Wimmer Wraps up Busy Racing Weekend with First ASAMT Top Five
Chris Wimmer and the ASA Midwest Series had one busy weekend of racing. Teams headed to Cedar Rapids, Iowa Friday for the Keith Fleck Miller 100 and then went straight to Newton, Iowa for practice and the Rasmussen Twin 75's Sunday. "It was a crazy weekend," says Wimmer, "It was a lot of work, a lot of racing, but it was fun. It reminded me of when my brother and I used to race four nights a week."
Wimmer probably wished he could have gone straight to Newton, as Friday at Hawkeye Downs wasn't exactly his day. His #52 Chevy was good right away but then the team ran in to a few problems. "My motor just seemed to be really flat as we started second practice," says Wimmer, "We tried to figure out how to fix it, but couldn't get it in such a short amount of time."
To make matter worse, after about a half hour rain delay, Wimmer was the first car out for qualifying and managed just the 30th best time. "I think that's partly a mental thing too," says Wimmer, "I was worried the track might be wet and I was a little cautious maybe, plus the motor just still didn't feel right."
Wimmer finished third in his qualifying race and finally earned a spot in the feature when he finished runner-up in the last chance race. "It's the first time I've had to race in the last chance race all year" says Wimmer, "My car seemed a little better during that race, but I'm just happy to make the show."
Wimmer began the Keith Fleck Miller 100 from the 24th starting position and before long had moved his way up to 14th. "My car was working really good for me," says Wimmer, "I could get through the corners awesome, but my motor was killing me down the straightaway."
But then Wimmer's problems continue. When he went to take the restart on lap 57, Wimmer's had a shifter problem and was unable to get in to third or fourth gear. That forced the #52 to pull off the track for the remainder of the race. "It's frustrating," says Wimmer, "The car just wasn't really great all day. I think we could have managed a top ten out of it though, so it's kind of disappointing."
From there Wimmer and his crew packed up and headed to Newton, Iowa for a day of testing and a day of racing. All ASAMT teams were allowed to practice at Iowa Speedway Saturday for their 150-lap race on Sunday. "It was nice to try and get some practice in," says Wimmer, "I don't think anyone has raced here before and it's a big track, it's almost a mile, so it's bigger and faster than what we've been running all year."
Sunday Wimmer's motor problem seemed to be a little bit better. He was seventh in the first practice, fifteenth in the second practice and then went out and qualified 16th. "I still could feel that my motor was a little flat down the straightaway," says Wimmer, "but it was definitely getting better. I could get through the corners really well."
Wimmer lined up 16th for the start of the Rasmussen Group Twin 75's. Teams were set to race 150 laps at the 7/8-mile track with a break at the halfway point.
It didn't take long for Wimmer's car to come to life during the race. In just over ten laps he moved up to the eighth position and looked poised to keep moving up.
Wimmer raced ASAMT pointís leader Dan Fredrickson hard for position around lap 40 and came in at the halfway break in the 7th position. The #52 crew went to work refueling the Chevy, changing four tires and making some minor adjustments to free up the car a little bit. "I was still getting through the corners really good," says Wimmer, "I started to get a little tight towards the end of the run, maybe because the sun was starting to go down so the track was cooling off a bit, so we just made some small adjustments to loosen me up."
And those changes paid off. Wimmer moved up in to the fifth position and then went head to head with NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Matt Kenseth for the fourth spot. Wimmer was able to get side by side with the #17 on several occasions, but was never able to complete the pass. "My dad was telling me over the radio that we were running about the same lap times, my motor just still wasn't 100% down the straight-aways."
Kenseth began to pull away a little bit and Wimmer held on for a fifth place finish and his first ASAMT top five of the season. "It felt really good," says Wimmer, "This was a huge track and a huge race and to race so well here is really exciting."
Wimmer now has a little time off before his next ASAMT race, which is scheduled for Tuesday night, August 5th at Kaukauna, WI. Wimmer does have plans though to enter the Larry Detjens Memorial Race next Friday August 1st at Golden Sands Speedway in Plover. "That's always a special race because Larry was my uncle," says Wimmer, "and they're pairing it with a Wisconsin Challenge Race, so it should draw some good cars."
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