Mixed Bag for Schmied at Road America

May 11th 2022 – Elkhart Lake, WI.

Kenny Schmied and the Will-to-Win Racing #983 Porsche Cayman had a mixed weekend in Eklhart Lake for the WRL Road America races. A solid Saturday of running saw the #983 – driven by Kenny Schmied, Palmer Miller, and Judd Miller – climb the ranks from a P10 start to a solid points finish in P5. Unfortunately early on Sunday, Palmer was struck in turn 7 by a driver trying to make a move, and ended up in the tire wall on corner exit. Thankfully Palmer was unscathed, but the same couldn’t be said for the car. After repairs, some running in the afternoon was ended short when mechanical issues from the morning’s hit reared it’s head. The team finished P46 overall and P19 in class on Sunday.

Schmied was excited to head back to Road America, a track he fell in love with when he first drove it in 2021. “Elkhart Lake and Road America are quickly becoming my favorite track and town in the US. The track is just so classic and fast, and Elkhart Lake is beautiful in May” Schmied said. Schmied was excited to share the car with the Millers, who mainly compete in the Blue Marble Radical Cup USA. Schmied had shared a car with Palmer Miller at Road Atlanta in 2020, and was looking forward to solid results. 

MB8_6808Qualifying on Friday saw the Millers quickly up to pace, but it was Schmied who set the car’s fastest lap of the day, and so Schmied would take the start on Saturday. From a grid position of P10, inches off the bumper of the car ahead, Schmied took the green and marched the #983 up the ranks. Schmied had driven the car up to P3 after about an hour and a half before a red flag due to a crash in the kink put the brakes on the race for well over an hour. After being in the car for over three hours, Schmied boxed for a driver change and fuel when the race resumed.

“It was a great stint out there” said Schmied. “I’ve been working on getting more aggressive with my starts, and I can see that it’s really paying off. I was able to make quite a few moves at the start of the race, and after settling in was able to maintain those positions.” The team was trying new tires this weekend which helped with one-lap pace, but didn’t have the durability the team was used to. “We had to box unscheduled a few times for tire changes, which isn’t ideal” Schmied said. “But at the end of the day, we managed a P5 for some solid points and a continued march up the championship standings.”

Palmer Miller would start the race on Sunday. Off to a blistering start, Palmer had brought the #983 up from P9 to P4, before a small mistake into turn 1 caused Palmer to slip back through the standings. On his back foot and fighting hard to move back up the ranks, Palmer had a rough run out of turn 6, and another driver attempting to take advantage of the situation into turn 7 misjudged their speed and hit the right side of the #983, resulting in the car leaving the track, hitting the tire wall, and becoming stranded in the gravel trap. After extraction by the track crew, the team went to work fixing the car in the garage.

“It’s not great that the other driver felt they needed to be so aggressive there” said Schmied. “We weren’t even an hour into an 8 hour race and someone’s ill-timed move has taken us completely out of contention. Thankfully Palmer is okay, but Wasp needed a lot of work to get back up and running”. The W2W crew launched into action, and the #983 was back on track an hour and a half later, piloted by Judd Miller.


Continuing to make up places, Schmied got back in the car with a few hours to go in Sunday’s race and was on a mission to fuel save. “Road America is a thirsty track, and with our pit schedule I was on my backfoot to save fuel to cut out our final pit stop. I was saving fuel massively and on track to hit my targets, when I started to feel the car acting strangely”. Schmied said he felt the car “wobble side to side in the rear” when approaching the end of the long straights.

The wobble would get worse when Schmied came off the gas to initiate his lift and coast. After several laps, Schmied and the team retired the car. “It was the rear axle” Schmied said. “We could have replaced it, but it would have taken just as much time as we had left in the race, and given that we were far out of contention, we decided the best thing was to retire the car”. The #983 would ultimately finish P46 overall and P19 in class on Sunday. 

“It was a mixed event, but it had it’s strong points” Schmied said of the weekends efforts. “It was great to share the car with the Millers, and it’s a real shame about Palmer being punted so early on Sunday. We had a solid car, drivers, and strategy, and were looking for another points haul… but sometimes things just don’t go your way. The most important thing is that Palmer is okay. After a big hit like that, it’s really the only thing that matters. I was proud of my start on Saturday, and of my pace in general, so there are some positives to take away from the weekend.” Schmied will miss this years 14-hour race at Daytona, but will be back in the #983 in July for the WRL Peach Tree Grand Prix at Road Atlanta. 

“I’m still happy that we got great points on Saturday. I’m always a little sad leaving Wisconsin, but I made sure to have plenty of Spotted Cows to hold me over. Already I can’t wait to come back next year.”

Schmied heads next to Road Atlanta in July for his third of seven events for the 2022 season. “Road Atlanta is always a blast, and the team usually has good results there, so I’m definitely looking forward to it!” said Schmied.

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