Solid Milwaukee Mile Finish Gives Bright Future For Win-Tron Racing; Matt Merrell "Matt Merrell Finishes 11th In USAR Northern Division At The Magic Mile" LAKEVILLE, Minnesota (June 4, 2008) - - One step at a time. Those five crucial words...
Solid Milwaukee Mile Finish Gives Bright Future For Win-Tron Racing; Matt Merrell
"Matt Merrell Finishes 11th In USAR Northern Division At The Magic Mile"
LAKEVILLE, Minnesota (June 4, 2008) - - One step at a time. Those five crucial words have become a major motto in the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup department at Win-Tron Racing. The rookie USAR team took a major leap forward in their freshman program after driver Matt Merrell finished 11th (Northern Division) at The Milwaukee Mile Saturday night.
Hoping to rebound from a tough but strong showing at South Boston Speedway, the Win-Tron Racing team was keeping their heads held high heading into the second race of the season.
After maneuvering a solid practice effort, Merrell and crew chief Mike Resop quickly went to work to try and make their No. 32 entry better for qualifying and the race.
In qualifying, Merrell stepped up to the plate and qualified eighth for the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Northern division but with USAR Hooter's Pro Cup officials allowing both the North and South divisions to participate in the festivities, Merrell would line up 16th.
"We'll take it," offered Merrell following qualifying. "We're making positive improvements in our Hooter's Pro Cup program. This is still new for us. We're learning each time we head on the track and every time we pull into the garage. Hopefully we can keep out of trouble and bring home a respectable finish."
When the green flag flew, Merrell quickly tried to follow into a rhythm. Early on, Merrell showed extreme patience and climbed in the running order to 12th.
Unfortunately while running strong the night would take a wicked turn as the team lost a right rear tire during the course of the event forcing Merrell to bring his machine down pit road for a quick tire change.
Now off the lead circuit, Merrell would focus on gaining ever position possible on the track. While trying to maneuver through the running order, Merrell would make contact with another competitor on the track forcing a flat on the left rear. Another trip down pit road for new rubber would keep the team out of contention and the spotlight.
Despite the setbacks, Merrell would persevere to cross the line 27th but notch 11th overall in the Northern Division.
"It was a tough night for the Win-Tron Racing team," Merrell sounded after the event. "We had a tire go down early and that set the pace for the rest of the night. We were trying to play catch-up and we had another tire go flat. It is what it is. I'm proud of the team for all their hard work and we'll try to pick up the pieces from The Milwaukee Mile and hope for our first top-10 at Mansfield Motorsports Park next Saturday night."
"It's tough when you have both divisions competing in the same race," Merrell stated. "It's hard because you are trying to put on a good show for your sponsors and team but you have to deal with drivers and team we're not accustomed to racing too. It's just part of the racing game."
Merrell added, "Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the progress our team has made in the first two events. We've had good cars just haven't been able to show it in the finishing order. We'll turn it around though. Mansfield is a tough demanding track. It is however a track that I feel we can conquer with flying colors."
Tejas Exotics, Merrell Lease Service and Win-Tron Driver Development all held sponsorship roles on the No. 32 entry last weekend at The Milwaukee Mile.
Exiting Milwaukee, Merrell climbed to 17th in the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Northern Division standings sitting just 41 credits from entering the top-10. Six races remain in the 2008 USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Northern Division schedule before setting up for a four-race championship play-off beginning with Mansfield Motorsports Park on Saturday, August 30th.
Next up for the USAR Northern Division is Greased Lighting 250 from Mansfield Motorsports Park. Round three on the 2008 Hooter's Pro Cup schedule is set for Saturday, June 14th with the green flag scheduled to waive at 7:00 p.m. local.