JOANIDES TO RUN FINAL TWO EVENTS IN THE WEST SERIES
Nick Joanides and Puskarich Racing are teaming up to run the final two races in the Nascar Grand National West Division at Thunder Hill Raceway and Mesa Marin Raceway. "After a great top-3 at Mesa Marin last year, I really wanted to go back this year and with Nascar's influence, we decided to go ahead and run at Thunder Hill Raceway in Texas as well". Joanides commented.
Nick has always loved racing at Mesa Marin, a track that has given him some of his best career results, but also provided for some of his worst heartbreaks! "I think Mesa Marin is to me what Daytona was to Dale Earnhardt", said Joanides. "I've always run extremely well there, but for what ever reason, bad luck has prevented me from getting that first win at the track". Nick referring to blown tires while leading in atleast seven events and several others while running in the top 3, such as last year when he charged from 10th to 3rd in just 19 laps before the right front tire blew on lap 45 in the West Series race. "It took Earnhardt 20 years to win the Daytona 500, unfortunately, I don't have that luxury". The West Series race will be the final event ever to be run at the historical half mile track as it has been sold and will soon be replaced with the development of residential property.
While Nick has had some bad luck that has kept him out of Victory Lane at Mesa Marin countless times, his results haven't been all bad. Nick's career best finish in the Autozone Elite Division Southwest Series came at this track in 2001 and three consecutive top 5 finishes at the track in the same year helped propel him to a 4th place finish in the final standings that year. Mesa Marin is also the site of his first career Bud Pole Award in the Southwest Series.
"I love Mesa and although it has not always returned the same love to me, it was very important for me to be a part of the final event ever run there and thanks to Tom Puskarich and his team, I will have the opportunity to do that" Joanides said. Nick also ran the final event ever held at Saugus Speedway in 1995 and hopes that he can continue his success in the final events held at a race track as he broke the track record on the final day and nearly won the race. "With as good as this team performed here last year, I think we will be able to have a great run" concluded Joanides.
Joanides has never been to the Thunder Hill Raceway in Texas, however new tracks are nothing new to him this year as he is competing in the Midwest Series for the first time and all but two of the tracks that series competes at, are places Nick had never seen until this year. Although his team has struggled this year with mechanical problems, broken wheels or flat tires in 6 out of 8 events this year, he has been consistently in the top 5 all season long, showing that he does adapt quickly to new tracks. Nicks season finally got on the right track at his last event with a solid 4th place finish in his first race ever at the 1.5 Mile Kentucky Speedway. Nick commented that he loves the challenge of going to new tracks and hopes he can continue his trend of solid performances at tracks he has never seen before at Thunder Hilll.
The race at Thunder Hill Raceway will take place this weekend on October 1st and the final Mesa Marin race will be on October 15th. In between, Nick will also run the final race of the season in the Midwest Series at LaCrosse Speedway in Wisconsin, hoping to maintain his point standing in the top 10 to qualify for the All Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway in November.