As always we started our weekend off at White's Grocery Store working the radio with TJ Ryan for the forth year in a row. With two, 100,000 watt antennas, 97.1 radiates further than 300 miles. With the help of Glen White we have always had some ...
As always we started our weekend off at White's Grocery Store working the radio with TJ Ryan for the forth year in a row. With two, 100,000 watt antennas, 97.1 radiates further than 300 miles. With the help of Glen White we have always had some special promotions, such as selling gas for 97 cents a gallon from 6 to 9 AM, and this year was no different. Once again long lines of customers and race fans waited patiently to pull up to the pumps. This year we also gave away cases of Mountain Dew's 'Live Wire'. Mountain Dew released Live Wire earlier this summer and it's been a big hit among Dew loyalists.
SATURDAY'S RACE, ROUND #7
Heading into round seven Team Federico anticipated good starts but the question still remained... could they hold to the finish line? "We have dominated on the start here two out of the last four races. My truck is a bit heavy but with the downhill land-rush type start this gives us just that little advantage. We're into the inversion so we'll be starting third on the grid out of eighteen trucks so, we're looking to have some fun today," said Federico.
The green flag flew and eighteen trucks headed into turn one. Federico, Kincaid and Huseman are one, two and three in the center of the first turn. Federico held his line tight but came out third after the finish line corner. "There was a lot I could have done to hold onto the lead through the first two turns. I could have gone in harder and used Rick as a bumper in the corner, but this risked taking me and Rick out, and possibly a good portion of the rest of the field that was breathing down our backs. If I would have gotten into Rick and turned both of us around, Inspecting the damage... there would have been another twelve or more trucks that would have been using us as their brakes! This probably would've taken both of us out of the race and right now we need points," said Federico. So, for the first four or five laps, the order was Huseman, Kincaid and Federico.
There was some really good racing between the top three with the rest of the pack about twenty truck-lengths behind. Racing through what is known at Bark River as the 'Back Forty', a wide open sweeping turn that brings you back over the Rancho jump to the main part of the track Federico hit a boulder. "There was no way I could have missed it. Jeff caught the boulder cutting the switch back tight and projected it right in front of my Ingles truck. It was a direct hit to the right-front side. I tried to hit it directly with my tire and go over it but it just got the inside of my steering. I have a piece of yellow tape wrapped around the top center of my steering wheel and after I hit the boulder, that yellow tape was at the 10 O'clock position when I was heading in a straight line. I knew something was bent but I needed to finish," explained Steven. You could see Federico struggling... instead of flying high over the main jump in front of the crowd Steven looked to be a bit off pace. Lap after lap Federico was losing ground to the five trucks trying to catch him. "I was relieved to see the white flag, thinking to myself that I could make one more lap and still finish third. As I hit the table top jump it all let loose. My front right tire wasn't steering. To make a very long story short and also what should have been a short last lap long we finished eighth."
SUNDAY'S RACE, ROUND #8
Again Federico was looking forward to a good start in round eight. Steven said, "I knew I was going to have to fight my way through the first turn." When the green flag flew Federico was already up on the rev limiter and seconds later Federico, Kincaid and Huseman were all there in the middle of the first turn.
"I kept the power to the floor, rubbing with Jeff this time and holding off Rick. I was having some fun dicing it up while sandwiched between the championship points leaders." (at the start of round 8 Kincaid and Huseman were tied for first) Going through turn six Jeff got loose and Federico made the pass going over the main jump heading into the first turn, taking over first place. Steven was leading the field for the next four laps but then started to fade. "My clutch started to slip. I couldn't get the power to the ground. I tried to ease on the power and that seemed to help a little but through it all the lead I held started to fade."
The two really hard places for Federico and his rapidly fading clutch seemed to be going through the rhythm section and the finish line corner. With only a lap and a half left Mark Krueger made a good move through the rhythm section to take the lead from Steven. Now running second and the white flag ready to be displayed Federico put it up 'on the bike' in the finish line corner, losing two more positions. "I still had enough clutch left to keep my tires spinning through that particular corner but caught the berm and rode 'the bike' almost putting it over on my roof. Finishing forth today is a tough one to swallow. My crew worked really hard last night fixing the broken spindle and tie-rod. I wanted to win not only for them but for all my sponsors. I want to thank AJ and Tim for their hard work this weekend. GREAT JOB."
Well, it was... and was not what we expected this weekend in Michigan. We ran strong, led for a number of laps, but the racing Gods just weren't rooting for #24. We will be back in Bark River in August with only one thing on our minds... winning! Once again, a big thank you to AJ, Tim and also to Mike Brue for his help Saturday night.
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, NAPA Auto Parts Evanston, Phil's Inc.com, American Racing Custom Wheels, Toyota, Venom, Precision Gear, Stoner's Invisible Glass, Jack Link's Beef Jerky and... Steven's family.