In the past Douglas Motorsports has experienced a fair amount of success at Red Bud. The TORC Series presented by AMSOIL has visited the iconic southwest Michigan facility three times over the last seven years with the team having podium finishes including a win in 2010. The 2017 edition saw a brand new layout that had Scott Douglas experience the highs and lows of a professional off-road racer.
After a three-year hiatus, the TORC officials and the hardworking group at Red Bud MX built a completely new racetrack just for the TORC Series. The .9 mile long layout featured natural terrain with several elevation changes, a variety of step-up and table top jumps, drop offs, a sand section, a high banked turn and a land rush start. A layout that was challenging for drivers and exciting for the fans.
The two Friday practice sessions and the Saturday morning shakedown saw Douglas Motorsports improve its lap times every time out. Scott and the team were very confident a top result was in their future.
Saturday - Round 9
The land rush start saw the field squeeze through a tight right corner and then a big high banked turn before heading up the backstretch. At the exit of the turn the #7 AMSOIL Rusty's Off-Road Walker Evans Racing Cooper Tire Ford Raptor was in third place pressuring the leading trucks for the top spot. By lap two Douglas made all the right moves to take the lead. Then a rare phenomenon occurred. The engine drive belts broke, due to rocks getting into the front of the engine, causing the water pump and power steering to stop operating. With the hope of the AMSOIL products keeping the engine temperatures manageable, Douglas continued to lead the field. Unfortunately, the lack of power steering was too much to overcome on such a tight track. This ended the race after just three laps.
Quickly the crew went to work ensuring the engine was still in proper running order as well as attending to a few changes to the chassis setup for Sunday's finale.
Sunday - Round 10
Sunday's race saw much more contact at the start, but by the end of the opening lap, the #7 AMSOIL PRO-4x4 was running in third place. The familiar white and black striped truck was looking to move up a spot when Douglas over jumped the backstretch tabletop jump causing the truck to spin in the fast approaching corner. Undaunted Douglas refocused his attention, made a few passes and began hunting down the third place truck. The final lap saw the #7 truck get the rear bumper of third place, but a lapped truck spoiled any chance to make a move to gain the final podium position.
"Saturday we were out front and were in position to get the win, but this loose soil definitely has some gravel in it and it just took out all the belts," commented Scott Douglas. "This rarely happens, but it is what it is. Sunday's race had a ton of contact. Heck the driver's door panel was peeled right off the truck. We had another good run going, even after the spin, but came up short. Crandon is up next and to ensure everything is just right for the biggest weekend of the year, the engine we put in for Red Bud is being replaced with a powerplant suited for the high speeds of the "Big House." A TORC win would be great, but another AMSOIL Cup win would be even better."
The weekend at Red Bud also saw Scott Douglas put on a headset and work the Spotter's role for AMSOIL the PRO-2 teammate Brad Lovell. Two second place finishes during the weekend moved Colorado native into second place in the PRO-2WD standings.
On another note, Scott had some very loyal fans stop by the team's spot in the Paddock. One person came by with a fifteen year old poster that was hanging up in the garage that Scott was glad to autograph. Then a husband and wife that Scott met two years ago at the Frozen Rush event in Maine made the trek to Red Bud all the way from Quebec Canada. The couple stopped by to wish the team good luck.
The Labor Day weekend will see Scott Douglas back in action at Crandon, Wisconsin for TORC Round 11 and the chance to win the team's second AMSOIL Cup.