|TORC 2014: Barlow Motorsports - All four cars had various levels of success|
Barlow Motorsports is one of the hardest working teams at every US-series "TORC presented by AMSOIL" event. The team maintains two PRO-4x4 trucks, a PRO-2WD truck, and a Super Buggy. All four drivers had various levels of success during the "Big House Brawl" in Crandon, Wisconsin as podium finishes and fast lap times were the keys to their overall performance.
The weekend got off to a slow start as intermittent rains showers cancelled all practice sessions on Friday. This meant the Saturday morning first and only practice session would also be the qualifying session for all the PRO racers. Thankfully Barlow Motorsports had spent some time practicing on the 1.7 mile long race course immediately following the previous race in Bark River.
Mark Kvamme driving the #5 PRO-4x4 had a career best qualifying position as the Ohio resident stopped the clocks fourth fastest as teammate Adrian Cenni qualifiedthe #11 PRO-4x4 in the fifth position just .003 seconds behind "The Bootlegger." Steve Barlow, now fully recovered from his bout with bronchitis, timed in seventh fastest in the PRO-2WD category behind the wheel of the #2 Ford.
The TORC Series uses a two-wide rolling grid for all their races except for events at Crandon. One of Crandon's great traditions is the land rush start. Nowhere else in the world of short-course off-road racing is there a start like the one at "The Big House."
The PRO-2WD group had ten trucks scheduled to line up door to door for the nine lap race. The start saw the Barlow and the #2 Ford come cleanly out of the first turn in fifth place. Throughout the rest of the race Barlow kept pushing the limits of the CAT PRO-2WD which brought him a well-earned spot on the podium with a third place finish.
The PRO-4x4 Round 7 contest was a bit rough on both Barlow Motorsports teammates. On the opening lap,minor contact broke the steering on Adrian Cenni's 4-Wheel Parts sponsoredtruck ending the day before it practically began. Then Mark Kvamme after a strong qualifying run saw drivetrain issues end the day for the #5 truck entry just before the halfway point in the race.
Before the PRO trucks took to the track, the TORC Super Buggy division lined up. Among those competitors was the #5 Super Buggy driven by AMA Superbike competitor Larry Pegram. The Super Buggy division seems to be suiting Pegram quite well as the two-wheel specialist finished the day on the podium in third place.
The next morning all four racers had their body panels back in place preparing for one more points race. Barlow went out first for the PRO-2WD Round Eight race. On the opening lap the #2 CAT Ford wasn't handling well as a broken sway bar made the fast sweeping corners very interesting for the driver. This kept Barlow from really attacking the tracking. A sixth place finish was the end result.
Cenni and Kvamme lined up their PRO-4x4 trucks next as they took their turn at ten laps of competition. Once again both driver had their issues. Cenni while challenging for a podium finish, popped a rear tire during a particularly hard landing on the third lap. The team brought the #11 PRO-4x4 to the hot pit just before the mandatory caution. The tire change took a little more time than expected and the team went a lap down in the process. This put Cenni in the sixth spot at the finish.
The start saw Mark Kvamme get the holeshot as he led the field out of the first turn. The "Bootlegger" was having the best run of his short course career as he was in contention for a podium spot until his front drive failed five laps from the finish.
The second race of the weekend for Super Buggy driver Larry Pegram was his best drive of the season. After a slow start, which had the black Super Buggy running last well behind the rest of the field. Quickly Pegram worked his way into second place only to have to serve a stop and go penalty for what officials deemed an over aggressive pass. That sent the two-wheel road racer to the back of the pack with only two laps until the finish. Undaunted Pegram passed several racers, and with the checkered flag in his sights one last pass put the "rookie" off-road racer on the podium once again in third place.
The final race of the weekend was the Forest County Potawatomi Community Cup. The annual race is a ten lap sprint race where the PRO-2WD trucks take on the PRO-4x4 trucks. The PRO-2WD group gets a head start determined by lap times. This year a drier than usual race track definitely favored the two-wheel drive racers. The Barlow Motorsports team was well represented as Adrian Cenni was the first PRO-4x4 to finish and stood on the podium in third place. Steve Barlow finish the event in sixth place, and Mark Kvamme completed all ten laps as he was awarded eleventh.
In less than three weeks, July 19-20, Barlow Motorsports will be back in Bark River, Michigan for TORC's second edition of the "Throwdown in the U.P."
2014/07/03 | 22:21 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/REUSCHE