Wausau, WI – Johnny VanDoorn edged Chris Wimmer in the final laps of the 7-Up 150 to take the win Saturday at Toledo Speedway. Wimmer led the race at the halfway point and the final thirty laps became a back and forth battle between Wimmer and VanDoor, with VanDoor grabbing the lead back for the final time with just under ten laps to go and hanging on for the checkered flag. “It was a great start to the year,” says Chris Wimmer, “My car was really good all weekend and I’m happy that we went down to Toledo and ran well. Of course I would have loved to win, but it was a great race and the fans saw an awesome show.”
Wimmer qualified 2nd in the Preval Chevy for the 7-Up150 and with an invert of six, started the race from the 5th position. Wimmer didn’t waste much time making his way towards the front. He grabbed the lead within the first thirty laps, before settling back in to the second spot. “I wanted to concentrate on saving my tires and my equipment for the first half of the race,” says Wimmer, “150-laps is a long race and Toledo Speedway can wear out your tires. I knew I had a good car, so I settled in behind Jacob Goede and was able to pace myself behind him and try and save my tires as much as I could.”
Just a few laps from the halfway break at lap 76, Wimmer made his move and took the lead from Goede. Wimmer didn’t make many changes to his Preval Chevy during the ten minute break and wasted no time getting back on in front when the field went back to green.
While Wimmer paced the field, fast qualifier VanDoorn worked his way towards the front. VanDoorn had slid back outside the top-ten during the first 75 laps, but began to charge to the front. With just 23 laps to go VanDoor caught Wimmer, made contact, and stole the top spot. Wimmer continued to hunt the 61 of VanDoorn and with 10 laps to go, made his move, reclaiming the lead. But VanDoorn wasn’t finished quite yet, just two laps later he was able to maneuver back around Wimmer’s 52 and hold on for the win.
“It was an awesome race there at the end,” says Wimmer, “When I took the lead back with ten to go I really thought I might be able to hold on, but he just had such a good car and he races there a lot, he was a little better than us today.”
Next up for Wimmer and the ARCA Midwest Tour is the Joe Shear Classic on Sunday, May 5th at Madison International Speedway. “Having a strong run at Toledo definitely helps build confidence as you go in to the year,” says Wimmer, “Now we get it to the tracks that are on the Midwest Tour schedule every year and hopefully we can keep the Preval/RaceTeamGear.com Chevy running strong.”
There is a practice day on Saturday, May 4th at Madison International Speedway then Sunday qualifying takes place at 1:15pm and racing begins at 2:30pm. For more on Chris Wimmer please visit www.chriswimmer.com and for more on Preval or RaceTeamGear.com please visit www.preval .com and www.raceteamgear.com.