|Holland, MI (April 24, 2012) – By the time the Ignite Racing Fuels -Venom Energy – Ford Ranger of Ross Hoek left Charlotte, the competition knew the Michigan native had stepped up his game for 2012. During both nights of racing, the #21 PRO-Light Ford showed the field that the team had the pace to be a contender for the championship. The weekend culminated with a hard fought finish on the podium.After spending the off-season updating the truck and working with the team’s marketing partners, the Ross Hoek Motorsports team wondered if they would make it to North Carolina in time for Friday’s opening round of racing when the team’s transporter had mechanical issues stranding them almost four hours from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. After an eighteen hour delay, RHM arrived at Charlotte ready to hit the track, but just after the Thursday evening practice session.
The very technical .9 mile long track consisted of moguls, whoops, high speed jumps and a table top that taxed every aspect of the truck as well as a driver’s talents.
After the first Friday practice session the team made adjustments to the truck’s suspension while Ross used the Stack data logger to promptly diagnose and resolve a fuel pressure problem.
The qualifying session saw the Ignite Racing Fuel Ford Ranger qualify sixth fastest among the field of PRO-Light racers. Ross knew there was room for improvement and continued to make adjustments leading up to Friday night’s live broadcast on SPEED. .
Friday – Round One
The starting grid had the #21 Ford on the pole as TORC officials inverted the starting order of the top six qualifiers. When the green flag was waved to start the eighteen lap event, Ross found himself in the middle of a four truck battle for the three podium positions. Just before the competition caution at the midpoint of the race, the race truck lost brake pedal pressure, leaving Ross with little or no brakes. Undaunted, Ross changed his driving style looking to keep his truck from plowing into his fellow competitors. Needless to say his race pace dropped off, but he finished Round One in seventh place.
“Our Ignite Racing Fuels -Venom Energy – Herculiner Ford Ranger is really fast,” noted Ross Hoek. “It’s unfortunate we had brake issues tonight. I am confident we will correct the issue, and will come back tomorrow night even stronger.”
The next morning, Ross and the team sorted out the brake issue, and made a minor change to the rear suspension.
Saturday – Round Two
The line-up for the two wide rolling start had the orange #21 starting seventh right behind Friday’s race winner. Ross steadily picked up positions and found himself in contention for a podium position at the midpoint of the race. Throughout the entire eighteen laps, Ignite Ford Ranger battled the RAM trucks of Caddell and Johnson as well as the Toyota of Greaves. The top four positions were in a heated battle. Ross even led the race for a couple of laps. When the checkered flag was waved, Ross Hoek finished a well earned third place, the highest finishing Ford in the field. The RHM team was smiling and high fiving each other during the podium celebration.
“We are small team compared to guys that finished in front of us, but we showed everyone we can compete at a very high level,” commented Ross Hoek. “Yesterday’s practice session was the first time behind the wheel this season. I know if we had any seat time before this weekend, our finish on Friday would have been better, and who knows where we’d be tonight.”
You can watch XSAN’s internet broadcast of Ross Hoek’s run to the podium on the internet, anytime at: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/22025676.
TORC Round 3 & 4 – May 26-27 @
Red Bud MX in Buchanan, Michigan.