Win-Tron Racing; Matt Merrell Looking For An Angel At Mansfield "Rookie Team Looks For Stout Runs In Championship Events" MANSFIELD, Ohio (August 28, 2008) - - It may not be Anaheim, but as the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup returns to Mansfield ...
Win-Tron Racing; Matt Merrell Looking For An Angel At Mansfield
"Rookie Team Looks For Stout Runs In Championship Events"
MANSFIELD, Ohio (August 28, 2008) - - It may not be Anaheim, but as the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup returns to Mansfield Motorsports Park (MMP) this weekend for the first of four championship races, Win-Tron Racing looks for an angel to hover above the team and bring them a good finish in Saturday's Charlie Campbell Sears Auto Center 250.
In the most recent USAR Hooter's Pro Cup event at Bristol Motor Speedway, freshman driver Matt Merrell headed to BMS with high hopes. Hoping to escape the Bristol thunder with a season-best finish, the Portland, Texas native never had an opportunity to get up to speed as the No. 32 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was swept into a first-lap incident.
Still down but definitely not out, Merrell and the Lakeville, Minnesota based Win-Tron Racing team are regrouped and ready to use the final four championship events to their advantage and reel in some stout finishes.
"Bristol was a disappointment," said Merrell. "As a team we knew we could walk away with a good finish if we stayed out of trouble. Unfortunately, the trouble found us and we had an early night. The night was just a continuing chapter to our season. We've been fast and good, just little luck."
With lucky seeming to be a high priority for a first year team, Merrell knows that it may take a little more than luck to notch a top-10 finish in Saturday night's rumble.
"We're going all out this weekend at Mansfield," sounded Merrell. "We've already raced at Mansfield this year, so we know what we can come back with and that should help immensely. But the competition will be tough. These championship races consist of racers from both the North and South division, so a win won't be easy but we definitely have a shot"
Speaking of the tight and tricky Mansfield Motorsports Park, the racetrack is known for being a typical short track where starting up front is crucial and staying on your game is essential.
"We race a lot of short tracks during the year but Mansfield is a tricky place. It's so hard to pass, so we have to come to the track on our mark. We have to qualify up front and stay there. If you have a problem halfway during the race, your chance of getting back to the front takes a direct hit because it's pretty much just a one-groove place."
[IMAGE]Eight races down in the regular season, Merrell collected a best finish of 13th at Salem Speedway. An event he shined through and led 56 laps climbing from his fifth place qualifying effort in the Lucas Oil 200. Strong qualifying efforts were the norm for the rookie team in the regular season with Merrell shining with three top-five qualifying efforts with an additional fourth top-10 effort at Jennerstown Speedway. With the team knowing their capable of top-five runs, Merrell looks to change his season statistics under the Ohio lights.
"Our season has been plentiful," said Merrell, who will return to the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Salem Speedway next month. "We've been fabulous in the qualifying department but we haven't been as fortunate during the actual race. We're going to change that record this weekend."
Finishing 16th in the North Division USAR Hooter's Pro Cup standings, Merrell will now join the championship playoff 29th in the standings combining both the Northern and Southern divisions together for four races. Holding at 113 markers, Merrell is 37 markers from the top-10 and 92 credits from the top spot held by Mark McFarland.
"We're capable of finishing in the top-10 in the championship standings," added Merrell. "This is our time to shine. If we can run strong in these final four races it will prove that teamwork definitely wins."Team Manager Nate Thiesse of Win-Tron Racing offered, "These championship races are important to us and we're excited about Mansfield this weekend. Our goal like every week is to go out and finish strong. We were running very strong at Mansfield earlier this year before we fell victim to mechanical failure. We're hoping that our experience will put us in contention Saturday night."Merrell Lease Service and Win-Tron Driver Development will hold the sponsorship roles on the No. 32 entry this week.
The Charlie Campbell Sears Auto Center 250 (250 laps/125 miles) is set for Saturday, August 30, 2008. A two hour practice session begins from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Awesome Awnings Pole Qualifying is slated to begin at approximately 4:30 p.m. An on-track autograph session has been etched in for 5:45 p.m. The ninth event of the season will take the green flag shortly after 7:00 p.m. local time.