Win-Tron Racing A Victim In Daytona
Topics: Dominick Casola, ARCA 200 at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (February 12, 2008) - - Wrong place, Wrong time. That’s the easiest way to describe Win-Tron Racing’s opening run this past Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.
A new name, a new driver but strong optimism had Win-Tron Racing a serious sleeper for the 45th annual ARCA 200 at Daytona. The Minnesota-based team was also banking on the team’s success during the three-day open test last December.
Casola aboard the No. 32 A. Casola Farms Dodge Charger would be one of 65 drivers to participate in the first practice session of the season on Thursday. During the five hour event, Casola posted his fastest time of 50.990 seconds at 176.505 MPH netting the team 54th on the board.
Unhappy with the results, the team opted to make an engine change prior to ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying set for Friday afternoon.
“The entire Win-Tron Racing team has worked hard preparing our No. 32 Dodge Charger for Dominick Casola. We went out during practice and the motor wasn’t responding to our liking. We adjusted a few items hoping to correct the issue but to no avail. This is a huge race for our team so instead of taking a chance of losing the motor completely we decided to pull it and put our back-up in from RC Consulting. We aren’t fazed with the change; we just can’t take any chances in the 2008 season opener. Dominick is doing a great job for us and we know that when ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying rolls around on Friday, we’ll find ourselves in the show comfortably,” stated Win-Tron Racing team manager Nate Thiesse.
With the engine change complete in plenty of time for time trials, Casola offered he was going to hammer it down and leave nothing on the table. During his two lap run at Daytona, Casola posted a lap of 50.303 seconds or 178.916 MPH picking up over six tenths of a second from practice the day before. The team’s effort would land Casola 18th on the starting grid in his Daytona debut.
“I am super happy,” noted Casola. “The Win-Tron Racing bunch never gave up. They are an awesome group. We knew we had a problem after practice, but they weren’t going to let an engine change stand in our way. Everyone is happy with the qualifying run, now we can look towards the race.”
After successfully qualifying for his inaugural Daytona event, the Win-Tron Racing team shifted gears and prepared for the final practice session of the weekend. During the hour and five-minute session, Casola posted the 18th fastest time with a time of 49.615 seconds transferring to a speed of 181.397 MPH. Casola was pleased with the results. “I enjoy drafting,” he noted. The car drafts much like it did in the Daytona test and I’m really excited about the race!”
43 entries would take the green flag in the ARCA 200 at Daytona with Casola safely in the top-20. It would not take long for the black No. 32 to slide up the running order and Casola quickly tucked in the draft and found himself comfortably in the top-15.
With two cautions in the first 10 laps of the race, Casola would report that the car was strong, he was happy, but just taking it easy. With a 80-lap race on tap, Casola knew he could not win the event in the first quarter of the event.
Back to racing, Casola continued to stay safely in the top-15 and maneuvered his way into the 12th position when the next yellow flag waived on lap 23 for an incident involving Alli Owens. During the breather, the Win-Tron Racing bunch opted to make a trip down pit road for a routine pit stop.
Casola would return to action comfortably in the top-20.
When racing resumed, Casola was on the march back towards the front. With fresh tires and plenty of Sunoco Racing fuel, his A. Casola Farms automobile was sticking to the track and posting some very competitive lap times. Casola’s charge however would be derailed as a huge melee broke out ahead of the Holmdel, New Jersey native on lap 29. At first, it appeared that the former USAR Hooter’s Pro Cup star would emerge unscathed, but contact with another competitor emerging from the smoke would heavily damage Casola’s machine.
A gallant effort from the Win-Tron Racing team would keep the sophomore ARCA driver on the lead lap, but Casola informed his team that he was having transmission issues which would force Casola to take his machine to the garage and retire from his Daytona debut. He would be credited with a 33rd place finish.
“The crew did a fantastic job of keeping us on the lead lap even though we had to make four stops trying to repair the damage,” said Casola. “Finally the clutch started to slip and there seemed to be a problem with the transmission as a result of the accident and we just decided to take it to the garage.
“It was disappointing because we felt that we had a very strong car. Our race plan was basically to stay with the leaders, stay out of trouble and then go for a strong finish in the final 20-laps. Unfortunately we did not get to do that. That is just part of restrictor plate racing. I do think we have a car and a team that can be a contender for some wins during the 2008 season.”
“Everyone is extremely happy with Dominick’s performance at Daytona,” noted Thiesse. “He never gave up and showed real determination. It’s unfortunate for everyone what happened during the race, but Dominick is encouraged by the team’s performance and is eager to get to Salem . We feel the same way.”
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is a six-week break from competition before returning to action at the bull-ring of Salem Speedway in Salem , Indiana on April 13, 2008. Casola will return behind the wheel of Win-Tron Racing’s No. 32 for the event.
A. Casola Farms, a family-owned business sponsored Casola’s No. 32 Dodge Charger at Daytona International Speedway. Casola made his 23rd career ARCA start and second at a restrictor plate track.
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