Bryan Clauson. (Bob Buffenbarger Photo)

From Dick Jordan

Two-time USAC National Driver’s Champion and Mopar National Midget Champion Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Ind. took advantage of a unique opportunity last week as he traveled to Cycle Ranch MX near San Antonio, Texas to practice an off-road truck for the first time. On the invitation of Traxxas owner & CEO Mike Jenkins, Clauson was able to experience another side of USAC, as the organization also owns The Off-Road Championship (TORC).

Clauson, who is awaiting the start of a racing season that will hopefully include his first Indianapolis 500, jumped aboard the Traxxas-sponsored championship TORC Pro-Light truck from 2011, regularly piloted by Andrew Caddell. While the change in disciplines was a challenge to the 22-year old driver, Clauson quickly adjusted and turned some impressive laps.

“I had an absolute blast. I’m really appreciative of everyone who put the deal together and let me get used to running the truck. I felt like I got going pretty well…just still takes getting used to the more technical areas. Maybe I’ll get the chance to do it again sometime, hopefully in a race,” Clauson said of his first foray into off-road trucks.

Traxxas, the fastest name in radio control, not only fields trucks and sponsors the TORC Series, but also is the title sponsor of the USAC Silver Crown Series, in which Clauson has one career win at Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, Ohio) in 2010.

“Bryan picked up the feel of the track and the truck quickly, just like I expected a USAC champion to do. He had three stints on course and really improved a lot each time. It was a pleasure working with him,” said Ken Kincaid, team manager for the Jenkins Brothers Racing team.

Clauson starts his Midget title defense March 30-31 at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, North Carolina. The TORC Series kicks off their season on April 20-21 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.