Welk Delivers at June Sprints UEMSI Motorwerks edges closer to first national victory Elkhart Lake, Wis. 26 June 2007 - UEMSI Motorwerks factory driver Steve Welk captured third place in the Spec Miata category of the 52nd annual Chicago...
Welk Delivers at June Sprints
UEMSI Motorwerks edges closer to first national victory
Elkhart Lake, Wis. 26 June 2007 - UEMSI Motorwerks factory driver Steve Welk captured third place in the Spec Miata category of the 52nd annual Chicago Region SCCA June Sprints at Road America, presented by Piggly Wiggly.
The two UMW drivers of Welk and Jacques Dresang came into the weekend after a long rest since their two-three finish at Blackhawk Farms Raceway more than a month previous. During the break, the squad secured a partnership with DHL Express for the Sprints to showcase the great customer-relations programs of DHL as well as their top-notch shipping services.
The two UMW machines battled handling issues throughout the weekend, with Welk eventually tuning his car into proper form by the time the final qualifying session took place on Saturday afternoon. Welk qualified in the second position for the 13 lap event, with Dresang eighth in the 25-car field.
On race day, Welk had a spirited battle early in the race for the lead with eventual victor Jim Drago and second-place finisher Mark Bennett. After the first few laps UMW/Linear Sport/DHL driver began to drop back as his car alignment began to fade with every lap over the new Road America rubble strips. The Elkhart Lake native still managed to keep his car in contention to earn his first June Sprints podium finish.
"This is one of these races where you look at the result, and then you look at all the work that went into the result and it makes it all that much sweeter," Welk stated after the race. We started the weekend so bad but no one on this team quit. We all pulled together and got the car competitive. I really have to thank my dad, Gary, Mikey Verhagen, Theo Bialk, Dan Olson, and Steve Krock for all there efforts on this car. Everyone at UEMSI and DHL were a pleasure to have at the event and I'm so happy we were able to get the car on the podium for them."
As for Dresang, the double-zero car had its first DNF in nearly ten months, as the normally hard-charger parked his car after four laps of competition due to the extreme handling of his car on the track. Despite major changes to the car after qualifying, Dresang felt it would be best to save the car and driver for another day's use, rather than risk an accident with the troubled machine. In his three years of racing Miatas, this comes as only the third DNF for Dresang, yet two of the three failed finishes have come at the June Sprints.
"We fought the car all weekend to make it work for me," Dresang said, "I'd like to thank everyone in the crew who put forth their time and effort, as I know they were hoping for as good of a result as I would have liked. I also want to thank DHL for making it a memorable weekend for many of our fans, friends, and associates who came out to Road America to see a great race, one in which we were lucky to have one of the front running machines with Steve's car."
The duo of Dresang and Welk will visit the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois for the track's first SCCA national held on July 14-15. The UMW cars will again contest in the Spec Miata category, where they are currently in the top five in points for the Central Division of the SCCA.
Established in 1996, UMW is a racing organization that competes in the Sports Car Club of America. Team drivers Jacques Dresang and Steve Welk compete in the Spec Miata category, where they campaign matching McLaren-orange 1990 Mazda Miatas in SCCA Club Racing National and Regional events throughout the Central Division and at select events around the nation.