March 24, 2018 - Rolling into the track for the season opener of the Spears SRL Southwest Tour, the Wilson's Industrial Pump team, under the direction of Butch Vandoorn, went to work at making the #15 hot rod fast in Friday night practice, topping the board in the first session.
Hitting the track on Saturday morning for the only practice of the day, the WILSON'S INDUSTRIAL PUMP, WILSON MOTORSPORTS, Axalta, FinishMasters, Vandoorn Racing Development #15 hot rod was bitchin fast, only to see Buddy tag the front straightaway wall and backing it into the turn one wall. The Wilson Motorsports stellar crew went to work replacing several key components in hopes to make it in time for qualifying. They didn't disappoint as Buddy hit the track for his qualifying run without any shakedown laps prior.
Settling of qualifying dust, Buddy found himself P6, waiting for the Top 8 qualifiers to draw for their starting position. Buddy drew P6, starting him third row outside for the 125 lap main event. There was a cloud burst delaying the green flag, rain drenching the track, with temperatures turning super cold.
Once the track was dry enough, the green flag flew, and the pinball game and inconsistent calls began! With the rain earlier in the week and the downpour at race time, all the rubber had been washed off the track, mostly making it a one groove track throughout the race. On restarts the preferred line was top side, with Buddy mostly restarting on the bottom, shouldn't have always been case though, controversial scoring. Accepting his restarting positions, he went work, focusing on surviving from the bottom groove. Dropping back in the line up until he could begin picking off his peers once he was able to move up on the track.
His lightening fast reflexes, his ability to quickly recover, was the main factor in helping him to avoid several close calls, from either becoming the pinball himself, or avoiding cars that became the victims of rough driving throughout the race.
Flying of the checkered flag, Buddy crossed the line for a fifth place finish, only after quite a battle in taking the P5 position from the bottom groove with only a handful of laps remaining. Once in the clear his #15 hot rod was stout, making an excellent late run, catching the four ahead of him only for time to run out.
Buddy gives a bow to his stellar crew: Butch, Nick, Charlie, Jason, Tommy, Gabe, his dad, Loren for all their knuckling efforts in getting him back on the track after his wall brushing earlier in the day.
Thanks to our sponsors: WILSON'S INDUSTRIAL PUMP, WILSON MOTORSPORTS, AXALTA, FINISHMASTERS, VANDOORN RACING DEVELOPMENT.
And a shout out to KEVIN PETERS for the awesome driver profile!
STATS to date for Wilson Motorsports: Starts= 4, Wins= 1, Fast Times= 2, Top5= 4.
Next race: April 14, 2018 @ Kern County Raceway Park - Spears SRL Southwest Tour wheeling the #15 hot rod.