Solid Second has Cywinski Right in Championship Hunt Madison Race Shows What the CJR Team is Capable of LAKEVILLE, MN (July 20, 2004) -- For Kevin Cywinski, it was a homecoming of sorts. For the Country Joe Racing team, it was back to action in...
Solid Second has Cywinski Right in Championship Hunt Madison Race Shows What the CJR Team is Capable of
LAKEVILLE, MN (July 20, 2004) -- For Kevin Cywinski, it was a homecoming of sorts. For the Country Joe Racing team, it was back to action in the American Speed Association. The number-1 team put on a show Saturday night in front of Cywinski's home-state fans and came away with a solid second-place finish in the BFGoodrich Tires 250 at Madison International Speedway in Oregon, WI.
"These guys just never give up. That is how we are as a team and that is how we have been for the past several years," said Cywinski, a Wausau, WI, native. "I feel very confident going into the rest of the year that we will have great cars and be able to compete for the championship.
"It was awesome to finally get back in the (ASA) car at Madison. There is just something about the ASA car that I like. As a team, we've always seemed to run better in the ASA car than even in a Super Late Model. I'm just comfortable in the car."
Cywinski started the Madison event having to fight from behind following a 20th-place qualifying effort. However, it didn't take Cywinski long to make it to the front, yet the team did experience some trials and tribulations along the way.
"It was a long day," said Cywinski of his Madison run. "I knew we had a good race car despite where we qualified because we were in the top-five of the speed charts all day. It just took our car a couple of laps to come in and that is why we didn't qualify very well.
"We got up to fifth before the first round of pit stops, but after that I noticed something was wrong. I thought the guys didn't get the wheel on tight when they changed tires, but it turns out there was a lugnut jammed in the rotor. It gave the car a vibration that felt like a loose wheel. So I just backed off because we weren't sure what it was and we weren't going to risk tearing up the car. Thankfully, on the next pit stop, it must have worked loose, because after that, it was gone and we were able to go full throttle again to the end."
Cywinski got fresh tires with about 50 laps to go and found himself in the 20th position. After 45 laps, he found himself in fourth with the freshest tires on the racetrack.
"At that point, we had a little better racecar than Tim (Sauter, the eventual race winner). Another five laps, we might have been there to play with him, but Tim had a good car and we knew that right away. He earned that win."
The excitement was not over for Cywinski, though. After a caution with just five to go, Cywinski found himself fourth, directly behind a heated battle between Rich Bickle and Bret Sontag.
"Tim had just passed Sontag for the lead when we got up to fourth. I was on the inside of Bickle for third when the caution came out. So (the officials) put him back in front of me. He knew I was faster and stayed on the bottom on the restart.
"On the last lap, Rich and Brett were going down the backstretch and got hooked. I moved to the inside and was looking to avoid what I thought was going to be a big wreck. I backed out so we didn't go into turn three, three-wide. They banged into each other again in the middle of the corner and worked up the track, leaving me the bottom open. So we went from fourth to second in the last corner. It was a lot of fun."
Country Joe Racing, with Kevin Cywinski and rookie Joey Miller, is Minnesota's #1 professional racing organization. For more information on the team, please visit www.countryjoeracing.com.