Mike Maresca Caps Crazy Week with Top-10 at Utica-Rome in 51st Race of 2017Tuesday - August - 2017
Mike Maresca races his DIRTcar 358 Modified at Autodrome Granby last Friday night. (Photo by Don Simpson).
POTSDAM, NY – August 15, 2017 – Mike Maresca completed the busiest week of his season so far with six consecutive nights of racing at six different tracks in two countries. It concluded on Sunday night at Utica-Rome Speedway when Maresca earned a heat race win and sixth-place finish, his 13th top-10 result of the season. It was also Maresca’s 51st race night of the season.
“We won the heat race from fourth over some pretty good guys,” Maresca said. “In the Feature I ran between third and fifth most of the race and then on lap 29 I went to go outside of a lapped car and Tim Fuller got by me. I probably should have stayed down. I had a good run at Utica to cap off the week.”
The week started with a pair of Super DIRTcar Series events in the Niagara Region. After Monday’s event at Merrittville Speedway was rained out and postponed to Wednesday, the team headed to Ransomville Speedway on Tuesday night. A broken drivetrain yoke hampered the team’s effort and did not allow them to start the Feature event. On Wednesday at Merrittville, Maresca tried to fight back from a tough qualifying effort on a very slick track and raced to a 23rd-place finish.
“I had a really good car in the middle of the race,” Maresca said. “Once I burned off some fuel, I wasn’t as good. We learned from it because it’s a really tough place. We were racing with some really good guys in the back, which says a lot (about how tough the track is).”
Thursday, the team’s focus shifted to 358 Modified action for two nights at Mohawk International Raceway for the Memorial Cup make-up race and Friday night’s DIRTcar 358 Modified tour season opener at Autodrome Granby. Maresca was on the cusp of a top-five, but had motor issues that kept him from achieving the result.
“We had some motor issues early on and we switched to our backup car,” Maresca said. “I went from last to 10th to back to last when I pulled in because it overheated. We cooled it down under yellow, got back up to eighth and were fighting for sixth spot and it overheated again and I had to pull it in. It just got a little too hot for comfort.”
On Friday night at Autodrome Granby, Maresca started on the front row and was battling through among the top-three throughout a handful of stoppages for rain. The consistent moisture made for a slick racetrack and led to a treacherous outside groove.
“We led a bunch of laps there early in the race,” Maresca said. “We made a gear mis-choice and I had to really zing the top, but I was making it work. Once it started raining, it got a little slick up there and all it took was one bobble and that ended our night up there.”
The following night, Maresca was in contention for the win in Big-Block Modified action at Fonda Speedway when a tire issue ended that bid.
“I had another wicked awesome and fast car,” Maresca said. “On lap three I was passing for third on the outside when my tire just exploded. I must have ran over something on the track. We went out after that a lap down and just did what we could with what we had.”
Maresca overcame the tough string of frustrating events from Thursday through Saturday by bouncing back with the sixth-place result at Utica. The ability to race several nights a week and continually jump back in the car has certainly helped Maresca’s development, he said.
“For someone with as little experience as me, it’s nice,” Maresca said. “I get a ton of seat time and I get to stay in the car and keep working to make my car better. I’m thankful I’m able to do that.”
A quick glance at Maresca’s name in the box score over the last week certainly doesn’t indicate the speed he’s shown. While that’s certainly frustrating for the Big-Block Modified rookie, it’s also motivation to continue improving.
“It was pretty wild. It was a lot of driving and it took a team effort by everybody, but we got it done,” Maresca said. “We had fast cars for the most part everywhere. We had fast cars and bad luck, so it gave us motivation to get to the next race and try to turn it around.”
“So far this season it’s been an uphill battle,” Maresca added. “Our cars have speed, we just don’t have the results to show for it. All of these little things keep happening, but that’s part of this first year deal. Each week we keep getting a little bit better each time out. Overall, I’m still happy with how things are going.”
Maresca has another busy week scheduled with four races in four straight nights, beginning with the $10,000-to-win O’Canada 150 at Cornwall Motor Speedway on Thursday, August 17. The team will then head into weekly competition at Mohawk on Friday. Fonda at Saturday and Utica-Rome on Sunday. Keep up with Mike Mareca’s busy travel schedule on Facebook and Twitter and on his website at www.mikemaresca7.com.
Mike Maresca Big-Block Modified – 40 Starts: 0 Wins, 3 Top-5, 13 Top-10s
Mike Maresca 358 Modified – 11 Starts: 0 Wins, 1 Top-5, 2 Top-10s
Rainouts: 16 Race Nights
Mike Maresca is proud to partner with several dedicated partners for the 2017 race season with the Super DIRTcar Series, including St. Lawrence Radiology, LTI Transportation, Multicraft Construction, Twin Leaf Stores, Traditional Lacrosse, Rez-X Racing, Chip’s Place, Keyser Manufacturing and Leahy’s Service Center.
About Clayton Johns Media: Clayton Johns Media provides smart motorsports media solutions through affordable public relations services, including professional press releases, social media management and training, and website maintenance. Whether you’re a grassroots team racing at your local track or a professional team travelling with a national tour, Clayton Johns Media can build a package tailored to your needs. Visit us online at claytonjohnsmedia.com, on Twitter, on Facebook or send us an Email for more information.