Fresh off the highs and lows of our first event at Cal Speedway and building off the momentum created by the positive responses we received, SpeedQuest Racing showed up to Laguna Seca this past weekend with very high hopes for a positive ...
Fresh off the highs and lows of our first event at Cal Speedway and building off the momentum created by the positive responses we received, SpeedQuest Racing showed up to Laguna Seca this past weekend with very high hopes for a positive finish.
Working on our set ups, and still trying to get the SpeedQuest drivers more familiar with a car they have very little time in, the #58 entry was 15th and 12th respectfully in the two practice sessions leading up to a qualifying session that we felt we needed to run strongly in to avoid any potential first lap incidents in a packed field of 71 cars. Every session these two drivers have in the car find them improving their times and comfort levels at an evenly high rate. "I gained some much needed experience in the car this weekend at Laguna," stated Pecorari.
Going into the weekend, the team decided to switch things up a bit from the California Speedway event that saw driver Romeo Kapudija qualify and start the race, instead those duties were handed over to his young counterpart Adam Pecorari. Romeo states "Adam did a great job qualifying the #58 SpeedQuest Racing/KoRn Mustang Cobra SVT and was very impressive in his stint during the race. I could not ask for a better performance from my teammate." While stressing to Pecorari the importance of saving the tires for the start of the race, the team equally stressed the need to be at the front of the grid in qualifying. With Team Director Eric Burch bellowing out each lap time and grid position to Adam throughout the session, with one lap remaining in the session and resting in 7th position at the time, Eric told Adam to "push hard through the finish, we're two-tenths out of P4". Adam did just that, and took off another three tenths as he put the team car in position for a great start to the race, now just hours away.
After an infraction by one of the leaders, Pecorari started inside row two, with his sights on the leaders. The green flag drops and Adam is aggressively moving on them and gets the door slammed on him, sending him back to fifth place in the order. Soon, now working through lap traffic due to a split class race start, Adam found himself back in third overall position, which he would hold onto through the mid-point in the race. "Doing a half race stint was different from open-wheel sprint racing, but it was very fun and challenging" Adam mentioned. With many yellows just outside our fuel window, Pecorari did an excellent job with all the restarts and was pressing the two leaders hard when the car started loosing forth gear.
Now within our pit window to finish the race on one stop, the team decided to bring in the #58 Mustang Cobra SVT under green and put in co-driver Romeo Kapudija to bring home a podium finish for the new team. However it wasn't meant to be, as Romeo didn't even have enough gear to get the car out of pit lane, and had to retire the car. Adam states "I feel bad for Romeo that he did not get a chance to be in what was a strong car, but the transmission suddenly began loosing gears with a few laps left in my stint which put us back a few positions, and eventually put us out of the race. Thanks again to Speedquest Racing, Rehagen Racing, and KoRn for the opportunity and creating a great program and atmosphere for me as a driver."
Even with the unfortunate mechanical DNF, the weekend for the two SpeedQuest Racing drivers was a great success as they've proved yet again that they deserve to be running at the top of the order against great competition. Now with all in the field taking notice, the team is confident that these two driving talents will soon be standing on the podium steps within the Cup series.
With a small break in the schedule the team will do some much needed testing to better acclimate the drivers to their machine before heading off to the next round at Watkins Glen. The Laguna event will be televised at 1:00pm on May 14th.