TORC: Barlow Motorsports Oshkosh event summary
BARLOW MOTORSPORTS MOVES UP IN 2010 TORC SERIES POINTS RACE Oshkosh, Wisconsin-The first four races of the 2010 TORC Series presented by AMSOIL season were on long, fast, natural terrain race tracks in Crandon, Wisconsin and Bark River, Michigan.
BARLOW MOTORSPORTS MOVES UP IN 2010 TORC SERIES POINTS RACE
Oshkosh, Wisconsin-The first four races of the 2010 TORC Series presented by AMSOIL season were on long, fast, natural terrain race tracks in Crandon, Wisconsin and Bark River, Michigan. To shake things up, USAC threw a tight and technical dirt track style circuit at the competitors at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway for the fifth and sixth races of the year.
In round 5 Friday night under the lights, Ricky Johnson was lined up fifth on the grid as the PRO 2WDs rolled onto the front straight. When racing went green, Johnson's number 48 Red Bull Bosch Power Tools F-150 hooked up hard and by the time the field was through turn one Ricky had passed Jeff Kincaid, Chad Hord, Mike Oberg, and Scott Taylor for the lead. The combination of RoushYates power and Kumho Tire grip allowed Johnson to check out and open up a comfortable lead on the field to the mid-race competition yellow. Leading at the yellow, Ricky picked up valuable season championship bonus points.
The second time the starter dropped the green flag, Johnson again out- powered the field and led every lap to the checkers. Johnson was clearly on top of his game, turning every lap but one (held up by lapped traffic) at a super consistent 40-second pace. His fastest lap was 40.124 seconds, quicker than any other PRO 2WD, earning Johnson another Oakley Bomb Run award.
In Friday's PRO 4X4 race, Steve Barlow went from fourth on the grid to second by turn three where the race course doubles back from the oval banking 180 degrees to the infield rhythm section. Steve held second for the first three laps, challenging Scott Douglas for the lead. The number 83 Red Bull Bosch Power Tools Ford had a small carburetor issue due to the intense humidity from torrential rains prior to the race. The truck was running strong, but would stumble exiting the corners. Barlow could get a run on other trucks on the straights and going into a turn, but just didn't have full power coming off the corner where he needed it to complete passes. Barlow made the most of what he had, finishing a strong third for another trip to the winner's circle podium.
With adjustments to the carburetor, Steve Barlow looked very fast in the opening laps of round 6. Eight laps into the race, a crash brought out the red flag so the safety crew could clear the racetrack. On the restart, Steve went inside Huseman in turn one and moved into third pulling even with Douglas as the track turned back into the infield. Huseman pushed his way by in the right-hander. On the next lap, Steve had a run on the inside of Huseman down the back straight and looked certain to regain the position. Huseman came down the track, turning the Red Bull Ford sideways over the second jump, sending Steve into a violent four snap-roll sequence that shed every body panel from the truck. The truck was in bad shape, but landed back on its wheels so Steve fired it back up and limped back to the hot pits to change flats and assess damage. The crowd cheered in approval as Steve Barlow returned to the track and pushed the truck back up to race speed. Amazingly Steve was able to bring home a fourth, finishing on the lead lap. The strong 3rd and 4th place finishes have Steve fourth in points, just 11 points behind third and 15 from second.
Ricky Johnson started fourth on the grid for Saturday night's round 6 PRO 2WD race. Johnson had a great start, but didn't have the opening to be as aggressive through turns one and two on the oval as he was on Friday. By lap two, Ricky was around Vanden Heuvel then both leader MacCachren and Johnson went by Oberg. Rob MacCachren is a tough competitor to pass, but Ricky was able to make a clean pass stick. Rob and Ricky went bumper-to- bumper, fender-to-fender through the competition caution restart and all the way to the checkered flag. The battle gave race fans the kind of fierce rough and tumble competition that only short course off-road racing can deliver and Ricky his second win of the weekend.
When asked what made the difference, Johnson stated,..."It's the whole team and the whole package; Red Bull, Bosch, Kumho, KMC, AMSOIL, and everything we have under the hood with our RoushYates Engine, and ATD transmission...everything worked perfect this weekend. We were fortunate enough to get out in front early and with Rob all over me, and Jeremy right there I just couldn't make a mistake. I was just trying to race forward...the last lap I saw Rob on the outside of me and I had to position myself to protect the lead, but up to that point I was just going as fast as I could."
The weekend sweep really tightened the points race in PRO 2WD. At the halfway point of the season, Johnson is just 3-points out of first place, with huge momentum going into Rounds 7 & 8 at Bark River, Michigan August 14th and 15th.
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