Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Anderson posts biggest stock car victory of his career

Veteran racer claims Pro Truck Tint Centre 75 and $1,000 prize

Aaron Anderson takes a victory lap at the Wyant Group Raceway.
    Aaron Anderson never had a better day at the Wyant Group Raceway.
    The veteran driver went into the opening day of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series stop in Saskatoon on Tuesday having won his last four pro truck feature races. With the local classes of the Saskatoon Stock Car Racing Association taking centre stage on the first day of the annual two-day event, Anderson was aiming to claim the Pro Truck Tint Centre 75 feature race and a $1,000 first place prize.
    The Martensville product jumped into second place during the early portion of the race. After a restart following a caution flag with 21 laps to go, Anderson bolted past leader Alex Leschenko for top spot and held on for victory. The two-day NASCAR Pinty’s Series stop is the local track’s premier show.
Aaron Anderson won a heat race and Tuesday’s pro truck feature run.
    “This is the Super Bowl for us,” said Anderson. “This is the biggest race of the year for us.
    “I’ve been racing 20 years, and this is the biggest win of my career. I’ve never won a race as big and important as this one. I’ve never won $1,000 in one shot.
    “This is my biggest win I have ever had, so I am over the moon.”
    Driving a Toyota Tundra, Anderson trailed Leschenko, who was driving a Ford F-150, by a half straightaway length in the early portion of the race but slowly gained ground on the Saskatoon product. When a caution came out with 21 laps remaining, Anderson was in striking distance of the lead.
    About a couple of laps after the restart, Anderson got ahead of Leschenko and never looked back to win a fifth straight pro truck feature race. Leschenko finished second and Shantel Kalika of Prince Albert came in third.
Aaron Anderson (#19) holds the edge on two pursuers.
    Anderson said his pit crew headed by crew chief Cory Ernst and head mechanic Kelly Voss played a key part setting up the truck for Tuesday’s feature run.
    “We had a big long discussion me and the guys, and it was decided that we were going to tighten it up a little bit more than we would normally have it tight,” said Anderson, who also won a heat race on Tuesday. “We gave it a little bit more wedge than we normally would.
    “As the fuel load burns off, it loosens it up a touch, and it makes it better for the long run. With 21 laps to go on that restart, I managed to have enough tire leftover.”
Aaron Anderson speeds to the checkered flag.
    Upon arriving back in the pits, Anderson was greeted by a huge contingent of family.
    “It makes me feel good I get all this support here,” said Anderson. “My dad, my mom, my uncle, my three daughters, my step son and my step daughter and everybody else, it is just phenomenal to have everybody out here supporting me.
    “I just want to give them a big shout out and a big thanks and tell them I love them all.”
    The Pro Truck Tint Centre 75 wasn’t the lone big local race on Tuesday. Neil Schneider took top spot in the 75-lap sportsman class feature in his 2016 Chevrolet Camero.
    Starting from the third position on the grid, he passed Nicole Sheetka for the lead about 15 laps into the race and remained in front the rest of the way. Matt Neufeld finished second, and Damen Meier came in third. Sheetka ended up finishing sixth.
Neil Schneider (#93) pulls away from the sportsman field.
    Schneider had a small moment of worry after a caution flag with four laps to go wiped out a comfortable lead he had on the field. After getting a quick jump on the restart, he held on for victory. Schneider was pleased a handful of cautions weren’t able to slow his momentum down in his feature race win.
    “We were able to get good restarts,” said Schneider. “The car was really good mid corner, so we were able to turn it.
    “We were able to get a good lead and then coast a bit and save the equipment.”
Schneider was pumped to get his feature victory.
    “Every chance you win you cherish every one, because you never know if it might be your last one,” said Schneider. “(To win) in front of the NASCAR crowd, it is a little extra more special.”
Neil Schneider does a victory lap after winning the sportsman class feature.
    The local super late model class also held a couple of heat races on Tuesday. Matthew Shirley won the first heat race, while Kevin Dyck took the second heat race.
    The NASCAR Pinty’s Series stop concludes with a race program set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Wyant Group Raceway. Wednesday’s races include a 100-lap feature for the local super late model class and two NASCAR Pinty’s Series feature races each lasting 100-laps in duration.
    The Pinty’s Series is a minor-league circuit that prepares drivers to compete one day on NASCAR’s top level – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

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