Ross Hoek Earns a 4th

After a solid 4th place finish at Red Bud, Ross Hoek and the Allstar Performance, Venom Energy sponsored PRO-Light Ford Ranger were prepared to battle to the podium in Crandon. The veteran off-road racer has logged hundreds of laps in his career at the track known as the “Big House” so experience was definitely on his side.
Friday afternoon saw blue skies and warm temperatures for the practice and qualifying session. Unfortunately, the team saw the #21 Ford Ranger experience a minor mechanical problem before practice.  With no time to spare the team skipped practice to repair the truck for qualifying.  With no practice on the famed track Ross ran some conservative laps qualifying 11th  “Starting eleventh in Crandon’s land rush start doesn’t penalize you as much as starting six rows back in a typical two wide rolling start,” explained Ross Hoek.
The third round of Pro light racing in the 2011 Traxxas TORC Series saw perfect weather conditions as the 1.25 mile “Big House” track was in the best shape that anyone could remember. Ross has “won” the hole shot at Crandon many times in his career but today he was not a contender as the Green flag flew.  With many new trucks and rookie drivers Ross quickly darted behind the pack to the safest spot along the inside wall where Ross watched the carnage unfold in front of him. Nearing the exit to the first turn the entire track was blocked by a mass of trucks, Ross jammed the brakes before entering the pile up then a gap opened and Ross breezed through with only minor body damage.   The multi truck wreck stopped the race and created a complete restart. This incident took several minutes to untangle, but amazingly 14 of the 15 trucks made it back for the green flag.
On the restart, the BFGoodrich Tires brought the #21 Ford right through much of the field and into fifth place; within a lap or 2 Ross was running third and making rapid advances on the 2nd place truck of Lovell.  The top three trucks, Caddell, Lovell, and Hoek, held their positions all the way to the half way mandatory yellow at lap five.
When green flag racing resumed, Ross saw Shawn Morris attempting a pass on the inside. Not wanting to risk contact with the less experienced driver making a risky pass attempt Ross ran wide giving up the spot.  Immediately, the Allstar Performance Ford was right on Morris’ bumper looking for a way back around. The remaining three laps were very entertaining as the two trucks ran side by side several times. When the checkered flag was waved, Ross Hoek finished fourth.
“The truck ran great today, I left the door open one time and Morris got by me,” noted Ross Hoek. “I was faster than he was the final couple of laps, but I couldn’t make a clean pass. Thanks goes out to Allstar Performance, Venom Energy, and especially BFGoodrich Tires. My BFGs hooked right up and got me up front, both times today. We will go back tonight, make a few changes, and we will be back on the podium tomorrow.”
Unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans for Sunday’s festivities at the Potawatomi Brush Run. Heavy rains throughout the night caused Parson’s Pond to overflow onto the front straightaway. After several discussions, TORC and Crandon officials cancelled the day of racing. The racing will be made up at a later date and the announcement of when and where will be released in the near future.
After three rounds of racing Ross Hoek currently stands in fifth place in the chase for the 2011 TORC PRO-Light Championship.