Villarreal climbing the ladder in Shenandoah Miami's driver came just shy of the podium MIAMI, September 1st, 2006 -- Cuban/American Andre Villarreal came just shy of the podium in Shenandoah last Saturday. Aron Oakley took advantage of...
Villarreal climbing the ladder in Shenandoah
Miami's driver came just shy of the podium
MIAMI, September 1st, 2006 -- Cuban/American Andre Villarreal came just shy of the podium in Shenandoah last Saturday. Aron Oakley took advantage of traffic with two laps to go to pass him for the third place. Andre was in contention until the very end, a feat in itself with only three races experience in the Carolina/Virginia USAC Ford Focus Midget Series.
"The weekend started really great for us, explains Andre. We qualified fifth, which made us take the start from the fourth spot on the grid because the first eight positions start in reverse order. I took two cars on the first lap, and I stayed in second until Mark Burt passed me on lap 30. I stayed third for another three laps, but I got caught in traffic and Aron (Oakley) took advantage. I tried to get him back before the checkered flag, but I ran out of time."
Real Race Cars Owner Ryan Scott took Andre testing before the race and saw instant benefits. "We went testing at Friendship Motor Speedway before the race scheduled there, says Scott. It was important to bring him there because it was a shorter track and we could really work on throttle control. His driving got better right away, and he was really good at rotating the car. Unfortunately, the race got rained out, so we headed to Shenandoah without seeing the difference in race setting. Still, we saw real improvement just with the additional seat time we could give him. He qualified fifth, and ran with our house car (Chase Scott) one-two for three quarters of the race. We struggled a little with set-up and handling, and the car kind of went away from him towards the end."
First Restoration President and CEO Frank Headen was also very pleased with Andre's rapid progress. "It is a real treat for us to help Andre develop his talent further, comments Headen. On top of getting more name recognition in the Carolina and Virginia markets, we help a driver fulfill his dream."
Andre now prepares for the last race of the season, at the Friendship Motor Speedway in Elkin, NC, September 23rd. "It's a make-up date for the rained out event earlier this month. This should be fun, since I tested there. The more I run, the better I do, so I'm hoping for a good result again. After that, we'll have to sit down my father and I and evaluate our options for next year. I'd like to come back and make a full season in Ford Focus Midget, since I only did about a quarter of the season this year and it went well up to date. We'll put our heads together and figure it out this Fall."