Double Podium for Schmied at High Plains

August 8th 2022 – Denver, CO.

Kenny Schmied and the Will-to-Win Racing #986 Porsche Cayman brought home two P3’s at the WRL High Plains race weekend. The team fought hard both days, and were in contention for a win midway through the race on Saturday before, with Schmied in the car, the #986 ran out of fuel on it’s in-lap. The team were fast to fuel the car in the paddock when it was towed in, and the team still managed to climb back to P3 before the end of the race. On Sunday, Schmied set blistering lap times to start the day, and was within a stones throw of the leaders when he came in after a double-stint start. Some rain in the afternoon mixed up the field slightly, but the #986 still managed to bring home another strong points finish with a P3 on Sunday.

Schmied was excited to head back to High Plains Raceway, his home track and home race in Denver, CO. “High Plains is a track that really flies under the radar. It’s fast, it’s technical, there’s a ton of elevation change… it’s a real riot and I’m thrilled to be coming back here for my third year in a row” Schmied said. Schmied has had a hot streak at the track, the location where he won his first two sportscar races in 2020, and scored a podium in 2021. That 2021 race would have been a double-podium if it weren’t for a fuel pump that failed mid-day on Sunday.

MB8_6808Qualifying on Friday went decent. Schmied had set the pole time in 2020, and was near the pole in 2021. The team put some sticker tires on the car and after a few hot laps, was ready to set down a flier. Schmied remembers being four-tenths up on his fastest when the checkered flags came out. “Man, I really wanted to finish that lap, but I guess I cut it too close with the timing of it.” Schmied was the fastest of the team’s drivers on Friday, and qualified the car in P5 for the start of Sunday’s race.

Schmied was filling in over the weekend for Ross Bentley, and was sharing the #986 with Tom Roberts and Brad Kellett. Tom would take the start of the race on Saturday. Coming out of the box hot, Tom would move up to P3 and keep the car in P3 for his two stints. “Tom did a great job out there on the start. Hopefully I can replicate that when I start on Sunday” Schmied said.  

Getting in to the car around lunch time on Saturday, Schmied quickly settled in and began pushing. The top three cars in the class were all running similar lap times, and collectively pulling away from the field. “I had P2 less than a second in front of me, and P1 was only a few seconds up ahead. The gaps were ebbing and flowing with the traffic, but over the long run, we were all stuck to each others bumper. It was a great way to stay motivated and really get after it. A full stint of just, bumper to bumper chasing!” said Schmied of his first stint on Saturday.


However, disaster soon struck the #986. “Okay, box this lap for fuel only, box this lap for fuel only” Schmied heard over the radio. “Copy, boxing this lap – fuel only” Schmied replied. And then, coming up turn 7, the car sputtered, and then sputtered again, and a few seconds later the ECU cut off the fuel flow and Schmied was forced to coast up the hill of turn 7 before bringing the #986 to a stop just before the cut-off road after turn 8. In communication with the team, Schmied tried to reset the car and get it fired up, but the car wouldn’t fire. Schmied would need to sit, motionless, until he could be towed to the paddock.

Shortly after, the track recovery crew at High Plains showed up, and towed the car to the paddock where one jug of fuel was waiting and was quickly loaded into the car. After detaching from the tow truck, Schmied would leave the paddock, complete an out-lap, and then come into the pits for a full load of fuel. The entire situation cost the #986 about 8 minutes of lost time.

Hoping to make up some ground, Schmied continued pushing for his second stint, and then turned the car over to Brad to bring it home. The team managed to make up some of the time lost, and climbed back through the ranks to finish P3 on Saturday. “It’s another really solid finish at High Plains! Man, we were so close to being back in the pits when we ran out of fuel, but sometimes you just get unlucky like that. We showed we have great pace, so let’s see what we can do on Sunday” said Schmied.

Schmied would start the race on Sunday, and was quickly keeping pace with the leaders. Schmied remembers vividly pushing hard for the entirety of his two stints. “I’ve been getting more aggressive on my starts lately as a way to prepare for some potential sprint racing in my future. Part of that training is just, being able to push the car as hard and as long as I can. I keep telling myself ‘one more lap’, and somehow it turns into hours of just driving as hard as I can” said Schmied. Being within view of the leader, Schmied pitted after two and a half hours in the car for Brad Kellett to take over. Brad would keep the #986 in contention and on-pace, skillfully managing traffic, before handing it over to Tom Roberts, who faced some rain later in the day. 

Doing well to wheel the car in the rain and on a tricky drying track afterward, Tom kept up his speed and brought the car home P3 to end the weekend at High Plains. “It’s another double-podium weekend at high plains!” Schmied said. “There’s just something about this track, and something about your home race in general that’s special. I was super stoked to share the car with Tom and Brad this weekend, as we’ve raced along side eachother for years now but somehow I hadn’t had the privilege of sharing the car with either of them yet. They are fantastic guys, and I just knew we’d have a successful and fun weekend. So, hat’s off to Tom and Brad!”.

Schmied heads next to Virginia International Raceway in September for his first romp in the hills of Virginia. “I’m really excited for ViR. It’s one of my favorite tracks in the simulator, and it’s always super exciting and challenging to learn a new track in real life. Hopefully it won’t be too hot!”.

Photos from the event can be found below or at the photo gallery page here.