Herman & DSM 3rd in Louisville Will Make First Southern Start of the Year in Hickory Mike Herman, Jr. improved upon his seventh place qualifying effort to finish third behind race winner Sean Studer and second place finisher Mardy Lindley this...
Herman & DSM 3rd in Louisville
Will Make First Southern Start of the Year in Hickory
Mike Herman, Jr. improved upon his seventh place qualifying effort to finish third behind race winner Sean Studer and second place finisher Mardy Lindley this past Saturday night in Louisville, Ky.
"Basically it was a smooth day, Don Sprouse and the DSM team brought a great car, it was quick right out of the box. We didn't make any real changes in practice, just a little fine-tuning. Some of the other guys that came and tested mentioned that chassis changes didn't really have an effect, so with limited practice time, we felt we were about as good as we could get," said Herman. "So we just decided to park the car and wait for qualifying and for the race." The practice strategy turned out for the best as Herman posted the seventh quickest time for his best qualifying effort of the year. "We know going into qualifying that we're not really a threat for the pole. We focus all of our efforts towards the race set-up. It seems to have worked pretty well to this point. We knew going into Louisville that track position would mean everything, so we started to concentrate on qualifying, then we decided against it. Seventh turned out to be a good starting spot. It allowed me to get into a rhythm, and this is definitely a rhythm racetrack, plus the guys that lead the race early were sitting ducks to get freight trained. So I just got in line to ride."
Herman worked his way up into the top five until he came to pit road for service by the DSM pit crew. Car owner Don Sprouse opted for two tires and a chassis adjustment on the stop. "The car was throttle loose off of turns 1 & 3 so we tried to tighten the car up a little without hurting it through the back stretch. But the cars seem to do what they are going to do here at Louisville and that's to be loose off and tight through the big curve on the back" said Sprouse.
After the stop, Herman and the rest of the leaders found themselves a lap down, victim to the unique pit road at Louisville. The confusion in scoring cycled itself back around after the caution flew on lap 137 when race leader Regan Smith made his mandatory pit stop. As the race eventually unfolded Studer, Lindley, and Herman found themselves to be the only cars on the lead lap. This changed the race strategy a little for Herman towards the latter part of the race. "Our car was really good on short runs and a little off on long runs, which is unusual for this particular car. It's normally the other way around. So I just decided to keep riding, to be patient in lap traffic, and hope for a late caution." Which would be the case with 14 laps remaining in the 250-lap race. "The late caution was exactly what we had hoped for, we had two new tires left in case we came down to the end with only a few cars on the lead lap. We wanted to stop and put them on to give Mike a shot at the win but the pit road situation was too dangerous. We couldn't risk getting caught in the pits and going a lap down so we left it all up to the driver. The car was good on restarts so we thought we still had a shot," said Sprouse.
With the lead lap cars to the front the race restarted with a ten-lap sprint to the finish. Lindley and Herman waged a war for second which saw Herman pull along side Lindley several times for second spot but allowed Studer to sneak away for the win. "We'll take a third place any night. If we keep putting ourselves into contention every week like this we'll eventually pick up a win. The race at the end with Mardy made the night fun. This track is hard to race on and definitely hard to pass on. It will make this trip to Kentucky memorable" mentioned Herman after the race. Don Sprouse echoed those sentiments; "We just came up a tick off tonight. We'll take a third, which is good for the big picture, and move on to Hickory next week and try again for the win."
Next up for Mike Herman, Jr. and Don Sprouse Motorsports is their much-anticipated return to Hickory Motor Speedway this coming Saturday night. Hickory is the site where Sprouse and Herman both picked up their career best Hooters ProCup Series finishes. Team DSM narrowly missed picking up their first win after coming home a close second to Lee Tissot last October at America's Most Famous Short Track.
Don't miss a lap of ProCup action by purchasing tickets at Hickory Motor Speedway or by listening to the live radio broadcast at http://www.liveonthenet.com. Also, be sure to check out the Hooters ProCup Series on Speedvision, Thursday nights at 9pm. For complete schedules of upcoming events and for the latest news visit the USAR's official internet site at http://www.usarprocup.com.
For more information on Mike Herman, Jr. please visit http://www.mikeherman.com