SAUBLE BEACH, Ont. – June 4, 2018 – Andrew Gresel battled through a frustrating day and damage to his McRobert Fuels No.81 Ford Fusion to claim a 10th-place finish in the Interstate Batteries 100 at Flamboro Speedway on Saturday night.
Gresel timed in fifth quickest, but lined up third on the starting grid after the top-10 inversion on points. In the opening laps, Gresel fell back to fifth as he simply looked to save his equipment and tires for the end of the race. He then made his way up to third by lap 12 before taking second from Shawn Chenoweth on lap 22.
“We practiced on old rubber all day, so the car was a little tight to start at the beginning of the race,” Gresel said. “Around lap 20 it started coming in a lot better. The car was good, it was consistent and it felt a lot better. We could really hang on the outside like we showed on some of the restarts. The longer the race went, the car was getting better and better.”
Following a trio of restarts, Gresel hung tough in the outside lane with leader Brandon Watson. The restarts on lap 43 and lap 45 were both followed by yellow flags again. In both instances, Gresel appeared to have led Watson across the start-finish line, but officials did not award him the top spot and the inside lane for either restart.
“I could get a good run off the outside,” Gresel said. “If he wasn’t able to run up to the wall, he didn’t really have much of a lane. His car was pretty tight too down low. We needed to start on the inside of him. We would have rode around with him, but we would have cleared him and it would have meant a big change for the race and the end of the day for us. I think we would have been able to make the pass, but they kept putting us to the outside. I don’t know how many times you have to clear a guy to get your spot.”
After the restart on lap 46, Gresel got shuffled back to third and then had an unfortunate incident with young driver Treyten Lapcevich.
“In the middle of three and four he gave us a good punt and moved us up a lane and got underneath us, which was fine if he was that fast,” Gresel said. “Then coming out of turn two, he squeezed us right up to the wall and I had nowhere to go. He put me in a spot where I don’t have a choice. Either I hit the wall or I try to turn him. By that time he had me pissed off, so I turned left and there was nothing I could do.”
The end result was Gresel losing the nose cone to his No.81 and Lapcevich spun to the outside wall. Both cars went to the pit area and Gresel was able to return on the lead lap after his crew thrashed quickly to get the car back on track with a much uglier appearance than how it started the night.
“It was a close call,” Gresel said of making it back on track on the lead lap. “We were running out of laps (under yellow). Maybe they gave us an extra lap, but they were working hard and I have to thank those guys. It was good to get back out on the lead lap and finish 10th tonight. I think that was the best we could do tonight with what we had. The car was pretty bad at the end of the race. It had just been hit too many times.”
Gresel felt he had a car capable of winning the race. While he battled back from the wrecks to salvage a 10th-place finish, he was disappointed he was not able to convert the effort into a win.
“It’s just too bad things didn’t go our way,” Gresel said. “There was a lot of carnage. When you get into some wrecks like that, the steering gets knocked out of place and nothing’s turning right for you.”
Gresel and his team will now turn their attention to the Hy-Grade Roofing 100 at Peterborough Speedway on Saturday, June 16.
“I like that speedway and I like racing there,” Gresel said. “Hopefully it’s a bit cleaner of a night.”
For additional event information on the Hy-Grade Roofing 100, visit www.apcracingseries.com andwww.peterboroughspeedway.com.
Pro Late Model – 2 Starts: 0 Wins, 1 Top-5s, 2 Top-10s
Limited Late Model – 0 Starts: 0 Wins, 0 Top-5s, 0 Top-10s
SAUBLE FALLS RACING MEDIA
Andrew Gresel and the Sauble Falls Racing team are proud to partner with several dedicated marketing partners for the 2018 race season, including McRobert Fuels, Sauble Falls Tent & Trailer Park, CUSW – Canadian Union of Skilled Workers, Hy-Grade Roofing, London Recreational, Gallinger Ford Lincoln, F1 Freight Systems, Ron O’Brien Remax, Barry’s Construction and Raden Givari at Ehomes.