Belvidere, IL – Scott Taylor began his race season at the Super Speedway of short-course off-road racing Crandon International Off-Road Raceway. The veteran of the sport did not disappoint as a near perfect run put the man from Belvidere, Illinois on the podium at the track he considers home. The weekend wasn’t just about racing for Taylor and his team; it was time of reflection, and dedication to racers that made a difference to off-road racing at Crandon.
The weekend began Thursday with the dedication of the four section 1,000 seat grandstand that was constructed facing Crandon’s infamous Turn One. Each section was named after famous Crandon racers, Chad Schleuter, Farmer John Konitzer, Rick Huseman, and Jack Flannery. Scott Taylor was among the crowd that helped dedicate the structure to these great competitors.
Friday afternoon it was time to get back on the race track for the first time since last September. Taylor and the #8 Miller Welders Roush Yates Engines BFGoodrich Tires Ford F-150 qualified fifth fastest in the PRO-2WD field. Amazingly the top seven PRO-2WD competitors all qualified within one second of each other, a feat not seen before at the Big House.
When the PRO-2WD trucks were called to staging for Saturday’s Round 5 race, heavy rain hit the Northwoods race facility. The final two races of the day, PRO-2WD and PRO-4×4, were postponed due to the weather and are rescheduled to be completed at the Labor Day weekend event.
The next day the weather cooperated and the large Crandon crowd saw a full day of racing. Scott Taylor and the other nine PRO-2WD trucks lined up for what turned out to be one of the longest races in history.
The landrush start saw the #8 Miller Welders/Roush Yates Engines/ BFGoodrich Tires Ford F-150 take the lead heading into Turn One. As the field began to exit the fastest turn in short-course racing, Steve Barlow and Andy Zipperer were involved in a serious incident that actually took out a section of steel guard rail. The race was immediately stopped to ensure the safety of the two racers. Somehow both drivers were unhurt, but there was a lengthy delay to replace the damaged guardrail.
After about thirty minutes the track was ready and the PRO-2WD field was restarted. Once again Taylor charged into the lead with Jeff Kincaid just a couple of trucks lengths behind. Then on lap two, another serious incident between Nick Tyree and Keith Steele stopped the race. The crash on the back straightaway saw Steele walk away from his truck, as Tyree had to be taken to the hospital with a broken leg.
The single file restart was followed two laps later with the mandatory caution. During all the stopping and starting as well as the hard fought racing, it was a battle for the top position between Taylor and Kincaid.
Then just before the final lap, the #8 Miller Welders Ford went too high through the finish line turn and Kincaid took the lead heading into the white flag lap. The top three positions did not change during the final lap as Kincaid took the win, Scott Taylor crossed the line in second, and Chad Hord finished in third place.
“We almost had this one, but I made one or two small mistakes out there and it left the door open for Jeff,” noted Scott Taylor. “I’m happy with the second place finish. I haven’t even driven this truck since last September and to come out here today with this performance, is a testament to our team that included Donnie, Dylan, Jay, Porky, and Kevin Pence. These guys were awesome!”
Then Scott continued on about his future, “I will run a limited schedule the rest year. I can’t say enough about all my sponsors that keep our team racing… Miller Welders, BFGoodrich Tires, AMSOIL, RoushYates, ATD Transmissions, and all the names you see on our Ford F-150. Our plans for now will be to compete at Joliet, Bark River, and of course Labor Day Weekend back here in Crandon….See you in Joliet!”
The final race of the weekend was the Chairman’s Cup event which pitted the PRO-2WD trucks against the PRO-4×4 trucks. Scott Taylor raced hard and stayed out of trouble and finished seventh. Congratulations to Rob MacCachern as he held off the fourteen truck field to take the win.
Next Race – July 19-20, Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL.