Submitted by C. Revelle
IROQUOIS–Being named RACE 101 Premier driver award for 2012 at the end of the year long program meant that Luke Whitteker would get some time in a pavement Late Model. His first experience came on Wednesday, June 27 when he traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, to get comfortable in the car before heading to Southern National Speedway in Kenly, North Carolina on Thursday and Friday for his first test session on the black top.
With temperatures over 100 degrees all week, Whitteker knew that the track was going to be very slick, which played in his favor with his dirt racing experience.
It took only three sessions on the first day for Whitteker to get up to speed, and run comparable lap times to Speedway regulars.
“We had a great test today,” said Whitteker after his first outing. “The car was fast for the slick conditions. This was a real good start to our asphalt adventures. I am looking forward to coming back here tomorrow and getting a better feel for the track”.
The warm temperatures continued for the second day of testing with temperatures remaining in excess of 100°F. The track temperature was approaching 130° F and almost 150° inside the race car.
Whitteker had another great test session though, posting some very competitive laps.
Saturday, the young Iroquois driver returned to Southern National Speedway for race day, but this time he worked on the pit crew for Karl Weber, another young and upcoming driver, who had been working alongside Luke during the testing the two previous days.
Whitteker spent the first part of Sunday returning home. He landed in Syracuse, New York early Sunday afternoon, and made the long drive to Cornwall Motor Speedway where his Whitteker Motorsports team had his car all ready to go for the night’s 100 lap Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series race.
Luke started 15th, and was running well on the bottom of the track, to make it all the way up to fourth before the handling started to go away on the car, and he slid back to 14th.
This past weekend, Whitteker was back at Mohawk International Raceway on Friday night where he planned to debut the brand new experimental Bicknell chassis. His weekend was to also include stops at Brockville Speedway Saturday night and the Cornwall Motor Speedway on Sunday.