Tough Day at Kansas for Munter: Kansas City, Mo (October 1, 2010) Leilani Munter and the ...
Tough Day at Kansas for Munter:
Kansas City, Mo (October 1, 2010) Leilani Munter and the #59 Operation Free Mark Gibson racing team unloaded the car Thursday morning with high hopes for the Kansas Lottery 150 at Kansas Speedway after a successful test session here a week before. They were joined by a number of the Operation Free veterans who came to help spread the message of the need for Energy Independence as a matter of national security to a new audience.
Munter was sitting 21st on the practice board when with 5 minutes left in the practice the team went out for a mock qualifying run and the car got loose coming out of turn 1 and backed into the wall. "We had been loosening the car up all practice" Munter said "then we taped up the nose and put stickers on to take a mock qualifying run to see how it would handle, the car felt great through 3 and 4 as I was getting up to speed but as I went through turn 1 it got loose and backed into the fence. Finding the edge is part of the game, and I certainly found it yesterday. It's obviously not what I wanted for my first ARCA race back since Daytona, but in racing we all have our bad days and today it was my turn."
The MGR crew worked to get the back-up car ready and the team used the qualifying run to shake down the car since Leilani hadn't had any laps in it. The car was way too loose and Munter spun coming out of turn four but did a great job keeping the car off the wall and went through the grass.
The team made changes to tighten up the car after qualifying. Starting at the back, Leilani took a cautious approach, hanging back and feeling the car out when 5 laps in tragedy struck again with the engine overheating.
"We only had one lap on the back-up car before taking the green and it overheated just a few laps in. I can't thank Operation Free and Sturman Industries enough for this opportunity today, as well as Mark Gibson Racing for all their hard work. I am heartbroken that it ended the way it did."
"Some of the drivers in the garage were kind enough to tell me stories of similar moments in their racing career to cheer me up," said Leilani, "and even though I know that all race drivers have stories of going into a corner and never coming out the other side - it still doesn't make it any easier when it happens to you. I just have look forward and focus on putting something together for next year now that we've got all our bad luck out of the way."
"With our partnership with Leilani, we set out to reach an entirely new audience with our message that America needs to take control of its energy future with clean, American power," said Jonathan Murray, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Operation Free Campaign Director. "Leilani has been a great partner in delivering the message that our dependence on oil is a threat to our national security. By making small but significant changes like raising fuel efficiency standards to 60 mpg by 2025, we will become far less dependent on oil and therefore less vulnerable to the whims of our enemies. And someday, we can look forward to race cars doing 200 miles per hour at 40, 50, even 60 miles per gallon. The "Race to Energy Independence" effort drives that point home."
Leilani will be along side top retired military leaders and veterans at the Operation Free tent located in the fan area right outside Kansas Speedway Saturday and Sunday to meet with race fans, sign autographs and spread the message about the importance of energy independence and the threats posed to our nation by our current energy policy.
-source: leilani munter PR