ASA Speed Trucks - Matt Jaskol has two difficult weekends, but still in the hunt Matt Jaskol's last two races at the ASA Speed Truck series presented trouble to the young driver, but he was still able to extract some positive out of it -- if ...
ASA Speed Trucks - Matt Jaskol has two difficult weekends, but still in the hunt
Matt Jaskol's last two races at the ASA Speed Truck series presented trouble to the young driver, but he was still able to extract some positive out of it -- if nothing else, showcasing his talent in coming cleanly from the back of the field on tricky short ovals.
Almost a month ago he raced at Mesa Marin Raceway, in Bakersfield, California. After qualifying on the second row, Matt was making his way to the front when two other trucks spun in front of him and forced him to a complete stop. While he was able to avoid the crash, the whole race went by and he took the restart in last place. He methodically worked through the field on the remaining of the 75 laps on the 1/2 mile paved oval, to finish seventh and maintain his lead in Asa Speed Trucks Championship.
Then, last Saturday (May 7th) he competed on the ASA Speed Truck race at the Bullring of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his hometown. Hopes were high as the previous time he raced there, a few weeks back, he qualified on pole, won the Trophy Dash and won the race. Of course, a repeat of that weekend would have been nice, but this time Matt had been battling an infection for over a week. In fact, he was feeling so bad on Friday, he couldn't even go to the track: " I had not been feeling well for a few weeks, just a nasty cold that got worse, and on Friday I wasn't able to drive. Fortunately, I knew this track from the last race here and wasn't such a big deal", said Matt.
Feeling better, he took on the wheel on Saturday, and dutifully put the truck on the outside of the front row in qualifying: " This United Nissan Auto Team again did an incredible job and gave me a great truck. They are doing it every weekend. We definitely like our home track !", said Matt.
During the race, Matt had a good start, and in a few laps was leading the race and pulling away. During one of the yellows for an accident, though, he drove over some debris from the crash and suffered a cut tire. He was able to restart on the lead, but had to pull in for a change of tire, losing a few laps. From there on, it became a race for points: " It was very unfortunate, it seemed like we had another victory in the bag...but that is racing. Once I got back on track (after his pit stop), all I could think was to pass people and get points, thinking of the Championship. I was able to pass a lot of trucks, don't count me out of the chase for the title just yet !". Matt finished 15th, and although he lost his leadership of the overall points tally, he still very much is in striking distance.
Next for Jaskol is the Star Mazda race in Mid-Ohio, as he holds the Rookie Points lead in that series, as well as the second spot in overall points. "We are still discussing about the possibility of running the Mid-Ohio race, but I hope it works out, as I really want to keep this high level of competitiveness as long as I can. I would race every weekend, if I could!", finished Matt.