Active ImageGreensville, SC (April 29, 2007): Defending Busch East Series, Grand National Division champion Mike Olsen turned around a 16th place qualifying effort with a seventh place finish in the season opening Greased Lightning 150 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway Saturday night. The finish was Olsen’s 13th straight top-10 finish – a streak that began in 2005.

“I’m a little disappointed. I had higher expectations,” said Olsen, driver of the No. 61 “Little Trees” Chevrolet. “We’ll have to do our homework. There’s a lot of tough competition this year.”

In practice, Olsen was consistently among the top-10 fastest cars, but in qualifying, Olsen turned a lap of 85.361 mph (21.087 seconds) and was 16th in a 30-car field.

“I think it was because I went out early. The later guys went, the more time they picked up. I think we had a good car,” said Olsen. “We all thought we would have had a top-10 starting spot at the least.”

Olsen was patient in the beginning of the race, but was running ninth by the halfway mark. At lap 89, Olsen ran into some trouble and dropped back to 12th.

“I got tangled up a little bit in one and two, and it dug up the fender a little bit. I was trying to be patient, and I thought we were in good shape,” he said. “I thought I had been conserving the tires, but when I went I just didn’t have any grip. I was spinning the tires pretty bad.”

The race was red flagged at lap 115 for a multi-car pileup on the frontstretch. When the race restarted at lap 122, Olsen bolted by four cars and took over the sixth position.

“My lane went big so I took advantage of it and we gained a bunch of spots,” Olsen said.

A string of cautions plagued the closing laps allowing the 03 of Rogelio Lopez to take over sixth before the checkers fell.

“Overall, I think we turned around what could have been a much worse day,” said Olsen. “Everyone used their heads and it was a competitive race. As a racer, I would have liked to have done better because I think we had a better car than the finish reflects, but it’s not bad. We’ll take it.”