|TORC 2013: Kleiman gets first PRO-Light Podium at Eldora Speedway race|
After a solid weekend in Dodge City, Mark Kleiman was looking to back up his performance with a strong finish at the iconic Eldora Speedway. Needless to say, Kleiman did just that with a third place performance during the thirty lap feature on Saturday night. Not only was it the team's first PRO-Light podium finish, it was the first podium finish for the team's newest sponsor, Kenda Tires.
The first ever short-course off-road event at Eldora Speedway almost didn't happen. The weatherman did its best to saturate the race track and surrounding area with heavy rainfall during the days leading up to the event as well as during the actual race weekend. Due to all the moisture, Friday night's round of TORC racing was cancelled.
In fact Saturday's practice and qualifying were left off the schedule in hopes of having a dry and useable track for the evening's festivities. The plan worked as the racing went off right on time. There was a slight delay to the start of the thirty lap PRO-Light race due to another rain shower, but that didn't deter Mark Kleiman and his #42 Kleiman PRO-Light.
The starting grid had Kleiman lined up in the front row as the top six in the points championship were inverted. When green flag was waved the #42 Ford grabbed the lead. The track was very slippery and muddy throughout the half mile high banked oval. Early on it was a challenge for the 400 horsepower trucks to clear the double jumps on the back straightaway. Regardless track conditions, the Kenda Tires out performed most of the competition.
As the track dried out, Kleiman did his best to fight off challenges from Keegan Kincaid and Nick Baumgartner. With all the mud flying everywhere, clear vision was a premium and during the first half of the race Mark was racing with his visor open and unfortunately a rock caught his left eye leaving it all black and blue. Undaunted the native of Michigan's Upper Peninsula left everything on track and crossed the finish line in third place after thirty hard fought laps.
"When the rain came I knew this could work to my advantage," noted Mark Kleiman. "The Kenda Tires worked absolutely awesome. It was Kenda's first TORC race and we brought them home a podium. The motor in this truck hasn't been touched since early last year, so when had the engine builder check it out on Thursday.
He mentioned it was a little low on compression and it needed to be freshened up. I guess there was just enough left in it for us to land on the box. I have to thank my family, my friends, and God for making this happen. I can't wait to go race in front of all my fans at my hometown track in Bark River."
The next race on the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL is June 15-16 at Bark River Off-Road Raceway in Bark River, Michigan.
2013/05/15 | 18:37 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/REUSCHE