JENNERSTOWN, PA (May 30, 2004) – Logan Dernoshek entered Saturday night’s USAR Hooters ProCup Series Lucas Oil 250 presented by Murray’s Freightliner/Sterling/Western Star with high hopes, but on lap 120 of 250 those hopes went up in flames and smoke. Coming down the back straightaway, the No. 10 Pontiac gave up the ghost and relegated the team to a 21st place finishing position at their home track.
and team member Nick Lesko look on during qualifying at Jennerstown Speedway
on Saturday. Dernoshek started 15th but finished 21st
after motor problems halfway through the event. (Photo Credit: Heather
The day started out with the No. 10 team unloading and finding that the car was extremely loose and nearly one and a half seconds off of the pace of the leaders. Through diligent work the team was able to shave a second off of that deficit, but the car still wasn’t turning from the center of the corner off like Dernoshek wanted the car to. The newly repaved surface at the Laurel Highlands half-mile only added to the problems as the team found they were chasing the racetrack instead of properly anticipating the cooler, tighter track conditions of the evening. In qualifying, the car went tight and Dernoshek qualified 15th after having to back out of the throttle on one of his qualifying laps.
“We were happy with the improvement that we made from practice, but we didn’t quite get the car where it needed to be,” said the driver of the unsponsored No. 10 Pontiac. “The fact that we didn’t get a chance to test really hurt us. If we could’ve unloaded where we ended up, we’d have had a better chance to fine tune the car during practice. The track changed a lot from practice to qualifying and it showed up in everybody’s qualifying times.”
The 250-lap event started out well for the Canonsburg, Penn., team as Dernoshek held his 15th position and eventually began working his way towards the top ten. The car slowly improved during the race but the car still wasn’t turning like it needed to and therefore didn’t get down the straightaways, causing Dernoshek to lose a lap before the one quarter mark of the race. As he was riding in the top fifteen, the dreaded words “I think we blew up,” were uttered over the radio from the driver’s seat.
“The car kept getting better throughout the race but still wasn’t quite as good as it needed to be,” a dejected Dernoshek said after his early retirement. “We put some more gear in it before qualifying and that seemed to help the power off the corners. Unfortunately, the motor just quit and didn’t give any indication of any problems and it had plenty of oil pressure. We’ve got a feeling it might be a problem in the valve train.”
Dernoshek’s next scheduled event is June 19 at Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Penn. However, until the team gets the car back to the shop and takes the motor apart, they will not know for sure if they’re going to make that event.
“With the limited budget that we’re on, we’re going to have to wait and see about going to Lake Erie. I’d really love to run there since I went to school at Gannon, but we can’t afford to put a new motor together right now. So, if this one’s hurt bad, we’ll be sitting out for a while.”
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 Lucas Oil 250 will be broadcast on Speed Channel at 8pm ET on June 3 and at noon on June 4 in conjunction with the "Lunch at Hooters" promotion.