Back to Bark River: TORC returns to Michigan’s U.P. (SPOILER)

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Writer’s Note: The following is a recap of this weekend’s TORC: The Off-Road Championship races from Bark River, Michigan. NBCSN will air the races on Sun., Aug. 3, at 1:30 p.m. ET. If you don’t want to know who won until then, we suggest you find another post to read here on MotorSportsTalk…

The TORC series’ “Throwdown in the U.P., Part 2” at Bark River, Michigan proved to be a family affair, as Johnny Greaves and C.J. Greaves swept both races this weekend in PRO 4 and PRO 2 classes respectively.

Also bagging a pair of wins in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was Keegan Kincaid in the PRO Light class.

Sunday’s PRO 4 race was a particularly tight one for Johnny Greaves, who took advantage of several competitors’ misfortunes. Early leader Mark Jenkins suffered a blown shock, leaving Adrian Cenni and Scott Douglas to fight over the point.

Both men took their turns at the front only to each have a tire go down. Those events allowed Johnny Greaves to take over the lead and he went on to earn his second PRO 4 win of the weekend ahead of Cenni and Mark Kvamme.

In PRO 2, C.J. topped the podium on both days, beating out Chad Hord and Jeff Kincaid; Hord and Kincaid finished second and third on Saturday, and then switched those positions at the end of Sunday’s race.

Next up for TORC is a trip to Sturgis, South Dakota, where they’ll compete Aug. 5-6 as part of the town’s legendary Bike Week festivities.

The mid-week “Battle at the Chip” will also feature a new addition to the TORC paddock, as famous West Coast Choppers motorcycle builder Jesse James is giving racing on four wheels a shot as a competitor in PRO 2.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.