Ashley Freiberg Fights from Last to First in the Skip Barber Race Series at Road America While drivers had been in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin practicing at Road America since Thursday, I was on a vacation in Northern Wisconsin relaxing by the...
Ashley Freiberg Fights from Last to First in the Skip Barber Race Series at Road America
While drivers had been in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin practicing at Road America since Thursday, I was on a vacation in Northern Wisconsin relaxing by the lake. From there I was headed seven hours south to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to see the Fourth of July celebration. Since I was two hours south of Road America, I thought it would be great practice for the upcoming National event to race on Sunday with the Skip Barber Regional Race Series.
After being up late watching the fireworks, my alarm went off at 4:30 AM in order to get to the track at seven and be in time for my drivers meeting. After the meeting was over, I was put into the first race of the day and assigned to a car that hadn't been driven once all weekend. Because I hadn't been there Friday or Saturday for any qualifying sessions or races, I had to start dead last in 16th. I was really excited to start last though! Nothing is more fun then coming from the back and fighting you way through the field to the front!
The green flag waves and I pass four cars heading to turn one and another two by turn three. One by one I was picking through the field and by the end of the first lap I had fought my way up to seventh place passing eight cars on the way. After I made my way through most of the group, I had made it to an opening where the front four cars were about twenty cars lengths ahead of the field. It took a few laps to catch the front four cars; luckily they were battling more than they were working with each other. Passing each other in almost every corner and straight will always slow down the whole group. With about four laps to go I had fought my way close enough to get a really great draft to pass three of them heading into turn one. When I had finally had a good grasp for second, I knew the driver in first would take some patience from me to catch. He's won five out of the six races this season! By the end of the next lap, I had passed him and took the lead for the next two laps. With two laps to go, leading the race with a hard charging field behind me, the car in second and I touched wheels sending the front four of us off into the gravel pit. I was the only one of the four that survived to leave the scene. I fought my way back up to a 5th place finish.
I was fully ready for my next race. I was gridded in the back once again; this time in 17th. Right at the green flag I was passing cars left and right and eventually passed seven of them by the time I had exited turn three. I was on fire! I was so determined to get to the front; I had never had such an adrenaline rush since I had my first Skip Barber win! About the sixth lap into the race, I had taken the lead once again and held the lead for three laps when I realized that she could not brake away due to drafting. So for the last two laps I hung back in second but was close enough to not let first place get away. I was basically setting him up for the finish. I new I was the stronger driver but with the draft the way it was I just couldn't pull away far enough to break it. I was setting him up to make the pass on the last lap and last turn of the race. Sure enough, my plan worked and I drove to the checkered flag with pumping arms. It was an amazing feeling to know that I came from last to first! And I had an absolute blast doing it too!
My next race will be at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama where I will be competing in the fourth weekend of the Skip Barber National Race Series presented by MAZDA. Leaving this race on a high note will definitely be bringing my confidence to a new level next weekend, and it will be interesting to see where I end up!
-credit: Ashley Freiberg