Exciting double-win weekend lifts Rancho Ford back into title chase in CORR Lucas Oil Series. Antigo, Wis., June 9...The cloud that has seemingly followed the Douglas Motorsports team and its Rancho Ford F-150 over the past Championship Off-Road...
Exciting double-win weekend lifts Rancho Ford back into title chase in CORR Lucas Oil Series.
Antigo, Wis., June 9...The cloud that has seemingly followed the Douglas Motorsports team and its Rancho Ford F-150 over the past Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR) Pro-4 season was nowhere to be found this weekend as driver and team owner Scott Douglas posted two dominating performances in winning two of the three rounds of racing in the Mole Lake Regency Casino Off Road Championships here.
Douglas, who came with high hopes to the 2002 CORR Lucas Oil Series opener in New York late last month -- only to fall victim to a freakish mechanical malfunction and a violent collision-induced rollover -- said it was great to finally have a chance to prove what his state-of-the-art truck can do.
"Someone asked me after our first win Saturday where we'd gotten all of that speed," Douglas said. "It had been there all the time, but we hadn't had a chance to show it. That's what's most gratifying about this weekend: We finally were able to show the fans what we're capable of accomplishing."
And the Rancho Ford did that in spades, with Saturday's lightning-quick front-row start eventually growing to a 25-truck-length lead. Still, Douglas found himself wondering if something was going to ruin the day. "That's the kind of mindset you get into when you've had a string of bad luck," he said. "About midway through the round, I decided to back off a little bit to save the truck, but after a couple of laps decided to push harder again. I had an excellent rhythm going and didn't want to spoil it by being conservative."
Sunday's first round was more challenging, given a dry, dusty track and a chassis set-up more appropriate for a tacky surface. The Rancho Ford started in the second row but came out of the first turn in seventh position. Douglas quickly picked up four of those spots, but fell back to fourth overall behind winner Curt LeDuc. The key, he said, was keeping the Rancho Ford out of the bump-and-grind action in the race's first turn.
"I made the conscious decision to stay away from contact at the start of the race to keep from damaging the truck and preventing us from starting in Sunday's second round," he said. "In retrospect, we weren't running with the best set-up for the slick conditions, but I'm happy with our overall performance after the first turn."
Sunday's second round saw the Rancho Ford roar back to championship form with an excellent start out of the second row. Douglas trailed only Jason Baldwin going into the first turn, then overtook Baldwin's truck on the next straightaway. The lead changed twice more over the next lap before Douglas established a 2- to 3-second margin. The Rancho Ford won the race by six truck lengths over runner-up Johnny Greaves.
"I want to congratulate Jason Baldwin on an excellent race," Douglas said. "We really gave the fans an exciting show over the first few laps, and it was a lot of fun racing against him this weekend."
The Rancho Ford F-150 features a host of new technologies for 2002, including a custom Rancho suspension system, DynoMax exhaust system, Wolverine Performance LLC Ford Racing Technology V8 engine, Weissman five-speed manual transmission, Fuel Air Spark Technology (FAST) electronic fuel injection system, Reider Racing/Precision Gear front and rear differentials and BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tires.
"I want to salute the great folks at Tenneco Automotive for their unwaivering support through the trying times," Douglas said. "They never had any doubt that this truck was set up to win championships, and we took two important steps toward that goal this weekend."
The CORR Lucas Oil series continues June 22 and 23 in Crandon, Wis.
For more information on Scott Douglas and the Rancho Ford, check out the Douglas Motorsports website at www.douglasmotorsports.com. Also be sure to visit www.gorancho.com and www.dynomax.com for more information on the world's best suspension and exhaust products.