| (Newton, Iowa – July 10, 2016) Matt Kurzejewski and his Ansell-Menards team arrived at Iowa Speedway looking for a solid top-5 performance, and they did just that. The Ken Schrader Racing team battled within the top-5 throughout the ABC Supply 150 until late race contact relegated them to a sixth-place finish.
Kurzejewski, the 25-year-old from Mansfield, Pennsylvania placed eighth on the practice speed charts after battling car gremlins during the sole practice session Saturday at Iowa Speedway.
“I felt we had a lot of speed,” Kurzejewski stated. “We fought several minor issues with the car during the practice session and didn’t get a lot of time on the track. I’ve said it time and time again, this team works harder than anyone and they got the issues corrected and we got the car where it needed to be.”
Following his qualifying run, Kurzejewski said, “The car was really loose for qualifying, that’s typically not a bad thing but I didn’t want to take any chances, qualifying eighth against a stacked field of cars is nothing to hang our heads about.”
The ABC Supply 150 took the green flag on Saturday night under the lights. Kurzejewski quickly made his way to fifth, settling into that spot until the first caution at lap 87. The Ansell-Menards team pitted for four fresh General Tires along with minor adjustments to make its Toyota Camry handle better.
“That first run was brutal, when you have a long green flag run like that, it’s hard to hold on toward the end of the run,” continued Kurzejewski. “The tires get worn out and it just becomes a handful.”
Once the race continued, Kurzejewski worked his way up to the second position and attempted to catch the leader and eventual race winner Chase Briscoe.
A late race caution gave the No.52 team the opportunity to put on four more tires and Kurzejewski gave it his all for the remaining twenty laps of the ABC Supply 150. Kurzejewski got beat around a little during the last few green flag laps of the race, which caused significant damage to the rear of the Ansell-Menards Toyota and resulted in a sixth-place finish.
“It felt good to run up front for the entire race. Chase (Briscoe) and his team have it figured out, they are tough each race,” Kurzejewski commented. “I wish we could have gotten another shot at him there at the end but that’s part of racing. The damage to the back of our Toyota made the car extremely loose and I held on for all I could. We will take this race and build on it, our team is going in the right direction and a win is coming soon.”
Next up for Kurzejewski is the Sioux Chief PowerPEX® 200 presented by JIVE on Friday, July 22 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana.