Renee runs with a pack of cars through LRP's optional uphill chicane. Hodge Photo.
This past weekend, NASCAR’s Whelen Modified Tour visited the hallowed grounds of Lime Rock Park (Lakeville, CT). The Tour’s appearance at the 1.53-mile road course marked the Series’ first event on something other than an asphalt oval in a decade; as well as the inaugural event at LRP (previous road course events were held at Watkins Glen).
Friday (July 2) offered up two practice sessions and qualifying for the WMT; as well as the same for NASCAR’s K&N East Series. In the group qualifying session, Renee ran two laps – before missing the chicane on the third lap, followed by a car going off course directly in front of her on the forth lap. In the end, she qualified her UNION Insurance Group Chevrolet to the 19th position.
On Saturday morning, while the team made final preparations on the car, Renee attended a driver’s meeting and participated in an autograph session. She also spent time – not just on Saturday, but throughout the event – with Molyslip representatives Stephen Joyce and Wayne Johnson.
“Earlier this season, we developed a relationship with Molyslip – a Canadian-based company that produces high-performance lubricant products,” offered Renee. “To have Steve and Wayne make the long trip from Toronto meant a lot. They are a couple of super guys and the entire team enjoyed getting to know them. It’s the icing on the cake that they also happen to have a great product line.”
The UIG No. 90 heads under the bridge at Lime Rock. Hodge Photo.
Shortly after noontime, the green flag waved for the 66-lap race. Renee maintained a competitive pace – pitting along with the rest of the field for a mandatory fueling pit stop on lap 20. When the race resumed, Renee picked up spots here and there. She notably went off course just once – in Big Bend – with just a few laps remaining in the race.
“When NASCAR first announced this event, we knew survival was going to be key. We figured if we could just survive, we would end up with a decent finish. We kept all the suspension on the car; we took care of the engine; and the transmission (courtesy of race winning team owner Wayne Darling) survived unscathed. And, because of that, we ended-up with a respectable finish.”
In the end, the team earned a 13th place finish – moving up to the 16th spot in the tight season long points championship. For those who weren’t able to make it out to the track, the race will be televised on SPEED on Thursday, July 22 at 6 PM EST. Please check out our gallery for photos from LRP.
“I have to send out a special thanks to all of the crew. This was an incredibly difficult race to prepare for – many, many long hours went into changing the car over for road course racing. It was difficult to accomplish – especially given the tight time constraints between Loudon and LRP – and it will be a long process converting everything back over to get ready for Monadnock. On another note, at the track, the three spotters did an awesome job. Carol, Charli and Steve worked together like they had been doing it for years – despite never having worked together before. I really want to thank everyone involved for all their hard work.”