Overheating Issue Puts Damper on Best Start of the Year for Kurzejewski
DuQuoin, Illinois – September 6, 2016 -- Matt Kurzejewski and his Ansell-Menards team went into the General Tire GRABBER 100 at the famed DuQuoin State Fairgrounds with high hopes. After starting from a season-best third position, Kurzejewski ran inside the top ten for the opening laps of the race before overheating issues put the No.52 several laps down. Kurzejewski finished in 13th place.
Kurzejewski, the 25-year-old from Mansfield, Pennsylvania placed sixth during the lone practice/qualifying session on Sunday afternoon.
“We have a really good racecar,” Kurzejewski said following practice. “I feel like we have a solid shot at it tonight under the lights.”
Kurzejewski qualified third overall only .031 thousands of a second off the pole during Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell.
The GRABBER 100 went green under the lights on Sunday night, for the first time ever in ARCA Racing history, at DuQuoin. Within a few laps, Kurzejewski found himself running third and challenging for the second position. Shortly after that, the Ansell-Menards driver noticed the water temperature rising rapidly and was forced to pit under green flag conditions to cool the motor down.
“The track was coming apart in turn one and the excess mud was caking to the front of these cars. Nothing we could have done differently to avoid this from happening. Just a bummer because we had a really good racecar.”
For the remainder of the race, Kurzejewski came to pit road during every caution period to use the cool down unit and attempt to cool the motor down as much as possible. When the checker flag fell on the GRABBER 100, Kurzejewski finished 13th after his season-best starting position.
“Stinks for my guys, they work really hard to bring fast racecars to the track and the past two races we haven’t gotten to show our speed except for the first handful of laps in each race.”
Next up for Kurzejewski is the General Tire 100th running of the Salem 200 at Salem Speedway in Salem, Indiana on Saturday, September 10.