Lester to rep Team USA in karting!
Lester to rep Team USA in karting!

Lester to rep Team USA in karting!

8/11/2012 -
The final day of competition went into the books Saturday as the 2012 edition of the United States Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals karting competi

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STELLAR START IN SEASON OPENER FOR LESTER AND BALLEW

2/17/2007

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 2007 season opening race Friday night proved to be a stellar start for Bill Lester and the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports team during the running of the Silverado HD 250 at the Daytona International Speedway.

Lester’s weekend didn’t start as well as it ended after having to change the engine during the first practice on the famed 2.5-mile superspeedway. The team, led by Richie Wauters, knew they would have to start in the rear of the field for the 100 lap event and prepared the truck for the race, not putting emphasis on the qualifying laps. Still Lester was disappointed after posting a time of 52.22 seconds placing the Chevrolet Silverado in the 33rd position on the starting grid.

“We knew after we had to change the engine during practice that we would have to start in the back,” Bill Lester said. “So the guys set the truck up for the race. Still, I had hoped to be better out there, but I knew once we got with some drafting partners we’d advance towards the front. The main focus when starting that far back is to stay out of the hornets nest in the middle of the field.”

A hornet’s nest it was; after taking the green flag, the No. 46 truck hit the wall in turn one bringing the field to the first of seven cautions. Crew chief Richie Wauters made the call to bring Lester down pit road to top off the tank. After NASCAR called off the restart, Lester came back to pit road to pack in as much fuel as possible preparing for some late race strategy to improve track position. Again when the caution came out on lap ten and lap 12, Lester brought the No. 15 Manheim Central Florida Auto Auction Silverado down pit lane for fuel.

Lester, restarting in the 31st place position on lap 16, knew he had to get around the slower cars holding him up, but was unable to gain many spots before the next caution flew. Lester radioed the crew that he was tight up off the corner and came down pit lane for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment hoping to free up the truck. The crew had a flawless pit stop sending Lester back on the track in the 18th position for the restart on lap 29.

Lester worked with various drafting partners and maintained a position in the field between 12th and 18th until the fourth caution of the evening occurred when a truck spun in turn-two. Lester again radioed the crew, but this time it was because the race truck was loose all the way thru the corner and needed to get tightened up. Yet again, Wauters brought him down pit road to put on four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to tighten the truck.

Lester hovered between 12th and 19th position and noted that the truck was handling well but was just not going anywhere. Evasive action from the driver helped them avoid a multi-truck accident by going thru the grass on the front stretch on lap 82. Lester came to pit road for four fresh Goodyear Wrangler tires, fuel and one more track bar adjustment. Restarting 16th on lap 85, the teams plan was to wait until only ten laps were remaining before they started driving aggressive to battle for a top-10 finish. The green flag didn’t stay out for long when the last caution came out on lap 89 when mayhem on the track took place right in front of the No. 15 truck. Spotter Frank Bolter and Lester working together brought the truck down pit road to keep from being involved in the incident. Lester stayed out and restarted 15th with six laps remaining in the 100 lap race. Giving it all he had, Lester battled for tenth place on the track but was just short crossing the checkers in the 11th place position bringing home the truck with four wheels on it and no major damage. Ballew, Wauters and Lester celebrated their first race together by exceeding the goal of a top-15 place finish.

“I’m just so excited to have finished the race,” Lester said. “It is the first time in three years that I wasn’t caught up in one of the accidents and I’m really happy. This No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevy Silverado team really does an excellent job putting these trucks together. We started out super tight then made the adjustment which freed me up too much thru the corners, but on the last stop Richie dialed us in perfectly. We got four fresh sticker tires on that last pit stop which helped us keep up where we needed to be. I have to thank my spotter Frank Bolter who was my eyes in front, beside and behind me. He is the best spotter I have ever worked with. We had hoped for just one more spot to bring home a top-10 finish but from 33rd to 11th – we’ll take it!”

Bill Lester and the Billy Ballew Motorsports team join the rest of the Craftsman Truck Series teams and head to the west coast for the second of the 25 races in 2007. The California Speedway will host the San Bernadino County 200 Friday, February 23, 2007. The 100 lap, 200 mile event is slated to begin Friday at 9:00pm ET and will be broadcast on MRN and their affiliate stations. Television coverage begins with the live pre-race show beginning at 8:30pm ET on SPEED.

For more information on Bill Lester and Billy Ballew Motorsports visit www.BillyBallewMotorsports.com.