Colorado Springs, CO 7/23/12 – Chicagoland Speedway has not been kind to Brad Lovell. A lawn dart maneuver took him out of contention in 2010 and in 2011 a similar move resulted in double DNF’s. The driver of the #44 AMSOIL / Torchmate Nissan was looking for anything more than a mid-season flop this year and was rewarded with two strong finishes.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about season points,” commented Brad, “With our history in Chicago and a 2nd place points tie with CJ Greaves, I just focussed on finishing.” Chicagoland featured a new 3/4 mi track layout this year that took full advantage of the size of the facility. The dirt gave way to treacherous ruts that highlighted the untamed nature of off-road racing.
Lovell qualified for the first round of racing in a disappointing 7th place, well off the pace of the leaders and out of the inversion. Realizing they missed the mark, the team made drastic changes to the truck in an effort to salvage the race. Brad charged hard off the start and gained positions consistently through the race. A mid-race rainstorm displayed the benefits of running BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tires and the performance was good enough to earn Lovell a 3rd place finish. Brad explains, “Our AMSOIL Nissan team really hit the mark tonight. A couple more laps and I would have reeled them all in!”
As the green flag flew for the second round of racing, Lovell got caught in traffic and dropped positions. Contact with another racer put Lovell in a spin and to the back of the pack. He fought his way through the traffic but somehow tore a hole in the tire and was forced to pit. “The guys pulled off the best pit stop I have ever had and I was in line at the back of the field in time for the restart.” Brad went on to pass an astounding 10 trucks in 7 laps but ran out of time before reaching the podium and finished 4th. “Its not where I wanted to finish but it could have gone a lot worse. I couldn’t be happier with the team and the truck as they gave me every advantage I needed.”
At the end of the weekend the AMSOIL / Torchmate team was able to secure their 2nd place position at the midpoint of the 2012 TORC Series and keep their championship hopes alive. “Time is getting short and we need to be winning race if we are going to take the championship. With the stigma of Chicagoland behind us and Greaves falling a few points back, its time to put some pressure back on Caddell.”
Lovell Racing returns to upper Michigan on August 11th & 12th for the next rounds of TORC action on the expansive Bark River track.
2012 TRAXXAS TORC SERIES PRESENTED BY AMSOIL
4/20 & 21 Charlotte, NC * Live on SPEED 4/20
5/26 & 27 Red Bud, MI
6/16 & 17 Crandon, WI * Includes Ultra 4 Racing
7/19 & 20 Chicago, IL * Live on SPEED 7/20
8/11 & 12 Bark River, MI
9/1 & 2 Crandon, WI * World Championship Racing
9/29 & 30 Antelope Valley, CA * Traxxas Pro-Light Cup