Douglas On Short End Of Bump-And-Grind Battle As RanchoÂ® Ford Finishes 2001 Season TOPEKA, KS, Sept. 25, 2001& ...
Douglas On Short End Of Bump-And-Grind Battle As Rancho® Ford Finishes 2001 Season
TOPEKA, KS, Sept. 25, 2001– Major contact at the start of the first round of Championship Off-Road Racing competition at Heartland Park Topeka here put Scott Douglas and the Rancho Ford F-150 at a severe disadvantage, but it was the comparatively light contact in Sunday’s round that ended the Rancho team’s quest for a top-three finish in the 2001 points chase.
The Rancho Ford fell victim to severe bumping and grinding delivered by competitor Jason Baldwin just off the start in Saturday’s round, putting Douglas on two wheels and both trucks well behind the leaders. It was one of several cases this year of hard contact from Baldwin, who has been black-flagged twice following incidents with the Douglas Motorsports-owned Rancho Ford.
Once the Rancho F-150 again got all four wheels hooked up with Heartland Park’s rough track, it picked up considerable ground on eventual winner Rob MacCachren, but simply ran out of time to improve on its third-place position. The round did put Douglas back in front of Baldwin for third place overall in CORR points.
That changed, however, in Sunday’s round, when Douglas– off a strong start in very wet conditions– made light contact as he was passing Baldwin. CORR officials saw the incident differently and pointed, but did not wave, the black flag at Douglas on the next lap.
“ When they didn’t wave the flag I assumed it was a warning to avoid contact,” Douglas said. “ I’m hardly a dirty driver; in fact, I’m often criticized for being too clean, and there have been several cases this year where I could have bettered my position by driving like a few of the other guys. But I simply don’t race that way.”
When Douglas failed to pull into the pits for his apparent infraction, he was eliminated in the scoring, leading to an official sixth-place finish.“ It was a fitting end to a frustrating year, and I intend to get to the bottom of this,” he said. “ If you’re going to black flag someone, wave the flag at them. But my real problem with the call is that the contact was extremely light– certainly no more than in any case where I’ve been passed by someone else this year.”
Sunday’s outcome doomed the team’s hopes for a top-three finish overall, with Douglas falling back to fifth by a slim margin. It also put an end to what Douglas said has been a positive, if at times maddening, season. “ We had a very strong truck all year long; we had very few mechanical problems and we’re extremely fast. It’s a case now where we have to start getting a few breaks and let the truck do what it’s capable of doing.”
The Rancho F-150 features two of the latest technology packages from Tenneco Automotive: an advanced Rancho suspension system and a DynoMaxTM ultra-high-flow performance exhaust system engineered to ensure maximum engine efficiency and power. Other key technologies onboard the year-old Ford are a Kinetic Racing Engines Ford Racing Technology V8 and a custom Weismann five-speed manual transmission.
For more information on the Douglas Motorsports Rancho Ford F-150, check out the Douglas Motorsports website at www.douglasmotorsports.com. Also be sure to visit the all-new Rancho Suspension site at www.gorancho.com, and the DynoMax Performance Exhaust site at www.dynomax.com for more information on the world’s best performance suspension and exhaust products.