Port Hope, ON- In the world of motorsports – at nearly every level – there has always been a difference between “racers” and “drivers”. Willie Reyns may have started the early stages of his career as a “driver”, but in the last year or so, he’s become a “racer”.
Even when his former hometown track closed after the 2012 campaign, the Port Hope, Ontario runner wasn’t deterred. When out of town work commitments kept him from fighting for another track championship, he made a vow to continue to race; running when and where he could.
Friday, July 12 Reyns and his team made the 15 hour haul to Newton, Iowa for their fifth career start in the Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals Series. The 100 lap ‘A’ main was a companion event for the American Ethanol 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. It was a busy day for the Cobourg Development Services/ Mercer Built Construction/Don Stacey Electric/Appleman Carstar Collision Centre/Pursey Yacht Portage backed Chevrolet Monte Carlo, with a combination of practice, qualifying rounds and the feature race packed into a tight schedule.
“We’re starting to become more comfortable running these events,” said Reyns. “The first couple of times we showed-up, we didn’t know what to expect. Now that we have five shows under our belts, I’ve been able to learn more about the other teams we’re racing against and that’s been a big help. You can never take anything for granted when you’re racing on this scale, so any advantage you can take from one show to the next certainly helps.”
After putting a race-ready set-up under their piece, the crew sent the driver out for the qualifying session. Run in a European style – where four or five cars take to the track at the same time – Reyns recorded the sixth fastest lap on the field, with a time of 29.3 seconds. The round was solid, but not without incident, as the car rolled back into the pits with a broken rear-end following their time-trial laps. Some hard work by the crew got repairs completed quickly and on the grid for the feature.
“It certainly would have been disappointing to travel that far and not make the show,” said the driver. “Luckily, I’ve been working with mostly the same group of people since my first season at Kawartha, so we’re prepared for almost anything that can happen and work extremely well as a team.”
Reyns took the initial green flag from sixth starting spot and the real story of the race was the race itself. The show was completely incident free and there was only one spin throughout the entire 100 lap distance. The team had discussed a strategy during their pre-race meeting, but as any “racer” will tell you, those plans go out the window once you nail the accelerator and there’s a checkered flag and a trophy on the line.
Running no worse than fifth all day, Reyns battled with Chad Hall for close to 50 circuits before taking over the second spot. Even though he was able to reel-in eventual winner Chuck Barnes Sr., there wasn’t enough time to take the position. Although victory lane was where he wanted to be, Willie Reyns conceded that he was happy to wrap up the day with the second position on the post race podium.
“The crew gave me an excellent piece that was great to drive and we finished second against some very tough competition,” admitted Reyns after the race. “No one ever ‘settles’ for second, but I got the most out of what the car had today. Best of all, we’re able to roll it back onto the trailer in one piece and whenever or wherever you race, that’s always a good thing.”
Racing Reyns and Reasons: The team travelled to the Iowa event with an entourage of close to 15 crew members, sponsors and supporters…Willie Reyns’ raceday team consists of Crew Chief Andre Reyns, Leo Reyns, Brian Stacey, Cole Abrams, Matt McMillan, Derek Mercer, Ryan Carr and Trudy Stacey…The #87 team is looking for a variety of feature events to run over the summer of 2013 and also plans additional starts south of the border on the Street Stock Nationals Series.
Fans and supporters are encouraged to follow the team at www.reynsracing87.com for the latest news and scheduled events.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media