By Bill W
May 9, 2016 – Brandon Wimmer scored a victory in his first outing with the Hartnell Motorsports #48H team Friday night with the IRA at Manitowoc Speedway in Wisconsin. Even more impressive was the fact that it was also the first time the Fairmount, Indiana driver had seen the 1/3-mile oval. The team showed their chemistry was no fluke Saturday night, running a close second to Dusty Zomer at Wilmot Speedway. They will return to Wilmot on May 21 to compete with the All Stars.
Brandon timed in fourth quick after coming out 24th in the order at Manitowoc. He would go from fifth to fourth in his heat, locking himself into the feature. “We were o.k. in the heat,” he says. “We made some major changes for the feature. We kind of threw something at it, and it went really well.”
He would start fifth in the main event. “It seemed like I passed a couple guys about three times,” says Brandon. “Every time we would pass someone, the yellow would come out, and we’d have to go behind them. The cautions really hurt us early on.”
One the green stayed out, Brandon got better. “We got rolling really decent about halfway through the race,” he says. “There wasn’t much of a bottom for most of the night. There was a cushion and you could slide guys to get by them.”
He would take his shot at the lead late in the going. “There was a caution with four or five laps to go,” says Brandon. “I was able to slide in front of (leader) Scott Neitzel. He was able to drive back under me and take it back. The next time we were in one and two, the cushion had got to the wall. I was able to kind of use the middle to work by him.”
From there, Brandon would pull away with the win. “It was a great night,” he says. “It was our first outing with the team, and to come out of the box like that…it doesn’t get much better!”
The team was on more familiar ground at Wilmot Saturday. “The team knew where to start with the car at Wilmot and we didn’t make many changes all night,” says Brandon. “We qualified well (second quick), started sixth and ran second in the heat and the invert for the feature was six.”
Starting fifth, it took a while for Brandon to work his way towards the front. “It was kind of the same deal as Friday,” he says. “It took us a while to get rolling good. (Dusty) Zomer was already in the lead by then. We actually reeled him in in traffic. I was able to take a shot at sliding him once, but didn’t quite get him cleared. I really think we had the best car. We just ran out of time at the end.”
Brandon was really excited about the way his first weekend went with Hartnell Motorsports. “We had some good competition there, and we were really competitive up front,” he says. “It was just a good weekend. I’d like to thank Chris Hartnell, Donald and Tim Anderson for having me in the car. I’m looking forward to Wilmot in a couple of weeks.”
Hartnell Motorsports would like to thank SFR Painting and Staining, Pure Air Heating and Air Conditioning, Trinity Homes and May Roofing.
Brandon would like to thank his own long-term partners Simpson Racing Products, Butlerbuilt Professional Seat Systems and All Star Performance.