STEVE BARLOW AND RICKY JOHNSON FASTEST AT CALIFORNIA TORC RACE WINNING TWO OAKLEY BOMB RUN AWARDS
Perris, California-Barlow Motorsports and the Red Bull Off-Road team set the pace in round 13 of the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL race with both Steve Barlow and Ricky Johnson winning the Oakley Bomb Run award for the fastest lap during the race.
In Friday night's PRO 4x4 race, Steve Barlow started seventh on the grid on the inside of row four. By the mandatory yellow on lap 10, Barlow was in fifth place working through traffic. The field was very fast with little opportunity to pass, but late in the race Steve was one of the few drivers to click off laps in the 42-second range. In the closing laps, Barlow turned three 42-second laps; the quickest was a 42.576 on lap 19 earning the coveted Oakley Bomb Run Award. Steve Barlow finished round 13 in fourth place, just off the podium.
In the next and last race of the night, teammate Ricky Johnson in the number 48 Red Bull Kumho Ford F-150 matched Steve Barlow's performance by turning the fastest PRO 2WD lap of the night. Johnson, leading points, started on the outside of row three due to the top six-truck points inversion. The dogfight was on from the drop of the green flag and Johnson had to earn every position he gained. At the mid-race mandatory yellow flag, Ricky Johnson was running third in pursuit of Rob MacCachren and Jeremy McGrath. MacCachren edged past McGrath, then Johnson went to work on McGrath for second. Ricky saw an opening and passed McGrath while drawing a bead on MacCachren. Johnson finished round 13 in second, earning his ninth podium finish of the season. In those closing laps, Johnson turned the quickest PRO 2WD time of the night to earn a second Oakley Bomb Run award for the Barlow Motorsports Red Bull Off-Road team. It was Johnson's fifth Oakley Bomb Run award of the 2009 TORC Series season.
Ricky Johnson worked with the Perris Motor Speedway crew to add new elements to the track. The result was a technically challenging circuit with more jumps, a tricky rhythm section, high and low speed corners, and big tabletop designed to provide plenty of action for the fans and more opportunities for drivers to pass.
Triple digit temperatures during the day and a racetrack that cooled quickly after sundown made tire compound and groove selection difficult. Both Steve Barlow and Ricky Johnson struggled with forward bite in Saturday nights round 14 race, unable to put all their RoushYates power to the ground. Steve Barlow finished fifth in PRO 4x4 and Ricky Johnson finished forth in PRO 2WD.
Headed for the final races of the 2009 Traxxas TORC Series season scheduled for October 23rd and 24th at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Ricky Johnson is just four points out of first place. This one is going right down to the wire-you won't want to miss it. The Perris race will air Sunday October 4th at 11:30 am on ESPN2.