FRASERVILLE, ON- One year removed from his first career Kawartha triumph, London Recreational Racing driver Andrew Gresel returned to the Fraserville 3/8 mile for a repeat performance, surviving early-race contact to lead more than half of the 50-lap event for his first win of 2014.
“This car was on rails tonight. My guys gave me an awesome piece. I’m not sure there was anything that was going to get in our way tonight”, smiled Gresel upon clearing post-race inspection.
“Pitting on lap-1 and restarting at the back of the pack was definitely not in the strategy, though”, added Gresel with a smile.
The Hepworth, ON-based driver suffered significant body damage that resulted in a left rear tire rub, after an opening lap skirmish that left a number of drivers with mangled equipment.
“I didn’t see much of what happened, to be honest”, explained Gresel. “The outside line just bound up at the green flag, and when everyone checked up, someone ran into the back of us and knocked the fender into the tire”
“At first, I was hoping it was just the plastic part of the fender that was rubbing”, continued the former Pro Late Model champion. “But, [spotter] Gareth Gonder could see that it was sheet metal digging directly into the tire, so we knew we had to pit”
After repairing the damage as best they could, Gresel restarted in the 18th position, and wasted little time marching his way through the pack.
“As good as this car was tonight, it could have driven itself”, explained Gresel. “You have a lot of room to work at Kawartha, so we knew that restarting at the back wasn’t the end of the world”
“In the back of my mind, I was worried that we were running the risk of using our stuff up coming through the field”, admitted the 2013 Autumn Colours Classic champion. “But, the way this car was able to roll the center and get off the corner, we had plenty of tire and brake at the end”
Gresel captured the lead shortly before the halfway mark, and proceeded to open up a straightaway lead over his closest pursuer. His Hamke by Brian MacDonald entry would lap up to the 7th place car by the time all was said and done.
“We wrestled with this car more than we would have liked to, at Sunset”, said Gresel. “So, we were coming into this race looking for a bounce back, but I would have never expected to have this kind of run. I can’t thank my crew enough. When it comes to setting this car up, my guys never cease to amaze me”
When asked if his most recent triumph eclipses his assertive performance that earned him his 2013 Kawartha victory, Gresel remained uncertain.
“I’m not sure, yet”, laughed the second-generation driver. “That’ll probably be the topic of discussion for the 4-hour haul home. Ask me next week what we decided”
Andrew Gresel’s Kawartha Speedway triumph would not have been possible without the consummate support of Sauble Falls Tent & Trailer Park, London Recreational, Canadian Union of Skilled Workers, HY-Grade Roofing, Have1.com and Raden Givari of eHomes.
The Sauble Falls Racing team will return to action when the tour visits Barrie Speedway for Round 3 of the 2014 schedule on June 14th. For event details visit www.OSCAAR.ca
Follow the team on Twitter @SaubleFalls81 and be sure to visit the Andrew Gresel Sauble Falls Facebook page.