot tell you what an amazing honor it is to be on the podium knowing my dad was out there watching me race.  He has always been an inspiration to me and I am so proud to be here today,” commented Evans.

Saturday’s Pro 4×4 competition offered the spectators a preview of Sunday’s mayhem as King Shocks sponsored racer, Kyle LeDuc, received the dreaded black flag for nudging Steve Barlow and causing his truck to flip.  Kyle was running in the second position and making a hard charge for the lead when he received the dreaded black flag.  Forced to go to the back of the pack, Kyle LeDuc lost out on what was looking to be the second victory of the day for the LeDuc team.  Earning his first podium during the inaugural season of TORC Series racing, Mike Jenkins in the No. 47 Traxxas Pro 4x4 took home the third place finish for his team and King Shocks.

As the gates opened Sunday at the venue dubbed the “Big House,” it was an incredible turnout of spectators as they anxiously awaited Robby Gordon’s return to Crandon International Raceway for the first time in twenty years.  When the green flag dropped for Round 12 of Pro 2WD competition, King Shocks sponsored racers, Scott Taylor and Robby Gordon, went fender to fender – but it was Taylor who would eventually gain a nearly half lap lead over second place Gordon.  Following closely behind and battling it out for a podium position was Todd LeDuc and Evan Evans.  Directly following the mandatory caution restart, Gordon’s truck began to suffer the effects of a hurt engine and started losing track positions.  As the final few laps came to a close, it was clear to see that Scott Taylor was going to take home the checkered flag, the “Oakley Bomb” award for the fastest time, and also set a new Pro 2WD track record with a lap time of 1 minute, 23 seconds and 84/100ths.

Round 12 of the Pro 4x4 competition found Kyle LeDuc claiming the coveted $100,000 sterling silver BorgWarner Cup and a $40,000 prize purse in his No. 99 King Shocks-sponsored Ford Pro 4x4.  Following in the footsteps of his father, Curt LeDuc, it was an emotional celebration as Kyle took to the winner’s circle to claim his trophy and prize purse.  Curt LeDuc also claimed a podium position in the Pro 4x4 class by driving his No. 43 Ford truck with King Shocks to a third place finish.  Kyle LeDuc’s win was the first time in history that a father and son had both claimed the BorgWarner Cup title and had also been on the podium for the same race.  Curt had earned his rightful place in the records book in 1996 when he took home his first and only BorgWarner Cup and it was easy to see how proud he was of his son’s success during the 40th Anniversary celebration at Crandon International Raceway.

It was another successful weekend for King Shocks!  Look for our continued racer support at the future short course and desert races!  King Shocks will be on hand at the upcoming TORC Series race in Perris, CA on September 26 – 27, 2009.

Writer: Kelli Willmore Photos: Art Eugenio

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