RON SUTTON'S WINNER'S CIRCLE DRIVERS RUN 1-2-4 AT MADERA SPEEDWAY IN USAC FORD FOCUS MIDGET COMPETITION McCord and Walmer add to excitement as Romano grows championship lead with win MADERA, CALIF. (October 28, 2009) -- The Ron Sutton's ...
RON SUTTON'S WINNER'S CIRCLE DRIVERS RUN 1-2-4 AT MADERA SPEEDWAY IN
USAC FORD FOCUS MIDGET COMPETITION
McCord and Walmer add to excitement as Romano grows championship lead with win
MADERA, CALIF. (October 28, 2009) -- The Ron Sutton's Winner's Circle USAC Ford Focus Midget team was the class of the field on Saturday (October 24) in Round 18 of the USAC California Pavement Ford Focus Car Series at Madera Speedway. Championship leader Nik Romano scored his second consecutive win, leading his teammate Keegan Walmer to the checkered flag, while fellow RSWC driver Mindy McCord finished a close fourth.
The on-track action at the challenging 1/3-mile Madera Speedway got off to a good start for the Ron Sutton's Winner's Circle squad, with both Romano and Walmer among those challenging for the top time in the Friday practice sessions.
That trend continued one day later, when single-car qualifying got underway. Romano narrowly missed yet another pole position, turning the second fastest lap in the No. 42 Dr. Glass Reactor Repair/Romold Precision Molding/Romano Cosmetic Surgery/Ron Sutton's Winner's Circle USAC Ford Focus Midget. Not far behind on the timesheets, Walmer secured a middle of the pack starting position in his No. 8 Resers Fine Foods/Robinson Construction/Ron Sutton's Winner's Circle USAC Ford Focus Midget.
McCord, having missed Friday practice due to travel complications, showed good speed in her fourth-ever visit to Madera Speedway, turning seventh quickest time in the No. 3 Interstate Performance Exhaust/Qmpartss.com/Ron Sutton's Winner's Circle USAC Ford Focus Midget.
When the eight-lap Heat race got underway a short time later, it quickly became apparent that the RSWC cars would be in contention for the win. While Romano got caught up in traffic preventing a charge to the front, having started at the rear of the field due to the inverted grid rule, both McCord and Walmer were dicing for the lead. McCord took over the top spot early on, with her teammate right behind. Thanks to some great driving and a late race yellow flag, which halted a Walmer pass attempt, McCord captured her third Heat win of the season.
After a brief celebration by the RSWC crew, it was time to go racing again, with the Feature race. Starting on the outside pole, McCord enjoyed the best launch of the RSWC development driver trio, passing polesitter Shawn Buckley and vaulting into the lead by the end of lap one. Romano and Walmer however quickly began showing their pace, rapidly working their way through the field. By lap five, Romano had found a way past his teammate McCord to take over the lead, with Walmer quickly following suit to slot into second place.
McCord's chances at podium finish took a further hit, when she spun on lap 14, before rejoining at the rear of the field. Out front, Romano and Walmer were engaged in a spirited, yet clean battle for the lead, with the 14 year-old Walmer routinely trying an inside pass, only to be thwarted by his 19 year-old teammate's high-line pace. As the race entered the final stages, attention alternated between the battle for the lead between the Ron Sutton's Winner's Circle drivers and McCord's charge back up through the ranks. McCord put on quite a show running lines wherever her competitors were not, passing her way back to leaders. In the end, Romano narrowly held off Walmer for his second consecutive Feature race win, while the 16 year-old McCord rebounded to cross the start/finish in fourth.
"It is always good when you finish first, second and fourth," stated driver coach Ron Sutton. "I'm proud of our Drivers' excellent performance tonight in front of the Madera crowd -- and I'm proud of the crew for consistently putting front running cars under our drivers all year. This was my 450th career race win -- and we had to earn each one with hard work and talented driving -- just like tonight."
The Ron Sutton's Winner's Circle USAC Ford Focus Midget team returns to action on November 26, with the USAC California Pavement Ford Focus Car Series season-finale at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. The RSWC development driver Romano enters the Turkey Night Gran Prix leading the championship standings.