It’s been close to two months since TeamCassRacing’s Jason Fensler, has sat behind the wheel of his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race car when the team competed in the Toyota/Napa AutoCare 150 in Roseville, California. Fensler, who started the race 15th, led the final eight laps in his TCR / Pick-n-Pull / Simple Green sponsored Chevrolet, and went to victory lane in only his second start for team owners Jim and Terri Cass.
[media-credit name=”TCR” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]The win was Fensler’s second points win in-a-row in only five starts; with his first one coming at Altamont Motorsports Park in 2008 when he drove for SpeedWong Racing. “We didn’t qualify that well. We started 15th. We had to start toward the back of the pack,” said Fensler after his win at Roseville. Fensler also added that, “We just kept ourselves in position the whole entire race and that was the key. We didn’t have real good car, but we put ourselves in position and I just knew on the last restart to get the best run I could of off of two and it worked out for us.”
“At the close of the Roseville event when we were able to take the lead, my spotter Justin did a great job. It really enabled me to focus on hitting my marks and drive a good consistent line.” Fensler who is racing as a rookie in the series is running a limited schedule because of sponsorship restrictions, and will make his next start on Saturday in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 at the Bullring in Las Vegas, Nevada. This will mark the Elk Grove, California natives second start in a point’s race with the team, his first start came at the season opening Toyota All-Star Showdown which is a non-points event.
Fensler qualified seventh for the showdown, and ran as high as eighth before Derek Thorn slid into race leader Paulie Harraka coming through Turn 4 on lap 206. Fensler, Dale Quarterley, David Mayhew, Darrell Wallace and Chad Boat were all involved as each driver had nowhere to go and ended in the grass in Turn 4, which ended Fensler’s night where he would finish 28th. With Fensler’s last win coming two months ago, he was asked what he’s done within that time to prepare himself for this weekend’s race, and how hard is it to get back in the car and be competitive after a two month layoff?
“I have changed a few things inside the car for comfort. Foreseeing hotter weather this weekend in Las Vegas I mainly worked on driver cooling and fluids for myself. When you have Roger Bracken preparing a car, a great crew working on it and owners like Jim and Terri Cass it makes it so much easier on myself as a driver. It really enables myself to speed that process up of getting settled back behind the wheel,” said Fensler.
Crew chief Roger Bracken has been hard at work since the last race working on the ways to improve the team, and make them stronger by communicating with Fensler as well as the team owners. “I tell ya, it’s hard to win these races, and to be the only other driver to win this season in the K&N Pro Series West, once again shows what a great team TCR is,” Fensler said.
Fensler finished with, “Roger and myself communicate very well. We have talked a lot about qualifying, since we didn’t qualify that well at Roseville, to try and improve on that. We both agree, we don’t want to spend too much time on it and let ourselves get behind on race setups.” Even though Jim and Terri are still seeking sponsorship to cover the rest of the season and are considered an underfunded team, they are still able to provide Fensler with a fast and competitive race car as well as a team that gels really well together.
Fensler added that, “Everyone on the team gives 110% to do the best we can, and at the close of the day know we can walk away knowing we did the best we can. We win as a team, we lose as a team and with that being said I personally focus on giving the best feedback I can to Roger on the chassis, and drive a smart race. These races are long races and you have to race smart and put yourself in the right spot at the end to have a shot at a victory or getting the best finish you can.”