Lightning Strikes Team Federico for the First Time Since Mid-Season 2001 Wilmette, IL (August 16th, 2005) -- One thing we've always been able to count on is Team Federico finishing the race. "Our between-race prep is second to none. My team...
Lightning Strikes Team Federico for the First Time Since Mid-Season 2001
Wilmette, IL (August 16th, 2005) -- One thing we've always been able to count on is Team Federico finishing the race. "Our between-race prep is second to none. My team takes pride in their prep of the P.F. Chang's, Invisible Glass, Goodyear Toyota. They put in overtime prepping the truck, right down to every nut and bolt. If they have any concerns about any part of the truck, the protocol has always been to change it, fix it, or replace it-- NO QUESTION", said Federico.
Team Federico had high hopes for Rounds #9 and #10 in Bark River. Record crowds showed up to experience one of the greatest Off-Road Race tracks. This weekend, for the first time in its thirty-year history, the biggest portable Diamond Vision screen loomed over the infield at the 'Boss Snowplow 100'. Three-quarters of the racetrack lies square in front of the bleachers (capacity 20,000) and the huge hillside that, for the first time, was completely full of spectators. The view is perfect as the trucks fly thru a newly built rhythm/jump section set directly in front of the crowd but as the racers disappear over the hill, the Diamond Vision takes over allowing viewing continuity for the spectators. "For the first time fans were able to view the WHOLE race! It was great! Another plus was Speed Vision's ability to run highlights and commercials during the break. Rumor has it that there will be five of these Diamond Visions screens in San Diego", said Federico.
SATURDAY'S RACE, ROUND #9
Starting seventh out of a twenty-two-truck field, Team Federico couldn't wait for the green to fly. One of the hardest starts these drivers will see all year-- a 'land rush' type start, with the competitors eventually being funneled into a fifty-foot-wide first turn. It's almost poetic-- As the starter steps his way into the starter stand chills must be running through every driver as they all start clearing their cylinders and collecting their nerves for the start of round #9.
The green flag flew and Federico blazes into the first turn, exiting in third. "The hole just opened", Federico would later say. As the trucks came around to begin the second lap the red flag was flying and everything just came to a stop. It seems that Glen Grant 't-boned' a wall, tearing up his truck and sending a concrete barrier into the race line. That red flag, thrown so early in the race, meant that the racers would have to redo the start. Steven would say later that he was disappointed because he had gotten a great start the first time and had made it through the first turn with no contact. "I'd take that start at Bark River any day of the week".
On the restart Steven faired about the same, exiting the first turn in fourth, albeit with some contact-- but something was wrong. Federico picks it up, "First I thought I had a puncture in a tire. I radioed my spotters (Steve Krieman and A. J.) and asked if they could see anything. Steve (Krieman) came back on the radio confirming that they couldn't see a thing. It felt like a clutch was going bad, but we just put in a new one. I was baffled. I hit the gas and my tires would just light up, darting me to the left and practically off of the race track-- and the motor was getting really hot-- The five grand we spent during the break on a more powerful motor in spite of our miniscule budget began racing thru my mind-- and I shut her down". The post-mortem revealed a broken axle/center-cap so we lost drive to one of the rear wheels. We DNF'd for the first time since 2001.
SUNDAY'S RACE, ROUND #10
Dropping into a tie with Kyle LeDuc for third in championship points, the green flew and this time Federico got the start he was looking for. "The hole just opened and I took it, right behind pole sitter Lee O'Donnell". O'Donnell, also on Goodyears, hooked up and came out of the pack first followed by last years Champion Kyle LeDuc and Seven Time Champion Jeff Kincaid. "My radio quit and O'Donnell was just 'roosting me' so I backed off and just took mental notes on his lines. Not knowing what was going on behind me, I was really driving two races. I was concentrating on Lee's lines and keeping the door closed on whoever was chasing me. About the time I was going to make my move on O'Donnell, I found out who was following me as saw the front end of Kyle's truck. Wow, Now what? I needed to protect my position but also take a chance on the pass I already started". Lee took the middle of the rhythm section, Federico took the inside and LeDuc the outside. Federico and LeDuc both ! made the pass sending O'Donnell to third with Steven now in the lead. Federico closed the door on Kyle's attack over and over. It was a great race. "Kyle and I were fighting for first for four to five laps. He'd make his move and I would be just a little better until... we both came over the hill sending us into the back section. There are three different racing lines and I chose the middle and Kyle took the inside. We both fought hard but Kyle got his truck to stick and made the pass. I was disappointed but I sure had fun!" Taking the white flag while running second, Federico got a bit too wide over the tabletop and Kincaid took the opening and, by using Steven as a 'cushion' in the corner, completed the pass relegating Federico to an exciting third-place finish.
For the release's epilog, a little narrative from Steven: "It was a tough weekend and my crew worked extraordinarily hard to get the truck back together. For the past four years the Team Federico crew has been the one everyone else has been looking at. I can't count the number of queries I've fielding regarding just who is in charge of our truck prep and my answer is always the same: My crew chief AJ is in charge and Timmy cranks it out. They are the best as far as I'm concerned-- without them we would just be like any other team". Special mention and thanks to Todd Attig who rebuilt our new motor along with making some major changes on the truck.
Keep you eyes open. Federico and Sticker-Dude will debut their new vinyl paint scheme at the World Championship races in Crandon, Wisconsin Labor Day Weekend.
We would like to thank all our sponsors for their support... P.F. Chang's, Stoner's Invisible Glass, Goodyear Tire Company, Toyota, Racing Optics, Mechanix Wear, Wilmette Auto Body, NAPA Auto Parts Evanston, Precision Gear, Sticker Dude and... Steven's family.
Thanks everybody... We'll see ya in Crandon...
-Steven Federico Driver/Owner Federico Racing