USAR: Lake Erie: Joel Kauffman race report

Kauffman Builds on First Win by Finishing Sixth at Lake Erie LA West Team Plans Test This Week before Getting Ready for Kil-Kare MOORESVILLE, NC (June 21, 2004) -- Winning is the ultimate goal in racing; one that Joel Kauffman recently...

Kauffman Builds on First Win by Finishing Sixth at Lake Erie
LA West Team Plans Test This Week before Getting Ready for Kil-Kare

MOORESVILLE, NC (June 21, 2004) -- Winning is the ultimate goal in racing; one that Joel Kauffman recently experienced for the first time in Hooters Pro Cup competition. But the 18-year-old also knows the big picture is just as important and that was evident Saturday during the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Northern division event at Lake Erie Speedway (PA). The driver of the #44 LA West Luxury Vehicles car finished sixth due to pure teamwork.

Kauffman also enjoyed a little bit of newfound respect from his competitors after scoring his first series victory last weekend at the Salem Speedway (IN).

"Things have definitely been different than normal from the time that we took the checkered flag at Salem to the time that we pulled out of Lake Erie," said Kauffman. "So many people have come up to congratulate me all during that time. I've also noticed on the track that it seems that I have a little more respect given to me now. I think that we've shown people that this team can put together all of the pieces and win a races at this level."

Even though the LA West team had a winning car at Salem, they had anything but that when they first rolled into Lake Erie.

"We struggled at the start of practice," said Kauffman. "We learned a few things and made the car pretty good, but another series ran before our race. That put some different rubber down and it changed the track. We started the race with about a 15th-place car and made major adjustments on each pit stop. Tim (Kohuth) and I communicate so well and if it wasn't for that we probably would have gotten even worse. I could tell him what the car was doing and he didn't even need to think twice about making changes. It worked because we had a car capable of finishing in the top five at the end."

On the heels of his sixth-place Lake Erie finish, Kauffman goes into an off-week for the Pro Cup Northern Division with the hopes of bettering his raceteam even more.

"We are going to test at Caraway on Thursday," said Kauffman. "We plan on trying different things to the car and seeing how it reacts to our changes. After the test, I'm going to go to Myrtle Beach for the Pro Cup Southern division race and see what I can learn as a driver. We'll be going there for a Championship Series race in the fall (October 23rd) and I want to be prepared for that."

The next race Kauffman will wheel his #44 in will be on July 2ndat the Kil-Kare Speedway (OH). Last season, Kauffman qualified fourth at Kil-Kare and was running in the third position before his battery died and dropped him out of contention for a top finish.

"Kil-Kare is a weird track," said Kauffman. "The track never seems to go straight and it feels like there are five corners. It's hard to get hooked up and concentrate on racing because you are concentrating on just not spinning out. But it's the same for everyone and we ran well there last season, so we should be able to have a good race."

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Series Stock car
Drivers Joel Kauffman