Obstacles Hinder Levi Roberts’ Progress At The Milwaukee Mile

By Meredith Kaplan Burns

Brownsburg, Indiana (June 20, 2011) — After recording a strong, 3rd-place finish driving the #91 of Nine Racing at the legendary Night Before the 500 Race in May, Broomfield, Colorado-native Levi Roberts came to Milwaukee with high expectations.

Levi and the Nine Racing crew worked well together during the two timed practice sessions on Thursday and Friday, June 16 and 17, before Saturday’s USAC Mopar National Midget Series feature race at the Milwaukee Mile with Levi on top of the time charts for both sessions. Levi recorded the 2nd fastest practice time on Friday and the car was excellent on long runs, which brought strong expectations for a good qualifying effort on Saturday. Unfortunately, the car was not able to transfer the speed developed from practice to qualifying and Levi earned a qualifying lap time of 21.144, which placed him 12th among the 23 drivers attempting to qualify for the event.

“Both Glenn Martin and Dave Steele worked really hard on the set-up and gave me hints as to how to approach the mile,” said Levi Roberts. “The car was perfect during both the Thursday and Friday practice sessions. Then for some crazy reason when I went out to qualify the car developed a massive push condition, which dramatically affected my chances of earning a top qualification position and a good starting spot for the race was eliminated.”

For the late Saturday afternoon, 25-lap USAC Mopar National Midget race, Levi started in 12th place. At the wave of the green flag Levi got an excellent start and it appeared that he would be moving to the front. Then as the race progressed the “push condition” reappeared. Late in the race Levi was tapped from behind by another car and his car spun, which hurt the opportunity for a decent finish. Levi finished the race in 19th.

“This was my first time on the Milwaukee Mile and I really liked the track,” said Levi. “I very much enjoyed gaining the big-track experience. At our post race briefing, we believe we found the solution to the handling problem, and I am now looking forward to next week’s Iowa Speedway event. I have been to Iowa Speedway, which I like, and it is a great event with great fan support.”

Levi will be joined by teammate Kyle Hamilton at Iowa Speedway on Friday, June 24. This event will be held in conjunction with the IndyCar Series.

Levi is currently ranked 4th in USAC Mopar National Midget Pavement Series points and 8th in the overall USAC Mopar National Midget Championship.

Nine Racing’s 2011 sponsor lineup includes K&N Engineering, Eibach Springs, Weld Racing, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, Penske Racing Shocks, Performance Friction Brakes, ASE, Earl’s Performance Plumbing, SSi Decals, PJ1, and Hoosier Racing Tire.

Photo captions:

(RobertsMilwaukee.jpg) Levi Roberts is seen here driving the #91 of Nine Racing at the famed Milwaukee Mile on Saturday, June 18, during the start of the USAC Mopar National Midget race. Although fast in practice, Levi’s race car was bumped during the race, resulting in a 19th-place finish.

(Roberts#91.jpg) Levi Roberts stands next to the #91 midget of Nine Racing as he prepared for the feature race on Saturday, June 18, at the Milwaukee Mile USAC Mopar National Midget race. Levi’s next race for Nine Racing will be Friday, June 24, at Iowa Speedway.