Kumho driver Scott Douglas on top of the off-road world after dominating Crandon weekend
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA. Kumho driver Scott Douglas had a career weekend at Crandon on September 2 and 3. The off-road veteran scored a pair of Pro4 class wins, finished 2nd and 3rd in two Pro2 races, and captured the BorgWarner Shootout for the second time in his career. After recovering from the weekend celebrations, Scott talked with Kumho public relations manager Dan Davis about Crandon and the points chase in Pro4 and Pro2.
You've enjoyed a lot of success in your off-road racing career, but I imagine last weekend had to rank as one of your most successful weekends. That was the best career weekend I've ever had. I started racing as a hobby in 1980 and started racing professionally in 1990. Fortunately, I had a great crew and a little bit of veteran's luck.
This was your second Borg Warner Shootout win. Can you describe what it means to win this event?
It's unbelievable. It's like the Indy 500 of off-road short course racing. The level of competition is just wild. There are no points to be had. Everybody is running for the money and it's pretty much race 'em or wreck 'em. We got a new tire with a deeper groove, which we asked for after the Bark River event, and I think we caught the other manufacturers by surprise. The press that goes with this win is huge. Ford will tour that trophy all over the country and will probably have my truck on display at SEMA, the Detroit Auto show, etc.
Is this your first season running two classes full time in CORR? What's the most difficult thing about running a full time effort in both of the top two pro classes in CORR?
Yes, it's the first time I've taken on this challenge. It's been challenging because the two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive trucks are so different, but the advantage is that I get twice the seat time. That's a huge advantage to be able to see the track twice as much to see where the holes develop, and that gives me an edge on the competition. What we're doing is similar to what the Nextel cup guys are doing with their Busch teams. It's a real challenge for the crew, and I tip my hat to them. If you happen to have a bad weekend in terms of damage to the trucks, they have to work that much harder.
In Pro4, you had kind of a slow start to the season but have been coming on strong in the last eight rounds, with three wins and two thirds. You've moved up to third in class with four races left. What will it take for you to get past Carl and Johnny?
I think it's more of the same. We somewhat anticipated our slow start this season because we had a new truck that's lightweight and has a lot of technology. I have a crew chief for each truck and a team engineer who oversees the tuning and development of both trucks. That's been a huge advantage for us because it's another set of eyes that's able to offer advice. Pro4 is so competitive, it pretty much boils down to getting consistent podiums and trying to win as much as you can. Our truck gets great hole shots, and the truck works well at Chula Vista. After Crandon, the other teams will be working hard to figure out how they can catch us, but I attribute a lot of the success to the tire compound and the new groove. Since I'm on the only Pro4 on Kumhos, I feel like that gives us an advantage.
What about Pro2, where you're currently fifth in points? Do you think you have a shot at the title there?
The top five are all real tight, so we have a good shot there as well. There are a lot of entrants in Pro2, so with a little bit of luck and some good finishes, we have a chance to make up more ground. Some of the guys in front of us haven't been caught up in some of the wrecks so far, so they're going to have to be a little cautious. We're not going to throw caution to the wind, but we're going to go for it.
This is your first season racing with Kumho. After so many years in off- road racing and so much success, why did you change to a relative newcomer in off-road racing?
I like to succeed and I like a challenge. Kumho is small and hungry and can work a little faster than some of the other companies we've worked with. I'm excited about being on the ground floor with them. Getting them their first Pro4 win at Bark River and stopping the winning streak of another tire manufacturer was great. Then to back that up at Crandon with two class wins and the Borg Warner win was awesome. It's just a fantastic team effort. When you go over to the Kumho trailer everybody is eager to help and eager to win. I think we stirred up a hornet's nest with our wins. Now I'm having to shoo other tire companies away from the truck because they want to check out the tires. What makes our success so great is that it was a joint effort between Douglas Motorsports, Amsoil and Kumho. It makes it that much sweeter when you're doing it with a new truck, a new team and a new tire manufacturer.
What can we expect from you for the last two events at Chula Vista and for next season?
We feel that we've got a lot of the bugs worked out of the new Pro4 truck and we're really excited about it. If we have it our way, you're going to see more of what you saw at Crandon. We're focused on podiums, but we're also going to shoot for some wins because we have a chance to win the championship. We'll be going through the truck that much closer. I don't see any reason why we can't have more success like we've had.
I'm really proud to be part of the Kumho team. Those guys have welcomed me with open arms and have done everything we've asked. It's been a real treat, that's for sure. If we keep having success, I do believe we're going to see the off-road community start swinging the Kumho way, little by little.
-credit: kumho tires/sdm