Scott Douglas Wins "Showdown in The Desert"
Jean, Nevada - It may not be the longest race on the 2004 Best In The Desert (BITD) schedule, but it certainly was one of the roughest. For Scott Douglas and the Rancho Ford Explorer it seems the rougher the race course, the better. Douglas and co-pilot Jeremy Runyen crossed the finish line more than 30-minutes ahead of their nearest competitor to win Class 3100. The win puts Scott Douglas just one race away from his tenth career championship.
The 2004 Las Vegas 200 race course consisted of a 75-mile loop that snaked from the Jean Dry Lake bed up into the rugged McCullough Mountain Range just south of Las Vegas. At the finish, after three circuits and 225 miles on the brutal race course, the Rancho Ford Explorer was running flawlessly.
"We didn't get out of the truck all day" exclaimed Douglas after the race. "Casey Folks and the Best In The Desert crew put together an awesome race course...one that was really tough on equipment. A lot of the reason for our success is the fact that Ford builds such a bullet-proof Sport Utility Vehicle to begin with. This is extreme punishment for any vehicle out here and to win in a stock production class like 3100 without one mechanical problem is quite an accomplishment."
The Rancho Explorer runs huge 35-inch BFGoodrich Project TA tires. Between the sharp mountain rocks on the upper part of the race course and broken shale littering the lower elevations, there was plenty of opportunity to cut a tire. But the combination of the big BFGoodrich Project TAs and Douglas' experienced hand at the wheel allowed the Explorer to roll to victory on the same tires it took the green flag with.
Class rules strictly limit the modifications that can be made to suspension, chassis, and drivetrain components. The front and rear differentials, for example, are production parts. The Explorer runs a Dana 30 in the front and 8.8-inch Ford housing in the rear. "When you consider the loads we are putting through the driveline with those big 35-inch BFGoodrich tires and constant pounding of off-road racing, it's amazing we don't break more parts" said Douglas. "The differential setup is obviously critical...that's why we rely on Reider Racing and Precision Gear to make sure everything is perfect. They do such a great job; we simply don't worry about driveline failures."
Douglas also had high praise for the MasterCraft race seats in the Explorer. "Class 3100 is allowed a maximum of nine inches of wheel travel and when you're strapped in from flag to flag on a rough race course like we had today you really appreciate a quality race seat. Our MasterCraft seats allow us to go the distance."
Under the direction of Crew Chief Ted Kendall, the Rancho Ford Explorer has won all but one race in the 2004 Best In The Desert series. Douglas is quick to credit his crew with their incredible success this year. "Douglas Motorsports is a team effort from start to finish. The pre-race prep and attention to detail that Ted and the crew give the number 3107 Explorer make all the difference in the desert."
The Las Vegas 200 win was career victory number 56 for Scott Douglas.
The final race of the 2004 Best In The Desert series is Henderson's Terrible 300 Desert Race on December 4, 2004. A solid showing at the Henderson's Terrible 300 will lockup a tenth career championship for Scott Douglas. For the latest information on Douglas Motorsports and links to sponsor websites, log on to: www.douglasmotorsports.com.