Click here to return home

 
Despite Pit Problems Dernoshek Claims First Top 15 of 2004 at IRP
 
CLERMONT, IN (May 17, 2004) On a bright, sunny day at Indianapolist Raceway Park, Logan Dernoshek battled the heat and the competition in the Naturally Fresh Foods 200 presented by Lucas Oil to bring home a 14th place finish in his first Hooters ProCup Event of 2004. Exhausted from the heat and fumes, Dernoshek climbed from his battle-scarred machine happy with the finish and ready for the team's next event.

The No. 10 team arrived at the .686-mile oval at IRP ready for their first event of the year, but when Dernoshek attempted to enter the track for practice, the car had problems getting into gear and Dernoshek had to bring the car to the attention of the crew after only one slow lap. Upon further inspection, the crew uncovered that the clutch line had blown out and spent most of the first third of practice remedying the problem. After some laps on the racetrack, Dernoshek found that the car was extremely tight and was not to his liking. Even after a sway bar and other changes, the car still, in his words, "chattered up the racetrack."

"IRP is a beautiful track and facility but it's a tough place to figure out how to get around and you can't be afraid of the wall," said Dernoshek afterwards. "We were extremely tight in practice and, unfortunately, we didn't get much practice time because of the clutch line blowing out. We made some changes before qualifying that really helped loosen the car up."

The changes that the team made for qualifying were completely untested in practice and gave Dernoshek a totally different feeling car for qualifying Saturday evening. A stiffer right rear spring, smaller front sway bar, and shock changes helped propel the No. 10 to the 17th starting position, nearly a second faster than the majority of hte team's laps in practice. The good run gave Dernoshek a confidence boost for the race on Sunday when the forecast called for clear, sunny skies that make the IRP facility loose and slick, much like the dirt tracks Dernoshek grew up on.

The No. 10 team began the race with one goal in mind, to finish the race with an intact racecar. During the second caution of the day, Dernoshek gave up his track position to make a stop to remove tape from the grille and take wedge out of the racecar to help it turn through and off of the corner.

"We thought we would be better for the race because the track loosens up during the day," the 2002 Gannon University graduate explained. "However, we were still too tight coming off the corners and that really hurt us."

Dernoshek had worked his way as high as the ninth spot when caution flew on lap 70 for debris on the track. The team elected to pit the car for four fresh BFGoodrich Traction T/A tires and a load of Sunoco fuel with the rest of the leaders. During the stop, disaster struck as a cross-threaded lugnut on the rear caused the stop to take significantly longer which led to the team losing a lap in the pits.

Following the stop, Dernoshek began working his way to the front of the cars one lap down. He stayed there for the rest of the afternoon, turning times as fast as, if not faster than, the second half of cars on the lead lap. Unable to get the car to turn properly off the corner, Dernoshek tried a number of times to make up his lost lap, but was unsuccessful. Regardless, despite the heat and fumes overcoming him during the last half of the race, the Motordrome Speedway graduate brought home a 14th-place finish, two laps down, achieving the team's goal of bringing home an intact racecar.

"We took some wedge out of it early on, but that didn't help as much as we needed it to," the 25-year old Dernoshek said after the event. "The pit stop problem set us back a bit, but I think we could have had at least a 12th place finish. On the long runs we weren't too far off from the leaders, but we were just a tick off of being a top ten car."

The next event for the USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division is in two weeks at Jennerstown Speedway in Pennsylvania, one of the two tracks Dernoshek ran when he was a late model competitor in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series.

"[This solid run] helps a lot," the Canonsburg, Penn., resident said. "We have a few dents to pound out from people leaning on us to help their car turn, but instead of having to work on rebuilding a crashed car, we can work on fine tuning our chassis setup. We are testing at Jennerstown this Friday, so hopefully we can learn something that will put us ahead of everyone else. I know we learned we need to get longer studs in the rear hubs, but we also learned quite a bit about adjusting and setting up the car. We don't have any big name crew chief or consultant helping us in our rookie campaign so we have to learn on our own and do the best we can. We will keep trying to get better every race and keep improving."

Logan Dernoshek Racing, Inc. is actively seeking sponsors and marketing partners for the 2004 season and beyond. Interested parties can contact the team through USAR or through team marketing rep Tony Stevens at (412) 225-0348 for more information. More information about Logan Dernoshek and the team can be found online at www.logandernoshek.com.

The Naturally Fresh Foods 200 presented by Lucas Oil will be broadcast on Speed Channel at 8pm ET on May 20 and at noon on May 21 in conjunction with the "Lunch at Hooters" promotion.

 

 
 

News | Driver Info | Team Info | Schedules | Stats | Sponsors
Photos | Merchandise | For Sale | Contact