Saturday, March 2, 2024

2023 Championship Off-Road season ends with rain

Championship Off-Road‘s first excursion outside the Midwestern United States was a short-lived affair as the inaugural weekend at MidAmerica Outdoors was cut short by rain on Sunday, but there was enough action on Saturday to finally crown the 2023 Pro class champions.

Headlining the seven top categories was Pro 4, where C.J. Greaves clinched his third consecutive class championship and eighth total. While Greaves was already cruising to the title with his six wins, Jimmy Henderson hoped to spoil the party before stalling late. Kyle Chaney, looking for his first win of the year, ended up spinning and losing the lead to Greaves. His cousin Kyle Greaves was the only other 2022 champion to successfully defend their title as he won in Pro Lite.

Greaves also claimed the Pro Stock SxS title with wins in all but four rounds. He could have gone three-for-three in Pro Turbo SxS if not for Chaney rebounding from his second-place campaign to beat Greaves by just nine points.

The Pro Turbo SxS gap tied with Pro SPEC for the narrowest of the Pro classes. Pro SPEC, now in its second year of operation with a much larger grid, saw a duel between class newcomer Chad Rayford and 2022 runner-up Nick Visser that ended with the former barely escaping with the title despite Visser winning in MAO.

Ronnie Anderson scored his maiden Pro 2 race victory, while Cory Winner clinched his first title after runner-up Mickey Thomas‘ tyre punctured.

Mark Steinhardt beat Billy Buth for the Pro Buggy title with six victories. Buth entered MAO as the points leader but crashed out on lap three while Steinhardt took the win.

Gray Leadbetter‘s Pro SPEC title defence ended with a third-place points finish. She joined the Greaves as the only 2022 Pro category champions to return to their class for 2023; Jerrett Brooks (Pro 2) retired from full-time competition after 2022, while Hamish Kelsey (Pro Turbo SxS) and Brock Heger (Pro Stock SxS) respectively returned to New Zealand and is focusing on SCORE International.

The Sportsman classes ended their season at Crandon in early September.

Saturday race winners

Class Winner
Pro 4 C.J. Greaves
Pro 2 Ronnie Anderson
Pro Turbo SxS Jeb Bootle
Pro Lite Brody Eggleston
Pro SPEC Nick Visser
Pro Stock SxS Owen VanEperen
Pro Buggy Mark Steinhardt

Pro class champions

Class Driver Points Runner-Up Points Margin
Pro 4 C.J. Greaves 591 Jimmy Henderson 555 36
Pro 2 Cory Winner 573 Mickey Thomas 552 21
Pro Turbo SxS Kyle Chaney 551 C.J. Greaves 542 9
Pro Lite Kyle Greaves 591 Trey Gibbs 563 28
Pro SPEC Chad Rayford 597 Nick Visser 588 9
Pro Stock SxS C.J. Greaves 515 Tyson Marquardt 474 41
Pro Buggy Mark Steinhardt 549 Billy Buth 525 24