Baumgartner flirts with first

By Keith Shelton

For The Daily News

BARK?RIVER – Iron River’s Nick Baumgartner led Sunday’s PRO Light class until just before the competition yellow flag flew. He fought off CJ Greaves at first, but the 17-year old from Team Monster eventually overtook him and held a commanding lead for the rest of the race.

It summed up a disappointing weekend for many of the local drivers at the 38th Annual Bark River Off Road Races, part of the TRAXXIS TORC series.

“Everything was going good, I felt comfortable in the truck and it was working,” said Baumgartner. “Then my spotter told me CJ was working inside and I could see the front of his truck. So I checked up a little bit and threw it to the outside to come back underneath him when he slid through. I missed him by an inch. If I had waited one second longer, I would have cut under him, but I hit his bumper and it straightened us both out, and then I went through those triple bumps, crossed up and I was all over the place.

“If you don’t have that wheel straight when you go off a jump, you never know which way the truck is going to go.”

Baumgartner settled for a fourth place finish, behind Shawn Morris and Keegan Kincaid. Baumgartner had a large following on Sunday.

“A lot of people came out and watched today, and every time I come out and interact with the fans, I get more fans,” he said. “That’s the reason we do this. If we don’t have fans here cheering us on, no one is going to give us the time of day or the money to come out and race, so we appreciate the fans, and Bark River is always a blast.”

Chad Hord of Felch, came in seventh in PRO 2WD after finishing second Friday night and fourth on Saturday, Another local driver, Brad Erickson of Bark River, placed second in 1600 Buggy after finishing third on Saturday. Scott Beauchamp of Gladstone also had some ongoing engine issues during the weekend and placed 10th Sunday in the PRO Light class.

Escanaba native Dan Beauchamp was once again looking like he was going to make the hometown crowd proud. He held an aggressive lead midway through his Super Stock Truck class Sunday afternoon. But for the second straight day, problems with his truck derailed his chances and prevented him from finishing.

Beauchamp held the lead for the second straight day but when the mandatory competition yellow flag came out, he pulled off to the side and took himself out of the race.

“When we got the caution flag, at the halfway point, my truck started misfiring,” Beauchamp said. “I was able to keep up with the pace truck, but that was about as fast as I could go.

“Once I got near the hot pits, I knew my crew guys were there and they could look it over. What it ended up being was the ignition. The coil malfunctioned and that was the end of my race.”

Nick Byng took first in the Super Stock class.

The weekend was a homecoming of sorts, nine years in the making for Mark Kleiman of Wilson, who finished eighth in the PRO Light class. After taking a nine-year hiatus from Off Road Racing.

Kleiman said Sunday’s race was clean, but the technical track at Bark River posed a whole new set of challenges.

“Wow is this track different, it’s changed a lot,” he said. “It’s picked up a lot of speed, the jumps are spaced out a little different and these trucks are a lot faster than what I used to drive, they’re a handful,” he said. “The guys on this track, the Lions Club do a fantastic job of keeping it in shape. It’s one of my favorite tracks. Unfortunately, I wanted to do a lot better, but today I started getting that thing to work.”

Bark River Off-Road Races


Classix – 1. Scott Mueller; 2. Dale Chestnut; 3. Bill Wilson.

Stock Truck – 1. Cory Marquardt; 2. Sam Jacques; 3. Troy Peterson.

1600 Light Buggy – 1. Jaime Kleikamp, Wilson; 2. Billy Buth; 3. Bryan Holter.

Formula 4×4 – 1. Bob Gremler; 2. Jerry Edgerton; 3. Gerrit Bancroft.

1600 Buggy – 1. Mark Steinhardt; 2. Bob Blaney; 3. Brad Erickson, Bark River.

Super Stock Truck – 1. Don Demeny, Abrams, Wis.; 2. Larry Maciosek; 3. Matt Siorek.

Pro Buggy – 1. Luke Johnson; 2. John Frana; 3. J.R. Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind.

Pro Light – 1. C.J. Greaves, Abrams, Wis.; 2. Keegan Kincaid, Crandon, Wis.; 3. Brad Lovell, Colorado Springs.

Pro 2-Wheel Drive – 1. Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Nev.; 2. C.J. Greaves, Abrams, Wis.; 3. Bryce Menzies, Mesa, Ariz.

Pro 4×4 – 1. Ricky Johnson; 2. Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Nev.; 3. Mark Jenkins, Fairview, Tex.


Classix – 1. Dale Chestnut; 2. Scott Mueller; 3. Mike Mischler

Stock Truck – 1. Matthew Ives; 2. Sam Jacques; 3. Brandon Rouse

1600 Light Buggy – 1. Todd Lemke; 2. Billy Buth; 3. Matt Mullen

Super Truck – 1. Bob Gremler Jr.; 2. Troy Retzlaff; 3. Tim Nelson

Formula 4×4 – 1. Bradley Lamarche; 2. Alex Hinze; 3. Dave Miah

1600 Buggy – 1. Mark Steinhardt; 2. Brad Erickson, Bark River; 3. Jeff Bechinski

Pro Light – 1. CJ Greaves, Abrams, Wis.; 2. Keegan Kincaid, Crandon, Wis.; 3. Shawn Morris, Loveland, Colo.

Super Stock Truck – 1. Nick Byng; 2. Don Demeny; 3. Gaitlin Keehner

Pro 2-Wheel Drive – 1. CJ Greaves, Abrams, Wis.; 2. Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Nev.; 3. Bryce Menzies, Mesa Ariz.

Pro Buggy – 1. Luke Johnson; 2. John Frana; 3. J.R. Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind.

Pro 4×4 – 1. Mark Jenkins, Fairview, Tex.; 2. Johnny Greaves, Abrams, Wis.; 3. Ricky Johnson