The team arrived in Topeka Wednesday to get ready for the Friday night and Saturday night races in the summer Kansas heat. The new format was to allow for reduced heat and track preparation after the sun sets. The 4000 plus spectators got the best...
The team arrived in Topeka Wednesday to get ready for the Friday night and Saturday night races in the summer Kansas heat. The new format was to allow for reduced heat and track preparation after the sun sets. The 4000 plus spectators got the best show of the season in Pro 2 on Friday night.
Kevin's #99 US Army /Toyo Tire entry was ready for action after the late afternoon practice session. Some minor changes were made to the suspension and Kevin was on the 2nd row inside at the green flag. Kevin made his way to turn one in 4th position after the pole sitter failed to move. The track was technical and short, but the team had the #99 in position to win. After ½ of the 24 lap 15 minute race, Kevin was in 3rd. Battling, the top 5 trucks were all in turn 4 of the oval track at the same time. It was Douglas, VandenHeuval, Probst, Renezeder, Taylor. Kevin made a move past VandenHeuval to take #2 and was in good position to take the lead. Kevin was hit by several trucks taking him to 5th at the checker. VandenHeuval took the win with Douglas, Renezeder, Taylor and Probst in the top 5. "I should have been more aggressive for the win" said Kevin, "I made the mistake of trying to drive a clean race". The normal 3 position podium was not enough as the officials took the top 5 to the winner's interview for the fans to see the drivers who put on such a great show.
Saturday night was on and the team made many changes to the truck to try to improve the finish. It showed! Kevin took the early lead and after lap 1 a yellow flag situation in turn 1 negated the 6 second lead already built by Kevin and the #99 US Army /Toyo Tire entry. Each lap Kevin built a lead and had it taken by yellow flag speeding. By the 3rd lap, Kevin was clear to go and the truck was performing flawlessly. Gaining ground on Renezeder, Kevin maintained the lead for ½ the race. The track conditions seemed to change differently than Friday and Kevin's tire choice did not respond very well once the moisture started coming out of the clay. Kevin struggled to keep the truck tight and Renezeder got inside to take the lead and eventual win. Kevin finished 3rd giving Toyo tires their first podium finish in Pro 2.