Wolf sixth in ACT debut
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 20, 2008
Ricky Wolf narrowly misses a wreck on lap 65 of the Governor's Cup 100 at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
In his ACT debut, Ricky Wolf piloted the Willoughby Motorsports #38NH to a solid sixth-place finish on Sunday afternoon at Lee USA Speedway. Wolf started ninth after winning the fourth qualifying heat of the day.
Ricky recalls the weekend events...
"Saturday, April 19th gave us another shot to tweak on the chassis a little bit, and try to squeeze a little bit more out of it. The first practice session was again on old tires and the car was still stable, consistent, and turning well. In the second session we were fortunate to be able to bolt on four new 'sticker' tires, and what a difference new rubber makes - we picked up 0.3 to 0.4 seconds per lap, our best being in the 15.9 second range, but consistently in the 16.0 to 16.1 second lap times. After a third session to try the car in the outside groove, we called it good enough, and loaded the car for the day.
Sunday morning was our first real taste of the American Canadian Tour (ACT). We had a few bumps in the road learning their normal processes, but we got through it (with a lot of patience from the ACT staff - thank you!). We have already made some changes to our system to allow us to be better prepared at Oxford next Saturday. Drivers and 'rookie' meetings were held, including a draw for starting position in the qualifying heat races. The top four cars from each of the four heats would make up the top sixteen starting spots for the feature. Crew Chief Jason Horne drew a '58', which started us in the third position in the fourth heat race - a great draw for us, and really set the tone for our day.
We were able to work our way to the outside of pole sitter Bobby Baillageron by the third or fourth lap, and squeak by a few laps later, winning our qualifying race, and earning a 'plus 2' in the ACT handicap procedure (by starting third and improving two positions to first). We were in the race. What an advantage it was to have our spot, and not have to run in the Consolation or Last Chance Qualifier races.
We started the Governor's Cup 100 in the 9th position, and spent the first 25 or 30 laps trying to maintain our position, and get a fell for what we were going to have for the long run. A few early cautions took out some very good cars, but then a 50 lap or so green flag run occurred, and we really settled in. As the race wore on we had a bit of a tight condition in the car from the middle of the corner off, but still a very good, stable car. I relied heavily on Jason to make the final call on the setup, as I am not accustomed to the longer races ACT runs. He obviously made the right calls all weekend, and we were able to hang in there with some of the best the Tour has to offer, and gain some invaluable experience while doing
it. Hopefully, as time wears on, we will gain the respect of our competitors as a team that races hard but respectfully - that is our goal, anyway.
It was obviously a great start to our 2008 season, and first race on the ACT. It was so rewarding to have such a solid run in front of our sponsors, family, and loyal fans at our 'home track'. The support we have received at Lee USA Speedway the last 10 or 12 years from our loyal following is deeply appreciated. Thank you for everything, WOLFPACK!
I can not send enough thanks to Mark and Robbin Willoughby for the opportunity to drive one of their two cars, as well as Bob and Gail Knowlton (BG Environmental and J & J's Food N Fuel), Waste Management and Dennis Ciotti at Dennis Ciotti Racing Products for making this whole thing happen. Also, Crew Chief Jason Horne has been an invaluable resource to me
up to this point, and will continue to be as the season wears on.
On to our biggest challenge of the season so far next weekend - Oxford Plains Speedway."