Over the course of the two-month break Brodie Kostecki took while recuperating from a wrist injury, the 16-year-old envisioned putting on a strong showing with his Arcoplate No. 43 Toyota when he was able to get back behind the wheel. When he finally did make his return to the seat on Friday, July 11 at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Granite State 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, those weeks of strategizing a strong run paid off with a solid ninth-place finish.
Kostecki’s practice and qualifying efforts on Thursday, July 10 were his first competitive laps since his injury following the May 17 K&N race at Iowa Speedway. While it took some time to knock the rust off, Kostecki left New Hampshire pleased with his third top-10 finish of his rookie season.
“It was great getting back behind the wheel and bringing home a top-10 finish for the Arcoplate team,” said Kostecki. “I was just getting back up to speed and getting the comfort back. In that first practice, I just tried to get up to speed slowly to make sure everything was okay physically. We had a spring failure that kept us from the qualifying run that we wanted, but we made a few pit stops in the first half of the race.
“When we got to the halfway break, we were able to get the car pretty close to the best it could be. From there I just had to fight to get up front. I missed some wrecks that happened right in front of me and moved forward as far as I could.”
Kostecki started the Granite State 100 from the 19th position and fought a tight racecar through the first 50 laps. Physically, his healed-up wrist performed as it should, but the brace he was required to wear caused discomfort that made wrestling the ill-handling car a chore in the first 50-lap stint.
“The wrist seemed to be okay all day, but during the race and fighting the car, my hand got a little bit sore from the cast I had to wear. Luckily that cast comes off this week before our next race at Columbus so we should be good to go to run up front again.”
The native Australian, who has made a permanent residence in Mooresville, North Carolina, battled back from 23rd position at the halfway break. He started his progress to the front, breaking into the top-15 with 15 laps remaining. Then, over the final laps, he dodged some spinning cars around him and took advantage of the strong car he had by that point in the race to score a ninth-place result.
“It was pretty tough coming towards the end with all the spins and crashes that were happening all around me,” added Kostecki. “It took a lot of physical ability just to run as well as we did. The car was off, so I had to fight it a lot. It was a tough week for me, but we will just move forward to Columbus and get them there.”
Brodie will next compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event at Columbus Motor Speedway in Ohio on Saturday July 19. While he has never competed at Columbus before, he has been doing all the homework he can on the track.
“I’ve been studying Columbus a lot. It’s one of the trickiest tracks that we go to. One of my crew members has been to the track before, so he gave us a pretty good indication of what to expect. It seems to be one of those places where you’re either going to be really good or really bad. It’s a tough place to get ahold of.”
-51 Sports Press Release. Photo Credit: Rick Ibsen/Speed51.com Photo