Holland, MI (August 16, 2007) - Ross Hoek Motorsports was looking forward to its second visit of the year to Bark River International Raceway. The familiarity of competing at the Upper Peninsula facility would be a great advantage to the...
Holland, MI (August 16, 2007) - Ross Hoek Motorsports was looking forward to its second visit of the year to Bark River International Raceway. The familiarity of competing at the Upper Peninsula facility would be a great advantage to the development of the team's new PRO-2WD truck. The World Series of Off-Road racing also added an additional round of racing to the schedule to makeup the cancellation of a race date back in June.
After Friday morning practice, the RHM team made a few chassis changes, as Ross gained confidence in the truck's handling, as well as, his ability to maximize the 800+ horsepower of the Pro Power engine.
Friday Evening - Round 7
The start saw the Toyo Tires on the #21 Herculiner Ford F-150 really hook up as Ross grabbed the lead as the field came through the Armed Forces Turn One. He held the top spot until lap two. About midway through the ten lap affair, the engine lost a cylinder. Nevertheless, Ross pressed on to a well deserved fifth place finish.
"We lead our first PRO-2WD race, that really big for our team and our sponsors," commented Ross Hoek. "A broken rocker arm slowed us down, but we were able to run our own race. We'll fine tune our chassis setup, replace the rocker arm and took for a solid finish tomorrow."
Saturday - Round 8
The land rush start saw Ross and #5 Evans battle for the top spot all the way through turn two, when Evans made hard contact causing the #21 Herculiner Ford to spin. This put Ross at the back of the field. Quickly, Ross put the Pro Power horsepower to the Toyo Tires looking to get back with the leaders. By lap 5, the #21 was behind points leader, #99 Kevin Probst when a power steering hose broke. This made the truck extremely hard to turn. In order to grab as much championship points as possible, Ross motored on to finish sixth place finish.
Afterwards Ross commented about the day's racing. "The start had us side by side with Evans (for the lead). In turn two Evans made hard contact, which spun us, putting us dead last. Quickly got around Rhonda and was right behind points leader Probst when a power steering hose blew. Then it was just a survival run to the finish. I was really looking forward to following Kevin, to get to see the lines he takes. Unfortunately I didn't get much of an opportunity."
Sunday - Round 9
The morning practice saw the Herculiner Ford fly over 200 feet off the "Hill" when the truck veered into the concrete wall just after landing. The contact broke the truck's steering and sent Ross off to the hospital to check on the pain coming from his left foot.
As Ross was taken to Escanaba, the RHM team went to work repairing the race truck. Almost three hours later, Ross returned to the track with his left foot in a soft cast. X-Rays revealed cracked and separated bones in his foot.
Once at the track Ross decided to get back behind the wheel looking to finish the weekend on a high note.
The start saw the Herculiner Ford get all the horsepower to the Toyo Tires as the #21 battled for the lead with #8 Taylor and #5 Evans. The three drivers were not giving each other an inch as they rubbed one another door to door. Then suddenly a tie rod broke on the Herculiner Ford, basically ending the day for the team.
"The truck felt really good in practice, and then we hit the wall," commented Ross Hoek. "My left foot was hard on the brake pedal when I hit. My left foot absorbed most of the force which is why I'm standing here on crutches. Thanks again to my crew for prepping the truck while the doctors checked me out. The tie rod failure was probably caused from the hit in practice."
We made great strides with our chassis setup this weekend. Our engine program is on track as well. We've got three weeks until Crandon. My foot should be in good shape by then."
Next Race: August 31-September 2, WSORR BorgWarner Off-Road World Championships - Crandon, Wisconsin