Douglas hoping break turns runner-up finishes into wins. Rancho Ford F-150 posts twin second-place runs at CORR Lucas Oil Series Off Road event in Michigan. Bark River, Mich., July 14--The margin between second-place and first was as tight as...
Douglas hoping break turns runner-up finishes into wins.
Rancho Ford F-150 posts twin second-place runs at CORR Lucas Oil Series Off Road event in Michigan.
Bark River, Mich., July 14--The margin between second-place and first was as tight as half a truck length but it might as well have been a mile for two-time CORR Pro-4 world champion Scott Douglas, whose powerful Rancho Ford F-150 was runner-up twice this weekend in the BOSS Snowplow Challenge at Bark River Off Road Raceway.
Completion of the rare three-round weekend brought into view the end of the 2002 Championship Off-Road Racing Lucas Oil Series and Douglas understands it's time to make an aggressive move up the points ladder; the Douglas Motorsports-owned Rancho Ford is in fourth-place overall but just 22 points behind the leader.
"This truck is running extremely well right now," Douglas said. "We've got a few things we'd like to tweak to improve our starts and we'll be in great shape. Unfortunately, on tracks like Bark River, if you come out of the start in fourth or fifth place you can almost never reel in everyone in front of you."
Douglas faced that exact situation three times this weekend, choosing to lay back going into the first corner after a mid-pack start. In two of three rounds, the Rancho Ford marched through traffic over the next several laps to close in on leader Jason Baldwin. Baldwin held on in spite of Douglas' relentless attempts to pull ahead.
"I have to give Jason a lot of credit. We put ourselves in position to capitalize on any mistakes he made, but he drove almost flawlessly," Douglas said. "We felt like we had him a couple of times, but our truck got out in the fluff and lost some of its traction."
Saturday's round essentially became a two-truck contest as Baldwin and Douglas battled for position. Each time Douglas closed to within a truck length or less, however, Baldwin was able to protect his line and maintain the edge.
Sunday's first round was more challenging for the Rancho Ford: After a sixth-place start, Douglas picked his way through the field to establish a firm hold on third position. As he made his move on second-place driver Carl Renezeder, however, the Rancho Ford lost all battery power. Douglas was a DNF for the round.
The Rancho team was back in action in less than four hours for Sunday's second Pro-4 round. Douglas intentionally held back to avoid contact off the start but moved up to third position after the first lap. Within two more laps the Rancho Ford had reeled in leader Jason Baldwin for what looked to be a repeat of Saturday's duel.
It was, as Douglas tried repeatedly to push his F-150's fender ahead of Baldwin on the closing laps, only to finish a few feet behind.
"We've got a month to take what we've learned from this weekend and improve on it," Douglas said. "I'd rather be talking about two wins but I really am very happy with the way the Rancho Ford is attacking the track. We'll be in excellent shape when we return to Bark River in August."
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.
The CORR Lucas Oil Series returns to Bark River for two rounds of action August 10 and 11.
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.