|TORC 2014: Barlow Motorsports - all three race trucks caught the attention|
The second weekend of the "TORC Series" saw Barlow Motorsports add its PRO-2WD race truck to the team with Steve Barlow as the pilot and Caterpillar as the truck's primary sponsor. All three race trucks caught the attention of short course off-road enthusiasts during the "Showdown in Charlotte," and as the team packed up and headed home, they knew better results will come as the season makes its swing through the Midwest.
The tight stadium style course built within "The Dirt Track" at Charlotte Motor Speedway forces drivers to rely more on suspension and tire setups and less on brute horsepower. The layout can also be brutal on driveline components as well. With two rounds of racing under their belts, Adrian Cenni and Mark Kvamme looked ready for the weekend, as Steve Barlow used every possible moment of track time before Friday night's race to get reacquainted with his PRO-2WD hotrod.
Friday evening's Round 3 action began with Steve Barlow behind the wheel of the #2 PRO-2WD race truck. The opening laps saw the black #2 running strong in third place. Then just before the mandatory caution the race truck suffered right front suspension damage that created handling issues especially in the left had corners. Ultimately Barlow completed the eighteen lap race in sixth position.
The final race of the evening saw PRO-4WD fast qualifier Adrian Cenni starting from the second row due the starting inversion, as Mark Kvamme lined up two rows further back in the starting grid. The start saw Cenni in his #11 PRO-4WD truck hold his starting position during the first half of the race. Meanwhile during the opening lap, Mark Kvamme in the #5 "Bootlegger" lost the front wheel drive which makes driving the 900 horsepower truck quite difficult to drive.
The second half of the race Cenni continued to hold his ground to finish in fourth place as Kvamme eventually pulled off the track four laps from the checkered flag. Afterwards Cenni commented that he needs to be more aggressive to ensure a podium finish for Saturday's main event. When the crew went to work on Kvamme's truck they found a piece of metal tubing had speared the transfer case causing the front drive failure.
Steve Barlow returned for the Saturday PRO-2WD race with a well prepared racer and was looking to put the #2 PRO-2WD on the podium. For much of the race it looked like Barlow would land on the podium in his first weekend back racing. The fierce competition really challenged Barlow as he ultimately finished the race in fourth place.
"We had a good step-up under the truck tonight," remarked Steve Barlow. "I just missed the podium and look forward to Bark River as we have a couple of extra weeks to get ready for the next battle. I have to thanks Caterpillar for coming on board to get our program back to the track."
Saturday's PRO-4WD race was an epic battle between Adrian Cenni and Scott Douglas. The two rivals started on the front row and put a show that will be remembered for a long time. Cenni and Douglas swapped the top spot several times throughout the first half of the race with the #11 4-Wheel Parts PRO-4WD in the lead at the mandatory yellow. While the battle at the front of the field was raging, Kvamme suffered a broken front axle just a couple laps into the race. Regardless of the problem, the #5 "Bootlegger" backed racer continued with the race.
When racing resumed, Cenni and Douglas continued the battle. Then with two laps to go, the right front tire on Cenni's truck went flat slowing its pace and relegating the "Wildman" to a sixth place finish. Kvamme was credited with a seventh place finish.
"Scott and I had a great battle tonight," commented Adrian Cenni. "The flat came from getting caught up with a couple other racers, but with such close racing these things are a possibility. We have a fast race truck and Bark River will be interesting to say the least."
"If it weren't for bad luck we would have any luck this weekend," noted Mark Kvamme. "We'll be ready for Bark River and hopefully our misfortunes will turn around." The next race on the 2014 TORC Series presented by Amsoil is the "Throwdown in the U.P." June 14-15 in Bark River, Michigan.
2014/05/03 | 18:52 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/REUSCHE