|TORC 2014: Steve Barlow and Adrian Cenni take PRO-class podiums in BR|
The first stop during the Midwest swing of the "TORC Series presented by AMSOIL" saw all three Barlow Motorsports teammates battle through adversity during the "Throwdown in the U.P." three day event in Bark River, Michigan (USA). Thanks to the solid efforts of their entire crew, not only did every racer take the green flag each day, but were running when the checkered flag was waved.
Originally Rounds 5 and 6 were scheduled to take place outside St. Louis in mid-May, but heavy rains made all but impossible for TORC's track crew to build a proper layout. Thankfully a solution was quickly found as the Bark River Lions Club offered to include the PRO racers in the scheduled Sportsman race weekend. Now the like in years past, the most diverse permanent layout in short-course racing would once again host two complete weekends of TORC racing.
The 1.4 mile long Bark River track combines speed with the technical aspects of off-road racing. The actual terrain will vary depending on the area of the track as the combination of natural elevation changes and man-made jumps demands the complete attention of every competitor from start to finish.
Saturday afternoon saw the PRO competitors' line up for Round 5. Steve Barlow had the #2 PRO-2WD race truck lined up on the front row waiting for the start of the ten lap feature. Earlier in the week, there was some doubt if Barlow would even get behind the wheel of his truck as the southern California native was fighting off a bout with Bronchitis, but when the green flag waved there was no question the Caterpillar PRO-2WD would race for the win.
The race itself saw Barlow run hard and just past the halfway point of the race, the third place position was in his control. The third place finish was the first podium of the season for #2 Caterpillar PRO-2.
The PRO-4WD division was next on the schedule and the starting field had Adrian Cenni in the #11 Ford startingin the fourth row alongside the #5 truck driven by his teammate Mark Kvamme.
When the race went green, a great battle broke out between Cenni, Douglas, and Mike Jenkins. The door to door racing was close until lap eight as Cenni took control of the three man battle for the final spot on the podium. The third place finish was the third podium of the season as well.
Behind Cenni, Kvamme was have his own battle with fellow second year PRO-4WD competitor Ross Hoek. The "Bootlegger" was experiencing engine issues throughout the second half of the race, but guided the black hot rod to the checkered flag in sixth place.
As the Barlow Motorsports crew prepped the trucks for Sunday's action, Barlow went back to the motorhome to get as much rest as possible. The crew on the #5 PRO-4WD had an engine swap to perform overnight, as the #2 and #11 trucks had the scheduled between race maintenance. The next afternoon saw another great performance from Barlow as he fought his way to another third place finish in the PRO-2WD category.
The PRO-4WD race saw Cenni once again in a multi truck battle for the podium throughout much of the race. Early on the 4-Wheel Parts Ford lost its brakes, but Adrian still found the ability to keep the truck in the battle. Then with two laps to go hard contact caused the right rear tire to come apart slowing the pace of the truck and eventually settling for a fifth place finish.
Just behind Cenni at the finish was teammate Mark Kvamme. The backup motor that was installed overnight was down about fifty horsepower from his teammates, nevertheless the Popcorn Sutton White Whiskey had a solid sixth place run.
"All three of us fought some type of adversity this weekend, but we all ran hard and completed all the laps," commented Steve Barlow. "With me being under the weather so to speak, the guys really took command of the situation the times when I couldn't always be there."
The Bark River weekend also saw the return of Larry Pegram behind the wheel of the #5 Popcorn Sutton's Tennessee White Whiskey/Outdoor Energy/Maxxis Tire Super Buggy. The AMA Superbike veteran had a great weekend with back to back second place finishes in TORC's premier Buggy division.
The next race on the 2014 TORC Series presented by AMSOIL is the "Big House Brawl" June 28-29 in Crandon, Wisconsin.
2014/06/25 | 12:45 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/REUSCHE