USAR: Lake Erie: Logan Dernoshek preview

Dernoshek Focused for Success at Lake Erie CANONSBURG, PA (June 17, 2004) -- Three weeks ago, Logan Dernoshek didn't know what the future held for his unsponsored No. 10 Pontiac team in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series. After a solid top-15...

Dernoshek Focused for Success at Lake Erie

CANONSBURG, PA (June 17, 2004) -- Three weeks ago, Logan Dernoshek didn't know what the future held for his unsponsored No. 10 Pontiac team in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series. After a solid top-15 run at IRP in mid-May, Dernoshek saw his race go up in smoke at Jennerstown Speedway in Pennsylvania. After some hard work, much sweat, a couple drops of blood, and a few tears, he and his team are focused on this weekend's Miller Lite 250 at the 3/8-mile Lake Erie Speedway.

Erie is familiar territory for Dernoshek, a graduate of Gannon University which is approximately 15 minutes from the speedway. Dernoshek reigned in some experience on the compound banked racetrack in a late model last year when helping weekly competitor Bill Catania diagnose some handling problems in his backup car. That experience has given Dernoshek the knowledge of what the track is like, and he hopes that means he and his team will be close on the setup when they unload on Saturday.

"I have had a couple laps around Lake Erie in a late model and I do mean only a couple," said Dernoshek. "The guy that bought our late model that we ran at Motordrome and Jennerstown runs at Lake Erie. He invited me up to drive his backup car and try to sort out some handling problems they had with it. We didn't get to run any practice because we were trying to get everything straightened out, but we made it out for the heat race and it ended up raining out after the heat. With what little time I did spend on the track, I found that the compound banking is somewhat abrupt where it changes. If you hit it wrong it will upset the car."

With banking changes that can upset the racecar that badly, Dernoshek and shock specialist Shaun Scheerbaum have been working extra hard to build two sets of Afco race shocks specifically for the Lake Erie event. After talking with a few other competitors and looking over the notes from 2003 and this year, Dernoshek is confident that the team will be close on shock setup, if not spot on.

"We are starting to get a little bit of a handle on things and are definitely learning a lot," the 25-year old rising star commented. "We are going to be running the medium compound tires this weekend at LES so that is going to help. We didn't have the right setup for the hard tires yet. Hopefully we can keep learning and hit on a setup that will let us run with Rumley, Gordon and the other big dogs. We really need to test to catch up some, but I don't think that testing is going to be possible now.

"Jennerstown hurt us bad. It blew up big time," Dernoshek continued. "It could have been worse though. It looked like a part failure of some sort. It ate a piston, bent the valves, bent two rods, and a host of other bad stuff happened. It got expensive and we can't afford this kind of stuff. Another major problem and we're going to be done. This has put a major hurting on us already and that's why any hopes of testing have certainly been dashed."

Putting the last event behind them, Dernoshek is still optimistic about this weekend's Miller Lite 250. After three wins in 2002 at Motordrome Speedway in the late model division, it has been over a year since Dernoshek tasted victory lane and almost a year since success in the Hooters ProCup Series after qualifying 10th at Motordrome in September. Regardless, the driver of the nuclear green machine is still upbeat for Lake Erie.

"I want to win!," Dernoshek exclaimed when asked about Lake Erie. "Realistically, however, I want to go out and have a good solid run and bring home an intact race car. We need to get into the top ten, then the top five and then think about winning. Right now we need to get into the top ten consistently and that is my goal for the weekend. I don't think there is any reason why we shouldn't be able to do it."

Logan Dernoshek Racing, Inc. is actively seeking sponsors and marketing partners for the 2004 season and beyond. 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.

Tickets are still available for the USAR Hooters ProCup Miller Lite 250 at Lake Erie Speedway by calling 1-866-LES-RACE, or by visiting the track website at www.lakeeriespeedway.com. For those unable to attend this Saturday's event, the Miller Lite 250 will be broadcast on Speed Channel at 8pm ET on June 24 and at noon on June 25 in conjunction with the "Lunch at Hooters" promotion.

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