Scott Douglas a Two-Time Winner at CORR Opener in Antigo ANTIGO, WI-Coming off back-to-back wins in the Best In The Desert (BITD) series, Scott Douglas continued his winning ways by putting the Rancho Ford F-150 in the winners circle in two of...
Scott Douglas a Two-Time Winner at CORR Opener in Antigo
ANTIGO, WI-Coming off back-to-back wins in the Best In The Desert (BITD) series, Scott Douglas continued his winning ways by putting the Rancho Ford F-150 in the winners circle in two of the three PRO-4 short course races in the Championship Off Road Racing (CORR) series season opener. The wins- career victories number 54 and 55-place Douglas in the lead in both the CORR PRO-4 series and BITD Class 3100 series 2004 points battles.
After severe weather canceled CORR's first weekend of racing in Dresser, Wisconsin, CORR officials planned to make up one of the races by running two PRO races on Sunday in Antigo. Heavy rain and thunderstorms threatened again Sunday morning leaving deep mud and standing water on the race track. With clearing skies and an improving forecast, CORR officials decided to run the four-wheel-drive PRO-4 trucks first to help clear the muck and condition the sloppy track for the two-wheel-drive classes.
Once again, Scott Douglas proved he is a master in the mud. Starting on the outside of row one, Douglas launched hard and then patiently tucked in behind Steve McCrossan through turns one and two. When McCrossan pushed wide, Douglas dove inside to take the lead, never looking back. "Driving fast in the mud is as much finesse and technique as brute power" stated Douglas after the race. "You can't over drive the truck.I use a few tricks to keep the truck hooked up, but it's as much feel as anything. "Crew Chief Ted Kendall made the right
call on the BFGoodrich tire and Rancho Suspension setup, which, combined with a super smooth driving style, allowed Douglas to "check-out" and pull away from the pack. The Rancho F-150 was so dominant in the mud, that when the checkered flag fell, Douglas had lapped virtually the entire field.
By the time Round Three rolled around late in the day, track conditions had changed dramatically. The clay oval portion of the circuit was now "blue" with rubber laid down on the hard packed clay. The infield, on the other hand, was tacky, heavy mud with brief sections of dry, loose dirt. Due to the points inversion, Douglas started sixth, a position he wouldn't hold for long. Through turns one and two, the Rancho Ford had the tire groove and chassis setup to stay low while others pushed up to the cushion and Douglas was able to pass several trucks in the process.
After the weekend's two previous rounds of racing, the third race was a chance for the best prepared teams to shine. The Douglas Motorsports Sports crew changed the Rancho F-150 over from a heavy mud suspension setup to a fast, dry track setup in the short time between the two Sunday races. After starting mid-pack on the grid, Douglas did his part by making smart passes, standing on the gas and staying out of trouble. The tight right hand hairpin before the rhythm section that loops the course back through the infield was especially tricky late in the day with ruts and tacky mud causing several rollovers during the PRO races. Scott Douglas put the Rancho F-150 up on two wheels in what looked like a sure roll, but caught it just in time and was able to drive out through the heavy mud on the outside of the turn. The final pass of the day for the lead was an exciting one right in front of the main grandstand as Douglas got a run inside onto the oval, powered past LeDuc and was again able to hold the low inside line in turn one.
The luck of the draw for Round One had the Rancho Ford starting seventh on the grid. Douglas had an impressive start, but wisely backed out of it rather than force a pass early in the first race of the season. After allowing the field to sort itself out, Douglas picked up the pace and began a rapid charge to the front.
The Rancho F-150 was most impressive through the infield rhythm section, where Douglas was able to flat-foot it and drive around other Pro-4 Trucks. "Crew Chief Ted Kendall tuned the Rancho Shock valving and matched ideal spring rates for the changing conditions-the truck was just awesome through the infield whoops.I could pick my lines and drive it anywhere on the track I wanted to" stated Douglas. One-by-one Douglas made his way through the field and even in traffic was closing on race leader Carl Renezeder. With one truck between the Rancho F-150 and Renezeder, it looked like Douglas would shortly be contending for the lead. Unfortunately, hard contact with the second place truck of Curt LeDuc caused damage to the power steering system on the Rancho F-150 and Douglas had to limp the truck home to a seventh place finish.
Though disappointed, Scott was encouraged at how well the changes made to the truck during the off-season were working. After Round One, Douglas stated "The Rancho F-150 is just wickedly fast....engine builder Lee Cooper of Wolverine Performance found more power in the new engine tune-up.I've driven a lot of high performance race cars in my career and I can't believe how hard this truck pulls out of the corners. It's putting more load on the rest of the drivetrain, but our combination of J&H Transmission building the tranny, the BorgWarner transfer case, and Reider Racing / Precision Gear handling the ring and pinion setup allow us to run hard without worrying about drivetrain failure. 2004 is going to be a fun and exciting year."
After winning four of his first five races in 2004, Scott Douglas will double-up for Rancho in two weeks by driving in both the Vegas To Reno BITD race and the CORR races in Crandon, Wisconsin that same weekend. Douglas will drive the first leg of Vegas to Reno in the Rancho Explorer on Friday, and then fly to Crandon in time to take the green flag for Rounds Five and Six of CORR action. Capping off the exciting weekend of racing will be the Crandon Governor's Cup race on Sunday. For the latest information on Douglas Motorsports and links to sponsor websites, log on to: www.douglasmotorsports.com.