Federico and Krueger Come Back with Strong Finishes in TORC Round 2
Wilmette, IL ( May19, 2009) - Federico Racing had its two Toyota Tacoma PRO- Light race trucks primed for a another season of exciting wheel to wheel short course off -road racing .Steven Federico in the #24 P.F. Changs Invisible Glass TRD Toyota Tacoma and Lee O'Donnell in the #23 P.F. Changs Toyota Tacoma. For the first race of the year Mark Krueger will be driving the #23 Toyota as Lee is in Panama racing a Monster Truck.
The practice sessions saw Federico work on getting his truck to turn better, and unfortunately, Krueger needed additional time to get fitted to the #23 Toyota and missed the sessions.
Steven Federico qualified fifth, and Mark Krueger seventh in the thirteen truck field.
Friday Night Round One
The field took the green as the PRO-Light field came rolling off of Turn 4, and as Steven made his way through the infield for the first time, the pitman arm of the steering broke ending his night.
The field took the green as the PRO-Light field came rolling off of Turn 4, and as Steven started to make his way through the field and heading into the first turn, Steven was hit hard in the left front tire, breaking the pitman arm and losing all steering. The opening round of the season for the #24 P.F. Chang's Invisible Glass TRD Toyota Tacoma was over as quickly as it started.
Meanwhile, Mark Krueger was running well moving into the top five. For several laps he and Casey Currie were bumper to bumper, side by side, getting the crowd in their feet. Then with two laps to go, Mark radioed in that the engine was running hot. Wisely, crew chief Chris Hansen, had him back off, looking to prevent permanent engine damage, and crossed the finish in ninth place.
Steven Federico commented, "The hard hit we took really wasn't necessary, so early in the race, but it is what it is. We will have our Toyota Tacoma ready to go before we call it a night. I know we will come back strong tomorrow, it's just a racing thing."
Mark Krueger added, "I was pretty happy with my run until we started overheating. We have time tomorrow to make some changes in the cooling system and we will be battling for more TV time."
About 4am Saturday morning, a cold front swept through the Dallas-Fort Worth area, bringing heavy rains that lasted until 3pm in the afternoon. The deluge created a lake in the infield of the track and getting the track dry enough to races seemed impossible. The series owners, Ricky Johnson and Mitch Covington, put their crew to work. Somehow, the track was ready for racing by 9pm. The race schedule was delayed but the over 5000 spectators didn't seem to mind as a huge roar rang through the grandstands when the PRO-Light field made its way onto the track.
Saturday Night Round Two
The starting grid was determined by the finishing order in Round One, this put Federico thirteenth and Kreuger ninth.
This time out Steven Federico drove a great race, behind the wheel of the #24 Invisible Glass PF Changs Toyota Tacoma, passing seven trucks during the twenty lap race. Only the runner-up finisher passed more competitors.
Overnight, crew chief Chris Hansen made some cooling system changes in the #23 PF Changs Toyota Tacoma, as Mark Kreuger was able to run hard all race along. Krueger finished just behind Federico in seventh place.
We had a couple of minor miscues with our trucks Friday night," noted Steven Federico. "AJ and Chris quickly identified the problems and had both trucks race ready with time to spare. Our Goodwin Engineering powered Toyota gave me what I need to move through traffic. The laps ran out before I could break into the top five. My hat is off to the track crew for getting this track ready tonight. I really thought we would be racing on Sunday. An extra bit of thanks goes out to AMSOIL and the PDG the travel stipend to help with our expenses. Without that we wouldn't be here."
After two rounds of racing in the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL, Steven Federico is eleventh overall, and O'Donnell/Krueger is tenth overall in the PRO-Light Championship standings.
You can watch the all the action from the opening weekend of the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL, this Sunday, May 24, at 11:00am, on ESPN2.