SCOTT DOUGLAS BACK ON PODIUM IN TRAXXAS TORC SERIES OPENING WEEKEND Fort Worth, Texas--Scott Douglas hasn't forgotten the way his 2008 short course season ended--but that sure didn't make him take his foot off the gas. A strong proponent of the...
SCOTT DOUGLAS BACK ON PODIUM IN TRAXXAS TORC SERIES OPENING WEEKEND
Fort Worth, Texas--Scott Douglas hasn't forgotten the way his 2008 short course season ended--but that sure didn't make him take his foot off the gas. A strong proponent of the new Professional Drivers Group (PDG) and Traxxas TORC Series, Douglas Motorsports went all in with the new short course series and attacked with a championship-winning attitude. That aggressive approach landed Douglas back on the winner's podium with a second place finish in round two of racing at Texas Motor Speedway.
The second place finish was Douglas's ninth podium in his last twelve starts--precisely the kind of consistency that wins championships. "I have complete confidence that (crew chief) Bill Smith and the entire Douglas Motorsports team are putting the best truck on the starting grid possible" commented Douglas. "That confidence allows me to drive a smart race at the limit all the way to the checkered flag, regardless of track conditions."
And track conditions at the Texas Motor Speedway's dirt track oval were very different than anything most teams have encountered. The Texas clay was not only heavy and thick, but also extremely sticky and changed rapidly as temperatures cooled down for the night race under the lights. One thing you won't often hear from a crew chief is that a racetrack has too much grip, particularly a short course off-road circuit, but that's how Bill Smith described the racing surface after round one. Combined with a new tire compound from Kumho, the number 7 AMSOIL Kumho F-150 drove like it was glued to the dirt in round one.
"This new Kumho tire is going to be great for a lot of the tracks we race on, but out here, it simply stuck too well. I couldn't rotate the truck in the corners the way you need to on a course like we have here in Texas. Despite the handling challenges, Douglas finished fifth in round one, delivering valuable points toward the 2009 TORC championship chase. Smith and the DMS crew made critical adjustments to the truck for Saturday night's round two of racing - and then the rains came.
Saturday morning, the racecourse was literally under water, but when the rain eased early in the afternoon the track crew went to work draining and peeling back the thick Texas clay. By the time the lights came on and the stands began to fill, TORC had a track that was race ready. Scott Douglas doesn't mind the mud because, while tricky, it puts an emphasis on driver control.
Douglas started the Saturday night race on the outside of row one, a position that pushed him high into turn one to avoid contact with trucks forcing the low fast line. Scott wisely dropped back to fifth before making a charge. When the trucks came around turn four on the oval, the AMSOIL Kumho F-150 avoided being caught up in a big crash by dropping down low across the start/finish line as the number 22 truck of Johnny Greaves endoed on the front straight in front of the grandstands. After the mandatory red flag to clean up of the track, Douglas diced through the pack giving the fans great action and lead changes through the second half of the race. Staying out of trouble, Scott Douglas brought the AMSOIL Kumho Ford F-150 across the finish line in second earning a trip back to the winner's circle podium.
The second place finish puts Scott Douglas third in the 2009 TORC Pro 4x4 points chase, just two points out of second and 16 from first. The Texas Motor Speedway TORC Series opener will air on ESPN2 Sunday May 24th at 11:00 am. Rounds three and four of race action from Perris Auto Speedway May 29th and 30th are scheduled to air Sunday June 7th on ABC at 5:00 pm.