Short Course Off-Road Racing, a Contact Sport'
Lake Zurich, IL (September 27, 2007) - The Sticker Dude Motorsports caravan headed to the World Series of Off-Road Racing's newest venue, the "Diamond in the Dirt," in Wheatland, Missouri. The final stop of the 2007 season would give the team one last opportunity to improve their positions, in the Championship standings. All three team members have battled adversity throughout the year, but like true professionals, the team has always comeback stronger the next time out.
The Lucas Oil Speedway is an incredible, short track racing facility. The ½ mile high banked dirt oval, is in the middle of a stadium-type setting. There are concrete grandstands along both straightaways, with two levels of corporate skyboxes, and a large, fully paved pit area. The actual off-road track winds its way through the dirt oval, and then makes a loop behind Turn 3 and 4. The track is very technical in its design. There are two large jumps heading into and out of the circle track area, along with a couple of switchback sections, and a very challenging rhythm section. The 0.82 mile long track saw the PRO-Light competitors turning laps in the 62-66 second range.
Steven Federico - PRO-Light #24
Saturday -Round 12
Due to the design of the track, the starting grid was only six trucks wide. This made for a confusing starting inversion; nevertheless, the fourteen lap race went on. The start saw several trucks jump the start. Quickly, the grid workers attempted to realign the grid, but before this happened, the starter dropped the green flag. While this was going on, Steven Federico put his truck in neutral, figuring there would be enough time to catch his breath, and get ready for the restart. Obviously, the mayhem caught Steven and his #24 Invisible Glass Sticker Dude Designs PF Chang's Hankook Tire Toyota Tacoma off guard.
Entering the first turn, Steven was dead last. Swiftly, the #24 ran clean lines, made several exciting passes on the highly technical course, and crossed the finish line in sixth place. It wasn't the finish he was hoping for, but there was still a chance for third place, in the Championship standings, going into the final round.
In order to finish in third place for the Championship, Steven needed to finish five positions ahead of Art Schmidt in the final round. This would be a difficult task, but crazier things have happened.
The final round of racing in the WSORR season seemed to bring out some very aggressive driving. Right from the start, the tension was at an all-time high. As the PRO-Light field headed for the first turn, Steven took an evasive action to avoid #30 Oberg, as his truck literally flew over the Invisible Glass Toyota. Then heading into the rhythm section for the first time, Steven caught a slower truck and tried to slow down to prevent contact, but there wasn't enough room. The two trucks hit, and Steven ended on top of #82 Brandt. By the time he got going again, all hope of finishing five positions ahead of Art Schmidt seemed to be gone.
Steven noticed Schmidt upside down, in the back loop and thought that maybe, there was still a chance. Just a few laps later, as the #24 came into the hairpin turn, someone made hard contact into the rear of the truck. The rear suspension was damaged and the ring and pinion gear cracked. The hope for the podium was over. Steven continued to limp around, until the finish. Officially, he crossed the line in seventh place.
Afterwards, Steven Federico commented, "I knew it was a long shot for a move up in the standings, but it still was a shot. This track is rough, but it was sure fun to drive. With a few small changes, this will really be an awesome place to race. "
"I really want to thank: A.J. and Chris for all the hard work and long hours both on and off the track, Jason and Jason for their work with the team and keeping our Hankook Tires performing their best, my girlfriend, Mary who makes sure I have everything I need to go racing, and my team back home at Lake & Green Bay Auto Repair, who keep the shop running while I'm out racing and promoting our race team. Finally, I would like to thank Luke for keeping our team looking great all season, with his Sticker Dude Designs vinyl wraps, and all of our sponsors, for their help making this all possible."
Officially, Steven Federico finished in fourth place in the final 2007 Lucas Oil WSORR PRO-Light Championship Standings.
Lee O'Donnell - PRO-Light #23
Lee O'Donnell, and his #23 Invisible Glass Sticker Dude Designs P.F. Changs Hankook Tires Nissan Frontier, were looking to move up from his current ninth place position, in the PRO-Light Championship standings. After a solid practice session, Lee and his crew chief, Big John, were confident that strong finishes were at hand.
