May 18, 2013
Landis Takes Win at Bronson
It was the #56 of Mark Landis who experienced that coveted moment of crossing the finish line as the checkered flag flew, knowing he was the feature winner.
It was no give-away. With the #25 of Paul White being unstoppable this year, the #20 of Brandon Williamson having won so many races in his Pro Challenge career, the #24 of Steve Greenwell stepping up his game, and the #3 of Chad Brinkley or the #34 of John Litzinger still in the equation...it could have been anyone's game this night.
The engine combinations covered the entire gamut of designated motors from the 1000 to the Ford Duratec. The governing body of Pro Challenge has made the motors so equal that it simply boils down to a matter of choice as to which one the racer prefers. Rules are stringent but fair. Keeping costs down for the racers is second only to safety, which is number one.
With that being said, it looked like the #25 of White would prevail, as he won the heat race with little resistance. The #56 of Landis would have to step up their game if they had any hope of winning against White. Landis’ crew chief stated that “with all motors being equal, it’s strictly set-up and driver. You have to remember, five years ago if you ran a mid-15 second lap, you would win. Things have changed. At these same tracks you’d better be running a low-14 second lap to win. Set-ups have become more precise and driver skill has increased dramatically”.
As far as the feature event, it was the #25 of White that took the field to the green flag with the #56 of Landis on the outside row. White jumps out in front with the #24 of Greenwell on his bumper and Landis stuck on the outside. The #24 stumbles ever so slightly and Landis jumps into second.
Three laps into the race a caution is thrown because of a spinout by the #34 of Litzinger. The race is restarted with White in first and Landis in second.
A second caution is thrown on lap 12 from another spinout by Litzinger. You have to consider this #34 car…it’s a factory R&D car which is testing different set-ups in order to pass on the best to the entire army of Pro Challenge racers. When Litzinger is on the track, it’s not about his ego…it’s about perfecting the car's performance while maintaining the commitment to safety. Hats off to the man at the helm.
Needless to say...restart. The #25 of White still in front, with Landis in second. Lap 13 brings out a caution from the #3 of Chad Brinkley. No harm no foul. Brinkley’s car just shut off.
Restart! Same. White pole, Landis second. Landis’ minute adjustments had better pay off quickly or it would be another second place finish for the #56.
With the green flag thrown and the #25 inside and the #56 outside, they race side by side through turns one and two. Turn three and the #56 of Landis goes in deep, White still holding first place. On turn four Landis holds the outside groove and captures the lead. Then a caution on lap 15 as White spins out.
Restart with Landis in first and the #20 of Williamson in second. Landis knows this #20 car very well. It was his previous car. In it, he won 11 races in one season.
Landis gets on the radio and states that “if I thought White was tough, this #20 will be even harder”.
Even so, Landis was determined to win. The green flag is thrown and Landis goes deep and the rest is history. The #56 of Landis set a blistering pace for the remaining laps to take the checkered flag.
So, for now, Mark Landis…YOU are the BIG DOG!!!
Please note that all races at Citrus County Speedway have been cancelled. The next points race is at Bronson Speedway on June 1st. Stay tuned for subsequent scheduling updates.