AUSTIN OUT DRIVES FIELD, DOMINATES 2ND ROAD COURSE RACE OF THE WINTER HEAT SERIES

Date: 1/22/2010 6:03:52 PM

 
AUSTIN OUT DRIVES FIELD, DOMINATES 2ND ROAD COURSE RACE OF THE WINTER HEAT SERIES

Concord, NC (01/16/10)

With the DNF from last week behind them, the #7 FIREFOLD.com Bandolero Team came to Lowes Motor Speedway Saturday on a mission to show everyone Austin Langenstein was one of the best young road course racers in the INEX600 Bandolero Young Guns Series today.

"I had a really good feeling coming to the track today", stated Austin. "What happened last week was just one of those things that happens in racing", he continued. "At one time or another it happens to every racer".

"The car was strong last week and Iím confident Austin would have won the feature had the sprocket held up", added Charlie Langenstein, Austinís father and team owner. "But that was last week and now weíre focused on this week", he concluded.

Photo by P. Hiltz

During the practice sessions Austin showed why he is a talent to be watched. As the cars moved around the course, several competitors got caught up in the moment and started racing, rather than using the time to learn the track and to check out their cars. On more than one occasion a competitor stuck their nose inside the #7 Tathwell/Rifenburg/Pizza Logs Bandolero going into a corner trying to gain advantage, but Austin showed great judgment and patience by backing off and letting them go. "Nothing to be gained by pressing the issue during practice", explained Austin. "No trophies are given for winning a practice session", he added, "but stupidity can end your day, and then what did you prove".

Photo by P. Hiltz

Starting in 4th place on the grid for the first of two heat races, Austin drove the #7 through the course to the checkered flag while avoiding several opportunities to trade paint with some of his competitors. "The car was spot on and once I was able to put the others behind me I just focused on maintaining a smooth rhythm on every lap to the checkered flag", said Austin as he removed his helmet. "Donít touch a thing", he told his crew. "I like the way the car feels and responds", he added.

The second heat race proved a bit more challenging, as Austin was slotted in the 6th position at the start. "I knew I had the car to beat and, if I was patient, I could work my way to the front and take the checkered flag", observed the young hot shoe driver. That opportunity was nearly lost when, going into turn 7, Austin had to stand on the brakes to avoid a slower car, spinning the #7 FIREFOLD.com off the track into the dirt. Fortunately there was no damage and he was able to keep the car running, but the incident cost him several positions before he could get back on the track. "I was running strong in 3rd and could see the leaders coming to me, and then this lap car

just cut down on me and all I could do was stand on the brakes", explained the young driver, shaking his head.

Now in 7th position, and with a huge gap to the 6th place car, any chance of winning the second heat looked like a long shot. However, on the very next lap a multiple car wreck brought out a course-wide yellow, forcing a single file restart, which is exactly what Austin needed to get back into contention and challenge for the win.

As the cars charged under the green flag and into turn 1 on the restart, it immediately became evident patience was not going to be a virtue for many of those running ahead of Austin, as several quickly became entangled coming out of turn 1. With cars spinning in every direction in front of him, Austin, who had wisely backed off to avoid getting involved, wove his way through the pile-up and into the 3rd position as the cars exited turn 2. "I could see what was going to happen as the pack headed for turn 1", Austin said. "You could tell everyone was going to try to win the race right there, and I wanted no part of it".

The turn 1 fiasco resulted in only a partial yellow, so the cars that made it past the wreck were free to race, so Austin set his sights on the second place car and quickly overtook him as they came out of turn 6. Now he could focus on catching the leader and winning the heat, which is exactly what he did on the very next lap. "Winning a race like this, with all the adversity, is a great feeling", stated Austin. "After I spun out I thought I was out of the picture, so my goal was to finish as high as I could to try get a good position for the feature", Austin remarked. "Think about it, without the caution and the impatience of others, I would have been fortunate to finish in the top 5, no matter how good a car I had", concluded a very modest young racer.

Finishing 1st in both heat races put Austin on the pole for the feature. "Starting on the pole on the road course is a huge advantage", noted the young driver. "With the first two turns being to the right you have an advantage, especially if you can get a good run under the green and get some separation from the car on the outside", explained Austin. Which is exactly what he did, opening a substantial lead through the first two turns, which he continued to build as the race progressed. Then, just before the half way point, a very bad wreck in turn 6 brought out a course wide caution, followed by a red flag which brought all the cars to a stop on the straightaway near the start/finish line. After the wreck was cleared, the pace car brought the field around for a single file restart with Austin leading the pack. When the green fell, Austin accelerated down the short straightaway and through turns 1 and 2 and never looked back on his way to his first road course win of the Winter Heat Series and his first win of 2010.

"I knew Austin was a force to be reckoned with on the road course", beamed a proud Charlie Langenstein, Austinís father. "Even though last week was a DNF, Austin was challenging for the lead when the sprocket broke and ended our day", he continued. "This week, same car, and he dominated". "I heard some of the remarks made after the race, and all I can say to those who think weíre outside the rules: if you truly believe that, take the engine; in fact you can take the car, but you canít have the driver, and thereís the difference", said the elder Langenstein.

Photo by P. Hiltz

"Driving the road course challenges you and itís fun", remarked Austin. "You have to focus on the course and concentrate", he continued, "not just for a turn or two on each lap, but every turn on every lap, plus you have to be aware of everything going on around you to avoid getting caught up in something that could end your day".

Pointing at his crew, Austin grinned and said, "They deserve to enjoy this win". "In fact", he continued, "Iím dedicating this win to my team, my family and my sponsors and to everyone who has supported and believed in me". "They all deserve to enjoy this"!

Austinís "team" of sponsors include: A.E. Smith Electric, AutoTrader.com, Calico High Performance Coatings, Charlie Langenstein Speed Shop, Coconut Island, Design Engineering Inc., Energy Logic, Finger Food Products & Original Pizza Logs, Impact Racing Products, J. Edwards Graphics, John Davison Racers Designs, Lake Norman Soda Blasters, Micro-Armor, Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort, Performance Prime, Pick-n-Pull Auto Salvage, PUMA, QA-1 Precision Products, Razoos Cajun Eatery, Rifenburg Construction, Scottyís Fashions, Schroth Racing, Sweeteners Plus, Taste Apple, Tathwell Printing, The Brake Man, Thermal Control Products, TruckSavvy.com, Walker Lawn Mowers by GHS.

Photo by P. Hiltz

For more information about Austin Langenstein, his team and sponsors, please visit his website at www.austinlangenstein.com   

KAR Racing Communications, Press Release



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