Welk Claims First Cooper Tires Championship Podium at Mid Ohio Lexington, OH - Steve Welk claimed his first podium finish in the Cooper Tires Championship Series at the Mid Ohio Grand Prix this past weekend. The third place finish in race two of...
Welk Claims First Cooper Tires Championship Podium at Mid Ohio
Lexington, OH - Steve Welk claimed his first podium finish in the Cooper Tires Championship Series at the Mid Ohio Grand Prix this past weekend. The third place finish in race two of the weekend was not only Welk's first podium, but it was also the first podium finish for first year team Aiken Racing.
The weekend started off very well for the sophomore pilot as he was third on the time sheets at the end of the Thursday test day. Qualifying did not go as well as the team had hoped when Welk put his Briggs & Stratton Van Diemen sixth on the grid. Race one would also be a bit disappointing. A loose racecar in the early going of the race cost Welk a few spots on the track. At the midway point Welk found himself in the sixth position which was where he would stay for the balance of the race.
For race two on Sunday morning the field was set by the fastest race laps from race one which put the 2002 SCCA Pro Racing\WKA Runoff winner seventh on the grid. Welk got an incredible start and in the fifth position by the end of the first lap. From there it was off to the races as the 21-year old tried to chase down the front pack. Just before halfway Welk caught a break when the third and fourth place drivers were involved in an altercation. This moved Welk into the third position. During the middle part of the race Welk was gaining on the second place machine of Andrew Prendeville. With about two laps to go the handling on the number 57 car went away but he was able to hold of a charging Bobby Wilson to claim his and Aiken Racing's first podium finish in the Cooper Tires Championship Series.
"I am incredible happy right now. This Aiken Racing team and I have had some up and down moments this year but we have worked very hard to get to this position. We kept getting better and better as the weekend progressed and finishing on the podium is a testament to that. I really have to thank Marshal Aiken, Charlie my engineer, all my sponsors and my family for their support. This has been a great weekend and I am hoping I can put together the funding to finish out the season."
"I am extremely pleased and impressed with Steve's performance this weekend, said Aiken Racing team Principle Marshal Aiken. To come into the weekend with no testing, a finish on the podium is impressive. We have worked so hard to give Steve a great car this year and it all came together this weekend. It is a great feeling. Our new engineer Charlie is a real asset to the team and is working well with Steve. Hopefully we can carry this momentum to Sonoma."
For more information about Steve Welk Motorsports visit his official website @ www.SteveWelk.com