Sauble Beach, Ont. – On the heels of a solid 2017 campaign, Andrew Gresel is set to renew his chase for the APC United Late Model Series championship in 2018 when the series kicks off a new season at Sunset Speedway on Saturday, May 19. The Sauble Beach, Ont. native is putting the finishing touches on his No.81 Ford Fusion to ensure he begins the chase for his second series title on the right foot.
“I always like to start the season strong and have a good racecar for the first race,” Gresel said in anticipation of the season opener. “This year it might be a little bit more challenging because we might not get down to Sunset to test (before the APC Series season opener). Sunset is always a difficult racetrack to setup for, but I think it’s going to be good with all of the changes we’ve made.”
Entering the new campaign, Gresel is excited to announce his returning marketing partners for the 2018 season. His No.81 Ford Fusion will carry McRobert Fuels as primary sponsorship alongside dedicated partners Sauble Falls Tent & Trailer Park, CUSW – Canadian Union of Skilled Workers, Hy-Grade Roofing, London Recreational, Gallinger Ford Lincoln, Barry’s Construction and Raden Givari at Ehomes.
“I have to send a big thank you to all of our sponsors again this year,” Gresel said gratefully. “They’re a huge part of what we do and allow us to compete at the high level that we do each season.”
Gresel and his Sauble Falls Racing team have worked hard over the off-season to prepare for the 2018 title chase. While Gresel will return with the same car for the new season, the team did make several improvements to their program over the winter months.
“There’s been quite a few upgrades done to it, so it’s taken quite a bit of time,” Gresel said. “They’re definitely an improvement and it’s going to help the car, hopefully in qualifying too so we can get a few more bonus points that way. We should be able to qualify in the top five or six every race.”
After winning the APC Series championship in 2016, Gresel finished second in the 2017 standings with one win to his credit, and now sits tied with Brandon Watson for most wins in the series’ four-year history with seven. While it was still a successful season, Gresel certainly saw room for improvement.
“It was a good year,” Gresel said. “Second overall was pretty good, but I wasn’t too happy with some of the stuff that happened throughout the year. The racecar was off sometimes and it just didn’t feel like it had the speed we needed. A bunch of little things combined to make it a little more difficult, so we’re looking to improve on all of that stuff.”
To find that speed, Gresel is going back to the same well that has powered his success over the course of several seasons. He’ll continue to run a Ford power plant under the hood of his No.81.
“I like the Ford and I’ve been a Ford guy for a lot of years. We get support from Gallinger Ford too, so we’re loyal to them,” Gresel stated enthusiastically. “You have to have speed in the car to win these things, so that’s what we’re going to be working on this year to be a bit more competitive that way.”
In addition to the full APC United Late Model Series schedule, Gresel will also compete in the Great Lakes Concrete Series for Limited Late Models events at Sauble Speedway, and Flamboro Speedway’s Gold Rush 100. However, the biggest race on the schedule is the $25,000-to-win Canadian Nationals at Jukasa Motor Speedway on September 1-2, 2018.
“That’s a big event that’s hard to beat. They’ve got a wicked package put together there,” Gresel said excitedly. “There are guys coming from all over the States, guys from out east. I think it’s going to be phenomenal and I really hope we have everything in order to do well there that day. The track is fun and super fast.”
Sauble Falls Racing fans can catch Andrew Gresel and the No.81 team in action for the first time this season at the APC Series’ 100-lap season opener on Saturday, May 19 at Sunset Speedway. For additional event information, visit www.apcracingseries.com and www.sunsetspeedway.ca.
-Saube Falls Racing Press Release
-Photo credit: Derek Smith