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TORC Bark River II Race Report
Eagle River, WI ( August 17, 2010) - We made our 2nd stop of the season in Bark River Michigan for rounds 7 & 8 of the TORC Series. We didn’t do as well this time at this venue but we were very happy and excited about how it went. Mike and the guys came up with some gear changes and Bill Smith of Pro Fab helped out with some different suspension adjustments. All these changes are helping Mike feel more comfortable on how the truck feels and it is showing in his performance behind the wheel. Mike is coming back to his true form.

For round 7 on Saturday afternoon, Mike qualified in the 5th starting position which gave him the outside line of the 3rd row. We all felt this would be an ideal position to start because it gave him a good shot coming down the hill and into turn one. It worked great for Mike as he came through turn one in 4th position. It didn’t take much more for him to put the #80 AMSOIL/Chevrolet into 3rd position. He was able to hold that position all the way to the yellow caution at the half way point. He got a great jump off the caution lap but with about 2 laps left he got caught in the outside loose dirt and drifted out. This allowed not one truck, but two trucks to get under him. He fought hard to get back in the groove and ended with a 5th place finish. Overall, Mike was thrilled with how the truck felt throughout the race.

The guys opted to do another gear change before practice on Sunday and found an issue with that. They swapped gears again in hopes this would be the right move for round 8. Seventy five minutes before Mike was to race, the guys started the truck to warm everything up. They had a bad noise coming from the drive train and opted to change the transmission and 3rd member before the round. This made me nervous because this generally takes an hour in a pinch. All the guys went at it hard and incredibly had everything changed (and the truck running) in only 40 minutes. I couldn’t believe this. It had to be a new record. There was an inversion on Sunday so this started Mike on the front row on the outside. The bad part was that his nemesis Scott Taylor was on the inside. Scott has a history of drifting out and that is what happened. Mike was forced out into the loose stuff on turn one where he came out of this in 6th position. This is all it took to get Mike riled up and that right foot went down. Mike charged hard and worked his way back up to 3rd by the half way caution. Now, would he have enough to get by 2nd and 3rd? He tried as best he could and pushed the truck as hard as he could. That truck hasn’t looked faster this season than it did today. He did get out in the loose stuff and one truck got by. He finished the race in 4th position which we were all happy with.

“This AMSOIL truck is finally coming together and I couldn’t be more proud of the work my crew put in this weekend”, said Mike. “We have a few more tricks up our sleeve before going into the next rounds at Chicagoland Raceway in Illinois. Look out, cause here we come”.
The next two rounds will be held on August 25 & 26 at the famous Route 66 Raceway outside of Joliet Illinois on a Wednesday and Thursday night. The NASCAR Trucks are racing on Friday at the Chicagoland Speedway which is next door. With this happening, NASCAR Driver Kyle Busch is going to pilot a Pro II and race against the best Off-Roaders in the country. This is going to be exciting so I hope to see you all there. So until then,


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