HEPWORTH, ON- There are few industry insiders in Ontario that failed to peg Andrew Gresel as a championship contender on the upstart APC United Late Model Series in 2015. However, after back-to-back outings with less than favorable results, the second-generation star is left scrambling to regain his footing in the wildly competitive Pro Late Model division.
As he worked quietly with his Sauble Falls Racing team to load what was left of their racecar in the Flamboro Speedway pit area after their second disastrous outing in a row, one would expect Gresel to seem a little bitter. Instead, when asked to describe his current state of mind, the former OSCAAR champion exhibited the poise and maturity of a veteran well beyond his years.
“These nights definitely make you appreciate the wins that much more,” offered the soft-spoken standout with a wry smile. “I don’t know what we have to do to change our luck around – but I’d love to figure it out soon”
Just weeks removed from a season opener at Sunset filled with adversity and spent body panels, Gresel had entered Flamboro’s ‘Meineke 100’ in search of a bounce-back performance. Instead, he found himself caught up in a mid-race incident that had all the makings of the best ‘wrong place, wrong time’ cliché.
“There’s not anything we could have done differently, man,” sighed Gresel. “I saw everyone spinning in front of me – and as soon as I checked up someone drilled me from behind. We spun and then someone clipped our left front and tore the front end off”
“As soon as we were in the pits and the guys started pulling the fenders off and taping stuff up for us to get back on track, it felt exactly like Sunset,” continued the former Delaware Speedway weekly champion. “I think everything that got ripped off of the front end was brand new”
But, despite the team’s recent hardship, Gresel denies that – even for a moment – the unit had considered dropping off the tour.
“We haven’t even considered quitting,” insisted the hard-working veteran. “That’s not what we do. Two bad nights isn’t nearly enough to make us want to give up”
“This is where championships are won. How well can you get through the bad nights? You’re not going to have the win handed to you very often. You have to work through the long nights if you want to get back to the good ones”
“Hopefully we can show everyone at Delaware,” added Gresel in reference to the tour’s third round on June 26th.
With almost three weeks between events, Gresel and team will take their time to rebuild the front end of their No. 81 in preparation of their return.
“We’ll get back in the shop this week and get this thing put back together again”
“This car was so fast in the first half of this race,” winced the London Recreational Racing stable member as he recalled his drive from deep in the back. “We learned so much about it in the last two weeks, and we really hit on something with our setup. This isn’t going to stop us. We’ll be ready for a breakout in Round 3.”
Andrew Gresel’s 2015 APC United Late Model Series season would not be possible without Sauble Falls Tent & Trailer Park, London Recreational, Canadian Union of Skilled Workers, HY-Grade Roofing, Have1.com and Raden Givari of eHomes.
Follow the team on Twitter @SaubleFalls81 and be sure to visit the Andrew Gresel Sauble Falls Facebook page.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)