Federico Racing Keeps Both Toyotas in the Hunt for the Championship
Wilmette, IL (June 2, 2009) - Federico Racing brought their two Invisible Glass PF Changs-China Bistro TRD Toyota Tacoma PRO-Light trucks to Perris Auto Speedway looking for strong finishes to battle their way into the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL PRO-Light season championship points race. Steven Federico and Lee O'Donnell were looking to put their programs in position for a charge up the points chase when they headed for familiar ground in the Midwest.
The practice session saw Federico trying different lines through the rhythm section; O'Donnell was getting familiar with his Toyota Tacoma after missing the opening weekend of the season in Texas.
The starting grid for Round 3 put the two teammates side by side in row five. The fifteen truck field put on a great show of the fans that rushed to the Speedway after their work week. The twenty lap event saw the Federico Racing teammates race door to door with each other as well as many of their competitors. Both finished the event without any serious mishaps as Steven crossed the finish in sixth and Lee in eighth.
The truck prep for Federico's #24 Invisible Glass Toyota was pretty straight forward, until the pre race engine check. A.J. and Kyle found three intake manifold bolts had broken during Round 3. With only a hour before lineup, the guys somehow drilled and tapped out the broken bolts and replaced them just as the grid was pulling out on the track.
The #23 PF Changs-China Bistro Toyota had is own issues. Lee had his shifter linkage come loose preventing him to use first gear the last three laps of the race, and upon further inspection second gear needed replacement as well. Fortunately, the crew had the parts to complete the needed repairs well before Round 4 opening ceremonies.
The Federico Racing teammates started side by side in row five. Quickly, Steven made several passes and had briefly worked his way into third place, but settled into fifth place at the mandatory caution period. Meanwhile, Lee was still knocking the rust off of his driving abilities and was in eighth place at the break.
The second half of the race was full of excitement. First, Steven jumped the start bringing out the yellow and creating a complete restart. In the process, contact occurred between most the trucks; two competitors were involved in rollovers. Everyone got back on their tires and put back in line for the restart. It seemed like everyone was extremely aggressive for the rest of the twenty-lap event. This caused Steven to move back a couple spots to finish in eighth, while Lee improved his position, finishing in sixth. Both Toyota Tacoma race trucks were missing most of their fiberglass body panels when they got back to the hauler.
"It was a real rough race tonight," commented Steven Federico. "I was anticipating the pace would be picking up as we came to the flag for the restart, but it obviously didn't. I really didn't want to start a controversy. I was just trying to win. I was glad to see Huseman and Hord to make it back for the restart, and see Chad take the win."
"It took me about midway to into tonight's round to get my rhythm going with the truck," noted Lee O'Donnell. "I've been out of the seat so long, and getting adjusted to everything took longer than expected. I'm happy with the outcome this weekend. I can't wait to get to Crandon."
After four round of racing in the 2009 Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL, Steven Federico is eighth overall; Lee O'Donnell is seventh overall in the PRO-Light standings.
You can see Federico Racing and the rest of the PRO truck action, Sunday, June 7, at 4pm central time, on ABC Sports.