July 22, 2001 (North Hollywood, Calif.) - Teamwork paid off for Team Walker Motorsports yesterday at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway with both Mike Walker and Sean Woodside turning in impressive results. Team co-owner Walker was very pleased to...
July 22, 2001 (North Hollywood, Calif.) - Teamwork paid off for Team Walker Motorsports yesterday at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway with both Mike Walker and Sean Woodside turning in impressive results.
Team co-owner Walker was very pleased to start his first Winston West event from a 15th place position on the grid, outpacing his original expectations. His qualifying lap of 19.105 seconds was faster than those run by several of the Winston West regulars.
Walker turned 140 laps in the event before dropping out with mechanical problems.
"This was a valuable learning experience for us," Walker said after the race. "We hope for some better luck next time, but we will certainly take what we learned in this race and apply it to our program."
Walker and the team will evaluate their next Winston West move following an August test session at Rocky Mountain Raceways in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Meanwhile, teammate Woodside collected his fourth Bud Pole Award this season, making it three in a row.
"The team has given me excellent cars for qualifying the past few races," Woodside commented. "This was our fourth pole within the last five events, which is great for all of us and an example of how far we've come this year."
Woodside held an easy lead for the first 72 laps of the event, then dropped out of the top ten for just a few laps as the field reshuffled itself during yellow flag pit stops. He was back in the top ten within a few laps. On lap 184, in a moment of particularly poised driving, Woodside smoothly avoided a spinout directly in front of him, shooting ahead several positions. By the time the checkered flag fell, Woodside had reclaimed all but the first two positions, finishing the race in third place.
The finish allowed Woodside to slip into fifth place in the series' championship standings to date.
"It feels great to finally overtake a top-five spot in the point standings, but we still have our work cut out for us," Woodside said. "The competition for the top positions is tough, and we'll have to give it everything we've got for the three races we have left before the season closes."
Team Walker Motorsports will be busy preparing cars for the final three races of the 2001 season during a short hiatus in the Winston West Series schedule. The team will be prepared when the series gets back to business September 1st at Rocky Mountain Raceways.