PRO 2 field to feature one-of-a-kind old-fashioned 1947 Ford by Keehner Motorsports
ELK RIVER, MINNESOTA: When the green flag flies for the PRO 2 class at TORC: Twin Cities Takedown on June 10-11, one truck is sure to catch the eyes of fans watching in person and online around the world. Joining the field for rounds 3-4 is a vintage, rustic brown, custom-built 1947 Ford truck with full PRO 2 power under the hood.
The brand new truck will look familiar to longtime TORC Series fans – it was inspired by Keehner Motorsports’ own 1947 Ford Super Stock Truck, affectionately dubbed the “Whisky Express.” The original truck has seen a few seasons of competition in the MORR sportsman series, piloted by 22-year-old Monona Iowa native Gatlin Keehner.
“The 1947 SST (Super Stock Truck) was born when we found the truck in a barn.” Recalls Gatlin Keehner. “It turned out to be the best $500 we ever spent. It was only the body and frame. We built the truck around 2014 and the third race out we were on the podium.”
The truck was an overnight sensation and became a crowd favorite the moment it hit the track. In 2017, Keehner Motorsports is calling on lightning to strike twice by bringing their signature style to the PRO 2 ranks. Gatlin says the new PRO 2 rules played a large role in making the truck a possibility.
“The new motor rules made everything so much more affordable. Having the fiberglass molds we built ourselves from the SST, we were able to build the entire new body for the PRO 2 with very low cost. Everything on the body of the truck we built ourselves.”
Thanks to some engine help from Dinsmore Racing, Keehner Motorsports is prepped to debut the Case Gunderson-built Cooper Tires-sponsored PRO 2 at ERX Motor Park June 10-11. Gatlin has some lofty goals as he takes a big step forward in his racing career:
“The plan is to win as much as possible, but it is a new truck and there will be bugs we have to work out. For the debut I just want to finish the race. [In 2017] I am hoping to get Rookie of the Year and my first win.”
No matter what happens, the PRO 2 is sure to turn a lot of heads this season. Gatlin put it best: “Even if we aren’t the fastest that day, we will be the coolest.”