Saturday - Round 12
The start saw Lee get a clean start, and quickly move into the top 5. During the first half of the race, the #23 Invisible Glass Nissan Frontier battled with #77 Vanden Huvel Jr. and then later with #82 Brandt. After fourteen laps, Lee crossed the finish line in fifth place.
"The Invisible Glass Nissan Frontier really likes this track," commented Lee O'Donnell. "On the final lap, we posted the fastest lap of the round. This is a true testament to the Hankook Tires. This track has been difficult, foremost, to get a handle on, but our Hankook Tires really came through."
Sunday - Round 13
For this last round of racing for the year, nobody was holding back. There was carnage throughout the entire fourteen lap event. Early contact from another competitor punctured a tire, quickly putting Lee two laps down. The #23 Invisible Glass Sticker Dude Designs P.F. Changs Hankook Tires Nissan Frontier took the checkered flag in eighth place.
"Today was extremely disappointing," stated Lee O'Donnell. "After running fast laps yesterday, I thought we had a legitimate shot for a win. Then right off the bat, one of our competitors punctured our tire. Steven, Luke, and myself, brought Hankook Tire into the sport and showed the world what an awesome product they have. Thanks goes to the awesome prep work from Race Fab. Of course, thanks go to Big John, my crew chief, without him, race weekends would be nearly impossible. Thanks to Steven and Luke for putting this program together. Finally, our great sponsors including: Invisible Glass and P.F.Changs, and all the other great supporters of Sticker Dude Motorsports."
Even with the disappointing finish on Sunday, Lee was able to move up two positions, to seventh, in the final 2007 Lucas Oil WSORR PRO-Light standings.
2007 Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing PRO-Light Championship
1st - Chad Hord
2nd - Jeff Kincaid
3rd - Art Schmidt
4th - Steven Federico
5th - Randy Eller
6th - Mark Oberg
7th - Lee O'Donnell
Luke Zoetmulder - Super Buggy #942
Saturday - Round 11
The start saw Luke grab the holeshot as Super Buggy field headed for the big sweeper. Then the #942 Sticker Dude Designs Invisible Glass P.F.Changs Hankook Tires Toyota-powered Super Buggy got pushed to the very wet outside portion of the corner, causing a serious loss of traction, and eventually spinning off line. Quickly, Luke got headed in the right direction. While battling his way through traffic, racing contact was made, puncturing a rear tire. This brought the Sticker Dude Designs Super Buggy into the pits for a quick tire change. Unfortunately, the stop put Luke well down in the running order. He crossed the finish line in twelfth place.
Sunday - Round 12
Again the Hankook Tires really hooked up to the Toyota power and gave Luke the lead heading into the sweeping first turn. Then contact came into play, again. Luke and #916 Heynen came together as the two battled for the lead. The contact broke the steering rack on the #942 Super Buggy. This caused Luke to continue the rest of the event, well off his normal race pace.
This resulted in a twelfth place finish.
For the year, Luke Zoetmulder finished in eleventh place overall in the 2007 Lucas Oil WSORR Super Buggy Championship.
"We were hoping to finish the season in the Top 10 in points, commented Luke Zoetmulder. "But it wasn't in the cards this weekend. Everyone's running on the ragged edge, there was a lot more contact on the track than we are used to seeing. It was the final race of the year and everybody has all winter to get ready for the next race'The Hankook Tires have really performed better than any other tire we've ever used. All year long, no matter the surface, they just really hook up."
"I have to thank everyone that supports Sticker Dude Motorsports, especially Invisible Glass, Toyota, Hankook Tires, United Trailer, and everyone else that makes it possible for us to race. My crew chief, Jason, is awesome. We've had some serious Saturday night thrashings and his work ethic and knowledge is incredible. Thanks goes to my teammates, Steven and Luke, without them this program would not have come together, and all the people that come and give us a hand."
The next event for Sticker Dude Motorsports is the Fireball Run - Transcontinental Rally. Luke Zoetmulder and Steven Federico will be competing with 99 other teams on a 3500 mile, 9 day, transcontinental adventure of a lifetime. The rally begins September 27, at 11:59 pm EST.