JOEY HANSSEN SHOWS POISE IN PRIME CHAMP DODGE June 7, 2009. Joey Hanssen once again showed his talent as a racer as he climbed behind the wheel of the ...
JOEY HANSSEN SHOWS POISE IN PRIME CHAMP DODGE
June 7, 2009. Joey Hanssen once again showed his talent as a racer as he climbed behind the wheel of the #40 Prime Champ Dodge for round number two of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series this past Saturday night at Delaware Speedway. While Hanssen is still hasn't mastered the art of qualifying he is proving that he can race with Canada's best drivers.
As practice began for the 200 lap feature event Hanssen turned as many laps as he could in the #40 Prime Champ Dodge or as it's fondly referred to:"the Mushroom Machine". Though not among the leaders in lap times, Hanssen improved throughout the entire ninety minute session and was very consistent.
Starting back in twentieth on the grid it's easy for trouble to find you and it happened on the opening lap with the #40 Prime Champ car as others ahead of him checked up to avoid contact, the accordion effect was too great and Hanssen had no time to avoid hitting the car ahead of him and his hood was bowed up hindering his visibility. "I thought oh man we're done. I thought I hurt the engine or the radiator" said the seventeen year old driver. "We had to pit and got two laps down but it was just the hood and we got that out of the way all the guys did a great job with that". From that point the team didn't look back and focused on having a smooth race for the rest of it.
With his natural talent and knowledge he acquires with every race lap Hanssen moved the #40 Prime Champ Dodge Avenger around the track smoothly and consistently, taking his time to make up track position. "It took a long time for us to get a lap back and then be in position for the free pass but the car was good. It actually surprised me but it was just how I wanted it" he stated. "The team did a good job managing our pit stops for the rest of the race and we got back on the lead lap" he added.
Joey Hanssen would not be satisfied by just getting back on the lead lap and began moving the Prime Champ Dodge forward and eventually inside the top-ten and running ninth in the late stages of the race. Regrettably it was another restart late in the race that would finish their night early.
As the field moved toward the green flag Hanssen missed a shift going up through the gear box and was contacted from the rear by the #23 car sending him hard into the outside wall and severely damaging the car. "I missed a shift" admitted the driver. "It's tough sometimes with these gearboxes going up to third and I was still shifting when I got hit but we went into the wall. The Prime Champ Dodge would be classified thirteenth.
Hanssen was of course disappointed that he night ended a little early but was already looking forward to his next race. "I'm getting a little sore now, but I'll be fine by next week. I'm looking forward to the first road course race" he stated.
The 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season continues on Sunday June 14th on the road course at Mosport International Raceway.