USAR: Illiana: Logan Dernoshek race report

Illiana Yields First Career Top Ten for Dernoshek SCHERERVILLE, IN (AUG. 22, 2004) -- The "Crossroads of the Nation" became a crossroads for Logan Dernoshek and the unsponsored No. 10 Pontiac team during the USAR Hooters ProCup Series Walt's 250...

Illiana Yields First Career Top Ten for Dernoshek

SCHERERVILLE, IN (AUG. 22, 2004) -- The "Crossroads of the Nation" became a crossroads for Logan Dernoshek and the unsponsored No. 10 Pontiac team during the USAR Hooters ProCup Series Walt's 250 at Illiana Motor Speedway on Saturday night. Despite missing the shock setup and changing the entire setup before the race, the rookie team captured their first top ten finish after a string of improving runs.

The No. 10 team unloaded their car much closer than they'd been before at any other racetrack. During practice the team experimented with spring adjustments, track bar adjustments, and even rebuilt three of the car's four shocks while trying to find an extra couple of tenths. It soon became evident that even with a shock rebuild at-track that the team missed the shock package for Illiana's bumpy racing surface and that the car was still "a tick tight" through the middle of the corners. After consulting with a top crew chief between practice and qualifying, the No. 10 organization changed three of the car's four springs, track bar location, and the front sway bar. The changes helped Dernoshek pick up half of a second from his best practice time and land a 12th place starting position.

"The car wasn't real bad in practice but we didn't feel that it was where it needed to be, so we changed both front springs, the sway bar, the left rear spring and moved the track bar before qualifying. It was nothing too major," Dernoshek said with a big laugh. "The car felt a lot better after that and it was faster, too. The new tires helped us pick up for qualifying as well. We are still trying to learn what these cars need as far as shocks go. We do our shock work in house and the folks at AFco have been a great help. We just need to do some testing and find out what we need. It seems like it always comes back to testing, or the lack of in our case."

Dernoshek began the event in eighth position after two cars had to drop to the rear of the field. Six laps into the event, Dernoshek slapped the outside wall off of turn two while battling with Forrest Urban but continued on with no apparent chassis damage. The nuclear green Pontiac held tough in the top ten but fell back to 11th after battling with Jimmy Spencer, Jr. and while trying to stay on the lead lap. The team pitted early in the event for gas due only to their shortage of crew members.

"The car floated up off of two a little more than I was expecting and I got the wall," the 25-year old rookie driver said. "I was just using all the track and a little more, but I guess no harm, no foul. Jimmy and I were racing really hard with each other and let the leaders catch us and we got a lap down. We were short on crew guys for the race so we had to do two stops, one for fuel and one for tires."

Dernoshek pitted on lap 187 for two right side tires and began his march towards the front for a shot at Miller Lite Rookie of the Race honors. After misfortune by some of the lead cars, Dernoshek found himself knocking on the door of a solid top ten run. He battled hard to chase down Spencer Jr., the only other car on the same lap as the No. 10, but ran out of laps and came home with the first top ten finish (eighth) of his career in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series.

"I was getting a little nervous when the race went green for so long because our tires were worn out and it was really hurting us," Dernoshek commented after the event. "We were finally able to come in and get tires and the car picked back up on the new tires, but it was too little too late for us. I was pushing really hard to catch Spencer at the end as that was the only car on the same lap as us, but I got held up after the restart and he got too far out for me to run him down. All in all it was a good day. It was nice to get a top ten. It wasn't quite as legit as I would have liked since some of the front guys had trouble, but it's still a top ten."

Dernoshek is situated to qualify for his first Four Champions Championship Series by starting the next USAR Hooters ProCup Northern event at Adirondack International Speedway in September. Gaining momentum after three solid runs, Dernoshek is looking forward to the event in central New York.

"We really want to make the cut for the Championship Series," Dernoshek said. "We have run at three of the five race tracks and two of them are close to us. We'll go to Adirondack with a little momentum and a little more knowledge. We keep learning. We can't buy that knowledge, so we have to gain it."

Logan Dernoshek Racing, Inc. is actively seeking sponsors and marketing partners for their efforts in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series, the best value in motorsports. Interested parties can contact the team through USAR or through team marketing rep Tony Stevens at (412) 225-0348 for more information. More information about Logan Dernoshek and the team can be found online at www.logandernoshek.com.

The Walt's 250 at Illiana Motor Speedway will be broadcast on Speed Channel at 8pm ET on August 26 and at noon on August 27 in conjunction with the "Lunch at Hooters" promotion.

-ts-

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