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Highlands Motorsports and Driver Wade Day finish third at Shenandoah Speedway

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Shenandoah Valley 150, Wade Day

Highlands Motorsports and Driver Wade Day finish third at Shenandoah Speedway

Walden Motorsports Communications
July 28, 2005

BRISTOL, Tenn. - The Highlands Motorsports team with driver Wade Day behind the wheel competed Saturday, July 23 in the inaugural event with the International Sport Compact Auto Racing Series at the newly-built Shenandoah (Va.) Speedway, a state-of-the-art 3/8-mile oval just north of Charlottesville. And while Day brought the car home in third-place in the 150-lap event, a victory was well within grasp.

During pole qualifying, Day timed-in third quickest (16.10-seconds) in the Lopez & Associates/Refrigerator Services Inc./Wix Filters/Integra Springs & Shocks/Racepak Data/Wilwood/Turn Key Fabrication/Toyota Racing Development/No. 96 Toyota Celica among the 18 cars in attendance.

At the drop of the green flag, Day assumed second in the running order behind pole-sitter Joey Miller. During the first half of the race, Day challenged Miller for the point on several occasions, while also having to battle for position with brothers Jake and Justin Hobgood, Brandon Ward, Zach Brewer, Mike Watts, Danny Bagwell and Scott Weaver.

After the mandatory halfway stop, Day wasted little time in flexing his muscle to grab the lead from Miller. But the lead was short-lived, as contact between Miller and Day sent Day, from Elizabethton, Tenn., spinning and to the tail of the field for the restart. While working his way back up through the field, Day’s Toyota suffered a flat left-rear, but he was saved from going a lap down as the caution waved.

Back under green after the race reached the 100-lap mark, Day was quickly moving back towards the front and into the top-five. Day closed to the rear bumper of leader Brewer on lap 115 and, after looking under Brewer racing off the corners for several circuits, getting a strong run off (turn) four on lap 122, Day raced alongside Brewer into the first turn.

With Day wanting the lead, and Brewer not wanting to give the position up, they raced off turn two down the backstretch into the third turn on lap 123. Hard racing between the two saw Brewer spin (incidental contact), thus moving Day into the lead.

While under caution, Brewer pulled alongside Day on the front straightaway, body-slamming the side of Day’s Toyota. ISCARS officials black-flagged Brewer, and he was held in the pits for a two-lap penalty.

With 25 laps remaining to the checkers, and Day riding out front on the point, the Highlands Motorsports team looked poised to celebrate in victory lane. But on the restart, Brewer came out of the pits and lined up beside Day.

As the green flag waved and Day raced down the front straightaway into the first turn, with Brewer alongside as a lapped car, Brewer retaliated and spun Day in turn one. Brewer’s night ended as ISCARS officials parked him for the remainder of the race.

With Day once again having to go to the rear of the field, he managed to work his way back to third at the finish, behind winner Ward and runner-up Watts. Miller and Bagwell rounded out the top-five.

“Yeah, it was really quite disappointing how things turned out because we had an excellent opportunity to win the race,” said Day from the Highlands Motorsports race shop on Monday. “We had a very good car from the moment we unloaded and began practice. In qualifying we were third-fastest, and at the start we immediately settled into second in the running order. Knowing we had a halfway (mandatory) stop, we just kind of bided our time and felt the car out during the first 75 laps. The car just kept getting better as the race went along.

“When challenging Zach (Brewer) for the lead with the laps winding down, I raced him clean. We just got together, and it was nothing more than hard racing between two drivers – each wanting to lead. While we were under caution, he just came up and drove into the side of my car on the front straightaway. The series officials brought him in the pits for a couple of laps, but he came right back out for the restart and lined up beside me. And what happened was quite clear, because he just flat-out ran over me as we raced down into the first turn, ending our hopes of winning. But we plan on running all ISCARS races this year, and we know we’ve got equipment to win races – plus our goal is to win the championship.”

The Highlands Motorsports team consists of owner Wade Lopez, driver Wade Day, crew chief Larry Collins, and crew members Rick Day (Wade’s father), Mike Ost, Richard Beard, Glen Light, Kent Hunley and Alex Jolly.

After the Shenandoah Valley 150, Day stands tied for second-place in ISCARS points. The next ISCARS event will be on Saturday, September 17 at Lonesome Pine Raceway, located in Coeburn, Va.

“We’ve got a good team assembled, and I’d like to thank Wade (Lopez) for giving me the opportunity to race for him,” said Day. “Besides our ISCARS equipment, we also have a Super Late Model that we’ve raced over at Concord (N.C.) Motorsports Park a couple of times this season, and we plan on hitting some of the bigger shows with the car this fall in Nashville and hopefully the Snowball Derby down in Pensacola, Fla.

To learn more about Wade Day, visit his Web site at http://www.wadeday.com/

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