Bark River, Michigan—When the dust settled on rounds 7 and 8 of TORC Series presented by AMSOIL racing, one thing was evident to keen observers of short course off-road competition—Scott Douglas and the AMSOIL BFGoodrich number 7 Ford have injected more speed into their consistent, top-notch formula. That speed was first apparent during qualifying when Douglas laid down the second fastest qualifying time with a new manual transmission and a few other driveline modifications.
Bark River was the first race-condition test for the manual transmission in the AMSOIL PRO 4X4 truck and it proved to be a potent tool in the Douglas Motorsports arsenal. In Saturday’s PRO 4X4 race, Douglas launched to a good start only to be collected at the outside of turn one with a stalled truck. He refired and though now two turns back from the leaders settled into a very fast pace, working his way through the field. Scott passed Mark Jenkins before the competition yellow and moved into third after the restart.
Running hard, Douglas was exploring new lines where the manual transmission offers an advantage. “With the manual, timing in and out of the corner are critical, but if you set it up right, there are different opportunities to make a clean pass stick,” stated Douglas. The added speed allowed Douglas to close on Mike Jenkins in second place. While studying Jenkin’s line, Scott was able to pull along side several times but didn’t force the pass. In a final push in the final turns before the finishline, Scott dove inside and put a fender ahead of the TRAXXAS truck of Jenkins. It looked like he had the pass made, but then slowed briefly and Mike was able to drive around on the outside. “I missed a shift in the rough section exiting the turn. We are currently running a standard “H” pattern shifter but will have a sequential shifter ready to go soon that will eliminate this problem in the future,” commented Scott after the race. The third place finish was Douglas’ third consecutive podium finish and fourth in five rounds of 2011 competition.
Sunday’s practice was even more encouraging. Scott experimented with a shifting technique that utilized a different part of the Pro Power Racing engine’s power band. Unofficial timing scored a lap below the current Bark River track record.
Douglas started on the outside of row one for Sunday’s race. The AMSOIL Ford hooked up hard and cleared turn one in first place. Scott fell into a smooth pace that opened up a 7-truck lead by the end of lap one. Doulgas held the lead on lap two, but Johnny Greaves running in clean air behind him closed the gap. Greaves made contact with the driver’s side rear of the AMSOIL truck several times forcing a pass. The Monster Energy truck slipped past with Douglas falling into a second as the two continued to check-out on the PRO 4X4 field. Unfortunately, the contact cut the left rear tire and Douglas was running on a flat and the inner liner. Scott held second to the competition yellow to gain the bonus point, then at the first opportunity headed to the hot pits for a tire change. The restart happened before the AMSOIL F-150 exited the hot pit and Douglas was forced to chase down the field in the closing laps. Even with the setback, the Douglas Motorsports PRO 4X4 finished fourth, just off the podium.
The weekend’s performance tightened the 2011 points chase, with Scott Douglas in third, now just eight points back of Johnny Greaves and Ricky Johnson currently tied for first. Next, the TORC Series heads to Crandon International Raceway Cup September 2nd, 3rd, and 4th for three points races (a makeup race on on Friday) and the second annual AMSOIL Cup. Scott Douglas is the reigning AMSOIL Cup Champion and will be defending his title against both PRO 2WD and PRO 4X4 drivers.
Be sure to catch all the 2011 TORC Series race action on Discovery HD Theater. Douglas Motorsports would like to thank all their great fans and sponsors, including; AMSOIL, BFGoodrich Tires, Baileigh Industrial, KC Hilites, MasterCraft Seats, Fox Shox, Walker Evans Racing Wheels, Raceline Oil Pumps, Miller Electric, BorgWarner, VP Racing Fuels, Ringers Gloves, Hawk Performance, Howe Performance Power Steering, J&H Transmission, MSD, Peterson Fluid Systems, and Phil’s Inc.