Story By: MIKE MARESCA RACING – TAMPA, FL – Over this past “off-season” it’s been clear that Mike Maresca is willing to drive just about anything. In fact, there really hasn’t been much of an off season for the 22-year-old young gun.
From competing in the Tulsa Shootout in a 600 micro sprint, to the Super Late Model at the Wild West Shootout in Arizona, he’s been keeping his driving skills fresh this winter with success in both events.
This week, Maresca made the trek down south to do an early test with his brand new Teo Pro Car he plans to compete with at Volusia. With help of crew chief Ben Wheeler the duo shook down the car and made some progress on adjustments that were needed before this upcoming week at Volusia.
“Our modified program really picked up towards the end of last year, and we became pretty competitive in every race we attended.” Maresca stated. “We’re really hoping to start off this year just as strong, if not better.”
Most people are expecting to see the 7mm St. Lawrence Radiology Teo Pro Car hit the track Tuesday with the Super DIRTcar series as it did in 2017. However, that may not be the case for this years 2018 DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.
The Russ King Racing crew left their shop in Northern Ohio early Wednesday morning, hauling the 7mm Super Late Model down to Screven, GA for this weekend’s Winter Freeze at Screven Motor Speedway. However, with un-favoring weather conditions all weekend the prestigious World of Outlaws event was cancelled. Maresca, eager to race, turned his rig towards Tampa, FL with plans to compete at East Bay Raceway Park instead. The team plans to compete this Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and if all goes well, Sunday also.
Looking at past results, it would be a high possibility the 7mm RKR team will run Sunday before heading to Volusia for the remainder of the week. With a 7th place finish in his first ever Super Late Model event back in November at Cherokee Speedway, and an 8th place finish at the Arizona Speedway for the final night of the Wild West Shootout, Maresca seems to get better and better with the more laps he turns.
“It doesn’t matter what the kid does.” Crew-chief Russ King stated. “It could be 30 strokes of golf, 30 shots on a basketball hoop, 30 laps on a new track and he just gets it instantly. It pretty funny to watch but it’s awesome how he adapts so quickly to someplace he’s never seen before.”
The duo has been extremely successful in the last two events, and are looking to continue that this weekend at East Bay and all next week at Volusia.
However some may be questioning – where does it leave the 7mm Big Block Modified?
“Pulling double duty is nearly impossible at these kind of events; especially with the level of competition in every race.” Maresca said. “So we will probably end up just focusing on one or the other. I would rather have one car 100% to race when it hits the track rather than having two cars that aren’t.” Maresca went on to say “It would be really cool to run both all week, but realistically I know it’s probably not going to happen. I’m pretty fortunate I can even have the opportunity to run both. I can’t thank my guys enough for all the hard work they put in week-in and week-out to make it possible.”
The 10-day race stretch for the 7mm teams will begin tonight at East Bay Raceway Park and will conclude next Saturday at Volusia Speedway Park.