Olsen Gains Momentum In Point Chase

With Runner-Up Finish At Stafford


            Stafford Springs, CT (June 9, 2007): Busch East Series, Grand National Division driver and defending champion Mike Olsen jumped to second in the points after posting a runner-up finish in the TSI Harley Davidson 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway Friday night. Olsen is only 40 points out of the lead behind current leader Joey Logano.

“We had a good points day,” said Olsen. “I was happy with a second after the week we had. Harry (Norcross) and the guys worked really hard all week to get the car fixed after South Boston. Obviously, I would like to win, but I was happy to see it go green without another restart because that leads to another chance for something to happen. We had a second place car tonight and that’s where we finished.”

            Olsen won the first practice session posting a speed of 89.517 mph (20.108 seconds) and backed in up in the second practice session and qualifying. His speed of 90.630 mph (19.861 seconds) was fast enough for an eighth place starting position.

            Olsen took over seventh on lap five when he got by the 20 car of Logano and immediately set his sights on the 35 of Eric Holmes. Olsen was right on Holmes’ bumper and finally got by on the bottom at lap 21 in turn three.

            The first caution flew at lap 32 setting the field up for a restart at lap 39. Holmes got back by Olsen before the caution flew once again at lap 40. When racing resumed at lap 46, Olsen again made a bid on Holmes for the sixth spot and reclaimed it after a brief door-to-door battle.

            Olsen maintained his sixth place position over the next several laps, but went under the 99 of Bryon Chew at lap 83 to take over fifth. Chew tried to retailiate, but Olsen shut the door on his challenges. Olsen then set his sights on Logano, who was running fourth.

            A caution tightened the field up for a restart at lap 124 with Olsen getting caught behind a dueling Logano and Peyton Sellers. On lap 126, the two battling cars made contact and spun out of contention. Olsen the moved up to third.

            “Peyton just lost it on the bottom and collected Joey,” said Olsen. “It was a racing deal, and I could see it happening. They were falling into my clutches, and I was better than them. I was just trying to get to where I could get by them, and they took care of that for me.”

            The green flew for the final time at lap 134, and again, Olsen moved up. Matt Kobyluck, who was running second, went high in turn two and gave the “Little Trees” driver the opportunity he needed to go to the bottom and take the spot.

            “Matt just slid up and I was able to drive right by him,” he said. “I thought I had something for Eddie (MacDonald), but the more laps I ran it seemed to drop off. I had a carburetor problem. After I ran so many laps, it would start to flutter off the turn. Once I got straight it would go away, but it slowed us down in the corners.”

            Olsen went unchallenged as he went to the checkers for the runner-up finish.

            “It was a good night for us,” Olsen said. “We got a decent finish, brought the car home in one piece, and moved up in points. We’re pretty happy with that.”