LAKEVILLE, MN (February 18, 2004) -- Kevin Cywinski and the Country Joe Racing Team could see it. Just one more stellar run and they were going to be champions yet again, this time of the Super Late Model division during Florida "Speedweeks" at...
LAKEVILLE, MN (February 18, 2004) -- Kevin Cywinski and the Country Joe Racing Team could see it. Just one more stellar run and they were going to be champions yet again, this time of the Super Late Model division during Florida "Speedweeks" at New Smyrna Speedway. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided she had different plans in store for the most crucial race of the legendary "Speedweeks" action. So when the final night's 100-lap showdown was rained out and not rescheduled, Cywinski and the team had to settle for a third-place points finish in the 38th Annual "World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing."
"I actually thought the whole deal went really well," said Cywinski, who picked up the feature win on the fourth night (Feb. 11) of action. "We started off a little slow but found some things and finished strong. We finished third overall in the points, but I think we would have had something for them on that final night.
"I'm a little disappointed that the 100-lapper wasn't run. We could have challenged those guys for the championship. We struggled some in the short races, but that is because the driver (Cywinski) isn't used to running those short little 30-lappers. Had we gotten a chance to run the long race, we might have come out of there shinning. We'll take what we got and now move on and focus on the ASA season at hand."
Cywinski finished just 20 points out of the championship lead, which was won by Florida's Mike Fritts. Kevin was one of only four different drivers to win during the seven nights of competition.
"We struggled during the first couple nights there. We just couldn't get the car qualified and that was everything there. You have to be able to qualify the car in the top seven so you can get yourself in a position to be up front when they do their inversion.
"Some of it was mental by the driver, some of it was chassis issues we were having. We were really throwing things at it. We also got some help from Johnny Sauter (former ASA Champion and current NASCAR Nextel Cup driver). He came to the track and bounced some of his ideas around with us. We took some of that and some of the things we were doing and meshed them and it all turned around."
Cywinski dominated the action during his victory on the fourth night of competition. He beat Fritts and fellow ASA competitor Boris Jurkovic to the finish line.
"It was awesome to get that win because it is so tough to do down there, not only because of the competition but because the track is a tough place to pass with the tight fields and the lack of an upper groove. We came off of our worse night (finished 11th) and we came back and won. It just shows the competitiveness of the drivers down there."
"I learned what it was like for those guys who come in and try to run an ASA race here or there during the year. It is really tough, because you come into their element and have to contend and get on their level. Guys like Mike (Fritts), Junior Hanley and Wayne Anderson; they race these cars all the time. They are some of the best at it.
"I also realized how important teamwork lies in all of this. I know what we accomplish on the ASA side and we have a lot of people that helped us out there. We only had three guys; myself, my father and Mike Resop in Florida. It was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun too."
Country Joe Racing, with Kevin Cywinski and Joey Miller, will once again compete full-time with the American Speed Association in 2004.