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Wright Charges to Top-Five Finish in World Series PLM Opener

Hunter Wright started 29th in the 35-lap race after switching to his backup car following qualifying.


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A quick glance at the results from Saturday night at New Smyrna Speedway says Hunter Wright started his World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Late Model division. The reality has been far more adventurous.

The first scheduled race for the division on Friday night was lost due to rain, a frequent enemy so far during the World Series. Wright returned to the track Saturday with speed, placing third on the timesheets in the first round of practice.

However, the car began to falter in final practice, and that’s when the troubles began for Wright.

“It’s been a long week, and it’s only the second race day. We’ve had some problems getting the cars running and everything,” Wright told Racing America. “We thought it was electrical, so we worked on that. We thought we had it fixed for qualifying, and we didn’t. We were still down a cylinder. Come to find out, we broke a push rod in the primary car.”

Wright and the team considered an engine change prior to the 35-lap feature, but opted instead to start at the rear of the field in their backup car. Despite starting 29th in a sprint race, Wright stayed out of trouble and carved his way to a top five finish.

“We pulled the motor out. We were going to take the motor that was in this car into that car. We decided not to, we decided to try to run this car, so we had to start in the back. It was a fun night coming up to fifth.”

Certainly, Wright would have preferred a less dramatic start to Speedweeks. Still, he has a top-five finish to start the battle for the World Series Pro Late Model championship. Now, the focus turns to improving the backup car starting with Sunday’s practice.

“It could have been a little better, but it certainly could have been worse. We didn’t have a bad night last night. We didn’t get a lot of practice with this car and weren’t terrible. Hopefully, today, we’ve got two practice sessions, we can get it a little better. If we can get a little better starting position, we won’t have to pass as many cars and we’ll be able to finish better.”