The long weekend for Team Federico started before 6 AM Friday at White's Mobil Store in Esconaba, Wisconsin as we set up our display. White's held a game at the gas pumps called 'Direct Hit'. If Steven or Rod Wells (Stock Driver) could stop the...
The long weekend for Team Federico started before 6 AM Friday at White's Mobil Store in Esconaba, Wisconsin as we set up our display. White's held a game at the gas pumps called 'Direct Hit'. If Steven or Rod Wells (Stock Driver) could stop the gas pump at exactly $9.70 from a full trigger pump the customer would receive their gas for free. Both Steven and Rod set their trucks up as a display. Federico gave away 20-ounce Mountain Dew bottles and Jack Links Jerky to customers who correctly answered a question they heard on the Radio. With the help of 97.1 Radio and T.J. Ryan fans were flying up to the pumps!
After 9 AM Team Federico packed up and drove into downtown Esconaba and set up their display for American Racing Custom Wheels at Mr. Tire. Mr. Tire is a full service repair company that started off 25 years ago selling just tires and are American Racing's number one outlet in Michigan. Team Federico would like to thank everyone involved for their participation in this great day of displays for our sponsors...
The month-long mid-season break gave Team Federico time to make a few changes to the P.F. Changs, Ingles Supermarkets, Mountain Dew Toyota. Steven explains, "We were having a problem and we just couldn't figure it out until now... It always seemed as if the motor was losing power towards the end of a race and, if you've been keeping up with our team newsletters, you know we've been looking at everything and trying different things. One item we thought covered was the clutch as we replaced it every weekend for insurance... We thought that was good enough, but after Round #8 I really noticed that the clutch was slipping away... along with the win in Round #8." After sampling opinions from the paddock area it was decided that a new clutch system was called for, and that's exactly what we did. Hopefully this would bring Team Federico back to the winners circle.
SATURDAY'S RACE, ROUND #9
The Pro-Lite field of 22 trucks positioned themselves for the land-rush type start in front of over forty thousand fans! As the steward was lining up the trucks Federico was simultaneously doing an interview with the track announcers through his two way radio. The last thing Federico said was "I'll see you in the winners circle!"
The Green Flag flies... and 22 trucks race into the first turn. Slamming with the two Nissans of Mark Krueger and Joe Wutke, Federico held his line, kept the power to the ground, and came out in first place... Being hounded by Joe for the first couple of laps Federico kept Witke at bay until two-time champion Jeff Kincaid made a pass on Wutke for second. Kincaid was now dicing it up with Steven. It seem that Federico was stronger on certain parts of the track and Kincaid on others. "I know Jeff's preferred lines so I would drive the track and in the passing zones I would take those lines away. Even if it meant that I would be a bit slower I knew that Jeff would be compelled to use a line he wasn't familiar with", said Federico. Going into the first turn Federico saw a yellow flag and immediately slowed to the mandatory 30 MPH. Kincaid was so wrapped up with trying to drive around Steven that he completely missed the yellow, went past Federico and received a Black Flag for passing under the yellow. As Kincaid went into the penalty box (bad boy, Jeff... BAD BOY!), Federico resumed the lead and held off a challenge from Chad Hord securing his first win in 2003! Ye Haw!
SUNDAY'S RACE, ROUND #10
Now that we knew we had a truck capable of winning, Federico was on edge all morning anticipating the start of the Pro-Lite race this afternoon. "I can't wait! My crew A.J, Timmy and Danny have done an awesome job here at the track and the changes Todd Attig did during the break really paid off", said Federico. "Moving up from 6th to 5th in championship points now means I will start a little further back in the field but we'll just do the same thing as yesterday and hope for the best."
While the teams were assembling in staging for the start of the race, the rains came, heavy, and then stopped... As they lined up again for the start in round #10 Steven was well aware of the necessity of a great start and he didn't disappoint, pulling a hole-shot and jumping into the lead... with Jeff Kincaid on his tail lap after lap... but problems were developing. Steven picks it up, "We just had a 45 minute downpour which just soaked the track. My race shield got wet as we waited in staging while it poured down and by the time we got to the starting line it was really hard to see because of the water and my fogged up shield. Once underway I just couldn't read the track as conditions were changing lap by lap... and eventually I caught a rut while leading and went for the ride."
The 'ride' Steven was referring to was what I would consider a major crash... My background is in sports car racing and when a competition vehicle flips over several times, ends up on its roof and catches fire, generally that racer's day would be done... Steven? After the marshals extinguished the fire, he had them flip the truck back onto its wheels, fired it up and finished the race! Crazy lot, these 'off-road' racers!
All in all a very interesting weekend... We got our first win of this season and it looks as though we finally have the truck sorted out... Now if we can nip this new penchant of Steven's for driving the truck on its roof in the bud, we can look forward to a fine championship finish... By the way, it was great to see Tim Smith From Jack Links in attendance at Bark River enjoying the races! Catch ya later!
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.