Bark River Tough Again On Scott Douglas, Rancho Ford Team Just 41 Points Behind Lead In 2001 Title Race BARK RIVER, MI, August 13, 2001 - Everything appeared to be working according to plan in Saturday's 11th round of Championship Off-Road ...
Bark River Tough Again On Scott Douglas, Rancho Ford
Team Just 41 Points Behind Lead In 2001 Title Race
BARK RIVER, MI, August 13, 2001 - Everything appeared to be working according to plan in Saturday's 11th round of Championship Off-Road Racing Pro-4 competition here when Scott Douglas and the Rancho Suspension Ford stepped up to claim the lead from Johnny Greaves and Rob MacCachren.
Then, as has been the case several times this year, the Douglas Motorsports-owned F-150 fell victim to "one of those things" -- a jolt along the back axle by a spinning competitor. Within a lap, the Rancho Ford was out of the lead -- and the race -- due to a sheared Heim joint (a suspension pivot similar to an automotive ball joint).
Sunday's round was equally eventful. With Douglas and seven other Pro 4 entries fighting for position just off the start, the Rancho Ford was pushed sideways from behind, sending it into three violent flips. Luckily, the F-150 landed on its feet and Douglas was able to restart the engine and stay on the lead lap. Using his two-year-old truck's speed and handling advantages, Douglas reclaimed five of the eight lost positions for a very competitive third-place finish.
"It was critical that we get back into the thick of things as quickly as we could," said Douglas, a two-time Pro-4 world champion. "To tell you the truth, I wasn't sure if we were upside down or on our feet after the flips so I just restarted the engine and gunned it."
Saturday's round was far more frustrating, however, as Douglas sat back for the first four laps to let Greaves and MacCachren battle one another. As the two leaders tangled just beyond one of the track's rhythm sections, the Rancho Ford roared past with Jason Baldwin in second place.
"My strategy was to stay out of trouble and let those guys knock one another out of it," Douglas said. "I wasn't pushing our truck at all up to that point, so I knew we were in real good position. And it turned out just the way I had hoped. Then, one of those things happened. They've happened to us too many times this year."
As Douglas was maneuvering past a lagging competitor, the opposing truck spun, tagging the Rancho's rear. The Rancho F-150 at first appeared to be undamaged but the Heim joint gave way within the next lap. "I could tell we'd gotten hurt in that collision but the joint didn't shear off until later," Douglas said. "Once that happened, there was no way to continue."
Though the weekend in Bark River proved frustrating, the Rancho Ford lost little ground to CORR Pro-4 series leader Rob MacCachren. But with 41 points to make up in the four remaining rounds of CORR competition, Douglas is hoping hard luck is a thing of the past.
"This truck is like a rocket; we've got outstanding speed at every point on the track, and the Rancho suspension system is a major advantage in traffic and in tight corners. Now it's just a case of letting the tough breaks fall on the other guys."
The Rancho Ford enjoyed a breakthrough win just three weeks ago in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Douglas is hoping for the same type of dominating performance when Pro 4 drivers meet again September 1 and 2 in Crandon, Wis.
The Rancho Ford F-150 features two of the latest technology packages from Tenneco Automotive -- a custom Rancho suspension system and an ultra-high-flow DynoMax exhaust system. The Rancho Ford also pairs a five-speed Weismann manual transmission and a 410-cubic-inch Kinetic Racing Engines Ford Racing Technology V8.
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.
Tenneco Automotive is a $3.5 billion manufacturing company headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., with 23,000 employees worldwide. Tenneco Automotive is one of the world's largest producers and marketers of ride control and exhaust systems and products, which are sold under the Monroe® and Walker® global brand names. Among its products are Sensa-Trac® and Reflex® shocks and struts, Rancho® shock absorbers, Walker® Quiet-Flow® mufflers and DynoMax® performance exhaust products, and Monroe® Clevite® vibration control components.