Andrew Gresel had to battle, but successfully drove his McRobert Fuels/CUSW No.81 Ford Fusion to a top-five finish during the Hy-Grade Roofing 100 at Peterborough Speedway with the APC United Late Model Series on Saturday, June 16. Gresel's fourth-place finish was his second top-five result of the season.
"It ended up being a pretty good day overall," Gresel explained. "After all the work during the week to get it ready and having to work on other things besides setup, it was really good. We've run decently there before, but it was really good this time compared to last year. It was an improvement."
After qualifying seventh fastest, Gresel lined up fourth following the top-10 inversion. He quickly made his way up to the second spot, but noticed the engine temperature climbing above normal levels and was forced to pit under caution shortly after lap 20.
"We left a strip of qualifying tape on the grill. It was just a mistake," Gresel said. "We took the tape off and when we went back out the engine temperature dropped pretty much instantly 20 degrees and we were fine."
Continued Gresel: "We had to go all the way to the back after. At that point, we just wanted to finish the race with a clean racecar. It's always risky running at the back, but at the front they were running pretty hard. It was kind of good in a way. We got to save a little bit of rubber, but it was a big challenge trying to get around everyone."
Gresel methodically moved his way through the field in the caution-filled race. He found himself just on the outside of the top-five in the closing laps and made a couple of late passes to claim the fourth-place finish.
"We got stuck on the outside quite a bit on restarts," Gresel said. "We would lose two or three spots before we got down, but we were really patient. I know for sure we were a second-place car, we just ran out of time. Once we broke free from the pack, we were catching everybody. We caught Rick Burbridge and then there was only two to go when we got around JR Fitzpatrick."
A large contingent of Hy-Grade Roofing supporters were on hand for the race and were quick to congratulate Gresel for charging through the field to a fourth-place finish on a hot afternoon.
"Everybody at Hy-Grade Roofing was super excited for us and congratulated us," Gresel said. "They really enjoyed the race and liked seeing us work our way back up to the front. It was good to see all of them out to support us."
Gresel also climbed up to seventh in the championship standings with the top-five finish, a strong points night for him with six races still to come on the tour.
"We're still there in the hunt and we have something to race for," Gresel said. "It seems like it's flying by, but we're only three races in. As long as we keep doing what we're doing, we're going to be there."
Gresel will now shift his focus to the series first of two stops at Delaware Speedway on Friday, June 29. It's a track Gresel has experienced plenty of success at in recent years with three wins in the series last four races at the Komoka, Ont. half-mile.
"We have a couple of weeks to get ready for Delaware and I'm looking forward to that race," Gresel said. "This weekend was really good, so I think we're going to have a good car for Delaware and I really like the big tracks. We're really looking forward to racing for the win for Al McRobert of McRobert Fuels at his home track."
Race time at Delaware Speedway on June 29 is 7:30pm. For additional event information, visit www.delawarespeedway.com.
Pro Late Model – 3 Starts: 0 Wins, 2 Top-5s, 3 Top-10s
Limited Late Model – 0 Starts: 0 Wins, 0 Top-5s, 0 Top-10s