Greaves Swaps Two Wheels for Off-Road Trucks

Johnny Greaves

TORC off-road racer Johnny Greaves got into race trucks after he entered his motorcycle in a pre-race competition at Crandon, Wis., “I went there with my motorcycle to take part in a race before the big truck race,” Greaves told RacingJunk at the NEW Motorama show in Green Bay, Wis. “I won the motorcycle race and hung out to watch the trucks, and pretty soon I was hooked.”

Greaves traded his motorcycle for a sort of lower class off-road racer that was essentially a Volkswagen-powered dune buggy. Today he’s a TORC series champion with big sponsorships from Toyota and Monster Energy drinks. “We race eight to nine weekends a year and there’s two races each of those weekends,” Greaves pointed out. “It starts in Texas and goes to places like Charlotte and Chicago, before we wind up in Crandon, Wis. on Labor Day weekend with 50,000 or 60,000 people watching.”

A self-proclaimed car guy who also had a ’69 Camaro and a custom chassis Bronco at the show, Greaves has a shop in nearby Suamico, Wis. where he does all the prep work on his trucks with his son C.J. and two full-time employees. “It’s a professional series,” he explained. “The races air on the Fox Sports Network.”

Johnny Greaves

Greaves has been racing off-road trucks for nearly 20 years. “We run on a course that’s nearly a mile with lots of jump and turn,” he said. “They use everything you can think of to make it rough. You race against 10-12 trucks at a time with a ‘land rush’ start. Everyone takes off together and fights for Turn 1.”

Greaves was the reigning champion for two years, but C.J. beat his dad in the 2015 finals by about two feet, so he came away with the championship. Not bad for a 20-year-old. “He’s probably going to carry the rope from here on in,” said Johnny.

About John Gunnell 104 Articles
John “Gunner” Gunnell has been writing about cars since ‘72. As a kid in Staten Island, N.Y., he played with a tin Marx “Service Garage” loaded with toy vehicles, his favorite being a Hubley hot rod. In 2010, he opened Gunner’s Great Garage, in Manawa, Wis., a shop that helps enthusiasts restore cars. To no one’s surprise, he decorated 3G’s with tin gas stations and car toys. Gunner started writing for two car club magazines. In 1978, publisher Chet Krause hired him at Old Cars Weekly, where he worked from 1978-2008. Hot rodding legend LeRoi “Tex” Smith was his boss for a while. Gunner had no formal journalism training, but working at a weekly quickly taught him the trade. Over three decades, he’s met famous collectors, penned thousands of articles and written over 85 books. He lives in Iola, Wis., with his nine old cars, three trucks and seven motorcycles.
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