|Concord, North Carolina -- June 20, 2016 - Matt Kurzejewski and his Ansell-Menards ARCA race team headed to Madison Int’l Speedway (Wisconsin) for the Montgomery Ward Father’s Day 200 this past weekend with hopes of bringing home a solid finish. The Ken Schrader Racing team did just that with a seventh-place performance while finishing in the top-10 for the sixth time this season.
Kurzejewski, the 24-year-old from Mansfield, Pennsylvania timed in during both practice sessions on Saturday in the top-10. The Ansell-Menards team felt they had a very consistent car on the long run.
“Madison is tricky -- it’s a fast half-mile speedway with tight corners. You are forced to hug the bottom of the corners and use a ton of brake to get around the speedway,” stated Kurzejewski after practice.
Kurzejewski qualified ninth for the Montgomery Ward Father’s Day 200.
“We picked up a lot for qualifying. It’s crazy how tight this field is time wise,” Kurzejewski continued. “One tenth of a second faster in qualifying and we qualify in the top five.”
When the Montgomery Ward Father’s Day 200 took the green, Kurzejewski quickly found himself in sixth position utilizing the difficult outside lane to gain several positions early in the 200-lap event.
“I felt we could roll the outside better than anyone on the restarts,” Kurzejewski said. “Everyone was focused on getting his car to the bottom while we could pass several cars on the outside if need be.”
Much of the first half of the race was green flag racing. While trying to be conservative with his tires and brakes, Kurzejewski went a lap down while running seventh. A caution at lap 107 was an opportunity for the Ansell-Menards team to hit pit road for four fresh General Tires and Sunoco Race Fuel.
Kurzejewski battled with the top-5 cars for the remainder of the race, while trying to maintain the lucky dog position. When the caution came out with just over 20 laps to go, the leader lapped the sixth-place car, which kept Kurzejewski from getting the lucky dog. The race then went green to the checkered. The Ansell-Menards team finished seventh.
“We got trapped a lap down and that dictated the rest of the race for us. Although the cautions didn’t fall in our favor, we had a top-5 car all day,” Kurzejewski said. “That’s part of racing. If we were on the lead lap after the last caution, I feel we could have challenged for a better finish -- still a good day for our Ansell-Menards team. “
Next up for Matt Kurzejewski and the Ansell-Menards team is the Sunday, June 26 running of the Herr’s Potato Chips 200 at Winchester Speedway (Indiana).