Tire Woes Cause Disappointment at World Center of Racing

June 7th 2021 – Daytona Beach, FL.

Multiple tire blowouts create havoc for Schmied and the W2W Racing #983 at the World Racing League 14-hours of Daytona. The team qualified well and was looking forward to 14 hours of racing, but three tire blowouts and one delamination had the team on their toes from the first hour of Competition. To compound things, a shortened running time due to weather-caused red flags meant the team didn’t have as much time as needed to climb back up the field. It was a tough weekend for the Will-to-Win #983 as they continue their charge for a second national championship.

Schmied came into the weekend looking to build on his confidence after a strong performance at Road America in the team’s #981 car. Now driving the championship-contending #983, Schmied said on Friday “It’s great to be back at Daytona. This place is just always something special. When you get to race on the high-banks, it’s always a great weekend.”

Coming into Friday qualifying, Schmied struggled to maximize his pace. Early in his first session, a spin in turn 6 for Schmied had kept him on his toes. “It’s never nice to just run out of talent like that, but thankfully I didn’t hit anything and if anything it shows I’m out there really pushing myself to try and go faster… to get better.” Schmied said.

The day wouldn’t get better for Schmied, as a wall of rain into turn 1 on a qualifying lap sent Schmied on a high-speed spin through a soaked runoff area. Stopping just meters shy of the tire wall, Schmied continued on and brought the car back to the garage. “Okay, I just had a huge spin in turn 1. I didn’t hit anything but holy s*** it’s raining like f*** over here!” Schmied can be heard saying on the team radio just after the spin.

091A6725Schmied was eager to get back on track to move forward mentally from the two spins he had earlier in the day, but rain and lightning stoppages meant the earlier session was his only session of the day. The team qualified the car in 24th place, and Aidan Yoder was going to be the starter for Saturday’s 14-hour race.

As the green flag fell at Daytona, Aidan Yoder burst out to a stunning start picking up ten places in the first lap. With blazing pace, Aidan pushed up to 13th place until a tire blowout on lap 12 sent the team back to 42nd place. Aidan continued to climb back to P24, but another tire blowout again sent the car down the field, this time to 27th. The team continued pushing and climbing up the ladder. Schmied got in the car in the late morning, and continued to make forward progress, but a left front blowout entering the bus stop continued the teams stream of bad luck. Another visit to the pits and another new wheel and tire and Schmied continued onward.

Thankfully the team had no more tire issues for the race, and the charge commenced. With the final 10 hours of the race free of tire drama, the drivers were unleashed to make passes and climb up the large field. A short red-flag session early in the evening when Schmied was in the car for his second stint provided a great opportunity as the field has been bunched back up for the restart. Schmied climbed several spots before handing the car over to Aidan Yoder to bring the #983 home to the checkered flag, 15th overall and in class.

“It was a tough day out there for sure” Schmied said on Saturday evening. “I thought we’d never stop having tire issues, and the blowout I had into the bus stop definitely had my heart going. Thankfully it’s not a long way from there to the pits, but I just can’t help but think where we could have finished if we didn’t lose so much time to the tire issues. I really think with our pace and driver lineup today we could have had a top 5, maybe even a podium or a win. But sometimes that’s just how racing goes. We put in a great effort, and still I think we did well given the hand we were dealt.”

Schmied and W2W Racing head to Road Atlanta next month to continue their 2021 Championship bid.

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