Andrew Gresel's promising night at Sauble Speedway in his McRobert Fuels No.81 Ford Fusion Pro Late Model came to an abrupt end as the Sauble Beach, Ont. native crashed out of the Beat the Heat 100 last Saturday night.
Gresel was racing inside the top-five with Brandon Watson when Watson made contact and spun Gresel into the outside wall, collecting several cars in the process.
"Going into turn three, I gave Brandon Watson a little bit of a push, but a very controllable push," Gresel explained. "Coming out of turn four, they were up so high and my car was hooked down low so I drove right underneath him. Once he saw we were going to clear him, he turned into me. He hooked my right-rear bumper and we went up towards the wall really hard. Junior Farley was right there and we made contact with Farley. A couple of other guys drove into the side of the car. The car just came to a stop and they drove into us."
The incident with 31 laps remaining in the 100-lap affair brought Gresel's night to a quick end. The result was particularly frustrating for Gresel because he felt he had a shot at the victory in front of his home track fans during the APC United Late Model Series' only stop at 'the Beach' this season.
"We had a winning car, for sure," Gresel said. "The No.9 (Watson) car was probably going to be most of the challenge. Kimball didn't have as good a car and I didn't think the No.9 really stood a chance."
The damage to the car is extensive and Gresel also suffered a couple of minor hand injuries in the process as well.
"There's a lot more damage than I was thinking," Gresel admitted. "Both of my hands got injured in the wreck too when they got tangled up in the steering wheel. The main steering shaft kind of mangled up my hand. I'm feeling better now, but it was a pretty hard hit that way. It's one thing to take a bump and return the favour, but to wall a guy, that's not cool."
Gresel and his Sauble Falls Racing team had prepared their CUSW and Hy-Grade Roofing sponsored entry diligently for the event, with several test sessions to try and perfect the setup. The wreck to end their night while still in contention was certainly not something they envisioned.
"We did a lot of work to get ready for the race," Gresel said. "We practiced a couple of times, but on race day the car turned around on us and we had to make a few changes, but it was good for the race. I was really happy with it during the race."
Now, Gresel and his team are unsure of their situation for the next APC United Late Model Series event coming up this Saturday, August 11 at Sunset Speedway. The team knows their car won't be repaired in time and are in search of another option in order to continue running series points.
"We know the car won't be fixed. By the time we get the parts, it just won't work," Gresel said. "We're still going to try and make it to Sunset with something. We'll have to figure something out."
For more information on Andrew Gresel and Sauble Falls Racing, visit www.saublefallsracing.com.
Pro Late Model – 6 Starts: 0 Wins, 3 Top-5s, 5 Top-10s
Limited Late Model – 3 Starts: 0 Wins, 1 Top-5s, 2 Top-10s
Super Late Model – 1 Start: 1 Win, 1 Top-5, 1 Top-10