In the blistering 100 degree heat, the Koens Racing Team prepared the #5 Umpqua Survival modified for the hot slick track. Young, 16 year old Andrew Koens continued to diagnose the car's handling during the 2 practice sessions in order to find the perfect balance. Andrew ended up with the 2nd fastest lap time in qualifying at 15.8 seconds, fighting a tight/loose condition.
During the heat race, Andrew took it easy, saving his tires for the important main event a few hours later. As Andrew pulled into the pit area after the heat race, a radiator hose blew, spraying boiling hot water all over the place. Luckily, no one was standing in front of the car at that moment and thus no injuries were sustained! The crew made a mad dash into town to find a replacement hose but we did miss the trophy dash race because of it. The way our year had been going, we were not too surprised with this turn of events and having to sit out a race.
We installed the new radiator hose just before the main event and rolled over for pre-tech. After passing the pre-tech inspection, we were ready to get on the track and watch Andrew drive the wheels off the car and he did just that!
After a few laps Andrew was running in 3rd but made some slight contact with the #211 car giving the #11 a brief chance to pass on the outside but Andrew gathered the car up quickly and regained his 3rd position, setting his sights back on the #211 of Brad Watson. For the next few laps Andrew worked the back bumper of the #211, looking for a way around him. At this point, the water temperature was starting to rise and Andrew started looking to the outside for fresh air. He continued to work the outside, eventually finding his was along side the #211 and then completing the pass on the outside. After he saw clear daylight, he could see the leader #33 about 1/4 lap ahead. Within a 3 laps he was right on the bumper of the #33 and could sense his opportunity for a win. Andrew was patient working the outside yet again but it was an opening down low coming out of 2 that opened the door for the pass and taking the lead on the last lap! Andrew finished the race with his car overheating and the exhaust dragging on the ground. His car was a mess and a handful but he was the best driver on the track that day and is quickly becoming a crowd (and pit area) favorite!
Our next race at Roseburg will be the Modified Shootout on August 29th. We expect some great competition and fierce racing but look for our #5 GTR Simulator modified with Andrew Koens behind the wheel to be up front at the end!
We would like to thank our great sponsors that continue to support Andrew and our team: Umpqua Survival, Loggers Taphouse, Kamper Korner RV Center, GTR Simulator, Mountain Dew Kickstart & Professional Landscape