Scott Taylor Races for the Championship. The final weekend of racing in the 2006 Lucas Oil Championship Off-Road Racing series had Scott Taylor and his ...
Scott Taylor Races for the Championship.
The final weekend of racing in the 2006 Lucas Oil Championship Off-Road Racing series had Scott Taylor and his #8 Skyjacker Suspension BFGoodrich Tires Ford F-150 just one point out of first place. In fact, the top 8 drivers all had a chance at taking home the championship. The weekend would truly be a "Rumble at the Otay Ranch."
Along with the pressures of the championship, CORR added the Jason Baldwin Memorial Cup as the final race of the weekend. This was a 10-lap, winner take all affair pitting the fastest PRO-4 and PRO-2 trucks against each other for $66,000. The PRO-2 championship was first and foremost on Scott Taylor's mind, but the possibility of winning all that money, couldn't be ignored.
Friday -- Jason Baldwin Memorial Cup Qualifying
After practice, Scott easily qualified the #8 Ford F-150 into the front row. The fastest qualifying PRO-2 trucks would be given a head start on the rest of the faster PRO-4 field, creating a very exciting race for all in attendance.
Saturday -- Round 15
The start saw Scott take the high line through Turn One, hoping to find that extra speed to get to the front. It seemed like several other competitors had the same idea as the #8 Skyjacker BFGoodrich Ford F-150. Scott had to back off or end up in the wall. This put Scott back into 8th place, going into Turn Two.
By Lap 2, Scott had moved around #3 LeDuc and began pressuring #41 Jerry Whelchel. Three laps later, the Skyjacker suspension took all the power of the Roush engine and moved around Whelchel.
On Lap 6, the day ended for Scott Taylor. Suddenly the left rear tire fell off as the rear axle hub broke. Taylor Racing finished fourteenth in the twenty truck PRO-2 field.
Sunday -- Round 16
At the start, Scott Taylor had his BFGoodrich Tires really hooked up. As the field headed into Turn One, Scott drove inside of #42 Whelchel and grabbed the lead. Quickly, #3 Todd LeDuc moved up to challenge Scott. The two Skyjacker sponsored trucks battled, with Scott keeping the lead.
Then on Lap 8, transmission on the #8 Skyjacker Ford, literally, went up in smoke. The torque converter failed causing extremely high fluid temperatures, which caused a line to fail and a small fire to start. After completing seven laps, the team was awarded a 12th place finish.
Afterwards, Scott Taylor commented, " After winning both rounds here in September, we really thought we could bring home to championship. We built this new spec truck and it took some time to get the chassis sorted out. We battled back, but it just wasn't in the cards this weekend. Thanks to everyone that supports Taylor Racing-- Skyjacker Suspensions, BFGoodrich Tires, Ford Trucks, Russ Wernimont Designs, Justice Brothers, ATD, Precision Gear, Mobil 1, Miller Electric, Ringers Gloves, Phil's Inc., and all the associate sponsors that help us get to the track. We've got one more race. Hopefully, we will get the transmission replaced in time."
Jason Baldwin Memorial Cup.
A small fire that damaged both the electrical wiring, as well as the hydraulic lines, compounded the replacement of the transmission. Scott and his crew really had their work cut out for them. Thankfully, Tommy from the Wide Open Baja race team, came over and offered to help get the #8 ready for the Cup race. Suddenly, there were a dozen crew members, from both teams, working in unison getting the Skyjacker Ford ready for the race. It was really great to see two teams that compete on the track, coming together to help each other. Earlier in the year, Taylor Racing had given its backup engine to Wide Open Baja so Jerry Whelchel could compete at Bark River.
With only a few minutes before the Baldwin Cup, Scott slipped on his driving suit, fired up the Roush engine and headed for the staging area.
As the field was staged, Scott was positioned in the fourth spot in the front row of the field. The fastest PRO-2 trucks were given about a quarter mile head start on the rest of the PRO-4 field.
With the season complete, this ten-lap winner take all race, would be a battle to the end.
When the green flag was dropped, the crowd came to their feet, as the eighteen PRO-2 and PRO-4 trucks came charging down the front straightaway. At the end of the first lap, Scott was in fifth place, looking for a way around #29 Steve Barlow.
Lap 3 saw Scott make his move into the fourth spot. The running order at the halfway point had Rick Johnson -- 1st, Todd LeDuc -- 2nd, Mike Oberg -- 3rd, Scott Taylor -- 4th.
On lap 6 the first of the PRO-4 trucks made made their way toward the front. Curt LeDuc in his #43 Skyjacker Ford F-150 passed Scott, with #11Cenni and #36 Huseman right behind.
On the last lap, it looked like #87 Rick Johnson would win the big payout, but a flat tire caused his truck to spin, putting #80 Mike Oberg in the lead. As the checkered flag came out Mike Oberg held off the hard charging Curt LeDuc to win the inaugural Jason Baldwin Memorial Cup.
The final results were: 1st -- Mike Oberg, 2nd -- Curt LeDuc, 3rd -- Adrian Cenni, 4th -- Rick Huseman, 5th -- Rick Johnson, 6th -- Scott Taylor, 7th -- Dan Vandenhuvel.
"I can't thank my crew enough, as well as, Tommy Morris, and all the guys at Wide Open Baja, for coming together to get our truck ready for the Cup race. This weekend was really tough on our team. Even though we didn't come home with the big money. It was truly a victory for the team, to just get the truck to the start line. Taking the checkered flag was a bonus, and a tribute to Jason. Congratulations to Mike Oberg for a well deserved win." -- comments from Scott Taylor.
<pre> The final standings for the 2006 Lucas Oil PRO-2 Championship Off-Road Racing Series 1st Carl Renezeder 174pts. 2nd Mike Oberg 172 pts. 3rd Todd LeDuc 166 pts. 4th Scott Taylor 150 pts. 5th Jerry Whelchel 150 pts. 6th Scott Douglas 146 pts.
During the 2006 season Scott Taylor accumulated 8 top 5 finishes. Among those finishes were four wins.