Chris Windom Impressive Again At DuQuoin Despite Outcome
Topics: Chris Windom, Southern Illinois 100
DUQUOIN, Illinois (September 7, 2011) - United States Auto Club (USAC) sensation Chris Windom made his second career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards start on Monday afternoon at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds for the running of the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Auto Parts for the potent Win-Tron Racing organization.
It appeared that Windom, a native of Canton, Illinois had his second top-five finish in the books but after being spun-out in the closing laps of the contest, it left little time for him to make a worthy comeback.
In the lone practice session of the day on Monday, Windom cleverly crafted his way to seventh quickest overall in his No. 32 Champion Brands / Win-Tron Racing Dodge Charger.
With a few tweaks made by crew chief Mike Chaffee, the team for the second-consecutive dirt race in a row would be the final car to take their qualifications lap. Being the 34th car to maneuver a lap allowed the ARCA rookie to watch qualifying extensively from the infield.
Being allowed just one-lap to make his time trials run, Windom stood on the gas and negotiated the fifth quickest lap overall. Extremely ecstatic with the handling of his automobile, the 20-year old looked forward to the 16th race of the season.
The green flag waived just after 1:15 p.m. with Windom quickly finding his comfort zone and maintaining his fifth place starting spot by lap five. By lap 11, the driver of the No. 32 Champion Brands / Win-Tron Racing Dodge Charger found himself slipping back to sixth but had climbed back to fifth by lap 17.
Five laps later the yellow flag waived with the Lakeville, Minnesota-team still hovering inside the top-five. With some cars electing to make their mandatory pit stop during the break, the No. 32 moved into third for the restart.
Immediately, he took off and began battling the No. 58 of Chad Hackenbracht for the runner-up spot. Overtaking his fellow driver charging out of turn one, Windom set his sights on leader Ty Dillon. With the leader extending his advantage to more than a second from Windom, the dirt ace would have to wait until a caution waived on lap 36 to find himself on the rear bumper of Dillon’s Chevrolet.
Under the yellow, Chaffee though elected to bring his driver to pit road for two tires and fuel. A quick performance by the Win-Tron Racing pit crew would be all for nothing as Windom tried to exit his pit stall, the No. 57 of Rodney Melvin tried entering his pit section thus blocking him and costing him crucial track position.
A lap 40 restart had Windom hunkered in the 15th position – but he wouldn’t stay there long.
Five laps later, Windom had climbed to 13th and 11th by the half-way mark. Using patience, he re-appeared in the top-10 by a lap 55 caution.
Racing resumed on lap 61 with the No. 32 Champion Brands / Win-Tron Racing Dodge Charger secured in the ninth position.
Four laps later, the driver shoved his way into the seventh position. By lap 80, Windom had manhandled his way into fifth. A restart in the final 10 laps of the race would abruptly change the team’s day as a competitor made contact with the No. 32 on lap 92 which slipped Windom up the racetrack and fall from fourth to outside the top-10.
Agitated with what just transpired, Windom tried to collect himself and fight for a spot back in the top-10. Luckily, the caution flag would waive on lap 98 allowing the team to concentrate on combating from the unexpected shove from behind.
With a two-lap shootout now in place, it was all or nothing for the Win-Tron Racing driver. Restarting in 14th, Windom would be able to advance one position but found himself battered coming to the checkered flag in 13th.
“Man, we had such a great car,” said Windom. “The Win-Tron Racing team gave me the equipment to get the job done; we were just denied that opportunity because of someone’s impatience. I’m frustrated because I wanted to do a good job for these guys, especially for Champion (Brands). I did everything I could on that last restart to get back in the top-10 but everyone in that pack just started getting wild and we just ran out of time.
These ARCA cars are a blast and I want to thank Win-Tron and Kurt Smith (Rising Star Management) for the opportunity. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do something more together down the road.”
Win-Tron Racing co-car owner Nate Thiesse admitted while the finish failed to reflect the performance of the team, Windom stepped up his game in just his second start.
“The kid is impressive,” Thiesse said. “We knew with his dirt background that we had a chance to be competitive but for him to be stalking the leaders in just his second start in one of these heavy cars – just shows his ability and talent. We had fun working with him and thank him for doing a super job representing Win-Tron Racing.”
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is a return trip to Salem, Indiana for a Saturday-night shootout at the brutal half-mile short track for the running of the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic by Federated Car Care. The one-day show is set for Saturday, September 17th with the green flag scheduled to drop just after 7:15 p.m.
Further information including driver opportunities with Win-Tron Racing is available by visiting win-tronracing.com or contacting Nate Thiesse at 612.306.1641
For more on Champion Brands LLC and their extensive line of products, please log on to championbrands.com or championsusechampion.com.
NAME: Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management
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