Taylorville, IL (August 14, 2012) – After a tough couple of days at Route 66 Raceway, Randy Eller was looking forward to the familiar ground of Bark River Off-Road Raceway. Early in the weekend it looked like Eller might have an uphill battle at the 37th annual UP OFF-Road 100, but thanks to the perseverance of crew chief Brian Powell, the #11 Maxxis Tire/Ignite Racing Fuels/roostersynthetics.com
Ford was competing for a top five finish during both rounds of racing.
Friday afternoon saw the #11 Ford Ranger fight a suspension set-up that really slowed the McGunegill Performance equipped Ford during qualifying. The issues put the truck at the back of the field.
Quickly the team solved the problems from qualifying and looked forward to a great Round 7.
The start of the race saw Eller take cautious approach to the first half of the race moved into the top ten at the halfway mandatory caution. When green flag racing resumed for the final five laps, the Maxxis Tire/Ignite Fuels/roostersynthetics.com
Ford came to life. As the laps wound down, Eller steadily moved up the field. When the checkered flag came out, Randy Eller crossed the finish in fifth place.
“Our truck was a real hot rod today,” remarked Randy Eller. “If we didn’t start from the back of the field we definitely would have been on the podium. Heck we even broke a rear axle about a hundred yards from the finish, but I just kept my foot in it and held the spot.”
When the fourteen truck field lined up for the day’s eleven lap feature, the #11 Maxxis Tire/Ignite Racing Fuels/roostersynthetics.com
Ford was positioned on the front row. As the field approached the first turn, the freshly watered track was quite slippery. This caused Eller to lose several positions before he entered the second turn. The rest of the race was spent weaving his way back into contention. On the final lap the Maxxis Tire Ford was challenging for fifth place when the checkered flag was waved giving the Eller Racing team a hard fought sixth place.
“Man I was really pushing to go on the last couple of laps trying for back to back fifth place finishes,” remarked Randy Eller. “We weren’t handling the tabletop jumps as well as some of the other PRO-Lights, but this was our best weekend of the year, it’s not what we are used to, but we will take it and build on it.”
Next up for Eller Racing is the Illinois State Fair. The #11 Maxxis Tire/Ignite Racing Fuels/roostersynthetics.com
Ford Ranger will be on display during the USAC Silver Crown race at the Ignite Racing Fuels display next weekend.
Then two weeks later during the Labor Day weekend, the team will be in Crandon, Wisconsin for three rounds of TORC racing.
- Mike Reusche, race report