Ross Hoek Dominates Round 11 & Second Overall in BorgWarner Shootout
Holland, MI (September 2, 2008) - Ross Hoek brought his #21 Skyjacker Suspension Herculiner Raybestos Brakes Goodyear Tire Ford to Crandon looking to close out the 2008 WSORR season on a high note. By the time the first full day of racing had finished, in the 39th annual BorgWarner Off- Road World Championships, Ross reached the pinnacle of the sport.
Friday afternoon, the Time Trials for the BorgWarner Heavy Metal Shootout take place and Ross Hoek stopped the clocks with a 1:28.50 minute lap, fifth fastest among the PRO-2WD qualifiers.
The final weekend of racing in the Super Truck division, WSORR officials changed up the race format. Round XI would be Friday night under the lights, on the .7 mile short-short track. Then Saturday's Round XII, the World Championship Round, would be contested on the 1.25 mile short track.
Super Truck - Round 11
The weekend didn't not start off well, as contact on the start, put the #210 Skyjacker Herculiner Raybestos Brakes Goodyear Tire Ford F-150 into the Parsons Pond catch fence. Ross immediately went into the hot pits to change a flat tire. The RHM crew quickly made the change, getting Ross back on the track. The truck had broken body panels everywhere. Ross, the ever competitive racer, kept up the good fight, until the rear suspension failed on lap five. Ross officially finished eighth.
By Saturday morning the RHM crew repaired the Super Truck, and took both trucks out for practice. Robert Naughton, the PRO-Light competitor from Arizona, took the Super Truck out for the run, while Ross spent his time behind the wheel of the PRO-2WD truck. If all goes well, Robert will be driving the #210 in both the final PRO-2WD race of the season, and the BorgWarner Shootout. Both trucks ran well and were ready for the day's events.
Super Truck - Round 12
The final race of the 2008 WSORR Super Truck Championship proved to be another tough outing for the #210 Skyjacker Herculiner Ford. Ross got off to a solid start and halfway through the race, the #210 was running in third place. Then without warning, the transmission linkage broke, ending the team's Super Truck season.
For the 2008 season, Ross Hoek finished fourth overall in the WSORR Super Truck standings. In the twelve rounds of racing, Ross had five podium finishes, include back-to-back runner up finishes at Crandon's June event.
PRO-2WD - Round 11
The traditional land rush start saw the familiar Skyjacker logo leading the way out of Potawatomi Turn One, but this time it was # 21 in the lead with fellow Skyjacker competitor, Scott Taylor, just behind in third.
Quickly, Ross built up a solid lead as Waldvogel, Taylor, and Renezeder battled with each other for the second spot.
As the race continued, the Goodyear tires put all the power the ProPower engine and ATD transmission could muster, keeping Ross out front. The entire race, the red, white and black F-150 was never challenged. The win gave Ross his first World Championship and his first PRO-2WD win as a driver.
Once Ross pulled into the victory podium, the elated driver stood on top of his truck with arms raised in celebration.
After all the interviews, and photo opportunities, Ross Hoek reflected on his victory.
"I can't say enough about all the support we have with Skyjacker, Herculiner, and Goodyear. The ProPower engine got me to the corner first, and Royal Purple oil kept everything running cool. The Raybestos brakes kept this hot rod in control at every corner. Thanks to Fox Racing Shox for all their support. Last year we built this truck and were getting it dialed in when I broke my foot at Bark River. Then Dan Vanden Heuvel came and drove this truck to victory in Wheatland, and now I won today. Really this is the second win for our team. My team is just awesome. We have campaigned two trucks all year. We got off to a slow start, but my guys kept making progress. Now we are World Champs. I love this track, but have never won on Saturday. Thanks to the World Series, the Forest County Potawatomi, and Lucas Oil for creating the series, the great folks at Crandon for building an awesome place to race, thanks to my wife, my dad, all of my family and friends that have supported us through the years. I can't wait for the Cup race tomorrow."
PRO-2WD - Round 12
Before the BorgWarner Shootout, the final round in the PRO-2WD season had to be completed. Ross, once again, jumped into the lead. This time with #8 Taylor right behind in second. The two Skyjacker Ford trucks ran nose to tail for eight laps, with Ross keeping the #21 Skyjacker Goodyear truck out in front. Then midway through the lap, Taylor made slight contact with Ross' right front tire, causing a flat, which allowed Taylor to take over the lead. The contact also bent the steering on the truck. The combination of the two, greatly slowed the pace of the #21 Goodyear Tire truck. Ultimately, Ross finished ninth, the final truck on the lead lap.
Meanwhile, mechanical issues struck the #210 Ford with Robert Naughton behind the wheel. The early exit in the race put Robert in the fourteenth finishing position.
After all the races were tallied, Ross Hoek in his #21 Skyjacker Suspensions Herculiner Raybestos Brakes Goodyear Tire Ford F-150 finished the WSORR PRO-2WD championship in third place.
Immediately Ross Hoek Motorsports went to work to get both trucks ready for the BorgWarner Shootout. There was only so much time and manpower available before the late afternoon race, so the decision was made to only prep the #21 PRO-2WD for the Cup race. Robert Naughton would have to wait at least another year before competing in "The Big House - Big Show."
BorgWarner Heavy Metal Shootout
After the driver introductions, and all the pomp and circumstance, the starting grid was set for the BorgWarner Shootout. The entire field of two- wheel drive trucks were lined up just in front of the BorgWarner banner, just past the Forest County Potawatomi Barn, while the four wheel drive trucks would start from the traditional land rush starting area approximately 3/8 mile back.
Then the green flag was dropped. The Skyjacker truck of Scott Taylor quickly grabbed the lead. On lap one, Ross entered the Argonne Loop in fifth place, and came out in the second spot. The intensity level during the BorgWarner is very high, and the three trucks in front of Ross just got somewhat impatient in the roughest part of the track. Smartly, Ross guided the #21 Skyjacker Royal Purple Ford inside the mess, moving into the runner up spot. By lap three, several of the top PRO-4x4 racers, including Greaves and Douglas, had heavy contact issues slowing their race pace. If Ross could keep up his pace, the #21 Skyjacker Ford would not only be the second finishing two-wheel drive truck, but the second overall finisher. In fact, Ross did just that. It was a 1-2 finish for Skyjacker Suspensions, with Ross Hoek crossing the finish line just behind winner Scott Taylor.
"Wow, this is the best weekend of my racing career," exclaimed Ross Hoek. "I knew this truck was fast, but we have had some issues from time to time this year. It all came together this weekend. Congratulations to Scott for wining his second BorgWarner. Like I said yesterday, my wife, my family, my friends, my crew, thanks to all their hard work and support, without them we couldn't do what we do. Thanks to Skyjacker Suspensions, Herculiner, Raybestos Brakes, Goodyear Tires, and all our contingency sponsors. Last year RHM ended on a high note with Dan Vanden Heuvel behind the wheel. This year we came on strong once again. We have one more goal to achieve for next year, the championship."