APC United Late Model Series
at Sauble Speedway
Brandon Watson of Barrie won the Spira Fire Beat the Heat 100
Andrew Gresel of Sauble Beach was 4th
from Clayton Johns
Andrew Gresel’s strong season with the APC United Late Model Series continued at his home track, Sauble Speedway, with a fourth-place finish in the Beat the Heat 100 on Saturday night. It was Gresel’s fifth top-five finish in six starts with the Series this season.
Gresel time trialed eight fastest in the 20-car field, a mark that surprised the Sauble Beach native.
“I thought when I came off the racetrack that I had a good qualifying run,” Gresel said. “I guess we just missed somewhere. Maybe I wasn’t getting on the gas early enough.”
When the green flag dropped on the main event, Gresel began his march forward and in the final quarter of the race, took the fourth position from Jason Parker.
“He started just ahead of us, but he was broken away from the pack too,” Gresel said. “It was hard to get there and it was a good battle. We just ended up getting to the inside of him.”
Over the remaining 20 laps, Gresel erased a full straightaway advantage from third-place runner Andy Kamrath, but ran out of time to make pass for the final podium spot.
“By the end of the race he had maybe three car lengths. We were coming,” Gresel explained. “We were faster than half the guys up front. We just needed a caution to get there. I was reeling in Andy Kamrath in third-place lap by lap. In another 10 laps I would have had him. Watson and Pritiko were a bit faster, but we would have had a good shot at them (with a caution).”
The caution-free race definitely was not to Gresel’s benefit. After getting stuck in the middle of the pack and then in lapped traffic while the leaders grew their advantage, it was insurmountable by the time he got into clean air.
“Everybody was spread out enough that I couldn’t see a caution coming, but we needed a caution bad,” Gresel said. “Our car came on late in the race. We were a little slow off the start and we qualified eighth, and that didn’t help us either. The other guys up front broke away so quickly. If we had gotten a caution, we definitely would have been a top-three car.”
The long green flag run was physically challenging for Gresel, but was a mechanical test of endurance too as he pushed his McRobert Fuels No.81 Fusion to its max for 100 consecutive laps.
“It was a little bit tiring, but it was worse for the racecar,” Gresel acknowledged. “The car starts to heat up a lot, especially at Sauble because you use a lot of brake. Without a caution, everything goes away a lot faster and you could see it in a lot of cars. Our car was still pretty good. It wasn’t perfect and I thought it would be a little bit better on the long run, but it was still turning well.”
Gresel’s top-five tally maintained his second spot in the championship standings. With four races remaining, he is still very much alive in his quest to repeat as Series champion. His title defense continues in two weeks time at Sunset Speedway on August 19. Gresel earned a fourth-place finish in the Series’ season opener at Sunset on May 27. For additional event information, visit www.apcracingseries.com.
Pro Late Model – 6 Starts: 0 Wins, 5 Top-5s, 6 Top-10s
Super Late Model – 2 Starts: 1 Win, 2 Top-5s, 2 Top-10s