Federico starts off great but becomes hindered by mechanical problems. With the P.F. Chang's, Ingles Supermarkets, Mountain Dew Toyota sporting a rebuilt G-Force transmission (along with the latest shift linkage update), Team Federico was once...
Federico starts off great but becomes hindered by mechanical problems.
With the P.F. Chang's, Ingles Supermarkets, Mountain Dew Toyota sporting a rebuilt G-Force transmission (along with the latest shift linkage update), Team Federico was once again primed to do battle over the racing weekend. Thursday night we set up at the Island Lake Casino to do a radio show (FM 106.3) and to sign autographs for the fans.
The Island Lake Casino display...
This is just the sort of extra effort put forth by Steven and the team in order to promote his sponsors and the series
Experiencing a bit of D0x00e9ja Vu (courtesy of rounds 8 thru 10), the team arrived early Friday morning at Greg White's Marathon Station where >WGLQ Magic FM 97.1</A> would again be broadcasting a live remote of radio personality TJ Ryan's radio show Friday morning at 6 AM (there was rumor of an early AM grudge race thru the snowmobile trails, but I shall neither confirm nor deny that rumor). Once again White's Marathon dropped the price of gasoline to 970x00a2 a gallon for the duration of the three hour program and cars were lined up just waiting for 6 AM as we began the show. "TJ is getting to be an old hand at conducting an Off-Road racing interview which makes it a lot of fun", said Federico.
SATURDAY'S RACE, ROUND #11
Looking back at rounds #8 through #10 (July 13-14), Team Federico anticipated great starts but the main thrust of focus was to ensure great finishes. We had problems with our shifter and blew up our transmission in round ten. We yanked the whole system and sent it to G-Force to have the transmission rebuilt and an update done to the shifter to solve our problems. Getting ready for the start of round eleven we also made some major changes to the gear package, the brakes, and suspension in hopes that we would end up in the winners circle with the P.F. Chang's, Ingles Supermarkets, Mountain Dew Toyota.
TJ Ryan, Greg White and Steven...
I'm going to have Steven offer a little narration of just what lining up for the start of round eleven was like "Pulling into staging as the race steward places you in your starting position, all you see in front of you are thousands of fans just waiting for the start of the Pro-Lite race. It's a really cool sight. All the fans on their feet waiting for the starter to throw the green flag. Motors are revving up, and the smell of race fuel gently seeps into your helmet. Your heart starts beating and your legs start shaking as the starter flicks the starting board from red to yellow. At any time now he can throw the green and fifteen trucks in a land-rush type start will all be trying their very hardest to be the first to get through that first corner".
The green flew and as Federico in his Ingles Supermarkets, Mountain Dew Toyota hit second gear he found himself with a truck length on Joe Witke in his Nissan. "As soon as I had Joe cleared I knew I had the inside covered. Now all I needed to do was to out-brake Kincaid and Huseman and hold a tight line through corner number one and the hole shot once again would be mine", said Federico. Steven made it through the start to lead a pack of wild guys desperately wanting to win this round. Federico was turning out incredibly consistent times lap after lap with Kincaid, Huseman and Hord tight on his rear waiting to take advantage of any mistake. "I went really hot into the back forty turn and my brakes faded", exclaimed Federico "The truck pushed through the corner just a touch so I couldn't hold third gear I down-shifted to second to bring my revs up and when it was time to get back up into third my shifter jammed and I was stuck in second gear" (this exact same thing happened to Steven in round 10; when he tried to free up the gearbox it engaged second and third simultaneously and completely destroyed the transmission).
The 'Hole Shot'...
"This time I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and finished the race in second gear". Team Federico still pulled off a fifth place finish...
SUNDAY'S RACE, ROUND #12
Another transmission failure in round #11 was tough to take. After the round #10 failure we sent our shifter and gear box to G-Force to insure that it wouldn't happen again but this is racing and there are no certainties in racing. In the post race period we spoke with some of the veterans about the shifter problem and received some ideas. By the time Sunday morning rolled around we were somewhat optimistic that this particular problem would not reoccur.
Since we stopped worrying about the transmission problem we were able to focus on the race ahead and we again were very pumped in knowing how well our Fat Performance motor does off the line. Sitting again at the top of the hill waiting for the green flag we got an excellent start again. We were leading the field for the first two laps and then Federico got a little squirrelly through the rhythm section Huseman got inside Federico and bumped him outside of the race line. Art Schmidt also was able to capitalize on this and Steven fell to third place. Federico tried every move on Schmidt to regain second place but, with a few laps left to go, Federico was power sliding through a corner trying to work an outside-in move on Schmidt and hit a rock, which destroyed the wheel. Rather than finish the race on a destroyed wheel/tire and jeopardize the motor by lugging it, Steven chose to pit and replace the tire. The crew did an awesome job getting him out while still on the lead lap and we finished the race eighth.
With two rounds remaining in the 2002 CORR Lucas Oil Series following the > U.P. Off-Road 100</A> at Bark River, all eight divisional championships will not be decided until the season-ending BorgWarner World Championships in Crandon. As of now we are retaining our fifth position standing in overall championship points with 132.
We would like to thank all our sponsors for their support... P.F. Chang's, Ingles Super-Markets, Mountain Dew and Pepsi-Cola, Italian Village, Racing Optics, Mechanix Wear, Wilmette Auto Body, Goodyear Tire Company, Phillips 66 Racing Fuel, Phil's Inc.com, American Racing Custom Wheels, Toyota, Venom, Precision Gear and Steven's family.
Thanks everybody... We'll talk to ya after the next race!