"Rocket Man" Lives Up To His Nickname On Saturday June 24th and Sunday June 25th at Crandon International Off Road Raceway, the world's MECCA for Off Road Racing, Championship Off Road Racing (CORR) held rounds 3 and 4 of the Sportsman 2, ...
"Rocket Man" Lives Up To His Nickname
On Saturday June 24th and Sunday June 25th at Crandon International Off Road Raceway, the world's MECCA for Off Road Racing, Championship Off Road Racing (CORR) held rounds 3 and 4 of the Sportsman 2, 2006 championship racing series.
On Saturday, leading in points, "Rocket Man" Dan Baudoux from Hemlock, Michigan driving his Sportsman 2 Ford F150 pickup was positioned at the back of the starting grid as is the custom defined by points position in CORR. When the green flag dropped, often pulling the hole shot, the best #217 could muster was a second place position going into turn one of the infamous and fast Crandon course. With speeds approaching 110+ MPH on the closed dirt oval course and with consistent lap times faster than any two wheel drive truck, Dan meticulously worked on and waited for his chance to take the lead. However about half way through the race, Rocket Man began to experience brake problems and found himself having to downshift to control speed going into turns as opposed to being able to rely on his usually strong 4 wheel disc brakes! Being known for his ability to "Rocket" into turns and brake quickly, this posed a definite problem in an important and heated race. At one point, not having braking control going into a tight turn too "Hot" Dan looped his truck careening him into third place. Not missing a beat though, he regained control and forged ahead catching the now second place truck. When the time was right, and getting used to his lack of brake control, Dan passed the second place truck like he was rocketing into orbit! Then reeling in the first place truck Dan waited for the right moment. With time running out, on the very last lap, and on the final turn, Dan faked a wide sweep past the first place truck. When the lead driver moved outside to block the pass, Dan hit the gas and like a "Rocket" took the pass underneath with thousands of screaming fans on their feet cheering, to take the checkered flag in one of the most exciting finishes at Crandon in recent times!
When interviewed after the race, Dan was quoted as saying, "This is what racing is all about. In the truck your heart is pounding, adrenalin rushing, and I just cannot describe how alive it makes you feel to win a race like this. I hope the fans had as much fun as I did! I could not have made that last pass without my BFG Tires hooking up, and special thanks to all my other sponsors, Amsoil, Teamtech, Mistequay and especially CST Performance Suspensions who have the suspension on this truck working perfectly!"
With three consecutive wins in three races, Dan was on a special "Mission" Sunday in Round 4, and determined to make a statement. From the start, Dan pulled his traditional hole shot and found himself going into the famous and dangerous turn one well in front of the pack. Consistently pulling away from the other drivers Dan was in full control of the race this time, until tragedy struck. Coming off a jump and into a turn the inside rim of Dan's tire rim completely separated, causing him to lose control of his truck and forcing him to pull into the hot pits for repair. With time passing, Dan's pit crew was able to wedge the rim off and replace it with a new rim and tire. However at that point, Dan found himself down two full laps from the leader!
Speeding back onto the track, Dan began to make up time meticulously and consistently. However running out of race time and laps, the best Dan could do was make up one full lap and finish the race in 5th place, still a miraculous finish considering what had happened.
Dan was still jubilant after the race. "Did you see what the race team accomplished for me out there" Without them I would have had a DNF and probably would have lost my first place lead. Man those guys cranked it up a couple notches to get me back out there only two laps down. I owe that finish to them!"
Still leading in points going into rounds 4 and 5 July 8th and 9th in Bark River, Michigan, Rocket Man is determined to prove he is truly the fastest Sportsman 2 Driver on the planet! So far, no one has proven that wrong!