09 May Dominique Van Wieringen Races to Top-10 at Hickory Motor Speedway
Entered in her second CARS Super Late Model Tour event this season, 19-year old Dominique Van Wieringen raced her No. 5 NEMCO Motorsports/DuroByte Chevrolet to a 10th-place finish in the 125-lap super late model portion of the Catawba Valley 250 at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Opting to participate in the open test session on Friday, Van Wieringen quickly found her groove and unofficially recorded the fastest time of the day. On Saturday, pre-race practice sessions showed her in the top five on speed charts and satisfied with their set-up, the team readied for qualifying.
Having tested at Hickory once prior to race weekend, the team determined that given the size and configuration of the historic .363-mile oval, running a pro late model engine in a super late model race would benefit them in the long run. Subsequently, when Van Wieringen qualified 15th, the team did not panic.
“We learned in testing that we were running faster times in a pro than we were in a super,” Van Wieringen explained. “The power of a super motor coming off the corners is just too much for the race because you will end using up your tires, so we felt like we were willing to give up a little in qualifying to benefit our race set up.”
No sooner than the race got underway, the red flag flew bringing the field to a halt on the racing surface. Once clean-up was complete, Van Wieringen was unable to restart her engine and was given a push to pit road before it was technically open to traffic. This resulted in a penalty of having to restart from the rear of the 30-car field.
Van Wieringen immediately began making her way to the front picking off position after position. The race would see its final caution on lap 21 which did not benefit her efforts to make her way back to the front, but the determination and calm focus she showed paid off with a top-10 finish.
“Having to restart at the back and drive up through the field wasn’t the best situation for us and by the time we got to 30 laps to go, the tires were just wasted,” Van Wieringen said. “It wasn’t the finish we were looking for, but it was fun being able to race and pass all those cars. I was really happy with the way everyone raced me as I was coming through the field and can’t wait to get back in the car in Pensacola.”
The next event for Van Wieringen and the NEMCO Motorsports/DuroByte team will be the back-to-back Southern Super Series late model events at Pensacola Speedway on Friday, May 22, 2015 and Mobile International Speedway on Saturday, May 23, 2015. In her previous Pensacola/Mobile effort last month, Van Wieringen earned second and eighth-place finishes respectfully.
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