Round 10 Performance Sets Up Hoek for Strong Run in Crandon!
Holland, MI - As TORC PRO competitors begin the second half of the season, Ross Hoek is showing signs of the success his team had during the same time frame in 2008. Unfortunately missing Perris and having to start in the back half of the field all season has made it all but impossible to gain enough points to reach the inversion and make a serious challenge for a podium finish. Nonetheless, Ross Hoek and his #21 Venom Energy, Royal Purple, Kumho Tire, Ford F-150 have made large moves through the competition to begin competing with the front of the field.
The Bark River Lions Club and the TORC officials continued to make improvements to the 1.5-mile natural-terrain racetrack. Several of the corners had banking added and a tabletop jump was built directly in front of the spectator hill. The additions offered more passing opportunities and created more exciting racing all weekend long for the multitude of spectators.
Ross and the #21 PRO-2WD Venom Energy Ford F-150 lined up both days in the back half of the fifteen-truck field. Early morning rains forced TORC officials to cancel practice and qualifying Saturday. Now based on points Ross was relegated to a seventh row start at the back of the field. When racing action commenced Ross was caught battling some of the slower Limited 2 trucks and rookie PRO-2WD racers for most of the race. The racing lines of those initially in front of the Venom Energy Ford were erratic and inconsistent. These conditions made it difficult to pass without creating serious contact. Just two laps into Round 9, a racer spun in front of Ross and with nowhere to go there was heavy contact. The RHM PRO-2WD was mechanically undamaged, but cosmetically, a wreck. The aftermath had the race truck's hood flopping and blocking Ross' view of the racetrack. Undaunted, Ross pushed himself to the limit looking to gain enough ground to for a Top-10 finish. In the end, Ross Hoek finished a disappointing twelfth place.
After the race, the crew commenced normal race prep and cosmetic repairs for Sunday. After a good qualifying round on Sunday morning for Round 10 action, Ross was able to be more aggressive on the track. A fourth row start and a little luck during the race earned Ross a well-deserved sixth place finish. The racing action was intense from flag to flag, and Ross finally found some racing luck at the restart giving him some fresh air. Eight laps into the eleven lap event, Ross passed McGrath for fifth place, but made a mistake, a half lap later, relegating the #21 Ford to a sixth place finish. The good start and increased energy, thanks to Venom Performance, gave Ross the ability to compete in the front pack of racers all day.
"This has become a true contact sport," commented Ross Hoek. "When you start in the back of the pack, all the banging and pushing you need to do to break free, gives the guys in the front of the field a definite advantage. The mandatory caution can make up some of the difference, but if you are not starting within the inversion, it is basically impossible to finish on the podium. I must say thanks to ProPower Engines, ATD, and Kumho Tire for giving us the tools to be competitive in this field every time out. The next race in Crandon is where I had great success last year, hopefully it will happen again this year."
You can see all the exciting Bark River Round 10 PRO action this coming Sunday, August 16, at 11:30am eastern on ESPN 2. The RHM team will be featured on the show as one of the 'Privateers' of the sport so we expect some additional TV exposure throughout the 90-minute broadcast.
The next race for Ross Hoek Motorsports is September 5-6 at the 40th Anniversary Off-Road Racing Celebration in Crandon, Wisconsin.