Holland, MI (July 29, 2011) – The first ever Pro Short Course event in the heart of NASCAR country would be the perfect setting for Ross Hoek and his Allstar Performance, Venom Energy sponsored Ford Ranger to bring home his first podium finish of the 2011 season. The #21 PRO-Light is currently 4th in points and looking to improve at this terrific venue. The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway would be the ideal back drop for a couple podium finishes to solidify Ross’ position in the 2011 points battle.
The .8 mile long layout ran on and inside the clay based circle track and included several double jumps, a couple of mogul fields, a rhythm section, and one large jump over a thirty foot gap that was right in front of the grandstands. The track design was very technical and different from traditional TORC layouts.
The first PRO-Light practice session on the purpose built track saw Ross first in line. The Allstar Performance Ford was looking for a few easy laps for the first practice session on this obviously un-tested race track. Less than 1/3 of the way through Ross’ first lap the truck felt good as it crested the third of 4 jumps on the back straight away then the truck hit the poorly placed 4th jump and things instantly went bad. The truck basically “cased” the 4th jump, then the rear end bucked sending the front bumper rapidly down into the Charlotte clay. The truck’s energy was then thrown into a violent end over end spin climaxing with a driver side dead flat landing on the hard packed track surface. The truck flipped one more time and came to rest on its BF Goodrich tires.
Thanks to his ISP seat and belts, along with his Safety Solutions neck restraint, Ross quickly exited the truck on his own and tried to look over the damage. Initial inspection looked easy to repair before the next practice session of the day.
Once the PRO-Light was towed back to the transporter, Ross and his crew noticed the engine and transmission were torn from their mounts. The front suspension damage and broken wheel were easy fixes for a seasoned short course team but the truck had major internal structure damage, there was no way of fixing this at the race track.
Just minutes after the incident Ross Hoek explained what happened.
“I was just trying to take it easy through the double doubles and I was going a speed that couldn’t hurt me,” noted Ross Hoek. “Obviously I was wrong. That portion of the track really needs to be changed. There’s no flow, no way to race through those 4 jumps.”
USAC officials must have been listening, as the track crew immediately went to work on that portion of the track knocking down the first 3 and removing the 4th jump. By race time, the changes made for ideal racing for all three PRO classes.
With the terminal damage to the race truck, and Ross with a sore foot and hand, the team would spend a rare race weekend watching all the action from the grandstands.
“It was a different way to spend a race weekend,” remarked Ross Hoek. “I really enjoyed the watching the races, but we have a ton of work ahead of us to get the truck ready for the next race. This incident knocks us out of the year end points chase. Now we will focus on race wins, and getting another Crandon World Championship ring.”