Bryce Menzies dethroned defending event winner Ricky Johnson to capture the 2015 edition of Red Bull Frozen Rush on Friday afternoon at Maine’s Sunday River Ski Resort.
The unique event, part of the Red Bull Signature Series, took some of the top off-road racers in the country and their 900-horsepower trucks from the dirt to the ice and snow. The drivers were pitted against each other in a single-elimination, bracket-style format.
In the end, it came down to Menzies and Johnson, who are normally teammates in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series. Menzies made contact with Johnson coming off the start of the race, but just moments later, the turning point of the race occurred as Johnson stepped out in mid-air at the over/under jump and landed sideways.
That resulted in a big amount of lost time for Johnson, and all Menzies had to do was manage the gap in the remainder of the six-lap final.
“Off the start, Ricky got me, and I got a little traction and almost drove over the back of him,” Menzies told NBCSN’s Kelli Stavast after the race. “That was a little scary for a second…My spotter just kept telling me, ‘Dig, dig, dig’, and with [Johnson] coming behind you, you can never let up.
“He made one mistake, and every time I’d come down the hill, I’d see him turning and be like, ‘It’s gonna be close, it’s gonna be close.’ [But] we pulled it off and it feels great.”
“I probably should have checked [up] to get the jump straight,” Johnson said. “With the ice, you can’t see the conditions. My wheels landed a little bit off the groove and sent me sideways – blah blah blah…I made a mistake, Bryce did not.
“Congratulations to him. It’s great to see a kid [win] that I’ve worked with and mentored. If I had to give it to somebody – I didn’t give it to him – he deserved it and he took it from me.”
In the third-place race, Rob Maccachren and Scott Douglas had a mighty duel on the slopes that went all the way to the finish.
In the downhill section on the final lap, the two nearly collided when Douglas went over a raised berm and into Maccachren’s lane. But as they barreled into the last corner, Maccachren got the inside line and powered out of the drift quicker to take the win.
Full highlights of Red Bull Frozen Rush 2015 will air as part of NBC-TV’s Red Bull Signature Series show on March 1 at 2 p.m. ET.