Win-Tron Racing; Matt Merrell Ready To Accept Mansfield Challenge "Matt Merrell & Company Ready For First Top-10 Finish" MANSFIELD, Ohio (June 12, 2008) - - Two races into the 2008 USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Series rookie Matt Merrell has consumed a...
Win-Tron Racing; Matt Merrell Ready To Accept Mansfield Challenge
"Matt Merrell & Company Ready For First Top-10 Finish"
MANSFIELD, Ohio (June 12, 2008) - - Two races into the 2008 USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Series rookie Matt Merrell has consumed a lot. Two solid performances haven't equaled the finishes Merrell knows that his Win-Tron Racing is capable of. He looks to change that fact in Saturday's Greased Lighting 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Park.
Running strong in the series' most recent outing at The Milwaukee Mile, Merrell appeared to be well on his way to his first career USAR top-10 finish but flat tires kept the impressive late model driver at bay resulting in a 27th finish, but 11th overall in the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Series Northern Division.
"We are making excellent progress," said Merrell. "Sure, our finishes could be better but we are contending. We just need to shake this little bit of misfortune that we are having on track and we'll start turning heads in more ways than one."
Heading to Mansfield Motorsports Park for the first time in his young racing career, Merrell has studied previous races at the tricky Northern Ohio facility and knows that track position is critical in being successful.
"Mansfield is a track that is extremely hard to pass at," Merrell explained. "To be up front, we need to qualify up there and stay there. We need to be smart and if the opportunity arises we need to play a little bit of pit strategy. If we play all of our cards right, our chances of finishing in the top-10 look great."
He continued, "The track (Mansfield) is so tricky. A lot of people talked about the recent NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race there last month and I'm sure we'll see the same beating and banging Saturday night. It just comes with the territory. Being a smart driver and on my game will hopefully put us in contention."
Being a rookie in any racing division proposes its challenges and Merrell won't hide that he has faced some. "I'm new to the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Series and there's a lot to learn. These are new cars to me and the competition is stiffer than any other series I've ever competed in. However with those challenges come rewards. I believe I'm becoming a better race car driver. I'm getting to know the officials, drivers and their teams. I'm starting to feel at home in the Hooter's Pro Cup Series."
Merrell added, "Working with Win-Tron Racing has been a breeze. My team is just awesome. We're all facing the same challenges together but we're coming out of the dark strong and alive. I couldn't be happier with the direction we're heading and it's only a matter of time before we are in contention for a win."
Entering 17th in the championship standings and 108 points from the top-spot, Merrell knows that he needs to continue to move up the chain and close the gap. "It was a nice feeling to inch forward in the standings but we still have a long way to go," sounded Merrell, who climbed eight spots in the standings from the most recent race at The Milwaukee Mile. "This championship won't be decided until the end of the season I think, so in order to stay in the chase, we just need to keep plugging."
Win-Tron Racing's Nate Thiesse also believes his freshman team is making exceptional progress and is looking forward to Saturday's night race under the lights. "We're all happy with Matt's progress. He is giving 150 percent behind the wheel. We've encountered a little luck on the track this season but we're taking it in stride. Our goal this weekend is to finish in the top-10 and we're going to do everything in our power to make it a reality."
Tejas Exotics, Merrell Lease Service and Win-Tron Driver Development will hold the sponsorship roles on the No. 32 entry this weekend.
"Our sponsors deserve a strong finish and that's exactly what we are after this weekend," Merrell noted. ""Tejas Exotics, Merrell Lease Service and Win-Tron Driver Development have done a great job supporting and backing our team and now it's our turn to return the favor in Saturday night's event. I'm feeling real good about this weekend."
The Greased Lighting 250 is set for Saturday, June 14, 2008. The event is a one-day show. A two hour practice session begins from 11:30-1:30 p.m. Awesome Awnings Pole Qualifying is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. The third event of the season will take the green flag on Saturday shortly after 7:00 p.m. All times are local.