Scott Douglas was looking to get back on the podium at "Battle at the Chip" in Sturgis, South Dakota, as the #7AMSOIL Borla Exhaust Walker Evans Racing Cooper Tire PRO-4 as only six rounds of racing were left on the TORC schedule. During both days of racing the Douglas Motorsports PRO-4 looked to be heading for that coveted spot only to have issues outside of his control prevent a strong finish.
For the second year in a row the "Battle at the Chip" event was held in conjunction with the annual Sturgis Bike Week as both the motorcycle rally and the TORC event are marketing partners with Douglas Motorsports' team sponsor AMSOIL. Needless to say, these two rounds of racing are very big in the eyes of the industry, the sport, and the fans of short-course off-road racing.
The one-mile long track was extremely challenging as the layout ran up and down some very steep hills just outside downtown Sturgis. Along with the elevation changes a variety of jumps, drop offs, and tabletop jumps kept every racer at full attention during the twelve lap races.
Tuesday afternoon saw Round 11 get underway and even after a heavy downpour of rain the night before the event, the track quickly became very dusty in the early laps of the PRO-4 race.
Scott Douglas started in the second row and quickly moved into third place and held the position right to the halfway mandatory caution. On the restart, Douglas made an aggressive move on the leader, but the first place truck chose to brake a little early causing the #7 AMSOIL truck to spin which allowed the rest of the field to race on by.
Quickly the veteran racer gathered up the truck and went to work look for that podium finish. Then a couple of laps later a rather large rock destroyed a rear caliper which left the race truck without any brakes. Regardless Scott Douglas pressed on to finish fifth.
The next day the team had the brake system repaired as the team made a few suspension changes and came up with a different groove pattern for the Cooper Tires.
Wednesday race saw Scott Douglas drive with great confidence that the team would find itself back on the podium. Early on the AMSOIL Borla Exhaust PRO-4 was in a battle with Chad Hord for second place when a hard hit knocked the California racer off the track and nearly ended his day. Somehow he gathered up the 900 horsepower truck and reentered the race once again at the tail end of the field.
When the field was brought back together for the final six laps, Douglas was prepared to charge to the front. Unfortunately a tire began to loose air, due to the early hard contact, and the progress of the AMSOIL Borla Exhaust Walker Evans Cooper Tire PRO-4 was hampered due to another issue out of the driver's control. Eventually Scott Douglas crossed the finish line in fourth place.
"This was a rough weekend for Douglas Motorsports,"
commented Scott Douglas. "We missed our step-up a bit on Tuesday, but Wednesday I knew we were fast and I was confident of a great finish, that is until we were knocked off the trac
k. The track itself is really an awesome layout, but when it dried out, it really got rough and it took a toll on all the race trucks. We've four more races plus the AMSOIL Cup so everyone better keep an eye on the #7 PRO-4 as we are letting out all the stops during the final two weekends of the season."