Tough Weekend for Hoek at The Big House
Holland, MI (June 2, 2012) – Ross Hoek Motorsports was looking forward to getting the #21 Ignite Racing Fuels/Venom Energy/Allstar Performance Ford back on track at Crandon after an up and down weekend of racing at Red Bud. The Big House as Crandon’s race track is so aptly named, has been host to some of Ross Hoek’s greatest finishes, including a World Championship ring. Unfortunately forces beyond his control saw the team labor through the annual Spring Run in Crandon.
The days leading up to the race weekend saw heavy rains put enough moisture in the 1.75 mile long track to create ideal short-course racing conditions. The Friday afternoon qualifying session saw the team take a conservative approach to the session and stopped the watches tenth fastest in the fourteen truck field.
The next morning race teams awoke to partly sunny skies and above normal temperatures. The weatherman predicted rain for later in the evening, so it looked to be a great day for Northwoods style short-course off-road racing. The race schedule had the PRO-Light group competing mid-afternoon and very few racers figured rain would be an issue. Unfortunately the weatherman was wrong as rains hit the area just before Saturday’s PRO-Light race and lasted into the evening.
The Pro Light race started with dry skies, but the race track was wet and really muddy just about everywhere. The landrush start saw the Ignite Racing Fuels Venom Energy Ford exit Turn One safely in tenth place. The opening five laps showed Ross gain control of the muddy track as he worked his way up to fourth place at the mandatory caution. As the green flag flew Ross was ready to challenge for the podium when heavy rains began to fall making visibility impossible. Somehow, Hoek stayed out of any major contact and finished Round 5 in seventh place.
“The vision was a problem before the rain came,” remarked Ross Hoek. “But the heavy rain made it impossible to race. After the mandatory caution I had used up all my tearoffs and I had to race with the helmet shield up. Somehow we made it to the end, but my eyes are trashed.”
The next morning cooler temperatures and clear skies prevailed and thanks to Mother Nature and the great work of the Crandon track crew, the race track was in near perfect condition for Round 6 action.
Based on his Saturday finish, the #21 Ford started in the middle of the front row. The first half of the race was uneventful as Hoek was running mid pack waiting for second half of the race to make the charge for a podium finish.
As the race trucks headed in single file formation for the starter’s flag one of the front running trucks hit the brakes (commonly known as brake checking) causing the majority of the field to run into each other. The race officials waved off the start because of the incident, but it was too late for Ross Hoek. When the accordion effect happened, the truck behind Hoek got underneath the rear bumper and broke a brake line on the orange #21 Ford. Realizing there wasn’t any possible quick fix, Hoek just cruised the final four laps looking to stay out of everyone’s way, finishing in eleventh place.
“The restart saw someone up front brake checking, and it ruined a lot of equipment,” commented Ross Hoek. “They need to start throwing black flags for this BS. Only then will it stop. We didn’t tear much up today, because we really didn’t get the chance. The restarting incident caused us to lose the brakes, so all I could do was coast around the track. The issues we had this weekend we not of our own doing, our race program is really on the upward swing. Chicagoland is a lot like Charlotte so I look forward to a couple of great finishes.”