Off Road

Cory Winner finally a Pro 2 winner

2 Mins read
Credit: Impact Race Products

Since moving up to the Pro 2 class in 2019, Cory Winner frequently came up just short as he racked up class podiums across multiple series including Lucas Oil and Championship Off-Road, but was never able to be on the top step. He finally got that monkey off his back when he dominated the COR Saturday race at Crandon International Raceway, leading all but the first two laps to score his maiden Pro 2 victory.

The opening scramble saw local Keegan Kincaid with the early advantage as he led the first lap with Winner in tow. Winner chased him down for two circuits before clearing him on the outside line as lap three commenced. Mechanical trouble forced Kincaid to pit and ended his chances of vying with Winner, leaving Jerett Brooks as the main pursuer. However, Brooks faced his own battle for second with Ryan Beat, which allowed Winner to build a cushion between them. By the end, Winner had a six-second margin over Beat.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been up here,” remarked Winner on the podium. “It’s crazy. I’m just speechless right now. We’ve been chasing guys like Jerett and Ryan for like the last two, three years in Pro Lite and Pro 2. I just had to get turn one clean, that’s all that was going through my mind, and once I got behind Keegan, I knew I couldn’t let him go because this is his hometown track and he’ll run away. Luckily, I was just trying to follow what he was doing, and I found a couple of things that worked for me and made my move, got around. Great spotting by Jesse (Heise) kept me calm, kept me consistent, telling me which lines to do like I’ve been doing and just not make any mistakes.

“I’m just so stoked to get this first win here at the Big House.”

The win is also the first in COR for Winner’s engine provider Roush Performance, a name longtime associated with NASCAR and newcomer to the series who also builds motors for Brooks and Kincaid. Brooks won Roush’s maiden event in the exhibition Duel of Champions ahead of the season-opening weekend at Antigo Lions Roaring Raceway. Roush first dipped its feet into short course by sponsoring an iRacing off-road series.

Winner was not the only driver enjoying a milestone victory on Saturday. In the Pro 4 class, R.J. Anderson took the holeshot and led every lap to win at Crandon for the first time, though it did not come without a stiff challenge from Kyle LeDuc in the closing stages until the latter spun with two laps remaining. Anderson, who was making his 2022 COR season début, had won a litany of races at Crandon including the track’s legendary World Championships and World Cup but had to wait until Saturday to cross off a Pro 4 win.

The race weekend, which is part of the Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run, continues on Sunday. Besides seeking a weekend sweep of the Pro 2 events, Winner will take part in the Pro 2 vs. Pro 4 race, which was won by Brooks in 2021 while he finished eighth.

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Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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