Charlotte, NC – (June 27, 2016) For the first time this season, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West had its drivers turning right, competing at Sonoma Raceway, a 12-turn road course in beautiful Wine Country. On Saturday, June 25, 2016, Julia Landauer qualified her #54 Curb Records Toyota Camry in the 6th position and finished 11th out of 31 cars.
Sonoma is known to be a very challenging race for drivers, with a long total distance of 127.36 miles raced in the 95+ degree weather. The race lasted 1 hour and 58 minutes, almost double the total time of most of the previous races, with the added difficulty of the racers competing on one of the most physically demanding configurations they’ll face all year.
“It was really tough and fun to finally combine my road course roots in racing with the NASCAR stock cars,” Landauer said. “Racing heavy cars on these tight turns was a very different experience and really exciting.”
Landauer, who struggled with motor issues during Friday’s practice sessions, was able to work with her crew to resolve the problems for Saturday. She posted a strong time in qualifying, earning her the 6th place starting position. After a big crash on the initial start of the race, Landauer restarted 6th, which she hung on to for several laps. Landauer then fell back to 8th place and stayed there until the mandatory pit stop break, halfway through the race, at lap 32.
“We made some changes during the halfway break to help stop the car from over-turning through the corner,” Landauer said after the race. “I knew we had to work on the car a bit and I worked on how I could change my driving to help the car go faster.”
After the halfway break, Landauer restarted and ran in the 7th position for a few laps, until she spun at Turn 7. After restarting her car and getting going again, she charged from the back up to 8th position. With 5 laps to go, while getting passed going into a corner, Landauer spun again, relegating her to the back. In the remaining 5 laps Landauer was able to pass her way back up to 11th place.
“I’m disappointed that I made a mistake that cost us a better finish. I’ve learned a lot though, and want to thank my spotter and coach Eric Holmes, my crew chief Mario Isola, my team manager Jake Koens, my crew of Dwayne Anderson, Kevin Williams, and Mike Sprague for working so hard all weekend, and to Bill McAnally Racing. Special thanks to Toyota Racing, Curb Records, Napa Filters, and all the fans who came out to support me and my team!”
Landauer is now 6th in the championship point standings and remains 2nd in rookie point standings.
The Chevys Fresh Mex 200 from Sonoma Raceway will air on NBCSN Thursday, June 30 at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West’s next race is at Idaho’s Stateline Speedway for the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 on Saturday, July 9, 2016.